What is the COLA?

Social Security can often seem somewhat opaque to people, since it’s not entirely clear how they determine how much you get paid. This is doubly true for things like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), two programs intended to help those who can no longer work due to a mental or physical disability. One of the things that can have an impact on how much you receive is the Cost of Living Adjustment, or COLA for short. Continue reading “What is the COLA?”

What is the Social Security Blue Book?

When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you’ll need to eventually have your disability assessed to see if you are, indeed, no longer able to work. An important part of this assessment is the so-called “Blue Book”, which is used to identify your condition and the extent of your disability. But what exactly is the Blue Book, and why do they use it? Continue reading “What is the Social Security Blue Book?”

What’s the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?

If you’re applying for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), you’ll be applying for one of two programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). But what’s the difference between the two, and how do you know which one you’re applying for? Continue reading “What’s the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?”

SSA Adds to Compassionate Allowances List

The Commissioner of Social Security, Andrew Saul, recently announced four additions to the Compassionate Allowances list: CDLK5 Deficiency Disorder, Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome, Primary Peritoneal Cancer, and Richter Syndrome. These conditions have a severe impact on people’s lives and adding them to the Compassionate Allowances list can make it easier for them to receive disability benefits, by cutting out some of the bureaucracy that might get in the way. Continue reading “SSA Adds to Compassionate Allowances List”

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.

Continue reading “How Do I Know If I Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?”

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.
Continue reading “Should Your Social Media Activity Determine Your Eligibility for SSD Benefits?”

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.
Continue reading “Social Security Administration Reinstates “Reconsideration” Stage”