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  • Long Term Disability Guide

    Robbed of Your Peace of Mind? Your Guide to Long Term Disability Benefits

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    The Key To Hiring The Right Long Term Disability Attorney

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    The Smart Long Term Disability Guide For Preparing Your Statement and Field Visit

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  • Social Security Disability Guide

    Your Rights To Social Security Disability Benefits - Your Guide to Getting Benefits Now

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Category Archives: Social Security Disability (SSD)

Can I Attempt A Trial Work Period While Collecting Social Security Disability Benefits?

twp social security disability

Yes! The Social Security Administration has a trial work period (TWP) that lets you test your ability to work for at least 9 months. You will receive your full Social Security benefits, regardless of how much you earn, so long as you report your work activity and continue to have a disabling impairment.

In 2014, the trial work month is any month in which your average earnings are over substantial gainful activity (SGA) and your total earnings are more than $1,070. A trial work period will continue until you work 9 trial months within a 60 month period. Months don’t have to be consecutive.

twp social security disability

What happens after the 9 months of the Trial Work Period?

After the trial work period (TWP) ends, you have 36 months extended period of eligibility during which you can work and still receive benefits for any month that your earnings aren’t “substantial.” However, your benefits are calculated on a month to month basis for any month in which you have substantial earnings. That means for the calendar year 2014, if you earn more than $1,070 per month, your benefits will be suspended for that month.

You can learn more about trial work periods by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/redbook or contacting trial work period Social Security disability attorney, Nancy Cavey, at 727-894-3188

Can I Receive Social Security Disability Benefits For A Closed Period Of Time If My Health Is Improved?

social security benefits health improved

That depends!

You can’t be eligible for a closed period of disability if:

The medical evidence establishes you are unable to engage in substantial or continuous period of 12 months, but by the time your disability decision is made, your condition has improved to the point where you are no longer disabled;

You haven’t filed an application within 14 months after the period of disability has ended.

social security benefits health improved

How much can you get in retroactive benefits?

If you do meet the requirements for disability benefits, there’s a 5 months waiting period before you get your first monthly benefit. You can receive up to 12 months of retroactive benefits from the date you file an application with Social Security.

So, if you have a closed period of disability, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

You can contact Tampa Bay Social Security Disability attorney, Nancy Cavey, to learn more about whether you can receive benefits for a past disability.

Can I Collect Social Security Disability Benefits And Work?

collect disability while working

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has special rules that allow you to test you ability to return to work while you’re still receiving monthly Social Security Disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration has written a publication “Working While Disabled – How We Can Help” that you can order at www.socialsecurity.gov/work. Don’t jeopardize your rights to Social Security Disability benefits without understanding the work incentive rules!

collect disability while working

The Social Security Administration doesn’t always make it easy for those who are disabled to get the Social Security disability benefits they receive. Contact Social Security Disability attorney, Nancy Cavey, at 727-894-3188, if your application for Social Security Disability benefits has been denied. Don’t delay! Call today!

DO I HAVE TO REPORT MY WORK ACTIVITY IF I’M RECEIVING SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS?

If you are collecting Social Security Disability benefits and take a job you need to let Social Security know:

- When you started or stopped work; and
- If there is a change in your job duties, hours, work, or rate of pay.

You may still qualify for Social Security Disability benefits so long as you’re not making than $1,040 per month in the calendar year 2014.

You should visit your local office to report your current work activity and get a receipt from a Social Security representative documenting that you reported your work activity.

That work report receipt may be crucial if, later, the Social Security Administration contends that you’ve been overpaid Social Security disability benefits as a result of your work activity. If you have a question about this process, Tampa Social Security Disability attorney Nancy Cavey can answer them! Give us a call at 727-894-3188 to get more information.

Social Security Disability Benefits For Wounded Warriors

wounded warrior social security disability

Military service members who became disabled while on active military service on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurs, may be eligible for expedited processing of their Social Security Disability claims.

How you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits!

Social Security Disability benefits are different than the VA. The Social Security Administration has its own claims process (linked to our articles) and to be found disabled for Social Security purposes, you must:
Be unable to do substantial work because of your medical condition(s); and

You medical condition(s) must have lasted or be expected to last at least one year or result in disability.

Expedited process to help you get your benefits

The expedited process will help wounded warriors get their Social Security Disability benefits quicker. You can apply online at www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors, in person or at the nearest Social Security office by mail or telephone.

