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Archive for September, 2011

Work With Your Doctors

disabilityWhen you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, it can help to get your physician involved with the battle for your benefits.  It’s not easy to get Social Security Disability Insurance, of course, and you’ll likely need all of the help that you get through the process.  Keep in mind that the average application for Social Security Disability Insurance requires at least two years’ worth of time in the system, so be sure to bring along your patience!

Speaking with your physician can help make your application go through much easier.  This is because so much of the Social Security Disability Insurance application relies on medical records.  This is often one of the parts of the process that applicants have the most trouble with, as individuals who do not have health insurance often have a hard time scheduling regular medical appointments.  But even in the event that you do not have health insurance, check out free clinics for options or even go to the emergency room.  It’s important to have medical documentation of your disability – without this, you’re sunk.

Talking with your physician can help give him or her the time that they needs to compile your medical documentation to help you better prepare for your case.  It is likely that your physician is familiar with the disability insurance application process, but giving them advanced warning can really go a long way toward ensuring that your application goes as smoothly as possible.  Remember to keep the channels of communication open, and good luck!

What Is Compassionate Allowance Expedition?

disability benefitsNot all disabilities are the same when it comes to the business of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance.  With the program in the shape that it is, and the amount of stress currently on the system, it can take upwards of two years for regular applications to get through the process of denial and appeals.  This can cause extreme, economic hardship.

The idea of a compassionate allowance is that it allows the most severely-disabled Americans to get their disability benefits sooner than if they had a lesser disability.  The vast majority of diseases and injuries that are on the compassionate allowance list are terminal in nature, but this is not always the case.  A good example of a compassionate allowance that is not necessarily terminal is severe spinal cord injury.

If you have an illness or injury that is listed on the compassionate allowance list, the Social Security Administration must review and decide on your case within one day.  In the event that you end up being denied, you will have to go through appeal just like a regular applicant, only the process will be a little bit faster.  Despite this, the judges who are in charge of your case will be expecting to see just as much proof regarding the existence of your disability as compared to regular cases, so be ready with the information necessary to prove that you actually do deserve the compassionate allowance.  The compassionate allowance is there to help those who are in desperate need – and if you fit the bill, you’ll get your benefits fast!

The Current State of Social Security Disability Insurance

Social SecurityThe reality of the situation is that Social Security Disability Insurance is in trouble. Between the years of 2009 and 2010 alone, the number of applications for Social Security Disability Insurance increased by nearly 6,000,000. Those who are at all familiar with the process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance are likely acquainted with the fact that the process of getting those benefits is difficult enough to begin with. Depending on the state in which you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, the weight between activating an application for the program and actually receiving benefits can be as long as two years.

The program itself is in financial trouble. Due to the influx of applicants, it has been estimated that Social Security Disability Insurance will go bankrupt within the next five years. This has placed policy makers in a very unfavorable position when it comes to taking action and saving the program. Barring a major program overhaul, the only real options to save the program are to increase the taxpayers’ burden or stop making allowances to increase payments for those who are receiving disability insurance based off of inflation and other factors. Neither one of these solutions will actually solve the problem; it is almost like trying to plug a hole at the bottom of the sinking ship rather than taking the hull in for repairs.

In order to truly solve the problems that are currently presented by the state of Social Security Disability Insurance, the program itself must be restructured. It would be advantageous to increase the incentives for individuals who are on Social Security Disability Insurance to reenter the workforce without the risk of losing their benefits entirely.

Compassionate Allowances Expanded

disabilitiesIn the world of Social Security Disability Insurance, not all disabilities are created equal.  There is a list of certain health conditions that are considered “compassionate allowance” ailments or injuries.  These virtually ensure that if an applicant that can prove they have one of the ailments on the list, they can receive Social Security Disability Insurance quickly.

Compassionate allowance ailments are typically the most serious disabilities – many of them will ultimately end up in the death of the individual with the disability.  The idea behind helping these individuals get Social Security Disability Insurance payments faster is that often these people are so incapacitated that they are unable to get income from any other source.

While the average wait time for Social Security Disability Insurance is about two years across the country, for those who have one of the compassionate allowance ailments, the wait time is dramatically reduced – in the realm of months, rather than years.

