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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Mobile VA Clinic Makes a Stop on Long Island

On October 24, Newsday reported that the Northport VA Medical Center is providing veterans living in the Town of North Hempstead the use of a mobile unit so that they can receive the necessary medical treatment. This was brought about as the result of a petition started by North Hempstead officials to provide medical services locally to veterans who live in the town so that they do not have to travel to Northport to get the care they need.
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Veterans’ Disability Compensation Recipients Will Be Provided a Cost-of-Living Increase

The White House issued a briefing on October 10 that President Trump signed into law the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2018. This allows those receiving veterans’ disability compensation to receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase similar to what Social Security recipients receive.
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The VA and Walgreens Collaborate

In a previous article, the innovative technological advancement of “VEText” and its benefits to veterans was discussed. However, the Department of Veterans Affairs has not stopped there; the VA is continuously implementing new ways to improve how our nation’s veterans receive care.
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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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Benefit Application for Spanish-Speaking Veterans

The United States is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. To no surprise, our nation’s armed forces are also extremely diverse with 40% of active-duty military personnel considered to be of ethnic descent in 2015. The second largest minority category for the United States military is Hispanic and Latino. With millions of Hispanic veterans living throughout the country, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has released a health care benefit application to help Spanish-speaking veterans.
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National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide

Suicide is a public health problem that has not only affected veterans but also many non-veterans throughout the United States. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has recently revealed a plan to help prevent and stop veteran suicide. The initiative, titled the “National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide,” will provide assistance and guidance for our nation’s veterans through 2028.
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VEText: An Innovation for Veterans

Over the years, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has struggled with contacting veterans and reminding them about their medical appointments. To help reduce no-shows and improve access to care, the Department recently launched its VEText program. Through VEText, an automated, interactive text message is sent to the veteran, in which they are reminded about their appointment and can either confirm or cancel it.
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