What Does It Mean to Be Legally Disabled?

According to the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS), more than 40 million Americans, or about one in eight people in the United States, suffers from some form of disability. However, only about 10 million people in the United States received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in that same year. Partly that’s due to variations in how disabilities are defined, but more importantly, it has to do with the difference between having a disability and being legally disabled. Continue reading “What Does It Mean to Be Legally Disabled?”

A “Ticket to Work” For People With Disabilities

It’s easy, when you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, to think that your time as a fully employed adult is over. After all, if your disability was manageable enough to allow you to work full time, you probably wouldn’t have needed to apply for SSDI or SSI benefits in the first place. However, just because you’re unable to work now doesn’t mean you won’t be able to work in the future, and the “Ticket to Work” program is designed with exactly that in mind. Continue reading “A “Ticket to Work” For People With Disabilities”

How Do I Know If I Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

It’s probably safe to say that no one wants to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, if you’re in a position where you might need them, it’s certainly better to have them than not. However, the law places several restrictions on who can access SSDI benefits, and not everyone who may want them can qualify for them.

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Marriage, Divorce, or Death: How Does It Affect Social Security Benefits?

Individuals who are retired workers and their spouses who have paid into the Social Security system during their working years can be eligible to receive Social Security benefits monthly. Social security benefits are also available to individuals who are permanently and completely disabled. Major life events such as marriage, divorce, or death of a spouse may have a significant impact on social security benefits.
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Should Your Social Media Activity Determine Your Eligibility for SSD Benefits?

CBS News reported that the Social Security Administration (SSA) may view the social media posts of Social Security Disability claimants in an effort to crack down on fraud. The agency also announced that, as part of the 2020 budget, it is expanding its review process for those applying for SSD.
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Social Security Administration Reinstates “Reconsideration” Stage

Unfortunately, recent data shows that approximately 66 percent of initial applications for social security disability are denied.  That number is slightly lower for individuals who file with an attorney. Following a denied claim, the wait process can be draining.

For years, New York was one of several states which did not have a “reconsideration stage” and instead would skip right to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).  Once a denial was issued, the individual would have the ability to request a hearing before an adjudicative law judge.  The wait time for a hearing in New York is between one and two years.  Once the hearing is scheduled, the individual and a vocational expert appear before a judge where they review the claim and medical evidence.
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More Disabled People Opt to Collect Paychecks, Not Benefits

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal reported that a record number of people with mental and physical disabilities joined the workforce while, at the same time, stopped receiving disability benefits.

According to the WSJ, 51,302 people went off disability so they can find “gainful” employment; that is the most since 2002. Meanwhile, 8.5 million people are still collecting disability in December 2018, down from 9 million the same month four years ago.
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Changes Announced for Social Security in 2019

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced several benefit changes for 2019 that will increase the amount of monthly compensation received by its beneficiaries.

Currently, those who perform substantial gainful activity — that is, the level of work that a person without a disability can do — can now meet a higher threshold in order to be eligible for benefits. This year, those who are sight-impaired could make no more than $1,970 a month; in 2019, the monthly threshold will be raised to $2,040. Those who are not considered blind will likewise have their threshold moved up from $1,180 a month in 2018 to $1,220 a month next year.
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The Denial of a Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income Application is Not the End

Suffering a debilitating injury can pose a threat to your ability to work in the future. Not having a stable form of income to support your family with can be haunting. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits might be able to help you, depending on your situation. Once you’ve completed the SSDI or SSI application, you will be notified of the status of your application and whether or not is has been approved. Should you receive a notice that your application has been denied, there may be more options available to you to repeal this decision.
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Can Veterans Receive Compensation from the VA for Mental Illnesses?

Any sort of war exposure can severely impact an individual, physically and mentally. Today, many war veterans are seeking treatment and compensation for mental illnesses acquired from combat. The VA, formally known as the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, is a department within the United States Government that administers a multitude of different benefits and services for veterans, providing financial and life assistance to current military personnel, veterans, and their dependents. Continue reading “Can Veterans Receive Compensation from the VA for Mental Illnesses?”