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Arizona Social Security Disability Blog

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Primer on Qualifying Medical Conditions


Can I obtain social security benefits for my illness?

The media has been filled with reports of fraud in the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, but these cases are greatly overstated. In fact, qualifying for and obtaining SSDI or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits can be quite complicated and certain conditions must be met.

In short you must have an illness or injury that is expected to last at least a year or more or lead to death. Moreover, the Social Security Administration has a list of specific medical impairments that automatically qualify for disability benefits.

The SSA Blue Book

The list of impairments is maintained in the SSA blue book, and there are lists for both children and adults.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Work Credits and How They Affect Social Security Disability


What are work credits and how do they affect Social Security benefits?

As you move through your working career, you earn work credits for each year during which you earn wages and pay FICA taxes into the Social Security system. These credits are being banked so that you will be able to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits should you become unable to continue earning a living. These credits are required for you to be entitled to receive SSDI, Social Security, Retirement, and Medicare benefits. Work credits, like other aspects of Social Security Disability, can be complicated and confusing, especially to those simultaneously dealing with the trauma of becoming disabled.


Read more . . .


Monday, December 26, 2016

Top Reasons Why SSDI Claims Are Rejected


What should I do if my disability application is rejected?

For those who have severe ongoing disabilities that render them unable to work, the Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI) provides much-needed benefits; however, nearly two-thirds of disability applications are rejected. Let's take a look at the leading reasons benefit claims are rejected.

Insufficient Work Credits

The Social Security Administration considers a number of factors when determining benefit eligibility, including the applicant's age, the number years worked - and paid into the social security system, and when you became disabled. You must have worked for a certain amount of time to qualify. Generally, you must have 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Social Security Disability Benefits: Separating Truth from Fiction


How much of what I've heard about SSDI is actually true?

Many people who have become disabled wonder if they are qualified to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and whether it is worth applying for benefits. The best person to answer this and other related questions is a thoroughly knowledgeable disability attorney. Here is a list of fact-checking replies to some of the myths you may have heard.


Read more . . .


Monday, November 21, 2016

Fast-Track Review of SSDI Claims


Does my medical condition qualify for a fast track disability review?

While Social Security Disability Insurance is designed to provide benefits to those who are unable to work, the system is plagued by delays and inefficiencies. However, the Social Security Administration has procedures in place to fast track review certain cases. Let's take a brief look at some of these programs.


Read more . . .


Monday, November 14, 2016

Lawmakers Propose Emergency Payments for Social Security Beneficiaries

How can I qualify for Supplemental Security Income benefits?

Led by Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Charles Schumer (D-NY), congressional lawmakers are proposing a one-time emergency payment in the amount of $581 for over 65 million individuals who currently receive retirement benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The payments are designed to assist these recipients who were denied a cost of living adjustment in 2016.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

New Criteria for Evaluating Mental Disorders


What mental disorders qualify for social security disability benefits?

The Social Security Administration announced new rules in September concerning the criteria the agency will use to evaluate disability claims related to mental disorders. The new rules, slated to take effect on January 17, 2017, are said to be the most extensive changes to this criteria in more than 30 years. In devising the new rule, the SSA considered public comments to its proposed rule released earlier this year.


Read more . . .


Monday, October 17, 2016

New Study Suggests Social Security Administration Fails to Properly Explain Benefits


Earlier this year, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted a study of the Social Security Administration (SSA); namely, its practices while working with soon-to-be beneficiaries. Overall, the GAO concluded that the SSA can – and should – do a much better job ensuring beneficiaries fully understand the ramifications of their decisions – which, up until now, have blindly cost thousands of enrollees millions of dollars in lost income.

The study focuses primarily on retirement benefits through the SSA. However, the clear issues are those that can impact any number of enrollees, including those receiving disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Overall, the GAO reviewed a number of surveys, academic reports and interviews with both agency representatives and beneficiaries to conclude that the information supplied to SSA customers is incomplete, unclear and sometimes misleading.


Read more . . .


Monday, October 17, 2016

Disability Benefits for Individuals with PTSD


Am I eligible for SSDI if I am suffering from post traumatic stress disorder?

Have you been involved in a traumatic event? Are you plagued by feelings of hopelessness, guilt or shame? Do you have difficulty concentrating or remembering things? Are you angry and irritable? Do you have trouble sleeping or experience excessive anxiety or fear?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If these symptoms are interfering with your everyday life, you should medical attention. Certainly, most individuals who survive a traumatic event suffer a certain amount of shock or fear, but those with severe symptoms will get worse without treatment: often a combination of medication and counseling. Those who are unable to work due to PTSD may also be eligible for social security disability benefits. 

SSDI and PTSD

In order to obtain disability benefits for PTSD, it is necessary to satisfy the criteria listed in the Social Security Administration's Blue Book.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Be Careful Who You Trust With Your Social Security Info


When I see news stories about con artists preying upon people that rely on Social Security to get by, it makes me so angry. People living on Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, or who have retired and are collecting Social Security, don’t need any additional trouble in their life. Yet they seem to always be the people that wind up getting swindled.

I recently saw a


Read more . . .


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Understanding the Intersection Between Child Support and Benefits for Children


Is your child receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? Are you considering seeking SSI for your child due to his or her health and financial needs? If so, it is important to understand the delicate intersection of child support and eligibility for benefits – as child support payments are considered the child’s income and can greatly impact (or eliminate) the extent of the child’s eligibility for assistance.

Supplemental security income is available for children who are deemed to be blind or disabled – as well as meet certain household income criteria to demonstrate financial need. If you are receiving child support and hoping to also qualify your child for SSI benefits, keep in mind that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will count two-thirds of the payment amount as “unearned income.


Read more . . .


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