From the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to rising inflation, the Social Security Administration spent the past year continuing to respond to economic pressure on Americans’ lives, albeit with varying results. With the agency going through many changes this year, we have highlighted eight developments, changes, and events that occurred this year that you should know about.
Receiving medical treatment is vital to any disability claim. The absence of medical treatment can result in a denial or even a suspension of benefits. While treatment at the onset of a disability may be required to obtain a diagnosis and determine an initial treatment course, it is equally important to continue with ongoing treatment to move toward medical improvement and support a case for ongoing benefits. We have listed eight reasons why continuing treatment is important to a claim.
When evaluating SSDI claims, disability examiners look for medical evidence confirming that claimants are unable to perform any kind of work due to their disabling condition(s). This can be more difficult in claims that are not so objectively easy to “prove,” including claims that largely cite evidence from psychiatric treatment, those where pain is the primary symptom, and claims based on extremely specific conditions or symptoms. These claims often need to be appealed to the Hearing level to be decided by an ALJ, and even though ALJs are given latitude in making decisions, such nuanced cases can still be difficult to present. We’ve compiled this list of 8 conditions that are particularly difficult to adjudicate.
The SSDI application process can be long and frustrating. Applicants can receive multiple denials and wait several years before finally being approved. While many applicants are approved after going before an ALJ at a hearing, unfortunately, not everyone will receive an approval, even after a hearing. In these instances, it is crucial that applicants know their options and understand what a denial could mean for them. We have compiled eight of the most important details applicants should know if their hearing is denied.
On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, establishing the first social insurance system in the nation. Since enacted nearly 100 years ago, the Social Security Act has provided crucial financial support to retirees, widow(er)s, dependent children, and disabled workers. SSDI benefits are a cornerstone of the Social Security program, providing financial stability to those unable to work because of a disabling condition. The SSDI program has evolved since its inception. Here are just a few of the many milestones from throughout its history.
Returning to work can be both an exciting and overwhelming prospect for those who have been out of work for many months or years due to disabling health conditions. They often need extra support to be successful in resuming work, and even with help, there can be many obstacles to overcome. To help shed more light on this important issue, we’ve compiled a list of 8 barriers disabled individuals may face when attempting to return to work.
Many individuals applying for SSDI find themselves under financial strain, as many months or years may pass during which they are unable to work, and are therefore living without stable, predictable income. To help you provide your claimants with the best support possible, we have compiled this list of resources that you can offer them as they navigate these difficult circumstances.
While many individuals who find themselves unable to work due to illness or injury end up collecting both LTD and SSDI benefits, there are many cases in which claimants may find themselves being approved for SSDI while being informed that they do not qualify for LTD benefits. This could happen for several reasons, the most notable we have outlined here to help explain some of the nuanced differences between these two benefit programs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked countless policy changes since March of 2020. Many initial pandemic response efforts implemented have since been updated or replaced by new regulations, but the impact of the pandemic is ongoing. This includes the many ways the pandemic has impacted SSDI claims and all parties involved in the SSDI claims process have had to adapt so claims can continue being processed. We’ve compiled this list of 8 noteworthy ways the pandemic has impacted SSDI claims to help you learn more about current trends, and what we anticipate in the future.
The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 was signed into law at the end of 1999 by former President Bill Clinton. The bill was originally proposed to provide disabled individuals with the tools and support they need to reenter the workforce. Today, the Ticket to Work program helps millions of Americans transition from their disability benefits to the financial freedom afforded to them through work. The program includes many service offerings, and we have put together this list of eight important things to know about the program for those who may be interested in utilizing the services.
Each year, the SSA processes approximately 1,000 SSDI initial level claims for applicants residing outside of the United States. While this is only a small portion of the overall number of claims processed each year, for those persons with disabilities living internationally, the SSDI program can provide crucial financial stability during a difficult time. We have put together this piece to highlight eight important things to know about international claims.
