Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Social Security Disability Archives

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.

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.

Keep up the fight if an application for SSD benefits is denied

Many of our readers in Alabama may have heard what is probably considered to be the most negative aspect about Social Security disability benefits -- that initial applications for these benefits are oftentimes denied. For some people who are dealing with a disability, this might be enough to make them reconsider whether it is even worth trying to apply for SSD benefits at all. For those who have already seen their initial application denied, they may be downtrodden enough to feel like they should just give up the fight.

How does going back to work impact SSD benefits?

Our readers in Alabama probably know how hard it is to be approved for Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration requires meticulous details in any application for SSD benefits, and many initial applications are denied. So, once someone has been approved for benefits, they don't want to think about what might happen if these benefits stop.

Cost-of-Living Adjustment for 2020

On October 22, 2019, Social Security Administration announced a 1.6% increase in benefits for 2020. This cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will be effective for Social Security disability beneficiaries for their December 2019 benefits that are payable in January of 2020. For SSI beneficiaries, the cost-of-living adjustment will be made for January 2020 but paid on December 31, 2019.

Stop the Wait ACT

In September it was announced that U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35) authored a bill to eliminate the waiting period for Social Security Disability benefits. Currently, if someone is approved for Disability Insurance Benefits, which are the benefits you paid into when you were working, there is a 5-month waiting period before any payment can be received and a 24 month waiting period for Medicare benefits. This act would eliminate those wait times. This is especially important because both financial support and health insurance is critical to those who are disabled.

Pushing through the difficult SSD benefits application process

Our readers in Alabama who are familiar with our previous posts know that the process to apply for Social Security Disability benefits can be quite arduous. The Social Security Administration is strict about the eligibility requirements that must be met for disabled workers to receive SSD benefits. At first glance, the requirements and eligibility criteria that must be met can seem pretty daunting. However, if disabled workers believe they are entitled to SSD benefits, it is important to push through what can be a difficult process.

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.

The information sought in Childhood Disability Interviews

As readers in Mobile, Alabama, and the rest of the country know, children with disabilities are entitled to Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. In order to determine the eligibility, the Social Security Administration (SSA) conducts Childhood Disability Interview and generates a Child Disability Report. This method is applicable to those children for whom the Child Disability Report is not created online.

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.

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