SSDI Program in Urgent Need of Help from Congress

Our Boston Social Security Disability Insurance attorneys understand the importance of keeping up with current changes with the SSDI program.

money-problems.jpgAccording to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Medicare’s hospital program expenditures were lower in 2013 than they were in 2012. This is thought to show a leveling off of the increases in health care costs that we have been experiencing. Based upon these promising trends, the Social Security Administration is predicting that it will be able to pay all benefits through the year 2030. The last estimate predicted funding to run out in 2026. Some of this reduction was credited to lower hospitalization rates.

While the Medicare program is doing well as of late, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) fund will only be able to pay just over 80 percent of current benefits by 2016. One suggestion to help alleviate the strain on the SSDI fund is allocate more of the money from payroll taxes to the SSDI program by reducing the amount allocated to the Medicare program for retired workers.

What makes matters worse for the fate of the program is that nobody seems exactly sure what is behind the recent leveling off of healthcare costs and whether this trend will continue. Regardless of the cause, it seems clear that if Congress does not act soon, it will be difficult for the program to meet its current needs.

With the budget becoming even tighter than it has been in the past, we may be seeing more denials from the Social Security Administration (SSA) on disability claims. This won’t be much of a change from an agency that denies most initial claims as a matter of common practice.

While every situation is different, and you should speak to your Boston disability lawyer, the system is set up to put unrepresented claimants at a significant disadvantage. After the claim is initially denied, the claimant can appeal the denial. This appeal is made in the form of peer review. A coworker of the SSA employee who made the initial denial will generally deny the appeal, also as a matter of practice.

After the peer review denial, the claimant can appeal the decision to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who will hear from a vocational specialist hired by the SSA and possibly a doctor hired by the SSA as a consultant. The vocational specialist will generally find some job that he or she argues you can perform and claim you are not disabled. The doctor will also often opine that you can do some type of work and are not disabled. An unrepresented claimant will have a very difficult time challenging this “evidence” being presented against them.

The best thing you can do to improve your chance of recovering benefits is contact an SSDI attorney as early in the process as possible, so you have someone on your side.

If you are seeking Social Security Disability Insurance in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.

Additional Resources:

Medicare, Social Security Disability Fund Headed in Different Directions, July 30, 2014, Wall Street Journal
More Blog Entries:

Funding Road Construction on the Backs of the Disabled, July 16, 2014

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