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Posts tagged "Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)"

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - 2018 Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)

In October of 2017, the government announced information important to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and SSI recipients, as well as Social Security retirees. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and SSI recipients will see a 2.0% increase in benefits for the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) starting in January of 2018. The COLA is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the third quarter of the current year. The COLA affects many important aspects of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and SSI programs besides the actual amount of benefits paid to claimants. The COLA was put into place in 1975.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - Plan to Reduce Hearing Office Backlog

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently released an updated plan to reduce the hearing backlog for people waiting for hearings on their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims. The updated plan is part of the Compassionate and Responsive Services (CARES) initiative of the SSA. The original CARES plan set a goal of 1,128,576 dispositions within the last eighteen months, but the reality is that they fell short by over 100,000 claims. It is interesting that the SSA failed to meet its goals despite receiving 105,000 fewer requests for hearings than expected over the last eighteen months. The SSA attributes its failure to meet goals and reduce backlogs due to shortage of hearing level support staff, including administrative law judges and decision writers.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - Compassionate Allowance List Increased by Three Conditions

People seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits should be aware that the Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced the addition of three conditions to its Compassionate Allowance (CAL) List. The CAL Program is designed to quickly identify diseases or other medical conditions that would invariable medially qualify the application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) under Step Three of the sequential evaluation process ("The Listings.") The idea is that the conditions are of such as severity that the claimant would qualify based on even a minimal objective medication information. If the condition does not meet the strict criteria, it would not be designated as a CAL case. CAL cases receive expedited processing within the contest of the existing disability determination process. The three new CAL conditions are:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - Average Processing Times and Approval Rates at Hearings

One of the toughest things I have to do when explaining to people who are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or whose application has been denied is 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), but it has been since January of 2017. 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).

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.

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.

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