Articles Tagged with SSDI

In Dimmett v. Colvin, a case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, claimant applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)  benefits from the United States Social Security Administration (SSA).  Claimant was 62 years old at the time his appeal was heard.

1033916_medical_instruments_3The reason he claimed disability was due due to asthma, asbestosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and heel spur in one foot.  The administrative law judge (ALJ) heard the case and determined he was not disabled within the meaning of Social Security disability regulations. Continue reading

Allman v. Colvin, a case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, involved a claimant who alleged he was unable to work due to having a shunt in his brain, back pain, depression, anxiety, severe headaches and spina bifida.

1028452_syringes_and_vialDuring a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ), it was determined that he had a residual functioning capacity (RFC) allowing him to perform many different jobs in the national economy, and the judge denied his application for disability benefits.   ALJs use an archaic index of jobs known as the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) that was largely drafted during the 1970s.  This book has a bunch of odd sounding job titles that are supposedly available at some place in the United States at any giving time.  This is opposed to finding job listings in the local economy, where the claimant is actually looking for employment.  No surprisingly, many disabled Americans do not want to leave their families and travel to another state for the opportunity to work a low wage job while being disabled.  However, this is exactly what ALJs often decide they should do. Continue reading

In Stark v. Colvin, Claimant worked as yard driver for ten years at a major automaker.  She was responsible for moving pickup trucks as they rolled off the assembly line and taking them to a storage area until they could be shipped to car dealers around the world.  She was earning around $40,000 with benefits, but her back was hurting to the point where she had surgery for the first time in 2000.  Ultimately, she would have three surgical procedures on her back.

755533_suvWhen she went to see her orthopedic surgeon back in 2000, the doctor diagnosed her with a degenerative disc disease.  After speaking with his patient about various options, he decided to perform a lumbar fusion.  In addition to the lumbar fusion, claimant also had various procedures to widen her neural pathways.  Continue reading

In Nowling v. Colvin, a case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, claimant was disabled due to what is known as conversion disorder. A conversion disorder is term for when a patient suffers real physical symptoms of a disease or other medical condition without any known cause. One type of this, the type suffered by claimant, involves non-epileptic seizures.

635810_softgel_capsuleThese non-epileptic seizures are believed to be the result of an unconscious and involuntary “conversion” process.  This means that a person who suffers from mental stress will unconsciously convert that mental stress into the physical symptoms.  In this case, seizures occur.  Continue reading

Chaney v. Colvin, a case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, involves a claimant who filed for disability benefits in 2006 for a disability that he asserted began in 2003. Claimant testified during a hearing held by an administrative law judge (ALJ) who works for the United States Social Security Administration (SSA).

1028452_syringes_and_vialDuring his testimony, claimant stated he had long suffered from back pain, depression, and was addicted to drugs. He also testified that he had full physical custody of his daughter, then four years old, but was given considerable help from his parents. His parents regularly cleaned his home, paid his rent and utilities and provided him with other needed assistance.   Continue reading

For most of last year and even before, there was a lot of news coverage about how the Social Security disability fund would run out of money in late 2016. At that time, it was calculated, the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) would only have enough money to fund 81 percent of the total needed.

the-capitol-193779-mIn other words, there would only be enough money to pay 81 percent of all benefits, so based upon agency regulations, all benefits would be cut by 19 percent in late 2016. For the roughly 10 million Americans who are living off a maximum of $1080 per month in benefits, a cut of 19 percent would make it extremely difficult to make ends meet and take care of themselves and their families. Continue reading

A recent article from the National Law Review discusses some issues and questions people often have about how Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can affect a workers’ compensation award. Since many of our clients often ask similar questions, it seems like an issue at which we should take a closer look.

to-sign-a-contract-3-1221952-mThe main question that arises is whether a claimant can work while collecting Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and if this will also have an effect on workers’ compensation benefits. Pursuant to the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) regulations, the agency which oversees the Social Security disability programs, a claimant can work at least part-time while receiving disability benefits in some situations, but there are caveats to this general rule. Continue reading

Many people suffer from a disabling condition while they are still working. For some, it is degenerative disc or multiple discs in the spine that cause severe pain and numbness. Others will experience joint pain that makes it impossible to work in the same capacity as they could before the disability occurred. In some cases, the employee may suffer from a mental health issue that makes difficult to work a normal schedule.

1078874_word_work_on_the_dicesWhile the exact cause and type of disability may be different for everyone, the course of events is often quite similar. The employee can no longer do his or her job. This may mean coming late to work, missing work for medical appointments, or simply being unable to do the job physically.   If the employee was suffering from an on-the-job injury or illness, he or she could apply for workers’ compensation benefits, and the employer would have to make reasonable accommodations so employee could still work in some capacity. Continue reading

For much of last year, the media was running frequent articles about the Social Security disability fund and how it would run out of money in late 2016. We heard that if Congress did not come to an agreement to fully fund the program, there would be as many as 11 million Americans who would see their Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits checks cut by just less than 20 percent.

white-house-washington-dc-november-2006-658257-mWhile many Democrats were urging GOP to resolve this upcoming budgetary crisis as soon as possible, many GOP presidential hopefuls vowed not to award any more money until Congress agrees to a major overhaul of the program. There were those who felt the federal disability program should not be administrated by the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) as they were seen as an unnecessary middleman. Continue reading

Many opponents, including recent presidential hopefuls for the GOP nomination, like to claim that most claimants are gaming the system and are not really disabled. Senator Rand Paul was one of the biggest proponents of this theory. He basically accused everyone of the 11 million disabled Americans with malingering and pretending to be sicker they actually were to get benefits because they didn’t want to work. We know that his could not be farther from the truth.

952313_gavelHowever, this is not to say that fraud of the system never occurs, but rather that any actual fraud incidents make up a very small fraction of the total number of claimants paid each year. When someone does allegedly commit the fraud, the authorities crack down very hard on the defendant not only in hopes of punishing that person, but in deterring others from trying to do the same or similar thing in terms of benefits fraud. Continue reading

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