Social Security Disability Help and Information
Getting social security disability benefits isn't easy. Whether you are just starting out in your application process, or you have already faced your first denial, the process takes time and energy. You are entitled to social security disability benefits if you are no longer able to work because of a disability, but proving this disability to the social security administration often takes perseverance. Many people get denied during their initial claim and have to file an appeal in order to get the benefits they deserve.
If you have applied for social security disability benefits and you need to file an appeal, working closely with an attorney to help you get all of the right paperwork in on time is essential. A lawyer experienced in social security disability law will help you get your claim and appeal done in a way that is acceptable to social security.
In today’s blog entry I thought I’d get back to basics and revisit how exactly to apply for Social Security (SSA) disability benefits. Filing an SSA Disability Benefits Claim Typically there are three ways an individual can file a claim for disability benefits with the SSA: over the internet, in person or by telephone. The SSA does offer a handy Disability Starter Kit that outlines the process and what materials will be needed to complete it. Filing Online If one is feeling adventurous and has plenty of time on their hands they may try their luck at filing an application…Read More
A well-known fact among those in Alabama applying for Social Security disability benefits is that the chances of success at the initial application stage of the process are abysmally low. In fact, in 2017 Alabama’s allowance rate at the first level of review was only 27.4 percent, compared to the then national allowance rate of 34.2. Requesting a Hearing So, like the vast majority claimants who wish to continue pursuing disability benefits, the next step in the process is requesting a hearing. As I’ve pointed out before, while the possible approval rate does increase to 45%, the wait time is…Read More
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has released its annual Agency Financial Report for the fiscal year 2018. Among other items, its Management’s Discussion and Analysis section contained some interesting statistics I’d thought I share today in my blog entry. What Did the Report Say About Disability Results? In terms of disability numbers, the report notes that the SSA managed to produce some 766,000 hearing results, which sounds good, but the national wait time for these determinations was about 17.3 months, unfortunately. The wait time for Alabama was about the same, while for Tennessee it was about 15.8 months. Nationally the…Read More
I recently saw an excellent – but very sad – documentary on Schizophrenia that I want to recommend to anyone interested in the subject entitled God Knows Where I am. It chronicles the mental health struggle of Linda Bishop back in 2007 and 2008. She was a college graduate with a loving family and a roof over her head that as a result of her illnesses she gradually descended into homelessness and legal trouble. It is a story about despite being diagnosed with several severe mental illnesses and occasionally forcibly committed to psychiatric facilities, if a person doesn’t believe they…Read More
In 2014, Congress passed what is known as the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The purpose of this act is to allow individuals with disabilities to save assets in their name without the risk of losing their disability benefits. These ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged accounts and any earnings on funds in a qualified ABLE account are tax free. Many states began offering these accounts shortly after the act’s passing in 2014. These accounts are currently available for qualified individuals in all of the states our law firm serves; Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. ABLE Account FAQs Here are a…Read More
The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for beneficiaries to be applied in the upcoming year. According to the agency, an adjustment of some 2.8 percent will be forthcoming for those receiving monthly monetary benefits in 2019. Extra Money for SSA Recipients That means a little extra money in the bank for about 67 million recipients. While that increase might not sound like much, consider the fact that there was no COLA at all in 2016, so something is better than nothing. For what it’s worth, this is the largest COLA since 2012’s 3.6 percent. Also…Read More
I’ve previously detailed the long-running saga of Kentucky attorney Eric Conn and his co-conspirators and their fates as a result of them swindling the U. S. government out of some $550 million in fraudulent Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits. Here is my first, outlining the basics of the U.S. government’s case against Mr. Conn and his cohorts. Here is my second and third blog entries updating the cases, including an earlier guilty plea. And of course, my fourth blog entry covering his fleeing the state, and the last adding a few more details to the story that had surfaced…Read More
Former (and probably future) Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has recently introduced a bill optimistically entitled the Social Security Administration Fairness Act that proposes to touch on some of my chief areas concern that I have blogged about in the past where the agency often struggles to fulfill its mandate. What Would the Social Security Administration Fairness Act Do? First off, it would set the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) minimum funding number at 1.5 percent per beneficiary, which would be a substantial improvement over the current figure of 1.3 percent. According to Sen. Sanders, the agency’s funding has…Read More
Again, yes! Sort of. In a prior blog entry, I discussed what impact working may have on drawing Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB). To complement it, I thought I would today focus on what impact working may have on drawing Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. To reiterate, there are two sorts of Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits that I handle in my practice: DIB and SSI. DIB monthly monetary dispersals are tied to what you have paid into the system while SSI benefits are needs based. This is a very important distinction as if an individual or couple have too…Read More
Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives released a proposed FY 2109 budget that it believes will balance the budget in nine years. A Brighter Future The body boasts that if it is ultimately adopted “[b]y building on economic growth and addressing unsustainable government spending, this budget for fiscal year 2019 provides a responsible plan that will ensure A Brighter American Future.” (Its emphasis, not mine.) Well, who could argue with that? It claims that “[t]his budget reaches balance within nine years and produces a $26 billion surplus in 2027 and a $142 billion surplus in 2028.” Those kind of numbers…Read More