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Arizona Social Security Disability Blog

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Impact Tightening Medicaid Eligibility May Have on Disabled in Arizona


Q: How would work requirements for Medicaid impact disabled Arizonans?

Anyone who has gone through the process of applying for Social Security disability insurance benefits in Arizona (“SSDI”) knows how difficult and time-consuming the application process is– – especially if the initial application is denied. Some people take months and even years to get through the appeals process as their personal, financial, and medical situation worsens. In one month alone recently, 63% of initial disability claims nationwide were rejected.
Read more . . .


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Preparing for a Long-Term Disability

Q: How can I prepare for a long-term disability?

There are few things more frustrating than applying for disability benefits on your own.

And with about 60% of first time applications for Social Security disability insurance being denied, necessitating a lengthy appeals process which can take months or even years, most people seek the help of a..


Read more . . .


Monday, October 9, 2017

How Disability Benefits Are Calculated


What Are Work Credits?

Social Security Disability benefits are distributed, with very few exceptions, to adults who have had a working career before they became disabled. The recipient has to have worked for a minimal amount of time in order to be eligible; the time period is measured in blocks called “work credits.” The number of work credits you need in order to receive benefits depends on the age at which you became disabled. This system is based on the fact that each paycheck you have received has been tapped for a FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) contribution which funds Social Security and Medicare.

Typically, you need 40 work credits, 20 or which you’ve earned during the last 10 years before you became disabled.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Consequences of a “Bad Faith” Disability Insurance Claim Denial


Q: What happens if a disability insurance claim is denied in “bad faith”?

Sometimes, karma happens.

In a perfect world, a person with long term disability insurance (“LTD”) would submit a valid claim with sufficient medical documentation in support and it would be approved. The financially-vulnerable (and now-disabled) insured would benefit from having had the good fortune and/or foresight of obtaining LTD insurance in healthier days either through an employer plan or a private policy.
Read more . . .


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Disability Benefits: Too Little, Too Late?


Can you depend on disability payments when you need them?

Suffering an accident or illness that results in permanent disability is life-altering as well as traumatic. Most people are under the impression that here, in the United States of America, we can count on our government to help us when we become unable to support ourselves and our families. Unfortunately, while the Social Security Administration has a well-established program to provide benefits to workers who have become disabled, bureaucracy gets in the way of processing those benefits in a timely manner. As a result, more than 1 million Americans wait an average of almost 2 years (longer than some of them will live!) to get a hearing that will decide whether they are eligible for benefits.

Delays Built into the System

Most applicants for disability benefits are denied coverage at least once, so they will, almost certainly, spend time waiting, first for a rejection, and then for an appeals hearing.
Read more . . .


Friday, September 29, 2017

Beware of Limitations of LTD Policies


Q: Can Social Security disability insurance payments offset long-term disability benefits?

Seeing an Arizona long term disability insurance attorney as soon as possible after becoming disabled can help expedite financial relief. If you have long-term disability insurance (“LTD”) through your employer, or are considering buying a private policy, the language of the policy and any riders to it is particularly important… and potentially disastrous. An attorney can help you understand what you can expect from a policy.
Read more . . .


Thursday, August 31, 2017

How Might a Repeal of the Affordable Care Act Impact the Disabled in Arizona?


Although recent efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”) in favor of what has been promised to be a better national healthcare system have failed to pass to date, some Arizonans are worried about the fall out that may follow any plan that cuts services. In particular, the 1.9 Million people covered by Arizona's version of Medicaid – – the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (“AHCCCS”)—stand to lose a lot.

How will this affect those receiving or applying for disability benefits in Arizona?

The federal government offers two different Read more . . .


Monday, August 28, 2017

Disability Insurance Appeal Backlog Time Skyrockets


Q: How long does it take to get a federal disability benefits appeal hearing date?

Getting it right the first time you are applying for Social Security disability benefits is critical because the appeals process for denials is excruciatingly-long and it’s getting longer each day.

The federal government offers two different disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”). Both require that an applicant meet the government’s definition of "disabled", but the similarities end there.

To oversimplify a very complex topic, SSDI is a work-based program available to certain applicants who, in addition to meeting other qualifying criteria, previously worked and paid into the Social Security system through their payroll taxes for the requisite number of work years and work credits. In contrast, SSI awards do not require any work history, but are need-based and only available to those who, in addition to meeting other qualifying criteria, have extremely limited economic situations.
Read more . . .


Monday, July 31, 2017

Social Security Disability vs. Long-term Disability Insurance


Q: Do I need Long-term Disability insurance if there is Social Security Disability insurance?

No one wants to think about becoming disabled and being unable to provide for yourself or your family financially, because the prospect is frightening and applying for long-term disability benefits is complicated. However, 1 in 4 people will suffer a long-term disability during their lifetime and the average length of a long-term disability is 2 1/2 years. Can any among us survive financially with medical bills and no income for 30 consecutive months?

Read more . . .


Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Social Security Disability Insurance Appeals Process


Q: If I win a Social Security Disability Insurance appeal, are my benefits retroactive?

If you thought that applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits was complicated and time-consuming, wait until you hear about what’s involved in appealing a SSDI or SSI denial in Arizona in the event your initial application is denied.

If you are unable to work, you may qualify for one of the federal government's two disability benefits programs – – Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) or Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”). Both programs are different, but each requires the applicant to meet the Social Security Administration's definition of "disabled" which is "suffering from a physical or mental impairment that prevents engaging in substantial gainful activities and that has lasted, or is expected to last, for 12 months or more or result in death.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Social Security Disability Benefits Vulnerable to New Budget Cuts


Q: How will President Trump’s proposed budget affect Social Security disability benefits?

Federal safety net programs such as Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) and others can expect significant cuts and reforms if President Trump's proposed budget passes in its current form, Social Security Disability lawyers warn.

The disability benefits legal experts are watching with interest for not only how the changes will impact those applying for SSDI disability benefits but also for any limitations on or cuts to the amounts of benefits disabled recipients are currently receiving.

The message from the top is "get a job, not a government handout".
Read more . . .


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