Blog

VA Recruits Retired Healthcare Workers for COVID Care

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has approved a request from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) to waive a regulation that would normally disincentivize retired healthcare workers from employment at VA medical facilities. This regulation restricts the amount of money that retirees can receive, to reflect the added income from their retirement benefits. By waiving the regulation, they hope to attract medical professionals to come work at VA facilities to address the coronavirus crisis. Continue reading “VA Recruits Retired Healthcare Workers for COVID Care”

SSA Offices Closed to Public During Coronavirus Outbreak

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that it is closing its offices to the public in response to the coronavirus outbreak. While it will still have online and phone assistance available, it will not be possible to have in-person communications with staff for the duration of the closures. These measures, while important, will nevertheless likely cause a delay for anyone waiting for an evaluation for disability benefits. Continue reading “SSA Offices Closed to Public During Coronavirus Outbreak”

VA Prepares to Deal with Coronavirus

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has already taken measures to deal with the spread of the coronavirus, to help protect disabled veterans from the impact of the disease. Of particular concern are those disabled veterans currently residing in VA nursing homes, who are particularly vulnerable to the infection. VA Secretary Robert Wilkie has tried to reassure veterans and their families, saying: “We will get over this and we will make sure everything is done to protect those who have done so much for our country.” Continue reading “VA Prepares to Deal with Coronavirus”

What is a Disability Reexamination?

When you apply for veterans’ disability benefits through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, you may feel it is already an arduous and complicated process. You may think that, once you’re through the process and get awarded benefits, you are basically done and don’t need to worry anymore about whether you’ll get to have your benefits. However, anyone who receives veterans’ disability benefits may, at some point, be asked to go through a reexamination of their disability status. Continue reading “What is a Disability Reexamination?”

Remote Questionnaires Questioned After Fraud Allegations

The practice of using remote questionnaires for disability determination evaluations by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is being brought into question after leading to an alleged fraud. Remote questionnaires conducted by private physicians have grown in popularity as a way of conducting evaluations without requiring travel to VA offices, which is convenient for veterans in isolated areas or who have mobility issues. However, the allegations of fraud show that the practice has serious flaws, and that the remote questionnaire is not an adequate replacement for evaluations within the VA system. Continue reading “Remote Questionnaires Questioned After Fraud Allegations”

SSA Removes English Language Rule from Disability Criteria

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued a rule that could significantly change how disability determinations are made for non-English speakers applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The rule repeals a decades-old regulation that dictated that the inability to speak English should be taken into consideration when determining whether a person should receive disability benefits. As a result, anyone applying for SSDI or SSI benefits should be aware of the potential impact the rule could have on their application. Continue reading “SSA Removes English Language Rule from Disability Criteria”

What is the Process for Applying for Veterans’ Disability Benefits?

If you’re a veteran who became disabled as a result of your military service, you may be entitled to benefits through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). If your application for disability benefits is accepted, you could be entitled to both financial assistance and healthcare through the VA health system, among other possible benefits. But what’s actually involved in applying for veterans’ disability benefits, and what does the application process look like? Continue reading “What is the Process for Applying for Veterans’ Disability Benefits?”

New Diabetes Care Program Introduced by VA

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced a new program that will focus on educating and caring for diabetic veterans. The program is focused on helping veterans with diabetes learn more about the technology they can use to monitor their condition, as well as what their various diabetes numbers mean. With better education, diabetic veterans will be able to better control their diabetes and, hopefully, prevent some of the more severe complications that can arise from the disease. Continue reading “New Diabetes Care Program Introduced by VA”

What is Disability Determination Services (DDS)?

When someone applies for disability benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), they need to meet certain criteria to be approved. One of those criteria is the determination as to whether they are, in fact, disabled. When that happens, an applicant will need to pay a visit to their local Disability Determination Services (DDS) office. Continue reading “What is Disability Determination Services (DDS)?”

GAO Opens Investigation of SSA After Consultant Doctor Scandal

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”