The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is investigating the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s use of consultant doctors after it was alleged the doctors had engaged in fraudulent conduct. Specifically, they were conducting disability reviews that were going far faster than was reasonably possible, resulting in both a high rate of denials and large sums of fees being awarded to the consultant doctors by the SSA. This scheme disproportionately harmed low-income disability applicants, who also often lost their insurance when their disability applications were denied. Continue reading “GAO Opens Investigation of SSA After Consultant Doctor Scandal”
For decades, so-called “Blue Water” Navy Veterans who served in the waters around Vietnam have had difficulty getting their disability claims recognized by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). However, due to a bill signed into law last June, certain veterans, including Blue Water Navy Veterans, will be able to more easily apply for disability benefits. This includes any Navy veteran who served within 12 nautical miles offshore of the Republic of Vietnam between Jan. 6, 1962, and May 7, 1975, as well as veterans who served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone between Jan. 1, 1967, and Aug. 31, 1971. Continue reading “Blue Water Navy Veterans Can Now Apply for Veterans Disability”
The Trump Administration has proposed a new rule that, if accepted, could subject recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to reviews of their disability status more frequently. The rule change is expected to result in millions more disability reviews, which will need to be carried out by the Disability Determination Services (DDS) offices in each state. Critics say the rule change is likely to be strenuous for disability recipients and may place additional strain on the Social Security Administration (SSA) and state DDS offices. Continue reading “White House Proposes New Category for Disability Reviews”
When a veteran applies for disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and gets denied (or else doesn’t receive the level of benefits they think they should be entitled to), they can appeal the decision to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. Traditionally, these hearings are carried out in person and require the veteran to travel to the hearing if they want to participate. However, with the introduction of new virtual hearings, it will be possible to conduct these appeals online, without requiring veterans to travel to the physical site of their hearing. Continue reading “Board of Veterans’ Appeals to Introduce Virtual Hearings in 2020”
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a major source of support for millions of Americans suffering from severe disabilities. It allows recipients to have some income to cover necessities, even when they’re not able to work due to their disability. But is it possible for someone to lose their disability benefits, and if so, how? Continue reading “Is it Possible to Lose Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?”
Two United States Senators, Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., have teamed up on a bipartisan bill that would classify military service in certain places and times in Iraq and Afghanistan as a health hazard. The “Veterans Burn Pit Exposure Recognition” bill is a response to health concerns over service members’ exposure to “burn pits,” which are places where the military burns waste. In proposing this bill, they hope to make it easier for veterans affected by certain diseases to get disability benefits. Continue reading “Bill Proposes Recognizing Iraq and Afghanistan Service as Health Hazard”
When Should You Consider Applying for Social Security Disability?
Social Security Disability Insurance (or SSDI, for short) is a government program that provides monetary support for people who suffer from a disability that prevents them from working. Millions of Americans claim disability benefits through SSDI every year, although not every person with a disability has it, or necessarily qualifies for it. So how do you know if you should apply for Social Security Disability Insurance? Continue reading “When Should You Consider Applying for Social Security Disability?”
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has started a program that would introduce a device capable of preventing limb loss as a result of diabetes. One of the potential side effects of diabetes is the development of diabetic foot ulcers, which, if left untreated, can result in infections and even necrosis, which necessitates the amputation of the afflicted limb. With this new technology, it is possible to detect the development of foot ulcers early, allowing for more effective treatments that leave a diabetic person’s limbs intact. Continue reading “VA to Implement New Device to Prevent Diabetic Limb Loss”
There are millions of people who receive benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) every year, and more people who apply every year. However, applying for SSDI means meeting certain basic requirements, and unfortunately, not everyone does. For those who can’t get SSDI, there is another program called Supplemental Security Income (SSI) which can potentially meet their needs. Continue reading “What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?”
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious health condition that can result in many debilitating problems and are a sadly common occurrence among veterans. And yet, TBIs are poorly understood, and treatments for TBI are limited in terms of both their availability and effectiveness. Therefore, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DOD) have dedicated $50 million to TBI research.
The new initiative, dubbed the Long-Term Impact of Military-related Brain Injury Consortium (LIMBIC), is dedicated to researching TBI, including both its effects and possible treatments. LIMBIC is a partnership of both public and private parties, including the VA, DOD, and the National Institute of Health, as well as several universities and nonprofit organizations. Spearheading the effort is Dr. David X. Cifu, a TBI specialist and professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University.
Previous TBI research has already show that even mild brain injuries are linked to conditions like dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and chronic pain, and has shown a link between these conditions and substance abuse (particularly opioid abuse), as well as an increased risk of suicide. They have also developed new tests for detecting TBI, such as questionnaires, brain scans, fluid biomarkers and electrophysiology, which also help learn about how the brain heals when it’s injured. The hope of the LIMBIC initiative is that it will be able to determine more about the effects of TBIs to enable better treatments and help those currently suffering as a result of TBI, including veterans with TBI-linked disabilities.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. With over 50 years of combined experience between its lawyers, our attorneys may be able to assist you or a loved one in obtaining VA disability benefits. Call our office at (800) 395 -7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.