Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Mobile Social Security Disability Law Blog

Disabled people worried about proposed benefits changes

Many disabled people have been worried by recent indications that the Trump administration is considering reducing disability benefits, or making it harder for disabled people to apply for or keep their benefits.

Some of the worry stems from recent statements from the president himself. When asked by a reporter recently, President Trump said his administration will consider cutting Medicare and other benefits programs.

What should I know about SSD claims for disabled veterans?

Alabama residents who have served in the Armed Forces deserve a debt of gratitude. For some, their service led to injuries and disabilities. When this is the case, it is important for them to understand how veterans' injuries can warrant an approval for Social Security disability benefits. If the veteran has been categorized as 100% disabled, they are eligible to have their case expedited.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Compensation rating of 100% Permanent and Total will allow the applicant to have their case heard faster than it otherwise would be. The Social Security Administration and Veterans Affairs will compensate those who are qualified. However, there is a difference between a VA determination of 100% disability and the SSA's decision. For SSD benefits, the person must also show that they are severely impaired, and that the impairment will last a minimum of 12 months or lead to the person's death. It must also be determined that the applicant is so severely disabled that performing substantial work is impossible.

What should I know about resources when I seek SSI benefits?

When an Alabama resident is blind or disabled, has limited income and resources and is 65 or older, that individual can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). People tend to focus on what is perceived as the most important aspect of a claim -- the disability or blindness -- and forget that their resources must be limited to be approved for SSI benefits. Understanding resources is a critical factor to get the benefits. Failure to do so can result in denied SSI claims. For these issues, it might be useful to have legal advice.

Resources are items that the person owns. That can include cash, a home, life insurance policy, bank accounts, stocks, vehicles and basically anything that can be converted to cash, so the person can use it to acquire food and shelter. A deemed resource is property that will be considered the applicant's property even if it is a resource of a spouse, parent and others. The person can have a certain amount of resources without it impacting their SSI claim. For an individual, its value is limited to $2,000. For a couple, it is $3,000.

Department of Defense to Begin Recording Troop's Blast Exposure

The U.S. military will now begin to record blast exposures experienced by troops during their period of active duty military service. The recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requires the Department of Defense to track blast exposure, duration, and if possible, blast pressure readings. The new record is intended to aid Veterans after service to receive the appropriate medical care, as well as being assessed accurately for VA disability benefits.

VA Math and How to Qualify for Individual Unemployability

VA offers two ways for Veterans to be paid at the 100% disability rate - either get there through the schedule for rating disabilities or qualify for total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU) - i.e. be unable to work because of service-connected disabilities.

The right approach to getting approved to receive SSI

There are millions of Americans, including many in Alabama, who are benefitting from the stability and growth we are seeing in the national economy. However, there are also some people who have never had a chance to participate in the workforce, oftentimes due to a physical or mental disability. For those individuals, applying to receive Supplemental Security Income may be their only shot to get much needed financial support.

SSI benefits are not like Social Security Disability benefits. To receive SSD benefits, applicants must have a sufficient work history, in addition to a disability, as that term is defined by the Social Security Administration. Those who find that they need to apply for SSI benefits, on the other hand, usually have limited or no work history and, therefore, would not qualify to receive SSD benefits.

Rheumatoid arthritis and disability benefits

The aching in your hands became a source of frustration, so you sought the advice of your doctor. You may have undergone blood tests, X-rays and examinations by specialists before receiving the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Upsetting as that diagnosis may have been, it probably did not come as a surprise, especially if you have family members who also suffered from this debilitating condition.

Unfortunately, the outlook for someone with an RA diagnosis is not good. Within 10 years, about 35% can no longer work. In fact, you may be reaching this point now, and it has you wondering if you can seek disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.

Can a neck injury qualify you to receive SSD benefits?

When it comes to Social Security Disability benefits, being "disabled," as that term is defined by the Social Security Administration, is all about whether or not a person is able to continue to work and earn an income. As our readers may know from having seen previous posts here, the SSA heavily scrutinizes applications for SSD benefits, leading to many initial applications being denied. Therefore, the severity of a person's disability is crucial.

So, is, for example, a neck injury sufficient to qualify an applicant to receive Social Security Disability benefits? Well, as with many questions when it comes to SSD benefits, the answer is "it depends." At first glance, our readers may think that a neck injury, when compared to, say, a brain injury, may not be as severe. However, neck injuries can be quite serious, leaving people who suffer from these injuries unable to continue in their current employment.

New rule may mean more frequent reviews for disability recipients

Many of our readers in Alabama know just how hard it is to get approved for Social Security disability benefits. The application process can be arduous and can take quite a bit of time to get through, especially if an appeal is necessary. SSD benefits are a financial lifeline for those who are unable to work any longer due to a physical or mental disability.

However, the federal government is seemingly always looking for ways to tweak the Social Security disability system, which is run by the Social Security Administration. According to recent reports, a potential rule change could add an additional category for the "continuing disability reviews" that each person who receives SSD benefits is subject to.

An overview of long-term care issues for veterans

America's population is, overall, getting older. This is a good thing, since it shows that, compared to previous generations, Americans now live longer, healthier lives.

However, not everyone is fortunate enough to have good health as they age. Some people, including, in particular, military veterans, may have significant medical issues that limit their ability to function on a day-to-day basis. These individuals may need to look into long-term care sooner rather than later.

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