What is the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)?

People who gain benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA) may have heard before of the Cost of Living Adjustment, also known as COLA. The COLA has a significant impact on the amount of money that people with Social Security benefits receive, including those who get disability benefits. But what exactly is it, and how does it impact recipients of benefits like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? Continue reading “What is the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)?”

Understanding the Difference Between SSDI and SSI

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) have a lot in common. Both programs are intended to help people with disabilities, and both are administered through the Social Security Administration (SSA). And yet, there are a few key differences between the programs, which affect who is eligible and how much beneficiaries of those programs can receive. Continue reading “Understanding the Difference Between SSDI and SSI”

Five Reasons People Have Social Security Disability Claims Denied

Every year, around two million people apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the two major programs for people with disabilities run through the Social Security Administration. However, less than half of these applications make it through the entire application process. Here are five major reasons why people have their applications denied: Continue reading “Five Reasons People Have Social Security Disability Claims Denied”

Five Things to Remember for Your DDS Evaluation

If you have applied for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA), then there is a good chance that you will need to go for an evaluation at Disability Determination Services (DDS). This evaluation is an essential part of obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). However, there are five things you should know before you go for your DDS evaluation: Continue reading “Five Things to Remember for Your DDS Evaluation”

Five Things to Know Before Applying For Disability Benefits

If you have recently suffered from a disability and are looking to apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA), you may be worried and confused. After all, you are already dealing with your disability, without needing the added stress of navigating government bureaucracy. Here are five things you should know before you apply for disability benefits through the SSA, if you want to make things easier for yourself: Continue reading “Five Things to Know Before Applying For Disability Benefits”

GAO Opens Investigation of SSA After Consultant Doctor Scandal

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is investigating the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s use of consultant doctors after it was alleged the doctors had engaged in fraudulent conduct. Specifically, they were conducting disability reviews that were going far faster than was reasonably possible, resulting in both a high rate of denials and large sums of fees being awarded to the consultant doctors by the SSA. This scheme disproportionately harmed low-income disability applicants, who also often lost their insurance when their disability applications were denied. Continue reading “GAO Opens Investigation of SSA After Consultant Doctor Scandal”

SSDI: Who Can Apply For It?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) has long been a resource for people who are unable to work due to a disability. However, the process for applying for SSDI can seem confusing for someone who has never dealt with it before, and especially someone who is already dealing with the consequences of a severe disability. Fortunately, the requirements are relatively easy to understand, once they’re broken down. Continue reading “SSDI: Who Can Apply For It?”

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?”

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”

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”