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

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

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Category Archives: Social Security Disability (SSD)

What You Need To Know About The Appeals Council If Your Social Security Disability Claim Is Denied

social security disability appeals council

If your Social Security Disability claim is denied by the Administrative Law Judge you have a difficult decision to make. The Social Security Administration will give you 30 days to appeal to the Appeals Council or file a new Social Security Disability claim asking for benefits from the date of the Administrative Law Judge’s denial forward.

By filing a new claim for Social Security Disability benefits you give up the back benefits from the time of your initial application until the time of the Administrative Law Judge’s decision. That can be a significant amount of Social Security benefits.

On the other hand, the Appeals Council is just not a friendly place for Social Security Disability applicants whose claims have been denied.

social security disability appeals council

Statistics About the Appeals Council in 2013

The appeals council processed 176,251 requests for review and the average time for the Appeals Council to make a decision was 364 days.

The Appeals Council will not take new testimony and simply reviews the Administrative Law Judge’s decision and the record to determine whether the Judge has made an error of law.

According to the statistics, over 76.87% of Administrative Law Judge’s denials were upheld and only 17.11% were remanded to the Administrative Law Judge. Less than 1.45% of decisions were found to be fully favorable.

These are awful statistics!

Making a difficult decision

If your claim for Social Security Disability has been denied, you’ll have to make a difficult decision about whether you want to appeal to the Appeals Council or start all over. Certainly, these statistics don’t bode well if you choose to appeal to the Appeals Council.

You should contact experienced Appeals Council attorney Nancy Cavey for advise as to how to proceed if your claim for Social Security Disability benefits is denied by the Administrative Law Judge. Give us a call today at 727-894-3188 to discuss your options!

Can I Work And Still Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

work while on social security disability benefits

Maybe! It is possible to work part-time and not lose your Social Security Disability benefits but the answer depends on how much you earn and what kind of disability benefits you are receiving.

If you’re receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and go to work, your SSI benefits will be reduced by $1.00 for every $2.00 you earn after the first $65.00 or ($85.00) if you have no other income. That means that you could earn so much working part-time but your SSI benefits would stop.

work while on social security disability benefits

Social Security Disability Benefits and Working (SSD)

If you’re receiving Social Security Disability benefits and your earnings are below what the Social Security Administration calls the annual “Substantial Gainful Activity Amount,” your benefits will neither stop or be reduced because of your earnings. You continue to get your full Social Security Disability benefits while you work part-time. It’s also possible to earn more than “SGA” amount and still receive your full benefits during the 9-month trial work period.

How much can I earn per month and still receive my Social Security Disability benefits?

The amount that you can earn up to “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) changes on an annual basis and, as of 2014, is $1,070 per month. The SGA amount is the absolute cut-off point.

If your earnings are more than the substantial gainful activity amount your benefits will stop after you’ve used up your 9-month trial work (on a grace period of 3 months), no matter how disabled you are.

If you want to work part-time, it’s best to keep your income well below the substantial gainful activity amount. Remember, there is no trial work for SSI.

How long is the trial work period for SSD?

That trial work period allows you to earn any amount for 9 months and still receive your full disability benefits. You can test your ability to return to work full-time without having your monthly disability benefits stopped. Most people often use up their trial work period by working part-time. A trial work month here, and a trial work period there, still counts as long as all 9 months are used in a 5-year period of time. Once you use up your 9-month trial work period, it’s gone!

You’ll probably be able to get your disability benefits back if you start working within 3 years after you’ve used up your 9-month trial work period. If you’ve worked again at SGA for more than 3 years after your trial work period, you’re going to have to start the Social Security Disability Claims process all over.

The SGA number is based on gross wages which is not averaged over the months worked.

Don’t use up your trial work period

It’s best not to use your trial work period until you are ready to return to work full-time. Don’t waste it on part-time employment.

If you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits, you are required to report your work promptly. We suggest that if you telephone the Social Security Administration to report you’ve begun to work, ask when you need to provide income documentation. Be sure to get the name and location of the name of the person you speak with and follow up with a letter to your local office keeping a copy of the letter for your files.

Call us at 727-894-3188 to discuss your options when it comes to hiring an Social Security Disability Attorney in the Tampa St. Petersburg area to help!

 

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.