Social Security Recipients Get A Raise

On October 20th, 2011, posted in: Uncategorized by Marjorie

“The Social Security Administration has announced that monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will increase 3.6 percent in 2012. The 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with the January 2012 benefit payments. Increased payments for people on SSI will begin on December 30, 2011. For some beneficiaries, the increase in their Social Security benefit amount may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums in 2012.”  Visit www.socialsecurity.gov for more information.

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Researchers estimate that at least 500,000 people in the United States currently have Parkinson’s Disease.  Parkinson’s is a chronic, progressive disease which can cause severe symptoms.  People suffering from Parkinson’s are therefore often shocked when their Social Security case is denied. This article explains how Social Security evaluates Parkinson’s cases.

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There are a lot of articles written about what factors Social Security considers when deciding a disability claim.  Much less is said, however about what factors Social Security will not consider in making its determination.   If you want to win your case, it is just as important to understand these much less discussed factors.  Below are several examples:

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a devastating disease that impacts approximately 250,000 to 350,000 in the United States.[1] Social Security recognizes that MS can be a disabling impairment and will award benefits to those with the diagnosis.  Just having a diagnosis of MS, however, is not enough to be approved for benefits.  You must also show that your MS causes severe limitations that interfere with your ability to work.

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Unless you are terminally ill or have a condition that meets very strict requirements, chances are that your application for Social Security disability benefits will be denied.  What do you do when you receive the denial?

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How Social Security determines whether you are disabled seems like a mystery.  Just what does Social Security do with all of the information they collect? What questions do they ask to determine if you qualify?

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There are two different kinds of Social Security Disability Benefits; Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  To be eligible for either of these benefits you need to show that you are “disabled” according to Social Security’s standard.   But being disabled is not enough.  You also need to meet non-disability requirements.  These requirements are described below:

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Understandably, most of my clients are nervous and even a little scared about attending their Social Security Disability hearing.  I always tell them, the anticipation is much worse than the hearing itself.

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Drug Addiction and Alcoholism

On July 26th, 2010, posted in: Uncategorized by Marjorie

It used to be that people could be awarded Social Security Disability benefits on the basis of drug addiction or alcoholism (DAA).  In 1995, when I was doing work for legal aid, Social Security regulations changed.   Everyone who was receiving Social Security benefits because they had a drug or alcohol addiction had to reapply based on a different disability.  As the law currently stands, Social Security does not recognize drug addiction or alcoholism as a disability.

How does Social Security evaluate cases involving DAA?

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Obtaining Social Security benefits can be a long and frustrating process.  The Social Security Administration is experiencing an unprecedented backlog of cases.  As a result, disabled individuals are waiting longer and longer for the benefits they deserve and desperately need.

How long you will wait to receive your benefits depends, in large part, on where you are located. Determinations on initial applications are made by state agencies, often called Disability Determination Services (DDS).   Generally, it takes three to four months to receive a decision on your initial application, though this varies by state.  Responding to DDS requests as quickly as possible will ensure that your case is not delayed.

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