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  #1  
Old 04-08-2012, 01:39 PM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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Tell me about disability benefits

Social security has disability right? Is eligibility the same as for retirement? Are benefits calculated based on earnings....like retirement?

How about worker's comp....I think you can get disability thru it for work related injuries. How does that coordinate with SS?

How about private policies or group policies thru your employer....how do they coordinate with the others? Does some governement body enforce certain aspects of them at all. What if the insurance company just blows off a claim?

Overall, if one of the above says "Ok, your a little disabled but you can surely work somewhere. Go away and get a job" might SS come to the rescue?
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2012, 05:41 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Social Security has disability benefits, but to get them you must be "disabled," as that term is defined by the Social Security Act and the regulations promulgated pursuant to that Act. In brief, to be "disabled" you must be both unable to perform your past relevant work or to make a vocational adjustment to other work due to your limitations imposed by your disability. This "disability" must last at least one year to be eligible for benefits.

Not only must you be "fully insured" as a retiree would have to be, but you also must be "currently insured" when your disability began. To be fully insured you must have at least 40 quarters of coverage (10 years, but they do not have to be consecutive). To be "currently insured" you must have 20 QC in the 40-quarter period ending with that quarter. There are special rules for those under age 31.

You can also be entitled to child's insurance benefits if the wage earner parent is receiving benefits and you become disabled before the age of 22.

If you receive worker's comp, there will be an offset on those benefits due to your SS benefits. The same may be true for any private policy. SS will never "come to the rescue." The requirements for disability under SS are very strict.
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  #3  
Old 04-08-2012, 05:43 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-0000.htm Enjoy.
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  #4  
Old 04-08-2012, 05:46 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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My employer has a optional disability policy. It guarantees 60% of your salary if you get disabled.

Social Security disability typically pays about 40% to 50% of what you were earning. Depending on how long you had paid into social security.

then this optional policy kicks in the rest so you get 60% of what you had been earning.

Getting on disability isn't easy. It takes several doctors visits and lots of paperwork to convince them to grant a disability claim. They often make people get new paperwork from their doctor every year or two to confirm they are still disabled.

Last edited by aceplace57; 04-08-2012 at 05:50 PM..
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  #5  
Old 04-08-2012, 06:41 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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I am on SS disability after a work accident. Disability is seperate from SS reierment and you benefit is based on the number of years worked and the amount of money you made over your working life. If you get approved for disability you will also be reliable for Medicare insurance after 6 months.

Applying for and getting approved for disability isn't easy. There are specific injures//illneses that qualify. It is quite q mystery as some people that you would think have no problem getting approved are turned down, while others are approved with what can be considered a minor disability. The approval process is a long one and except for extreme cases (brain injury, paraylisis, etc..) almost everyone is denied during the first review. It took me five years to finally be approved for disability and required me getting an attorney and going before a Federal judge.

Even though I it can take years for an approval to come, you are paid benefits retroactive to the date you first applied. Also, the waiting period for Medicare is counted from the first day of application. When I was finally approved for disability I was immediately covered by Medicare and received a back payment of $65,000 (five years of benefits) and my children received a retroactive payment as well.

The attorney was paid for by SS, so if you are applying for disability I would recommend getting an attorney. Approval will be dependent on proper filing of the paperwork and proper detail of medical reports. Despite what critics say, it is not easy to get approved. The judge that reviewed my case went into much detail concerning my medical I jury and the nature of that injury. To get approved you must show that you can no longer do any substantial work in the field you are qualified for or will not be able to maintain any reasonable employment.

A note on the back payment. Some of you might think that the amount of the back payment awarded to me is excessive. It is Important to understand that this amount was for FIVE years of benefits during which time I was waiting for approval. During that time I was not alble to work and ran through my savings and without the help of family I would have Ben living n the street. Also, to get approved you cannot have much in the way of assets. Meaning, if you have a million dollars in the bank, you are not going to get approved.

I mentioned my children above, minor children whose parent is disabled are entitled to SS benifits as well, the amount based on that parent's income. The benefit stops when that minor reaches the age of 18.

