Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyers Blog
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According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 57 million people – or 1 in 5 – have some type of disability. More than half of those conditions are categorized as “severe.”denied

In some cases, when disability onset occurs after years of working, disability insurance coverage can help a person to keep their heads above water until they can return to work. However, those suffering from a more severe condition that will result in a year or more off work are going to need more help than that. This is where Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can help. These benefits can provide long-term financial relief for those coping with severe, ongoing disabilities. However, they must first qualify.

Although the number of SSDI applicants has more than doubled in the last 20 years, approximately two-thirds of applicants are denied. Whereas about half of applicants were approved in 1999, only about one-third were in 2014. This does not mean you should not bother applying. What it does mean is you’ve got to be prepared to make the best case possible before the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This is why having an SSDI attorney can be so valuable. It also means you need to understand the common reasons people’s SSDI claims are denied. This can help you avoid some common errors.  Continue reading →

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Much is misunderstood when it comes to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Some refer to it as an “entitlement program” or a type of “welfare,” when in fact recipients pay into it the whole time they are working. Others think it’s ridiculously easy to attain benefits, when the truth of the matter is many claimants wait months or even over a year, and often have to endure multiple levels of appeal.wheelchair7

Still, if you have been reluctant to apply for SSDI because you have been disheartened by some of the horror stories, know that your chances are much better when you’ve got an experienced, dedicated advocate on your side. In most cases, that help can be secured with a contingency fee arrangement, which means you don’t pay anything up front.

Here, we’ve complied a list of some of the most common SSDI myths we routinely here, and offer you some cold, hard facts to help you make an informed decision about whether to move forward on a case. Continue reading →

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When people play into a long-term disability insurance plan through their work, they expect that this will help them remain financially stable in the event of a serious injury or illness that renders them unable to work for extended periods. They may also understand that they are entitled to collect benefits through other avenues, such as workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). What may be less obvious is the way in which these benefits can counteract one another.wheelchair5

Recently, a news station in Nebraska outlined what can happen when people try to stack coverage from other sources.

According to WOWT NBC-6, the couple in question were both happy and seemingly healthy for years. Married for 27 years, they both worked full-time. But then, the 53-year-old husband suffered a stroke. Suddenly, he was unable to walk or talk or complete basic tasks. He’s learning now to feed and bathe himself and how to communicate. His wife had no choice but to quit her job to care for him 24-7.

“I can’t go to work because he needs me the whole time,” she told the reporter. Continue reading →

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There is no doubt that the quest for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can be an arduous one. Unless you have a condition that is exactly specified by the Social Security Administration (SSA), you’re facing an uphill battle to prove you’re unable to work. gavel211

In fact, the majority of initial claims are denied. At that point, you have the choice of whether to appeal to that determination to the Appeals Council. The council can do one of a few things at that point: Refer the claim back to the administrative law judge for a review of the initial decision, review a claim directly or uphold the ALJ’s original decision.

No matter what stage you are in the process, having an experienced attorney to guide you through the most viable step is important. If it’s worthwhile to keep fighting, you’re going to need a strong advocate. If your claim isn’t likely to win, you need someone who will tell you that too.  Continue reading →

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In Julin v. Colvin, a case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, claimant applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits from the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) in December 2009.  An SSDI claim is filed under what is known as Title II of 42 U.S.C. Section 432 and is often referred to as a Title II claim.

Claimant also filed a Title XVI claim under 42. U.S.C. Section 1382, which is a program known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  In applications for both benefits, she claimed her disability started in mid February 2004.  Her claims were that she suffers from anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Claimant asserted that these mental health conditions make it impossible for her to work, because she had trouble keeping her focus, lacked energy, was unable to concentrate, could not maintain a normal schedule, and was unable to engage in normal social relationships. Continue reading →

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Is it possible to work while still receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in Boston? What about working in the year before you obtain benefits?suittie

The technical answer is yes, but it can be a thorny road if you don’t first consult with an attorney. That’s because the whole premise of SSDI is that you are too injured or ill to work. If you simply take a job or continue working without first determining what this will mean for your benefits, you could run into trouble and risk either:

  • A) Not being awarded benefits in the first place;
  • B) Losing the benefits you have.

Each individual situation is going to be different, and that’s why it’s important to discuss your options with a lawyer.  Continue reading →

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Successful application of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits is a multi-pronged process. It can seem daunting to many people, and in truth, it can be a tedious, drawn-out process. woman2

The good news is that with an experienced Boston SSDI attorney, it can be a much less arduous journey.

Still, there are some things you should understand about the process, given that the Social Security Administration reportedly received almost 2.7 million applications to the program in 2013 and coffers are expected to dry up by 2022, unless an alternate funding source is identified. That means the agency is growing increasingly choosy with who it approves. In fact, only about 36 percent of claims filed between 2004 and 2013 were approved. Of those:

  • 25 percent were approved on initial claim;
  • 2 percent were approved on appeal;
  • 11 percent were approved at hearings.

Continue reading →

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Most Americans see their pay stubs every two weeks and take note of the chunk Uncle Sam takes out for Social Security each time. Because they have paid in to Social Security with their taxes, the thinking goes, they won’t be taxed yet again if they need to draw benefits from any of the Social Security systems. taxes

Not so.

Well, usually not so. There are some situations in which Social Security benefits are taxable as income. One of the situations in which this is true is with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). These benefits may sometimes be taxable, while SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits are never taxable.  Continue reading →

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Last year, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program was saved from immediate destruction when federal lawmakers gave the Ok for a temporary patch to keep the program going without going bankrupt. That was big news for the 11 million Americans currently on disability, who were facing a 20 percent reduction in their benefits. papers

But that patch, which involved moving around funding from the Social Security retirement program, is only going to last us through 2022. Before then, there will undoubtedly be much debate about the future of the program, how much we should continue to dole out in benefits and how we’re going to pay its current $150-billion annual price tag. Although it’s not the largest program intended to help subsidize those who are struggling financially, it’s one that receives the lion’s share of the criticism. Part of the problem is that most people don’t understand the rigorous and lengthy process that claimants must endure to prove their disability and also to establish a long enough work history. They don’t understand it’s a system that people had to have paid into via their federal taxes for many years before a claim can be made. And they don’t understand that the process is so complex and demanding, claimants need an SSDI lawyer to help them navigate it effectively.

The program was created to help workers who have become physically or mentally disabled, as well as their families, stay afloat financially. Although critics say the program is far too generous, you must keep in mind that the average benefits usually only work out to about $1,165 monthly. That’s about $14,000 a year.  Continue reading →

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A former officer in the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has just plead guilty to theft of more than $600,000 in Social Security disability benefits, according to a recent article from the Daily News.  This officer was employed by the NYPD from 1981 until 1993, when he retired due to a shoulder injury.

714568_light_3After retiring from the police force, his application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits was eventually approved.  As in most cases, it takes some time for a claimant to become approved to receive monthly disability benefits. In order to receive the maximum monthly benefit, a claimant must be declared as disabled, which means that he or she is unable to work.  This is normally calculated using a formula to determine one’s residual functioning capacity (RFC).  Continue reading →