In response to the pandemic-related closure of all Social Security offices and transitioning employees to remote work in March of 2020, SSDI hearings were only being scheduled remotely. The impacts of COVID-19 remain uncertain, and nearly two years later, remote hearings have become the norm and have ensured that SSA could continue scheduling and completing hearings without delay. Because the process of preparing for and participating in remote hearings is unique, we have compiled this list of eight noteworthy ways that remote hearings have impacted the client experience.
On the heels of a year ravaged by a global pandemic, the SSA spent 2021 continuing its services for the most vulnerable of populations. A Commissioner removed from his post, a historic Cost-of-Living Adjustment, and a severely mismanaged mail system are just a few of the stories coming out of Social Security this year. We have highlighted eight developments, changes, and events, which occurred this year, that you should know about.
SSDI hearings are a critical part of the application process, giving claimants the opportunity to provide the SSA with a full picture of their condition(s), including how impairments impact their daily life. While there is no definitive list of questions that an ALJ may ask, claimants can expect to be asked about their work history, earnings record, past job duties, lifestyle limitations, and medical treatments and diagnoses. We have put together a list of questions that are among the most common, that claimants should be prepared to answer.
For individuals who become disabled and unable to work, finding financial security through sources such as SSDI or LTD is key. Some individuals may even end up receiving both payments, for at least a short period of time. While each benefit helps to offset the income loss due to a disabling condition(s), there are many differences between them. To learn more about the key differences between SSDI and LTD, please review the list we have compiled below.
When an individual applies for SSDI benefits, the claim will be touched by several parties as key documentation is filed, evidence is collected, and decisions are issued. We’ve compiled a list of eight of the roles that will be closely involved in a claimant’s application, as well as some who play pivotal roles in keeping the claims process consistent and fair for all SSDI applicants.
When filing for SSDI benefits, claimants may seek professional representation to help increase their chances of obtaining an award. Before beginning the application process, it is important that both the claimant and representative believe doing so will provide a favorable outcome. While a claimant may feel that working with a representative is the best course of action, there are many reasons why a representative may choose not to move forward in representing a claim. We have created this resource to highlight some of the reasons SSDI representatives may choose not to pursue an SSDI claim.
Once SSA has determined that a claimant meets the medical requirements for SSDI benefits, there are additional non-medical factors that must be reviewed prior to benefits being calculated and payments released. Despite being medically approved for SSDI benefits, payments may be reduced, delayed, or stopped completely for a variety of reasons. We have created this resource to highlight the most critical factors that may affect an SSDI award.
SSA administers disability benefits across the United States. Even though benefits are administered at a federal level, local and state offices are responsible for SSDI applications and making claim decisions. Due to varying populations, staffing differences, and the overall number of applications, the SSDI application process tends to vary from state to state. We have compiled this piece to highlight some noteworthy geographical differences that may interest you.
SSA maintains a strict set of rules around how an individual may qualify for SSDI benefits. While SSDI applicants represent a wide variety of ages and health conditions, all claimants are subject to the same general requirements when SSA is considering whether to award or deny their claim for benefits. We’ve compiled this list to highlight some of the most common reasons why an SSDI claim might be denied.
Individuals applying for SSDI face many challenges as they battle health conditions that prevent them from working. These obstacles, coupled with financial strain and uncertainty about the future, leave SSDI claimants susceptible to developing a “disability mindset.” It is important to recognize some of the signs and triggers of the disability mindset so claimants who are struggling can receive the help and encouragement they need.
The SSDI process can be daunting, particularly for those who are applying for the first time. These claimants may raise concerns about the process and be hesitant to move forward with an application. We have compiled a list of the most common objections claimants may have when applying for SSDI benefits, and how best to address those.
SSA offers many work incentives to help SSDI beneficiaries successfully return to work while continuing to receive medical coverage and/or benefit payments.
Each year, over 65 million individuals receive cash benefits from SSA. Social Security Retirement benefits and SSDI benefits account for nearly ninety percent of these benefits. While the two programs have many similarities, we created this resource to highlight some of the key distinctions.