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?”

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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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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