What Does it Legally Mean to Have a Disability?

If you want to apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA), first you need to be legally disabled. Otherwise, you will not be able to qualify for benefits under either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). But what does it mean to have a disability, in the legal sense, and how does that impact your ability to get SSDI or SSI benefits? Continue reading “What Does it Legally Mean to Have a Disability?”

The Five Steps of Applying for Disability Benefits Through the SSA

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can seem daunting, especially if you have only recently become disabled. However, it is not nearly as difficult as it initially seems, and you do not need to go through the process alone. Here are the five basic steps you need to take if you want to apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA): Continue reading “The Five Steps of Applying for Disability Benefits Through the SSA”

When Should You Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are the two primary forms of economic relief that the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides to Americans with disabilities. However, simply because you have a disability does not mean that applying for SSDI or SSI is appropriate for you. So how should you know if you should be applying for disability benefits from the SSA? Continue reading “When Should You Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?”

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?”

White House Proposes New Category for Disability Reviews

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”

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?”

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”

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.
Continue reading “More Disabled People Opt to Collect Paychecks, Not Benefits”