Sunday, March 01, 2009



Appyling for SSD - Disability Application Information

In order to be approved for benefits, those who file disability applications must be eligible for either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) or supplemental security income (SSI), the two programs from which government disability payments are drawn.

SSD is available to disabled individuals who have worked enough in recent years to qualify, and who due to their impairment are unable to earn the current SGA (substantial gainful activity) amount. SGA is determined annually by social security, and adjusted as needed to reflect the current cost of living. The idea behind SSD is that it functions as a national disability insurance that anyone can draw on if needed, provided they have paid enough into it. Those who are employed pay into the system in the form of social security, or FICA, taxes deducted from their paychecks.

SSI provides disability coverage to those who are severely impaired but not covered by SSD, and who can demonstrate financial need. SSI is funded by U.S. Treasury general funds rather than social security taxes, so past employment is not a requirement. Those who file applications under the SSI programs must show that they have an impairment that prevents them from earning the current SGA, and that they have no more than $2,000 in total assets, including checking and savings accounts, with the exception of a primary residence and one car.

When it comes to actually making a decision on your claim, it makes no difference to a disability examiner or judge if your application will be approved under SSD, SSI, or both. The federal Social Security Administration office determines the program for which you are eligible based on information you initially supply.

Disability examiners work for state disability determination services (DDS) agencies, and their sole purpose is to review your medical records to decide if your impairment is truly disabling, or if you are still capable of working. They are in charge of all decisions on disability applications and request for reconsideration appeals. It takes about 3 to 4 months on average to receive a decision from DDS on your claim, although some claims are decided more quickly, and some will take longer to process.

If your physical or mental impairment is beginning to have a negative impact on your work performance and your ability to go to work, you should file an application for SSD as soon as possible. It takes a while for a disability application to work its way through the system, and only 30% of them are approved at the initial level, without the claimant having to go through at least one level of appeal (though it is unlikely to be approved on the first appeal, the reconsideration, and generally a second appeal, a request for a disability hearing will be necessary). This means it may be many months or even a year or two--or longer--before someone that files a disability application actually receives benefits.

Claimants that are turned down for disability should consider speaking with a representative, either a disability attorney or a non-attorney rep (in either case, it is often best to choose who you initially speak with based on a referral from someone who has actually used the services of the rep), to secure assistance on their claim.

On this point, it should be said that many claimants wait too long before seeking representation. However, a good rule of thumb is this: if a claim is denied at the reconsideration level, get representation because the next step will be a hearing before a federal judge and "self-representation" is never a wise choice.

Additionally, most disability representatives offer free consultations, even for those who have not yet filed an SSD or SSI application but are just thinking about it.

If DDS (disability determination services) turns down your initial application, it will probably turn down your reconsideration appeal as well (only about 15% of reconsideration appeals, on average, are successful), at which point you will have to either give up or file a second appeal.

The second appeal (as indicated in the prior paragraphs) is decided, not by DDS, but by a federal disability judge, and at this point the adjudicator, an administrative law judge, is more likely to approve a disability applicant who has representation than an applicant who tries to argue their case themselves. Psychological factors surely play into this (it is worth betting that most judges look dimly upon claimants who forego representation); however, it is also a fact that a qualified representative will have a detailed grasp of the disability determination process while the average claimant will know practically nothing about the system, even including how to interpret their own medical records.




Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog




Other Posts

Regarding an Overpayment Owed to Social Security
How do you find out how many work credits you have for Social Security Disability?
Researchers Test New Nitroglycerin Gel for Treatment of Raynaud's Phenomenon
If My Kids Get Social Security Disability Through Their Father, How do I Get Them on SSI?
Can a child receive disability payments from social security for ADD or a learning disability?
Energy Saving Bulbs Make Lupus Patients Sick
Can my State Representative Help me With my Social Security Disability Case?
ADHD Medications Can Cause Hallucinations
What do I Bring to a Social Security Disability Application Interview
How to Prevent Long-Term Disability From Back Injuries
New Board to Review Disability Ratings for Veterans
How much money does a social security disability attorney make?
More Disabilities Now Recognized under the ADA
Sjögren's Syndrome Rare but Serious Condition
How can I get Social Security Disability if I Haven't Worked for a Long Time?
A Bad Economy Leads to Loss of Health and Medical Insurance
Complex Region Pain Syndrome and Changes in the Brain
Cleaner Air, Longer Lives
Why Can't the Examiner Tell me What the Decision on my Disability Case was?
Schizophrenia Discrimination From Friends and Family
Childhood Diabetes More Serious in Deprived Areas
Getting Information about a Disability Claim from Social Security
Chronic Pain Management for Veterans
Is It the Disability Examiner’s Fault That I Got Denied for Disability?
Crohn's Disease Affects Children
Chronic Pain Increases Suicide
Social Security Disability Catch-22
Anklosing spondylitis, Young Men & Treatments
Alzheimers and Antioxidants: A Study
Social Security Disability and Medium Work
Social Security Disability Compassionate Allowances and Quick Disability Decisions
Metformin Chewing Gum for Diabetes
Social Security Disability Fast Track Approval Process
Scientists Harvest Brain Cells to Cure Hearing Loss
A New drug for Arthritis and Lupus
President Obama and Social Security Disability
Doctors and Social Security Disability
How Long does it Take to Hear from Social Security About When my Benefits will Take Effect?
How Long Can a Person Receive Social Security Disability?
Fibromyalgia Similar to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity?
Medications and treatments for Arthritis
Are Social Security Disability Exams Bogus?
The Feet Give it Away: Type 2 Diabetes
Genetic factors in fibromyalgia help to identify patients
Decisions on Social Security Disability Claims that are incorrect
Genetic Testing No Better Than a Medical Exam for Determining Type 2 Diabetes
Multiple Sclerosis Vaccine Promising
Going to a Social Security Disability Hearing alone
Layoffs, Bankruptcy and Losing Insurance
Helping Back Pain
Tips for Filing a Disability Appeal
Diabetes sometimes signaled by blurry vision, hunger, and thirst
Doctors Tell Fibromyalgia Patients They're Crazy
Will Social Security Award Me Disability If I Don’t Have Enough Work Credits?
Should I be Following behind my Social Security Disability Advocate?
Film Targeting Asian Diabetes
Cognitive High-Functioning Elderly and the Super-Aging Project
Will you get Approved for Disability if you have an Open and Shut Case?
Can Green Tea Help Sjogren’s Syndrome and Type 1 Diabetes?
Participate in New Clinical Trials for Lupus and Arthritis Treatments
Diabetes and Foot Pain
Submitting Medical Records for Social Security Disability or SSI Disability
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Will Cost Canada
Seven Tips for Neuropathy Foot Health
Doctors at DDS - The Social Security Disability SSI System
Can Coffee Help Diabetes?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Guidelines
Getting a Social Security Disability Approval in under 3 months
Opinions on Appealing a Disability Denial of Social Security Benefits
You Must be Disabled for a Year for Social Security Disability or SSI
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Factors
Injections for Degenerative Disk Disease
Why Does Social Security Disability Care About My Daily Activities?
The National Health Information Network and the Social Security Administration
Recent Government Report on Social Security Disability Medical Exams and Records
Retroactive Benefits for Social Security Disability
Traumatic Brain Injury is the signature injury of the Iraq War
DDS Doctors and the Social Security Disability SSI System
U.S. Employers: Get Ready for the ADA Amendments Act of 2008
A Story of Living With Lupus
Are Military Death Court Settlements Too Low?
Food Stamps at an All-Time High
Fibromyalgia and Whole Body Vibration
Understanding and Managing Lupus
Can Meditation Help Those With Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue?
Choosing a Social Security Disability Attorney

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home