Social Security Disability

Who is on Disability in America

american flags, social securityDisability affects individuals from all walks of life throughout America. In fact, approximately 14 million people receive a check from the Social Security Administration’s disability program every month, and countless more are awaiting approval. The U.S. Census reports that nearly 57 million Americans suffer from some type of disability, and 38 million suffer from a disability that is severe. While nobody plans to become disabled, more than one-fourth of today’s 20-year-olds will suffer from a disability before they retire. […]

Updates Made to Illinois Disability Access Laws

Law Gravel, Disability attorney chicagoUpdates to existing disability access laws have been made in an attempt to comply with nationwide standards. In order to get Illinois regulations up to date with federal law, The Illinois General Assembly has approved legislation which will update state law. […]

Getting a Disability Claim Approved for Fibromyalgia

A wheelchair at hospital corridor, Fibromyalgia diagnosisGetting a disability claim approved for fibromyalgia can be difficult as initial claims are often denied. Fibromyalgia claims were traditionally denied by disability claims examiners if fibromyalgia was the only diagnosis. However, due to legislation in the past few years, the criteria for a fibromyalgia claim has changed. An experienced Chicago Social Security attorney can provide answers to questions, especially if an application has been previously denied. […]

Children May Qualify for Social Security Disability

A disabled child is playing, children's SSDDevastating illnesses can arrive at any stage of life. Even though children haven’t spent a lifetime contributing to Social Security, the agency does provide benefits to children suffering from disabling diseases and injuries ranging from cancer to blindness. The funds are paid through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program which helps parents with limited income pay for the medical care and living expenses of their children. […]

House Moves To Expedite SSDI Payments To Terminally Ill

A senior sitting on wheelchair, terminal illnessIn a bi-partisan effort to help Americans with terminal illnesses, Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Ron Kind (D-WI) recently presented the Social Security Disability Fairness Act to the House. The bill reforms SSDI payment procedures in several ways. […]

Establishing Credibility in Disability Cases

A lower part of a disabled body with crutch, SSDI CasesEstablishing credibility is one of the most crucial parts of a disability case. The severity and limitations of some disabling conditions are clearly demonstrated by medical tests like MRIs, x-rays and other information found in medical records, which makes establishing credibility much simpler. Sometimes, however, the effects of many disabling conditions are more subjective making the symptoms more difficult for social security disability examiners and administrative law judges (ALJs) to evaluate. Therefore, many disability applicants must rely on their own explanations and descriptions of the symptoms they experience to prove the severity of their limitations. […]

Understanding the Vocational Analysis at a Disability Hearing

W2 and Social Security cards, Vocational AnalysisMany individuals who file for disability mistakenly believe that because they are not capable of performing their past job, they must qualify for disability through the Social Security Administration (SSA). Unfortunately, this simply isn’t the case.

The Social Security disability program was not designed to provide injured or ill individuals with financial compensation because they became unable to perform the duties of the jobs they are used to. Instead, the benefits are intended to assist individuals who are unable to perform the required work at any job for which they are qualified, and therefore are unable to achieve substantial gainful activity. At the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing, this is where a vocational expert comes in.


Illinois Joins Consortium to Expand Access to ABLE Accounts

disability lawyersNine states are cooperating to expand the variability of and accessibility to ABLE accounts for people with disabilities. Sadly, government benefits are insufficient to fully cover the needs of many disabled persons. Between medical bills, assisted living devices, home upgrades and limited opportunities for gainful employment – people with disabilities are forgotten. Therefore they must supplement these benefits with their own savings.

ABLE Accounts

ABLE accounts were first authorized by the U.S. Congress in 2014. Generally government benefits begin to phase out once people reach a certain income or savings threshold. Savings in ABLE accounts are exempt from these phase outs.

ABLE accounts allow people to deposit up to $100,000 without losing access to Social Security or Medicaid. Moreover, interest in these accounts accrues tax-free. These accounts can be used to pay for education, transportation, housing medical bills and other expenses. Federal law permits the creation of ABLE accounts however the states must pass their own regulations to create them. To date, 40 states have passed laws authorizing ABLE accounts however none are available to consumers.

The problem

ABLE accounts are specialized and available only to a relatively small group of people. Only persons who suffered a disability before their 26th birthday may utilize these accounts so attracting private partners is difficult. With such a small pool of eligible accountholders, banking companies have little to no incentive to create accounts under the ABLE program.

Expanding access

To overcome this issue, nine states, including Illinois, have agreed to coordinate their policies, in effect creating a giant ABLE account market. To access this market, banking companies need only comply with a single set of regulations rather than nine individual state regulations. This reduces costs for the banking companies and expands the pool of eligible accountholders. As more private partners agree to craft ABLE accounts, these states will be able to offer a greater variety of plans to their residents.

So far the following states have joined the consortium: Illinois, Alaska, Iowa, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada and Pennsylvania. It is believed that combined these states will have 47 million people.


Earlier this year, federal law was changed to allow anyone with disabilities to create ABLE accounts in any state program. So once these states set up their ABLE accounts, their eligibility pool may expand to include the entire country.

70% of Initial Social Security Disability Claims are Denied: What Now?

attorney for social securityEvery year, millions of Americans apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies 70 percent of initial claims.


The Dynamics of Social Security Disability Insurance in 2016

Social Security Lawyers ChicagoPeriodically, there are changes to the social security program that may affect those applying for benefits. Social Security Disability programs allow many disabled people to remain financially stable, and changes are closely monitored by Social Security lawyers and disability advocates.