Social Security Disability

Are Changes to Social Security Disability on the Horizon?

Earlier this year, U.S. Representative French Hill (R-AR) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced bicameral bills that would introduce a new requirement to classify disability claimants as either (1) expected to medically improve or (2) not expected to medically improve. If a beneficiary is expected to improve, the benefits will expire after a prescribed time (during which the claimant is expected to rejoin the workforce). The changes will also provide beneficiaries who are expected to return to the workforce with retraining and other assistance to help them transition back to work. If beneficiaries are not expected to medically improve, their … [...]

Disability Reviews: Here’s What You Should Know

Successful applications for Social Security Disability benefits never have to reapply into the program; however, their benefits are subject to periodic reviews to determine eligibility. These periodic reviews are standard practice at the Social Security Administration (SSA) and should not cause anyone alarm. They are done to prevent fraud and ensure that recipients of disability benefits continue to qualify under their own program. Any application which remains disabled and unable to work will have their benefits renewed. Furthermore, disability benefits continue to pay out during the review process. Scheduling Disability Reviews … [...]

Getting Disability: When You Can’t Wait Any Longer

SSDI applicants in Illinois may be able to speed up the disability claims process through a congressional inquiry. The Social Security Administration has provided guidance to hearing officers and administrative law judges about how they should handle congressional inquiries in individual cases, and they are supposed to respond to them promptly. Applicants can request congressional inquiries about the statuses of their cases by contacting their local Congress member's office. While requesting a congressional inquiry may not work, it can speed up the decision process and will not negatively impact the application. What Is a Congressional … [...]

Disability Backlog Grows: Death Toll Continues to Rise

Social Security disability applicants are trapped in administrative limbo, unable to get money to pay for their medications or treatment, and unable to advance their cases as the SSDI backlog continues to grow and the death toll continues to rise. From the beginning of 2016 through the end of 2017, federal data obtained by the Washington Post reports that 18,701 people died while waiting for their social security disability benefits to process. The average applicant waits approximately 599 days for a disposition. Sometimes, people wait more than two years. Even when applicants finally make it to a judge, the average approval rate is only 55 … [...]

The Fast Track to Getting Disability

The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) administers several programs, including Compassionate Allowances, which allows the SSA to fast-track applications for disability insurance benefits if certain conditions are met. Disability provides payments to individuals who are limited or unable to work because of a permanent or semi-permanent condition. Ordinarily, the application process can take months or even years. However, for certain conditions, the SSA will provide fast-tracked approval. Compassionate Allowances Explained Compassionate Allowances is a program that allows individuals afflicted with certain conditions, such as adult brain … [...]

Boosting Dependent Disability Benefits

Qualified dependents of workers receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are also entitled to a benefit amount. SSDI rules limit the amount payable to a family, but understanding the rules can ensure that dependents receive the maximum amount allowable, boosting a family's total benefit. A Significant Increase In 2017, more than 10 million disabled workers and their dependents claimed benefits under the SSDI program. The average SSDI benefit amount was about $1,100 a month. By including eligible dependents, recipients can significantly increase the amounts paid to their family. Boost Disability Payments to the … [...]

How Concentration, Persistance, and Pace Impact Your Disability Claim

Problems with concentration, persistence, and pace that affect an individual's ability to work may be grounds for a disability claim. When considering whether or not to approve disability claims from workers with mental impairments, the Social Security Administration looks at concentration, persistence and pace and how they impact applicants' ability to work. These factors are sometimes hard to understand, as they are not as easily defined as physical disabilities. Understanding the impact of concentration, persistence, and pace on disability claims will help those with mental impairments make more effective disability claims. Defining … [...]

Weaknesses in the Compassionate Allowance Program Revealed

The Compassionate Allowance Program was established to help expedite Social Security claims for claimants who suffer from certain severe medical conditions, but flaws in this program are causing unnecessary delays. In response, the Government Accountability Office has highlighted a number of challenges and issued recommendations for the SSD program. About the Compassionate Allowance Program The Compassionate Allowance program was established in 2008. It gives priority status to individuals who have certain medical conditions, placing them ahead of other claimants on the waiting list. There are over 200 conditions that qualify for the … [...]

Lack of Credibility in a SSDI Case

SSDI claims are sometimes denied because the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) finds that the claimant lacks credibility. The rules governing review of SSDI cases were revised in 2016 and have eliminated claimant credibility as a determining factor in the claims approval process. On appeal, some denials that are based on credibility can be reversed by the courts. When an SSDI claim is rejected because of credibility issues, a Social Security disability attorney can help determine whether there is a basis to appeal the claim. A Fair Medical Evaluation In determining the validity of an SSDI claim, ALJs are required to conduct a fair medical … [...]

How Will Remarriage Affect My SSDI Benefits?

Getting remarried can be a fun and exciting event in a person’s life, but for someone who receives SSDI, there are several extra financial facets that must be reviewed. Remarriage can affect disability benefits in various ways and the actual impact is largely dependent on whether the person receives SSDI or SSI. The Social Security Administration can help with general questions. A social security disability attorney may be able to provide a more detailed analysis of a specific case. Types of Benefits Since part of the eligibility for SSI is determined by financial need, the amount a person receives for SSI benefits could change upon … [...]