Living on disability isn't easy. As mentioned above, our benefits are based on time working and income. The more you paid into the system, the higher your benefit. I was a fairly high income earner, my last year working my annual pay was $83,000. My monthly benefit from SS is $1655 per month, minus $89 to pay for Medicare health insurance. My children receive $800 a month between the two of them, although I don't be this money for them as I am divorced, so my ex-wife receives the payments to use for their benefit. Their back payment was $26,000 It is important to note that the Ss they recieve is counted as my child support by the courts.

I have tried to be as detailed as possible in my answer. If you have any need for more specifics, feel free to ask. On a personal note I will tell you that living on disability sucks big time. As you can see, no one is getting wealthy being on disability. It is very difficult to make ends meet and quite a contrast to my previous income. Besides the financial difficulties, the mental strain of being on disability is enormous. I feel as if I am useless and am ashamed that I am not able to work despite wanting to. That feeling is tempered by the fact that i paid into the system and this is no difference between SS disability and insurance. I paid into the system and unfortunately needed the service.

I have to return to Easter things now. I apologize for spelling and/or grammatical errors as I am typing this on a mobile device. Happy Easter to all. I will re-read when I have time and add or correct as needed.
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  #6  
Old 04-08-2012, 08:57 PM
Digital is the new Analog Digital is the new Analog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obbn View Post
The attorney was paid for by SS, so if you are applying for disability I would recommend getting an attorney.
I was under the impression that the attorney was paid out of a percentage of your delayed benefits - something on the order of 20 or 25%. I could be wrong, of course.

But thanks for the open and thorough write-up. It's very insightful.


-D/a
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  #7  
Old 04-09-2012, 12:25 AM
obbn obbn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital is the new Analog View Post
I was under the impression that the attorney was paid out of a percentage of your delayed benefits - something on the order of 20 or 25%. I could be wrong, of course.

But thanks for the open and thorough write-up. It's very insightful.


-D/a
My apologies, as I misspoke, I guess I either wasn't paying attention or I wasn't thinking clearly in my statement. The attorney is paid via a contingency on your retroactive payment. If I recall correctly it is 25% of you reteoactive payment with a maximum payout of around $5400. My Retro payment was so large I really wasn't concerned about the fee. I would strongly recommend an attorney regardless of it costing some out of a retro payment. I would like think that I eventually would have prevailed in my claim, but the paperwork was quite daunting and if you make a serious enough mistake you risk losing your benefit.

The really nice thing about using an attorney was the fact that so much time had elapsed between my filing and approval, that without one I don't know how many people would have what it takes to follow through to the end. When you are going through this generally you aren't in the best of health and you are mentally beat down.

The one thing that struck me as so very strange was the determination hearing in front of the judge. It was over in a matter of minutes. The Jude asked me basic questions like name and such, asked how have I been supporting myself since the injury etc. He then told me that he had spent time reviewing my medical file, said "You are clearly disaled, I approve you claim"! That was it! My fate decided inside of ten minutes. It was apparent that the judge had made up his mnd prior to me ever stepping into court he had all the info he needed from my medical files. What I couldn't figure out is why couldn't a SS case worker have made that determination years ago? They had the same information. During those 5 years I was scared to death trying to figure ut how I was going to support myself. I tried to return to work a few times as I was nearing complete insolvency, but found I could not do what was neccassary to perform on a job. The whole process was extreamly taxing on one's mental state.
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2012, 05:49 AM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Attorney's fees are limited to 25% of past benefits, but an administrative law judge (ALJ) (the "federal judge" above referred to) can approve a larger amount if the contract so provides and the ALJ feels it is just considering any extra effort the attorney made (20 CFR 404.1730).

Medicare benefits begin two years after the onset date of disability, not six months.

