If you are unable to work due to a serious illness or injury, you may be unsure of how you will pay bills, take care of your children and support your Alabama family. No one ever plans on suffering from a disabling condition, and experiencing this type of setback can be financially and emotionally devastating.
Gardberg & Kemmerly handles children's disability claims for Supplemental Security Income. These claims are filed by concerned parents who worry that their child is struggling in some particular area and hope that increased income could get them the help they need - for example, additional or specialized medical treatment or additional school tutoring. By far, one of the most common impairments I see is ADHD. Many parents want to know if their child with ADHD can qualify for SSI.
Military service members can receive expedited processing of disability applications from Social Security Administration under a special program called Wounded Warriors. To qualify for the expedited process, military service members must have become disabled while on active military service on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurred. To be found disabled for Social Security benefits, the military service member must be unable to do substantial work because of his or her medical condition and the medical condition must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least one year or to result in death. It is important to note that Social Security disability benefits are different than those from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and require a separate application.
The Social Security Administration has released the official Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2015. The COLA associated with Social Security disability benefits, will be reflected in the January 2015 benefit check and will have a 1.7% increase.
The Social Security disability program is almost never black and white. There are very few disease that will automatically qualify you to receive benefits. A common question I am asked is, "Does have [fill in the blank disease] make me disabled?" The answer is almost always, "It depends."
Beginning September 6, 2014, new SSA rules went into effect that affect how the Office of Disability Adjudication & Review processes Requests for Hearings. For every hearing request received, the acknowledgement will now include language that the hearing may be conducted via video. If a claimant wishes to object to having a video hearing, he or she must file the objection in writing within 30 days of receiving the notice. This objection must be submitted via mail in the envelope included in the notice or via fax.
Most people think of "old age" or Social Security disability benefits when they think of Medicare- and these associations are correct. However, many people do not know that you can also qualify for Medicare if you have end-stage renal (kidney) disease.
If you have applied for Social Security Disability benefits you are likely prescribed medications for your conditions that may have side effects. As noted in a prior blog post about the initial application (link is here), you have the ability to list the medications you have previously taken, are currently taking, or have been prescribed by a physician for your medical conditions. While you are completing that section of the application, it may be wise to also list the side effects associated with each medication.
When you file for Social Security Disability benefits you will be asked several questions about your work history, medical problems, and functional limitations. These questions should be taken as seriously as the questions you may face before an Administrative Law Judge because, in the event that your claim requires a hearing before an ALJ, the ALJ will have access to your responses from the initial application.
If you have applied for Social Security Disability benefits and have a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), the ALJ may assist you in developing your claim for disability. However, this is not something that should be relied up as it still behooves you to be on the leading edge of developing your own claim prior to seeing the ALJ. Nevertheless, this topic reminds me of a recent case I helped a client with.