Articles Tagged with Boston lawyer SSDI

According to a recent news article from Disability Scoop, there is a bipartisan effort among some in Congress to make some changes to the Achieving a Better Life Experience bill more commonly referred to as the ABLE Act, or simply as ABLE.

workABLE was passed into law in 2014, and it was something that had never been done before.  It created a way for disabled Americans who receive government benefits to save a certain amount of money in special accounts without running the risk of losing their disability benefits. This includes Social Security disability as well as other types of benefits provided by the federal government.  This program does apply to Medicaid in certain situations. Continue reading

Over the past several months, we have been hearing a lot about an executive order signed by former president Barack Obama that allowed the FBI’s Brady background check system from having access to the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) roles.   The theory behind this executive order was that too many people with mental health issues were being allowed to purchase guns, and some of these people were using these guns in active shooter situations where innocent people were being killed.

pillUnder the executive order, if a person is receiving Social Security Disability Insurance for a mental health condition, as many people are, the background check system will be made aware of it and can deny the potential gun buyer the right to purchase the firearm on the application.  This was largely supported by Democrats, who are in favor of gun control measures, and opposed by GOP members, who typically favor not placing many or even any limits on the right to purchase firearms. Continue reading

In the past couple of years, it has become popular for politicians to tell people that Social Security benefits, specifically the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, are entitlements programs for people that are too lazy to work.  They also like to say that there is rampant fraud committed by claimants who are not really disabled.  While there are obviously some instances of fraud, just like there are with any other program of any kind, this statement and the allegations that SSDI is an entitlement program could not be farther from the truth.

doctorThis issue and these commonly held misconceptions have been discussed and dispelled in a recent opinion letter published in the New Jersey Herald.  As discussed in the letter, whatever your opinion of welfare may be, SSDI is not welfare.  The reason for this is because anyone who works pays taxes into a specific fund that pays for disability programs run by the United States Social Security Administration (SSA).  In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you must not only establish that you are disabled, but also that you have earned enough quarterly credits to qualify for benefits. Continue reading

In a recent case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, claimant applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, and his application was denied by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA).

wheelchair7-300x225Claimant first applied for disability benefits in 2008.  In 2008, he was 35-years-old.  His application was denied.  This is not shocking, since SSA will typically reject the vast majority of all applications initially.  This is done with little regard to whether the claimant is actually able to work.  Congress is actually investigating whether this is intentional due to a series of complaints by whistleblowers. Continue reading

In a recent SSDI case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the claimant was denied an award of benefits after a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ).  An ALJ is an employee of the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) that is responsible for hearing appeals when the review staff at the agency has already denied a claimant’s application at least two times in writing.

pencil tipAs long as the requests for review are made in a timely manner, the ALJ will hear the appeal, though as an employee of the SSA, the ALJ often sides with the SSA, finding that the claimant is not disabled.  This is especially true in cases where the claimant is not represented by an experienced disability benefits attorney. Continue reading

There is clearly a huge debate going on in this country about the Second Amendment and it the rights it actually guarantees.  There are those who believe the Second Amendment was drafted to give citizens virtually unlimited rights with respect to the ownership and carrying of firearms.  There as many who believe that a private citizen should be able to purchase a fully automatic machine gun if they so desire and that any attempt to stop them is an infringement on constitutionally protected liberties.

gunOn the other hand, there are those who believe that only the police and the military need to have pistols and assault weapons, as is the case in many European nations with much stricter gun control laws than in the U.S.  There are also many who fall somewhere in the middle of these two extreme positions.  For example, a moderate on gun control might allow people to purchase firearms, but they must compete a safety course, a background check, and are limited in what type of weapons they can purchase. Continue reading

In Gutierrez v. Colvin, a Social Security Disability Insurance case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, there was no question claimant could lift no more than five pounds.  She could also not lift her right arm above her shoulder, but her left arm was perfectly fine.

gavel211When she first applied for SSDI benefits, her application was denied. This is nothing out of the ordinary, as the vast majority of all applications are denied.  Once the U.S. Social Security Administration denied her application, she took her first step in the appeals process. Continue reading

In Ghiselli v. Colvin, a disability case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, claimant applied for disability benefits from U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) in 2010. Her basis for claiming a disability was after becoming disabled in October 2007.  In her application for Social Security disability benefits, she claimed she was working as a customer service manager at a retail establishment and was responsible for supervising cashiers.  She was injured when a customer hit her in the back with a shopping cart.

workThis occurred in August 2007. Following being hit by the shopping cart, her back began to hurt, and she was later diagnosed with a degenerative disc disease.  She also claimed that having asthma and being obese contributed to her being disabled.  It is quite common for a claimant to have multiple conditions that all contribute to a disability rating. Continue reading

A recent news feature from USA Today answers the question of a reader who is wondering what happens to her Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits when she turns 67 and begins receiving her Social Security Old Age and Retirement benefits.

magnifying-glass-1254223When most people think of getting Social Security benefits, they are likely thinking of the Old Age and Retirement program that provides everyone who was worked and paid taxes with a monthly benefits award when you reach retirement age.  In an effort to reduce the amount of benefits paid out by the program in order to save money, Congress has raised the age of eligibility, so that people must be older to get retirement benefits. Continue reading

A recent news article from The Atlantic takes a look at how disability benefits have become a partisan issue. If you watch any of the comments made by Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, you can easily see that they are on very different sides of this issue, but the question is whether or not this was always the case.  As it turns out, the answer to this question is no, as the payment of disability benefits was once a bipartisan issue.  It should be noted that when we say disability benefits were not always a partisan issue, were are not talking about six decades ago when the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program began, but rather as recent as the 1990s.

wheelchair7For example, it was in the 1990s when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was authorized and supported by both major parties. These days a lot has changed and we have democrats including Clinton arguing that the disability fund should be fully funded for years to come, and those on the other side of the aisle are saying that there should be a major overhaul of the system prior to any more money being allotted.  There is also the argument, used heavily during the Republican primary, that the vast majority of people on disability benefits are “gaming the system” or outright committing fraud to obtain disability benefits to which they are not entitled. Continue reading

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