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Archive for November, 2011

Will I Qualify?

disability benefitsUnfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules about who will qualify for Social Security Disability. The application process can be complicated and the decision is ultimately left to the Social Security Administration. However, there are a few general questions you can ask yourself to get a grasp on your overall chances of successfully obtaining disability benefits.

Getting To Know You

The first aspect the SSA will look at when considering you for disability benefits is whether or not you are working. They want to know whether or not you are currently working, have worked within the last 10 years or whether you may be able to work in the future. Your employment situation has a significant bearing on your chances of obtaining benefits. However, how your work situation affects your disability application is different for every person. Just because you are currently working or may be able to work in the near future does not mean your application will be denied. Your prior work history is only relevant in terms of calculating how much you will be eligible to receive if approved.

The SSA will also be looking at your condition or illness. Although there are some specific medical conditions and illnesses already outlined as qualifying for benefits, this does not guarantee approval. Similarly, this doesn’t mean that you will be denied benefits just because you don’t have a condition or illness currently on the list. The main factor involved in approving your disability application is whether or not your condition or illness is “severe” enough to prevent you from working or earning a living. Even though you  must have an official diagnosis by a medical doctor, only the SSA can approve that the nature of your condition is severe enough to qualify for benefits.



Maximizing Success With Disability Benefits

disability lawyerDealing with the government can be difficult and the Social Security Administration is no different. Each day the Social Security Administration must sort through and process thousands of disability applications. With economic pressures increasing each day, the number of people seeking help through Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income is at an all time high.

Getting Approved

Although obtaining social security benefits can be difficult, it doesn’t have to mean you go it alone. In fact, most people find hiring a disability lawyer to greatly improve their chances of success. Why?

The application process for social security benefits requires much attention to detail and lots of paperwork. In addition to the application form, applicants are required to provide proof of income past or present, current information about their financial needs and documentation about any medical conditions or illnesses. With strict application requirements, 80 percent of applicants find themselves denied one or more times.

Further, applicants rarely know how to navigate the appeal process and many simply start over to reapply. There is no need to reapply when an appeal process is available to review denied applications. However, rarely does a consumer know how to go about appealing their case, let alone convincing the case reviewer to approve their application.

Tips For Disability Applicants

disability filingIf you have considered applying for Social Security Disability benefits, you probably know how difficult the process can be. Between numerous documents to fill out and the long waiting period, many people find the disability application process to be overwhelming. However, getting disability benefits does not have to be stressful. Following a few simple tips can maximize your chances of getting the benefits you need.

Tricks Of The Trade

In order to get disability benefits you will be required to prove that a medical condition or illness prevents you from working and obtaining income. Although there are many conditions and illnesses that qualify for disability benefits, this does not mean that you are automatically qualified. The Social Security Administration determines your eligibility based on (a) the severity of your condition, (2) the limits and overall impairment caused by your condition and (c) the confirmation of the assessment by a physician. Therefore, you must have a diagnosis that meets the disability criteria, along with confirmation by a certified physician of your condition.

Not only will you be required to provide numerous documents about the nature of your condition or illness, but these documents must be provided at the time of application. Many people go ahead and apply for benefits assuming they can send in these documents later. While there are no hard and fast rules about when this information is due, your chances of success are much higher when you provide everything the SSA requests at your initial application.

Further, the best way to maximize your chances of success is to obtain representation. Hiring a disability attorney can greatly impact your chance at benefits. Not only will the disability attorney represent you, they can make the process much easier by helping you with collecting the required documents and filing them with the SSA.





Getting To Know Medicaid Benefits

MedicaidWhen people think of social security benefits, they tend to also think of Medicaid and Medicare benefits. While both social security benefits and Medicaid/Medicare are provided by the government, they are very different. In addition to the type of benefits they offer, who qualifies to receive these benefits can also vary quite a bit.

Health Insurance vs. Cash

Medicaid and Medicare are health insurance programs that provides medical coverage to those with limited income or resources. Doctor visits, prescriptions, medical testing and some dental or vision treatments may be covered under these program. The benefits offered by Medicaid/Medicare may cover people with disabilities, the elderly, pregnant women, children or families. To qualify for Medicaid or Medicare a person/family must meet certain income and resource restrictions, meaning these benefits are reserved for those in need.

The biggest difference between Medicaid/Medicare and social security benefits is that Medicaid does not provide cash benefits. It is a medical insurance program only that pays for medical expenses, but does not provide cash directly to the beneficiary. Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income are two social security benefit programs that provide cash to recipients. They each have their own qualification requirements, but both can provide cash to those in need.




What about the Children?

childrens benefitsMany people who receive Supplemental Security Income often have dependents in their home to worry about. Considering how the disability benefits related to Supplemental Security Income are statistically lower than those that are associated with Social Security Disability Insurance, this presents a serious problem when it comes to the business of raising a family here. To put this in perspective, consider that the average recipient of Supplement Security Income only receives between 35 and 60% of their original wage.

The average for those who receive Supplemental Security Income is even lower: some individuals receive less than $1000 in assistance a month.

Benefits For Children

The sad answer to this is “no”. Supplement Security Income is only designed to attend to the needs of one person. If your child is also disabled, he or she may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income depending on if they are eligible for the program based off of the same criteria used to qualify adults.

In the event that you have minors and are receiving Supplement Security Income, be sure to speak with your local welfare office. They will be able to offer you opportunities for assistance when it comes to providing for minors. The wages that are paid by Supplement Security Income are often very low, so be sure to explore all of the avenues that you can to help you raise your children the best that you can. You can learn more about Supplemental Security Income at the Social Security Administration’s website at

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