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Many people are familiar with the red tape often associated with local, state and especially the federal government agencies. For instance, going to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) in Boston can take a long time and it can be an inconvenience. However, when we are talking about the wait for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, as administered by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA), unrepresented claimants are literally dying before their claims are approved – and they are losing everything in the process.

Boston SSDI LawyerAccording to a recent news article published by the Washington Post, one claimant lost everything he had – and he’s far from the only one. This claimant was in his 50s, and worked for years as a long-haul truck driver and later (once he got married) as a locksmith.  Continue reading →

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When a claimant is disable and applies for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, they will typically submit an application, which will be denied.  The vast majority of all applications are denied.  At this point the claimant is required to file a request for reconsideration if claimant wishes to continue with the process.  While the Social Security Administration (SSA) would not state this is a policy, the agency probably hopes that some claimants will drop out at this stage in the process as the agency does not have enough money in the disability fund to pay benefits for all disabled claimants.

SSDI Claims BostonWhile claimants could hire an attorney at this point, many decided to try to handle the matter on their own and this is probably not the best idea.  The system is set up in such way that it is very difficult for an unrepresented claimant to succeed. Continue reading →

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Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is often a long process.  According to a recent news article from the Memphis Daily News, the backlog of disability benefits cases is now up to 1 million.

Boston SSDI LawyerThe waiting time across the country is now in the neighborhood of two years and people are reportedly dying as they wait for benefits.  All of those on the wait-list have had their benefits denied at least one time. Continue reading →

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Schloesser v. Berryhill

Schloesser v. Berryhill, a case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, involves claimant who worked as a dry curer in a meat processing plant for more than two decades. His job required claimant to lift more than 70 pounds on a frequent basis.

SSDI lawyerClaimant continued to work at this particular factory until he injured his shoulder and back from the years of heavy lifting.  In 2001, he had his left rotator cuff surgically repaired, and the following year,  he had a disc removed from this lower back. This procedure is known as a lactimectomy. Continue reading →

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If a claimant is receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, that means he or she is disabled and has worked enough time in the years leading up to becoming disabled to qualify for disability benefits. The first issue is whether a claimant has paid into the system, which makes them eligible to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in Boston.

Paying into the system

Boston SSDI LawyerIf a person owns a motor vehicle, the law requires that person purchase car insurance. There are state minimums in every state including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. When a driver gets a policy, he or she must pay the premium.  If the driver has been paying the premium and gets into an accident, then insurance will cover the damage up to the policy limits in most cases if driver was at-fault. If the premium has not been paid and the policy is allowed to lapse, then the it will be canceled and there will be no insurance coverage. Continue reading →

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In a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims case, there is a good chance a claimant will have to have a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ).  At this hearing, there will likely be  a person known as vocational expert or “VE.”  There will also likely be a doctor who serves as a medical consultant for the ALJ and the Social Security Administration (SSA).

SSDI Claims BostonWhen claimant first files and application, it will likely be denied as are most applications. SSA has less money than it needs in its budget, largely due to political reasons, and stretches out the money in the disability fund by denying many qualified claimants and when the agency does award benefits, it takes as long as possible to do so. Continue reading →

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Dictionary of Occupational Tiles

In Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits cases and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits cases, where a claim is initially denied, the claimant will have to appeal if he or she is to eventually obtain disability benefits.   This will eventually lead to a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) in many cases, and a book known as the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) will likely play an important role in that hearing.

SSDI Cases Boston The Dictionary of Occupational Titles is a book (now several volumes) published by the United States Department of Labor (DOL).  DOL  published this book in various editions from 1938 to 1999, originally intended for statistical purposes and for use in workforce development and other agency projects.  It was declared obsolete before the year 2000 and is no longer updated. Continue reading →

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One of the most common questions our Boston disability attorneys are asked is, “How long it will take to get approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits?”

The reality is a successful award of SSDI or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits often takes more work – and more time – than most people initially realize. The reason is because of the how the system was designed.

The Social Security Administration reports the average wait time for an SSDI hearing in Boston is 12.5 months. That’s more expeditious than in many other areas of the country. For example in the Buffalo, NY, the wait time is 25 months. Folks in Akron, OH wait 18 months. In Newark, NJ, it’s 24 months.

Boston SSDI LawyerWhen the Social Security disability program was established over six decades ago, there was no money in the fund.  The way this program works is the Social Security Administration (SSA), the federal agency tasked with overseeing the two disability programs and the Old Age and Retirement benefits program, collects money from everyone’s pay checks.  If a taxpayer was to take a look at their paystub, they will see that there is money taken out for federal and state taxes as well as for Medicare and Social Security.  The Social Security withholdings are further divided into money for the disability programs and money for the Old Age and Retirement Programs. This is the money workers get when the reach the age of retirement. Continue reading →

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When we think of disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), most people are actually more familiar with the Social Security Disability Program (SSDI).  This is the program for people who have a history of working and have paid taxes into the Social Security disability fund and are no longer able to work due to a disability.   This is typically not a disability due to a work-related injury or illness, because that would require the claimant to apply for workers’ compensation benefits and is not administered by the SSA, but rather by the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA), which is a state agency.

Boston SSDI CasePursuant to 42 U.S. Code Chapter 7, which is the federal Social Security Code, Subchapter II, a disabled person is entitled to Supplemental Security Disability Insurance benefits if they are disabled and have earned enough quarterly credits to have paid into the system.  Continue reading →

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Vanproyen v. Berryhill

In a recent case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Social Security Disability Insurance claimant was prescribed Xanax in 2009. Xanax is a fairly powerful (depending on the dose) benzodiazepine medication that is commonly used to treat various types of anxiety disorders and their symptoms. In this case, claimant was being treated for panic attacks, bipolar disorder, depression, and a general anxiety disorder.

Boston SSDI LawyerOne of the problems with Xanax and other benzodiazepines is that they are very addictive. We often hear a lot about how there is a major problem with opioid addiction in this country, and that is certainly true.  However, opioids are either synthetic or natural derivatives of the opium poppy.  This includes heroin, morphine, fentanyl, Vicodin, OxyContin, and many others. Benzodiazepines are not derived from natural or synthetic opium, but they are also very addictive as described above. Xanax was heavily prescribed in the 1980s, and that is when many were addicted.  However, benzodiazepines are still prescribed today, and some patients do become addicted. In this case, claimant became addicted to Xanax, and this was noted in her court records as well as her medical records. Continue reading →