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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Archives

Can children qualify for disability benefits?

Children are a source of infinite joy and infinite worry. Parents experience a new level of emotions when they welcome children into the world. In some situations, these little loved ones may develop a serious illness or suffer a catastrophic injury. In some cases, these children may qualify for benefits through Social Security.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - Evaluating Obesity

Very often, the effects of obesity are often quite severe and interfere with a person's ability to work and perform activities of daily living. The question then becomes is how does obesity play into a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has regulations and rule interpretations regarding the evaluation of obesity. Typically, a person suffering from obesity that is applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or SSI benefits has numerous severe impairments.

What is the Compassionate Allowance program for SSD?

The Compassionate Allowance program is designed to provide applicants with benefits in a prompt fashion. In order to qualify for this program, applicants must suffer from conditions that are so severe they clearly qualify for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - Muscular Dystrophy

A person may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits based on muscular dystrophy. If a person is not working and has been diagnosed with this severe condition, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will determine whether the person is disabled under a listing or whether jobs exist considering the person's residual functional abilities for purposes of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The Listings are just that - listings of conditions that qualify for someone disability benefits based on the diagnosis and severity of a medical impairment. A person must show that she meets or equals the listed condition and required severity.

Social Security Disability (SSDI) - Update on SSA Budget Crisis and Hiring Freeze

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claimants and beneficiaries alike need to be aware of the drastic effects of budget cuts and hiring freezes on the Social Security Administration (SSA). I recently blogged about the temporary budget passed by Congress and this entry is to provide more information regarding the SSA's budget issues.  The SSA provides a vast array of services to Americans, including benefits for the disabled under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, and proper funding is imperative to all Americans.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - Congress Reduces the Social Security Administration's Budget

The operating budget of the Social Security Administration (SSA) directly impacts Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries and claimants.  On Friday, December 9, 2016, the government passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through April 28, 2017. The CR contained an across-the-board cut to funding for the Social Security Administration (SSA) in the amount of .1901%. Although on initial blush this cut seems small, it must be considered in conjunction with the fact that the last continuing resolution had a reduction of spending by .496% and there has not been an increase for funding for the SSA in quite some time. The SSA is tasked with handling many issues for both retirees and disabled individuals and it is being continually asked to do more with less.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - Interesting Information on Judges

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently released statistics regarding fiscal year 2016 dealing with Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) determinations on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims. I recently have blogged about average processing time in hearing offices and some of these statistics tie into the processing time of claims. The numbers indicate that there were slightly over 50 ALJs that only produced 10 decisions during fiscal year 2016 and about 75 ALJs that produced more than 600 decisions. The bulk of the ALJs produced between 400 and 600 decisions per year, though there is a sizeable group deciding less than 300 claims.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - SSA Publishes Final Rules on Evaluation of Medical Evidence

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently published final rules regarding the evaluation of medical evidence in Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims. These rules become effective March 27, 2017. A very important change under the new rules is that adjudicators of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or SSI claims no longer have to give special weight to the medical opinions of a claimant's treating source, i.e, a treating primary care physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist. The medical opinions now will be evaluated equally for "persuasiveness" based supposedly on consistency and supportability.

How Long Until My Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Hearing?

People applying for and appealing a denied claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are rightfully concerned with the length of the process. I try to regularly provide an update on processing times and approval rates for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims at some hearing offices (ODAR). Please remember that these statistics are only for claims pending at the hearing level or Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. The claims at a hearing office have already been through the Application and Reconsideration steps (typically 6-12 months of waiting already).

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - SSA Publishes Final Rule on "Program Uniformity"

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is making final several regulations affecting all claimants at the hearing level seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. In July, I blogged about the proposed rules including closing the record five days prior to the hearing. The proposed rules are pretty much becoming final as proposed. The final rule contains the following changes:

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