Recently, 12 new conditions were added to the list:

  • Aoretic Atresia
  • Eisenmenger Syndrome
  • Endomyocardial Fibrosis
  • Heart Transplant Graft Failure
  • Heart Transplant Wait List, 1A/1B
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
  • Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Recipient
  • Mitral Valve Atresia
  • Primary Cardiac Amyloidosis
  • Pulmonary Atresia
  • Single Ventricle
  • Tricuspid Atresia

If you or somebody you know has one of these conditions, rest assured that they will be able to receive Social Security Disability Insurance much faster.  This will help ensure that their quality of life is as high as it possible.

Watch Out For Crooked Reps

crooked representativeIf you’re applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, it might be worth your while to consider hiring representatives, such as a disability lawyer.  Of course, there is absolutely no reason why you couldn’t represent yourself through the process – and thousands of applicants manage to do so with great results.  The trouble is that many applications for Social Security Disability Insurance tend to go through the process at least once or twice before being approved.  It can be advantageous to have good representation on your side to help you through the process.

Keeping An Eye Out

With this being the case, however, it is important to realize that there are some “representatives” out there that are less interested in helping you collect your Social Security Disability Insurance payments and more so in simply seeing how much money they can get out of you.  It’s important to know that no valid representative will take payment until after they have gotten you the disability benefits.  In the event that a representative thinks that your case will not result in disability payments, he or she is unlikely take the case on in the first place.  Beware of any “representatives” that demand payment upfront.  This is actually illegal.

There are lots of valid firms out there that can help you with Social Security Disability Insurance representation.  Just be sure not to be swindled by the fraudulent ones!  Make sure to do plenty of research regarding representatives before you choose one for your Social Security Disability Insurance case.  There’s a lot of work that goes into finding good representation, so you shouldn’t skimp on time when searching for a good one.


Could Chile Be Considered A Model For Privatization?

chile social securityDue to the fact that Social Security Disability Insurance is in serious trouble, there have been a number of different solutions to solve the current problems with the system.  The most looming problem is the fact that Social Security Disability Insurance could possibly become a financially-insolvent program as early as 2014, which would leave many Americans who are dependent upon Social Security Disability Insurance payments in the lurch.

Lead By Example

There has long been a debate regarding Social Security benefits and privatization.  Those who remember the Bush Administration might remember that there was a push during that time to make traditional Social Security privatized – and for many reasons this initiative never really took off.  But in the current economy, with Social Security Disability Insurance being in the state it is, the idea of privatizing at least a portion of Social Security is resurfacing.  Individuals who are in favor of privatization have pointed to Chile as an example to follow.

Chile has long since privatized its full Social Security system, and it has been shown that the total disability benefits that are paid out from the program average about 75% more than they would be if the system had not been privatized.  Additionally, Chile offers partial disability insurance as well, which allows individuals who are partially disabled to stay in the workforce to the extent that they are able to, while also receiving benefits. While there are return-to-work programs through Social Security Disability Insurance in the United States, there is no partial disability insurance.

The question regarding what to do about the imminent collapse of Social Security Disability Insurance is a confusing one, and there are no easy answers.  But it does help to get information from the rest of the world when making these vital decisions.

Will Work Save Social Security Disability Insurance?

disability benefitsIt has been said that one of the best ways to increase the chance of Social Security Disability Insurance avoiding financial insolvency is by encouraging individuals who are beneficiaries of the program to seek as much work as possible. One of the most-cited problems with Social Security Disability Insurance is that it is said to discourage individuals who are receiving  payments from returning to work in any capacity, because if they do return, they risk losing their disability benefits in their entirety. However, the real question is: will assisting recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance to get back into the workforce really help save the program?

Research Shows

There have been numerous studies done on this question, and the results have been somewhat confusing, at best. There are return to work programs that Social Security Disability Insurance has and implements to a certain degree. The results regarding the effectiveness of these programs are complicated, especially thanks to the amount of variables that are outside the control of the Social Security Administration.

For one, despite the fact that there has been a particular increase of Social Security Disability Insurance applications and approvals, and many people believe that this increase is due to an increase in fraud, there are a great deal of Americans who are on disability programs that are genuinely disabled. In many of the return to work programs that the Social Security Administration provides, even individuals who were willing and able to attempt to return to the workforce eventually had to leave their jobs due to poor health. Additionally, it can be extremely hard for willing but disabled workers to be able to find adequate employment in this job market.

