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Cincinnati Social Security Disability Law Blog

SSDI application process may benefit from an assist

If you are in circumstances that have you thinking about obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you may be feeling rather overwhelmed. The process is at the very least unfamiliar to most people. And few who have put in years of hard work are prepared for the kind of scrutiny that the Social Security Administration applies when determining whether you are eligible for SSDI coverage.

As many readers may know, denials of initial application are not uncommon. The opportunity to appeal is open, but it can take a very long time. Patience and hope can wear thin. But while it may seem daunting, the process doesn't have to be faced alone. 

There are limits, but being on SSDI does not mean you can't work

The government loves acronyms. The FBI and CIA are two common ones. They're so common in fact that usual Associated Press stylebook rules don't apply to them. AP style normally doesn't allow use of acronyms until after the full name of the organization has been used first. But not so with FBI and CIA -- they're good to go just as they are.

Such flexibility does not apply to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the programs associated with it such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or the tags the agency applies to the factors it uses in determining SSDI benefit approvals and denials. Take for example "substantial gainful activity" (SGA).

As we explained in a somewhat in-depth article on the subject not long ago, SGA is that standard that the government seeks to use to decide whether a person is eligible for benefits or not. 

How ignorance leads to a demeaning of those with disabilities

We live in an age of electronic wonderment, don't we? Information flashes around the globe on the Internet at a speed close to that of light. That can be a great thing. But it can also be a problem.

Not only is it bad if the information is inaccurate, but very often it is spread around by individuals with a particular bias without regard for whether it's true or what effect it might have on innocent individuals who are targets of the faulty communication.

What's the key to a successful Social Security Disability appeal?

Not every initial application for Social Security Disability is denied. But the statistical reality is that many of them are. The reasons why may be many. It may be that the reviewers decided that information was not complete enough. Specifically, it may be deemed that medical documentation isn't sufficient to back the claim.

Another reason that a person might run into trouble seeking SSD benefits is if they fail to take advantage of all the avenues of appeal. There are instances in which people will file, get denied, and then file a whole new application. Many observers say this is a recipe for disaster and can result in someone who really needs help suffering unnecessary delays.

Economist says a simple rebalance could get SSDI through to 2033

We have written often on this blog about the issues and concerns related to Social Security Disability Insurance. Much of the discussion tends to focus on how much trouble the Social Security Administration is in financially and how rising demand for benefits threatens to scuttle the whole program. Critics say it's a system "out of control."

There are facts no one denies. One is that the number of people on the disability rolls has gone up a lot in recent decades. But, as we've noted previously, those increases can be traced to demographics, rather than to people looking for an undue handout, as some suggest. 

What will happen to my disability benefits when I retire?

Getting that acceptance letter that finally says you will be receiving Social Security disability benefits is usually a huge relief for people who felt like they had to jump through hoops to get to the benefits they deserve. If you're like some of our readers, that may have been the case for you as well. And because you likely worked hard to get access to them, you're probably just as eager to found out how they will work over time.

That's where this week's blog post comes in. If you're like anyone who is collecting disability benefits and nearing the age of 62, you might be wondering what will happen to your disability payments if you decide to start taking your retirement benefits early. By addressing this concern, we hope to give our readers a better idea of their benefits and what will happen to them when they reach retirement age.

Social Security disability benefits may help homeless veterans

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ website, homelessness among veterans is a serious concern and the subject of a recent initiative to gather more information. Community partners, VA staff and veterans alike can take an online survey to help federal officials make more informed actions in this cause.

Notably, the Obama administration has also indicated its commitment to ending homelessness among military veterans. Through an effort called the National Alliance to End Homelessness, over 180 municipal, state and other leaders have pledged their support for the cause.

Many of America's disabled workers fail to qualify for benefits

According to data from the Social Security Administration, around twenty percent of Americans live with disabilities. Yet the percentage of Americans receiving Social Security disability insurance benefits is not that high. The reason: The SSDI program has strict eligibility criteria.

Unlike other programs, such as workers’ compensation, private disability insurance or veterans’ benefits, SSDI eligibility is contingent on a worker being totally disabled. In practical terms, that means that a worker must have an illness, physical impairment or mental disability that makes it impossible to keep working in his or her field, or in any comparable employment activity. In addition, the disability must be long-term: terminal or expected to last for a minimum period of one year.

Another setback in the search for an Alzheimer's cure

For readers who have a friend or loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s, the news of yet anther mixed result from a promising drug may not come as a surprise. Indeed, the lack of a cure for this horrible disease can be as frightening as its symptoms, which some characterize as watching a loved one disappear before one’s eyes.

In this case, the drug is crenezumab. Researchers hoped the drug would target beta amyloid, a protein found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. In a clinical trial, doses of the anti-amyloid drug were given to patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s diseases. Of the 431 participants, some received a high dose, while others received either a low dose or a placebo. In the group that received the high dose, the rate of cognition decline was slowed, but not enough to be statistically significant. In addition, the drug did not appear to improve patients’ functional abilities in performing daily living and other tasks.

Exploring connections between food, wellness and disability

No one can predict when tragedy may strike. An accident or disabling illness may disrupt lives, interrupt work schedules, strain relationships and present other obstacles. 

When a disabling condition does hit home, it may render workers unable to work as before. Fortunately, disability benefits programs, such as Social Security disability insurance, may be available. For workers that have paid into the system, SSDI benefits can be viewed almost as a type of insurance against the unexpected.

Yet an applicant must present a strong claim in order to qualify for benefits. In that regard, having a disability benefits attorney on your side can make a huge difference. An attorney will know how to translate medical documentation into a strong legal case.

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