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Disability insurance payments (Social Security Disability) are available to anyone who qualifies for payments and is unable to work at the same level or at all. COVID-19 attacks the lungs and, in some instances, can cause permanent damage. Therefore, it is possible that after contracting COVID-19 that some workers may be unable to return to their regular job and will suffer a reduction in income, which should qualify them for disability benefits. What Does COVID-19 do to the Lungs? COVID-19 is a disease caused by the novel coronavirus. COVID-19 is such a problem for public health officials because it has […]

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Non-attorney representatives are limited in their capabilities to advocate for disabled clients when handling SSDI claims. Although non-lawyer disability advocates can assist clients with documentation and claims forms and they can help with appeals at the administrative law judge level, they cannot appeal denied disability claims to federal court. Additionally, non-attorney representatives are not bound by the same ethical and professional standards as attorneys. Therefore, their clients do not have the same protections as attorney-represented clients. Despite the differences, the fees for representation set by the Social Security Administration are the same for disability lawyers and non-attorneys. Non-Attorney vs. Attorney […]

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Since the ALJ hearing represents the best chance for disability applicants to get approved for SSI or SSDI benefits, adequate preparation is key. Preparing for the Hearing The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will ask the applicant a series of questions to evaluate the claim. These questions usually cover four topics: (1) biographical; (2) work status and history; (3) medical history; and (4) emotional and mental well-being. The best way applicants can prepare for their hearing is to anticipate the questions the ALJ will ask, discuss appropriate answers with their Social Security Disability attorney, and bring supporting documentation and evidence to […]

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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 […]

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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 Disability reviews are conducted once a year, once every […]

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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 Inquiry? A congressional inquiry is […]

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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 […]

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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 disorders, certain cancers, and a few rare disorders that affect children, to fast-track their disability […]

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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 Maximum SSDI benefits are based on […]

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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 Concentration, Persistence, and Pace According to the Social […]

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