January 2016

Should Social Security Be Considered an Entitlement Program?

Social Security Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law in 1935. The intent of this Act was to provide protection to average citizens and their families from falling into poverty during their old age. When there is talk about cutting the federal budget, the subject of cutting Social Security benefits is often brought up. This is because of concerns over the program’s long-term viability. Since 2010, Social Security has paid out more money than it has coming in. In fact, 45 percent of the government’s payouts can be attributed to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid payments. […]

Filing for Social Security Disability

Social SecuritySocial Security Disability Insurance pays out roughly $143 billion a year. These funds are paid to 11 million Americans who find themselves unable to work due to serious illness or injury. The application rates are climbing along with the scrutiny the Social Security Administration is giving to each application. This means that it is critical for applicants to make sure all the “i’s are dotted,” and “t’s are crossed,” when the application is submitted. […]

When Panic Attacks Are A Disability

Confident Businessman portrait in a conference roomPanic Attacks & Disability – New Hurdles

As recently as mid-2015, there have been attempts in Congress to block routine fund reallocations to the Social Security Disability
Insurance (SSDI) Trust Fund. Some members of Congress were reluctant to allow the funds to be reallocated for the program without substantial reforms for how disability benefits would be awarded in the future. Much of this reluctance stemmed from the view that many beneficiaries with anxiety disorders were actually “gaming the system.” […]

Will filing bankruptcy affect my social security disability income?

Judge sitting at table during court hearings on grey backgroundHaving to rely on Social Security disability payments as the only source of income can be a financial burden for many people. With a limited income and mounting medical bills, bankruptcy may seem like the only option available for those with financial problems. However, what will happen to a claimant’s Social Security disability income if they are forced to file for bankruptcy? […]

Disabled Vets a Priority in Social Security Disability Claims

Young group of people/architects discussing business plans.Most individuals are aware that when a person files a claim for Social Security Disability, the process can be a long, drawn out affair that often leaves the disabled person and family members living beneath the poverty level, at risk for losing their homes, and barely surviving. In fact, many applications are denied twice, and when that happens, the waiting period for a hearing with a judge can take approximately one year from the date of the most recent appeal. For someone who is unable to work or adequately provide income for their family, that wait can seem like an eternity.

Until recently, military veterans were subject to the same fate as anyone else who had applied for Social Security Disability. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) decided to take action to help ensure that disabled military veterans receive faster processing- an act that will help many retain ownership of their possessions and enable them to remain in their homes. The initiative, which became effective in March of 2014, enables military vets who are 100 percent permanently and totally disabled to experience expedited processing and handling of their Social Security Disability claims.

While both the Veteran’s Administration and Social Security pay benefits to individuals who are disabled, details about each program, including their qualification criteria and processes are very different. Simply qualifying under the VA criteria for being 100 percent permanently and totally disabled will not automatically qualify an individual for disability under Social Security’s definition. In order to be found disabled by Social Security, the individual must:

  • suffer from a medical or mental condition that prevents him or her from performing substantial work, and
  • suffer from a medical or mental condition that has lasted or is expected to last a minimum of one year or result in death.

 Receiving Priority Processing Through Social Security

Regardless of the stage an individual’s SSD Application is in, he or she may still be able to receive expedited processing and handling of a claim. It is essential, however, that the individual notify SSA as soon as a 100 percent permanent and total disability determination is made by VA. A copy of the VA notification or decision letter must also be submitted to SSA for verification purposes. Individuals who have already applied for benefits can simply call and update their claim, while it is recommended that individuals who are initially applying add “Veteran rated 100% P&T” to expedite processing.