Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

social security disability benefits for injuries Archives

Suffering an injury could mean you are eligible for SSD benefits

There are millions of people in America who receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. For most of these people, SSD benefits are a crucial financial lifeline, since the individuals who are eligible to receive SSD benefits are no longer able to work, for the most part. Alabama residents may find that they are eligible to receive SSD benefits for a variety of reasons. Suffering an injury could be one such reason.

SNAP -that was easy!

One of the biggest struggles for those filing for disability and without income is how do I feed myself and my family and how do I pay my bills. There is help for food services if you meet the income requirements. The food stamp program is now called SNAP which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. SNAP's purpose is to help with nutrition by providing monthly benefits to eligible low income households with the means to buy the food they need for good health.

Consultative Examinations

Our office has been advised that due to low funds, no consultative examinations will be scheduled by the Disability Determination Services of Alabama through September 15, 2019 through September 30, 2019. A consultative examination (CE) is an examination by a physician that is ordered by Social Security for Claimants to help decide whether they meet the criteria for Social Security disability. CEs are usually ordered by either the Disability Determination Services or an Administrative Law Judge at the hearing level when the Claimant's own medical sources are inadequate to determine if the Claimant is disabled. A CE is not conducted in order to provide the Claimant with medical advice or treatment. Rather, it is an examination that is supposed to assess the severity of a Claimant's medical impairments as well as any limitations that are a result of these impairments. The examination can either be a physical examination or psychological examination. It can also be blood work, x-rays, or a nerve conduction study.

Function Reports for Social Security Disability

When you apply for Social Security disability, one of the first things you receive in the mail from the Social Security Administration (SSA) is a function report. A function report will ask you various questions regarding your activities of daily living. For example, what do you do from the time that you wake up until you go to bed? Other questions ask how your medical impairments affect your ability to dress and bathe yourself, prepare your own meals, perform household chores, shop, travel, and perform any other activities of daily living.

Will I Continue to Receive my Social Security Disability Benefits forever?

After being award Social Security disability benefits, many clients ask how long they will be able to keep receiving their benefits. The simple answer is that if your medical condition has not improved, you can receive disability benefits for a lifetime. However, all recipients of Social Security disability benefits are subject to periodic continuing disability reviews. During a continuing disability review, Social Security will ascertain whether you have had any improvement in your medical condition that would allow you to return to work. If there has been no improvement in your medical condition, you will continue to receive disability until the next review. Although there is no set length of time for Social Security to review your case, typically Social Security conducts either a 3 year or 5 to 7-year review. However, reviews can be quicker depending on the nature of your medical condition and/or whether or not an Administrative Law Judge expected you to improve with medical treatment.

YOUR RIGHTS TO REPRESENTATION

Did you know you have the right to representation before the Social Security Administration (SSA)? When you appear for a hearing for Social Security disability if you do not have a representative, the first thing the officer or judge SHOULD do is ask you if you want a representative. If you or someone you know has a learning disability, you should be sure and understand this right or make sure you are with them to help them understand this right. The officer or Judge has a legal obligation to advise you of this right and allow a onetime postponement of the hearing for you to obtain such representation.

Onset Date of Disability

When a Claimant first files for Social Security disability, he or she is asked for the onset date of disability or the date that he or she first became unable to work as a result of a disabling medical condition. For some, this question can be answered easily if they became disabled after a car accident or after having been diagnosed with cancer. The onset date of disability would be the day of the accident or the day they were diagnosed. Most disability applicants allege that they became disabled on their last day of work.

Can I be denied disability because I didn't do what my doctor said?

There is a lot that goes into filing for disability and it seems there are always new rules for denying claims. I want to discuss a new ruling regarding following prescribed treatment. SSR 18-3p went into effect October 29, 2018 and will apply to any decision after that date. This ruling state that someone can be denied benefits if he or she fails to follow prescribed treatment without good cause and that treatment would be expected to restore his or her ability to work.

SSDI and SSI for brain injury sufferers and their families

A brain injury can severely affect a person's everyday life. The person who suffers a brain injury may suffer from memory loss, disability, headaches and may be unable to sit, stand, bend and communicate with others. Since brain is one of the most complicated organs in the human anatomy, the effects of the injury are very complex and can differ in every person. In addition, a brain injury can also lead to some serious financial and emotional challenges for the family members of that injured person.

Qualifications for Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income or SSI is a federal income supplement designed to help the aged, blind, and disabled who have little to no income. SSI is different from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in that SSDI benefits are paid to Claimants who have worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. SSI is not based on prior work. The medical standards for SSI and SSDI are the same. Disability for both SSDI and SSI is awarded when a person has a diagnosed physical or mental impairment that is severe and can be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death, and the person, because of the impairment, must not only be unable to do his/her previous work, but must also be unable to do any other type of substantial gainful activity.

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