Articles Posted in Social Security Disability Insurance

The Republican Party made it a major priority to pass the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act” before the end of 2017 to show a legislative win for the GOP and President Donald John Trump.  For better or worse, they have accomplished this goal, but it looks like one of the consequences to this bill, aside from ending Obamacare as Mr. Trump acknowledged, is it will also likely result in large cuts to other public benefits such as Social Security disability benefits including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, as well as major cuts to Medicaid.

SSDI lawyerWhile many many do not realize this, Medicaid, is a major benefit to those on Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, because under the complex web of federal regulations such as Section 1902 of 42 USC 1396a, states are allowed to give Medicaid benefits to anyone who was qualified for SSDI as long as they have been receiving the benefits for more than one year.  Most states have decided they do not even want to handle Medicaid on their own, so they have delegated the  Medicaid signup process to the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA), which is the federal agency that runs the SSI and SSDI programs, as well as the Old Age and Retirement benefits program with which most Americans are more familiar.  This is the program that provides money for any working American when they reach the age of federal retirement. This age goes up from time to time as a way to save money, but eventually you will age into the system if you live long enough.  It is also possible to get these benefits earlier if you give up some of the total benefits. Continue reading

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has been without an appointed commissioner for around two years.  The previous commissioner stepped down at a time when there were many issues being reported about the federal agency, the operations at some of its locations around the nation, and the problems pertaining to the agency’s administrative law judges (ALJs).

SSDI lawyerSSA is the federal agency that administers the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits program, as well the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The agency also administers the Old Age and Retirement benefits program.

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For a court to hear any case, it must have what is known as subject matter jurisdiction. This is the authority of the court to hear cases of a particular type or cases relating to certain subject matter.

This is as true in a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) case as it is in an auto accident lawsuit. In an SSDI case, the process begins by filling an application at the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). This application will probably get denied so this will require filing a request for reconsideration with SSA. Following a denial of a request for reconsideration, claimants must request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ) at the SSA Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. If claimant is not successful at this point, he or she can appeal to the SSA Appeals Council. This is a discretionary review, meaning the council can deny to hear the appeal from an ALJ.

Boston SSDI LawyerIn most cases, however, SSA will agree to hear the appeal of a denial from an ALJ since it can save them money in the long run.  Many people will drop off along the way in what has unfortunately become a long and difficult process to get SSDI or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits,  so the more steps that are put in place, the more denials there will be and this means that an unrepresented claimant may see things as even more of an uphill battle.  When a claimant decides not to continue with the process. They can always file another application process all over again, and sometimes this is the only option, but that also starts the clock over again. Currently, it is taking those who apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in Boston two years or more to get benefits if they are eventually successful.   Continue reading

Despite what the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) would have you believe there is nothing easy or quick about the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application process. The wait in many areas, including Boston is approaching two years and it seems this problem is getting worse rather than better.

SSDI Claims BostonA recent news article from the Orange County Register is asking whether SSA is using this delay the to cheat disabled Americans out of well-deserved and much needed Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Continue reading

If you have become disabled, and your disability was not related to an on the job accident, filing a claim for Social Social Disability Insurance  (SSDI) is likely your best option.  However, there is a good chance your application will be initially denied since the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) denied the majority of application of applications upon receipt, but this is only the beginning of a long and arduous process.  You can apply for Social Security disability benefits based for a physical illness, mental illness, or a combination of both.

SSDI Claims BostonAccording to a recent news article from VPR News, the number of applications for SSDI benefits due to mental illness is increasing in New England.  This is significant for several reasons. Continue reading

The majority of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claimants will be required to go to a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) at the Social Security Administration (SSA) if they are eventually to be awarded benefits. These hearings can be very difficult, if not seemingly impossible for an unrepresented claimant, as there are rules of procedure and evidence that will come into play, and the claimant will need to have a good grasp on trial practice skills, which is not likely the case.  Ultimately, proving a Social Security Disability Insurance claim is not easy.

Boston SSDI CaseThere is no reason though that an SSDI claimant should not be represented by an experienced attorney.  The system is also set up in such a way that there are no legal fees unless and until the claimant is successful and recovers disability benefits. If the claimant is successful, and obtains retroactive benefits, the legal fees will be paid by SSA as a percentage of the benefits award, but there will be no out of pocket costs to the claimant.  If the claimant is not successful, there will be no fees owed to the SSDI attorney. Continue reading

When it comes to Social Security Disability Insurance claims, it all comes down to evidence. In many cases, the question of disability is somewhat subjective, so having ample and compelling evidence to prove your position is crucial. Your attorney can help you from the very beginning of this process – identifying what evidence will be necessary, how it should be collected and how it will be presented.

The Social Security Administration outlines Evidentiary Requirements for SSDI claimants. As the agency notes, medical evidence is “the cornerstone of the disability determination” for SSDI benefits. The burden of proof is on the claimant to provide ample medical evidence showing he or she has an impairment and detailing the severity of that impairment.

SSDIUnrepresented claimants find themselves at a steep disadvantage because they don’t know what to do during the trial, what evidence to present or the process of calling and examining key witnesses.  When you have an SSDI attorney who knows exactly what type of evidence is needed, you’re ahead of the game.  Continue reading

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

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

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