The results of these studies are inconclusive, and they fail to paint a clear picture of what should be done to save the program.

How Much Is Taken out of Taxes?

social security benefitsThere are two major government-sponsored disability programs that disabled Americans who are unable to participate in the workforce at a normal capacity can apply for. The first of these is known as Supplemental Security Income in this program is actually managed by the same entity that manages welfare. Taxes do not fund Supplemental Security Income. Generally, this program is intended for people who have been disabled their entire lives, or children.

Where Does The Money Come From?

In contrast, Social Security Disability Insurance is funded by taxpayer dollars. As of the 2011 fiscal year, the amount that is deducted from every Americans paycheck in order to cover the needs of Social Security Disability Insurance is 1.8%. Unfortunately, this amount is in sustainable for Social Security Disability Insurance to continue making payouts at the rate is currently doing so. In essence, more is being paid out in disability payments than being taken in as a result of tax collection.

The fact that there’s been a growing discrepancy between money going into the program, and money being taken out for disability payments is not surprising. Over the last two years alone, the number of individuals who receive Social Security Disability Insurance payments has jumped nearly 10%. In this way, the program has become financially unsustainable. There have been initiatives to increase taxes in order to help save the program, but unsurprisingly this is not a popular idea among the majority of American workers.

As of the writing of this article, it is unlikely that taxes will be raised for the sake of Social Security Disability Insurance. However, it is important to know how much money goes into the program by virtue of taxes. Clearly, 1.8% is not enough to support the payments that Social Security Disability Insurance gives to beneficiaries, and this is the root of the Social Security Disability Insurance problem.

Can Private Disability Insurance Policies Help Save SSDI?

There have been numerous propositions regarding the future of Social Security Disability Insurance and how best to prevent the program from going bankrupt. Anyone who’s been paying attention to the news regarding Social Security Disability Insurance is aware of the fact that the program is quickly sinking underwater financially. It has been projected that, within the next five years, Social Security Disability Insurance will no longer be able to sustain the disability payments it makes at the current rate.

social security

However, due to the magnitude of the problems that could occur should Social Security Disability Insurance fail, there are quite a few economists putting their brains to the grindstone to come up with ways to possibly save the program. One of the most recently talked about plans is to combine private disability insurance through employers, with assistance from Social Security Stability Insurance.

How It Works

The idea is that, while employed, both an employer and an employee would be required to make payments into a disability insurance program that would be privately held. In the event that the employee sustains a career-ending disability, the employee would first have to be considered eligible for the private disability insurance before being able to take on Social Security Disability Insurance. In this way, it is expected that the number of individuals who fraudulently claim Social Security Disability Insurance would go down.

What you think about the possibility of combining government disability assistance alongside private disability programs? Do you believe that these measures would help to reform the ailing Social Security Disability Insurance program, or cause more problems than it solves?


What Are the Work Goals of Disability Insurance Beneficiaries?

disability and workingOne of the most oft-cited solutions to the dilemma currently facing Social Security Disability Insurance is to help beneficiaries of the program get back to work in whatever capacity they can. Due to the fact that the number of applications for Social Security Disability Insurance have gone up exponentially over the past ten years, many taxpayers are beginning to assume that the majority of individuals who receive disability payments are in no way interested in returning to work.

Getting Back To Work

While it might be true that there are some individuals who are fraudulently taking payments from the program, recent studies that show that this is not the case. In a recent poll, it is been shown that nearly 40% of beneficiaries who are currently receiving Social Security Disability Insurance payments have active plans to return to the workforce at some point. Of the 40% of individuals who are interested in returning to the workforce, about half were actively pursuing that goal.

So don’t let it be said that individuals who are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance are lazy or simply “receiving a handout.”  The problems that are inherent within the Social Security Disability Insurance program will not just end up affecting those who are unwilling to work.  There are a great deal of applicants that are looking to get back into the job pool – and those individuals should not be lumped into the same category as layabouts.  The future developments of this program could also end up harming those who truly need the program’s payouts.


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