The Social Security Administration doesn’t make it easy, even for wounded warriors, to get the Social Security Disability benefits they deserve.

You can learn more about your rights to Social Security Disability benefits as a current or military service member by contacting Wounded Warrior Social Security Disability attorney, Nancy Cavey, at 727-894-3188.

Unemployment Benefits And Your Rights To Social Security Disability Benefits

unemployment social security disability benefits

The receipt of Unemployment Insurance benefits does not prevent you from getting Social Security Disability benefits.

In Cleveland v. Policy Management Systems Corp. 526 U.S. 795 (1999), the United States Supreme Court held, in a unanimous decision, that a claim for Social Security Disability benefits is consistent with a claim for relief under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), even though there must be an ability to work in order to obtain relief under the ADA.

unemployment social security disability benefits

The United States Supreme Court held that under the presumptions embodied in the 5-Step Sequential Evaluation process, a person can qualify for Social Security Disability benefits even if they remain capable of performing some work.

In today’s economy it’s difficult to make ends meet when you’re unable to work and disabled. Many times individuals will apply for Unemployment Compensation benefits at the same time that they apply for Social Security Disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration has issued a Management Statement to the Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) reminding them that the receipt of Unemployment Compensation benefits does not preclude the receipt of Social Security Disability benefits. It is one of many factors the Administrative Law Judge must consider in determining whether a claimant is disabled and the underlying circumstances will be of importance.

For example, if you sought employment at jobs that had physical demands in excess of your alleged impairments, then that would be an important factor for the Administrative Law Judge.

The ALJ is to look at the totality of the circumstances in determining the significance of an Application for Unemployment and attempts to find employment.

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits while applying or collecting Unemployment Compensation benefits, contact Tampa Bay Social Security Disability attorney Nancy Cavey who can help you get the Social Security Disability benefits you deserve.

Musculoskeletal Connective Tissue Disorders Are The Leading Cause Of Social Security Disability Awards

Malignant Neoplastic Diseases

According to the Social Security annual statistical report on the Social Security program benefits were awarded to 960,260 disabled workers in 2012.

The most common impairment was musculoskeletal system and connective tissue diseases which represented 35.4% of all disability awards. Mental disorders comprised 18%, circulatory system 10.6%, neoplasms 9.5%, nervous system and sensory organs 8.0% and all other impairments 18.5%.

Malignant Neoplastic Diseases

The Social Security Administration doesn’t always make it easy for those who are disabled to get the Social Security disability benefits that they deserve.

If you suffer from a herniated disk or failed back surgery, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. Contact musculoskeletal impairment attorney, Nancy Cavey, today who can help you get the disability benefits you deserve. See the SSA’s listing on MALIGNANT NEOPLASTIC DISEASE.

Surviving Spouse Social Security Benefits For Same Sex Couples

social security disability same sex couple

The Social Security Administration (SSA) issued rules on December 16, 2003 authorizing the processing and payment of some surviving spouse lump sum death benefits for same sex married couples.

SSA has also begun to process claims for the spouses of retired workers, if the couple is married and domiciled in a state that recognizes same sex marriages.

social security disability same sex couple

There is the question of what happens if the couple was married in the state that recognizes same sex marriage but the wage earner lived in a state that didn’t recognize same sex marriage. We’ll keep you advised once the Social Security Administration addresses this issue. See the SSA information about BENEFITS FOR SURVIVING SPOUSES AND LUMP SUM DEATH PAYMENT.

If you or a loved one needed more information about this specific issue, please give us a call today to discuss your options for your Social Security disability benefits at 727-894-3188.

SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS AND ACUTE LEUKEMIA

Leukemia social security disability

If you’ve been diagnosed with acute leukemia you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration uses a 5 Step sequential evaluation to determine if you are entitled to Social Security disability benefits.

Leukemia social security disability

How does the Social Security Administration decide if I qualify for disability benefits for leukemia?

The Social Security Administration will consider whether or not your leukemia is severe enough to meet a listing at Step 3 of the sequential evaluation process. There is a medical listing 3.06A for acute leukemia. The Social Security Administration will want to see a pathology report documenting the results of a bone marrow biopsy. If you meet or equal a listing because of the leukemia you are considered disabled at Step 3 and will be awarded your benefits.

Leukemia and Steps 4 and 5 of the sequential evaluation process

If your leukemia does not meet a listing, the Social Security Administration will determine your residual functional capacity to determine whether or not you qualify for benefits at Step 4 and 5 of the sequential evaluation process.

What is residual functional capacity?

Residual functional capacity is the work that you might still be able to do despite your leukemia. Residual functional capacity forms for leukemia should be given to your physician to complete to document your physical restrictions and limitations.

Step 4 and Leukemia

At Step 4 of the 5 Step sequential evaluation the Social Security Administration will determine if you are able to return to the lightest job you’ve held in the last 15 years. It’s important to develop physical requirements of your former occupations and explain why you physically can’t handle the job duties. If you are successful in establishing you meet Step 4, the burden of proof will then shift to the Social Security Administration at Step 5.

Step 5 and Leukemia

The Social Security Administration will have to show at Step 5 that there are other jobs in the national economy that you can do based on your age, education, skills and your level of physical functioning.

The symptoms of leukemia can include fatigue, weakness and even bone pain. The treatment of acute leukemia also involves chemotherapy. Unfortunately, there are many side effects from chemotherapy. These can include tingling and numbness of your fingers and toes, fatigue and even diahrea. When your physician completes a residual functional capacity form it’s important that those symptoms be developed so that you can prove that there isn’t another job that exists in the national economy based on your restrictions and limitations.

Getting the Social Security disability benefits you deserve

The Social Security Administration doesn’t always make it easy for those who are disabled from leukemia to get the Social Security disability benefits they deserve. It’s important that you have an experienced leukemia Social Security disability attorney who can work with you and your physician to develop the residual functional capacity form.

Getting you doctor’s medical opinion about what you can still do is crucial to winning your Social Security disability claim. But, just as important, is your testimony establishing the functional problems you have as a result of fatigue, bone pain and the lingering side effects of your treatment.

If your Social Security disability claim for leukemia has been denied, contact Social Security attorney Nancy Cavey who can help you get the Social Security disability benefits you deserve in Tampa Bay. Call today for a free no obligation consultation at 727-894-3188.

What Every Social Security Disability Applicant Must Know About Non-Exertional Limitations

non exertional limitations

In evaluating your claim for Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider how your exertional and non-exertional limitations affect your ability to work.
Residual functional capacity forms.

non exertional limitations

Residual functional capacity forms (RFC) are detailed reports your physician completes that discusses how your impairments impact your ability to perform work related activities. The Social Security Administration has never told you about these forms! Your doctor probably doesn’t have one in their office.

Having a properly completed residual functional capacity form is crucial to winning your Social Security disability claim.

Exertional limitations

Many Social Security disability applicants have exertional limitations that impact their ability to do the physical demands of the job. Exertional limitations are strength related and can affect your ability to:

• Sit;
• Stand;
Walk;
• Lift;
• Carry; and
• Pull.

Just as important as these exertional limitations are non-exertional impairments.

Non-exertional limitations

What are non-exertional limitations? They are functional limitations that affect your ability to do non-strength work related activities. Examples of non-exertional limitations include:

• Difficulty using fingers and hands to manipulate, reach or handle objects (manipulative restrictions);
• Stooping, climbing, crawling or crouching (postural restrictions);
• Seeing, speaking or hearing (visual and communication restrictions);
• Functioning because of nervousness, anxiety or depression;
• Paying attention or concentrating;

• Understanding or remembering detailed instructions; and
• Being around noise, dust or hot and cold temperature.

Non-exertional limitations caused by pain can also be caused by pain or can result from mental illness.

The combination of exertional and non-exertional impairments

The Social Security Administration will combine your exertional and non-exertional impairments to determine your level of physical functioning. It’s crucial that your physician complete a winning residual functional capacity form documenting your exertional and non-exertional impairments.

When the Social Security Administration looks at Step 5 of the 5 Step sequential evaluation to determine whether there are less demanding jobs that you can perform, having non-exertional restrictions can rule out jobs. So, for example, it’s not unusual for vocational evaluators to testify in Social Security hearings at Step 5 that there are sedentary jobs you might be capable of doing. However, non-exertional limitations such as problems using your fingers or hands to manipulate, reach or handle objects can eliminate sedentary jobs such as assembly work and ticket taker.

Getting help with your RFC

Having your physician complete the RFC is crucial and having an attorney assist you in developing the right residual functional capacity form is key to winning your case. If you have non-exertional limitations that prevent you from working, contact Tampa Bay Social Security disability attorney, Nancy Cavey, who can help you get the Social Security disability benefits you deserve.