To obtain disability benefits, one must first file an application with the district office. It will have its own doctors review your medical treatment, alleged limitations, vocational and educational background (20 CFR 404, subpart P.) If your disorder(s) does not meet or equal one listed in the Listing of Impairments (described in Appendix 1 to 20 CFR 404, subpart P - a link to which I gave), the district office will then consider if you are disabled due to your residual functional capacity and vocational factors if you are unable to return to your past relevant work (appendix 2 to 20 CFR 404, subpart P). Once the district office denies benefits (which it usually does), you must file a request for reconsideration. If again denied (very likely), you have 60 days to file a request for a hearing before an ALJ. 70% of cases previously denied are granted benefits at this level. (The disparity was so great that one attorney filed an action to have SSA explain this large percentage of reversals. SSA agreed to review the process and the case was dismissed. One reason for this disparity is that the ALJ considers 20 CFR 404 and the Rules promulgated pursuant to that regulation; whereas, the district office considers an internal guideline called POMS (Program Operating Manuals) which is basically a restatement of the regs but in simplified terms, along with SSA's interpretations of the regs.) If you are again denied, you can file for review by the Appeals Council (near DC). If again denied, you have then exhausted your administrative remedies and now you can file an action in the district court (20 CFR 404, subpart J.) If the Court denies, you can appeal pursuant to the appeals process for any suit filed in the district court.

Once you are determined to be disabled, your disability must be reviewed periodically (20 CFR 404.1594). SSA must first determine if there is medical improvement related to your ability to work or if you come under one of the exceptions therein noted. Medical improvement was added as a requirement in 1992 after the judicial system mandated that such improvement be shown before disability can end.
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  #9  
Old 04-09-2012, 12:39 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obbn View Post
Even though I it can take years for an approval to come, you are paid benefits retroactive to the date you first applied.
Benefits are paid retroactive to the date you alleged disability began, or at a later date if so determined by SSA. (20 CFR 404.316)

Quote:
Also, to get approved you cannot have much in the way of assets. Meaning, if you have a million dollars in the bank, you are not going to get approved.
This is absolutely false, unless you are referring to Supplemental Security Income. Disability insurance benefits do not take into consideration your financial situation.

Quote:
Living on disability isn't easy. As mentioned above, our benefits are based on time working and income. The more you paid into the system, the higher your benefit. I was a fairly high income earner, my last year working my annual pay was $83,000. My monthly benefit from SS is $1655 per month, minus $89 to pay for Medicare health insurance.
The benefits are based on your primary insured amount and the years you worked, and are computed as if you began receiving old age insurance benefits at age 62. (20 CFR 404.317) There is no additional premium for Medicare, Part A; the additional premium (which is now more than $89 a month) is for Part B.

To correct something I posted earlier, your benefits may be reduced by worker's compensation benefits or to other retirement benefits, if the worker's compensation benefits are based on a periodic basis (20 CFR 404.317 and 404.408). However, that reduction is not made if the worker's compensation law or plan under which the periodic benefits are paid are reduced by the SS benefits (20 CFR 404.408.) The total of your SS benefits and other benefits cannot exceed 80% of your "average current earnings" (20 CFR 404.408).
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  #10  
Old 04-09-2012, 12:55 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Benefits are paid retroactive to the date you alleged disability began, or at a later date if so determined by SSA. (20 CFR 404.316)
I must modify that by noting there is a 5-month waiting period before you can receive benefits, and this waiting period cannot begin earlier than the 17th month before the month you apply. This waiting period is not required if you were disabled within 5 years of the present disability (20 CFR 404.315(a)(4)).

Last edited by barbitu8; 04-09-2012 at 12:57 PM.. Reason: Correct the coding
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  #11  
Old 04-09-2012, 12:56 PM
MLS MLS is offline
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In my observation, almost all disability claims, unless there is a very serious and obvious cause, the first application will be denied as a matter of course. Then one has to appeal the decision and the time until that appeal is even heard can be very long.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:57 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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Originally Posted by MLS View Post
In my observation, almost all disability claims, unless there is a very serious and obvious cause, the first application will be denied as a matter of course. Then one has to appeal the decision and the time until that appeal is even heard can be very long.
You are correct here, from my imitial denial until my hearing was a period of five years. I had pretty much given up on it and got a call out of the blue from the attorney one day telling me that the hearing was scheduled in 30 days. Quite a shock after hearing nothing for so long.

As far as any mistakes in my statement, I am relying on memory and it should be noted that as I had an attorney, some details were not studied by me as deeply had I been filling everything myself. The two year mark for Medicare is correct, for some reason I remembered it as six months. Since my case took so long to approve I was eligible for Medicare from the first day. The asset imformation I stated was incorrect as well. I was confusing what I had remebered about SSI with disability. The information I have offered wasn't meant to reflect that of a SS expert, rather of someone who has gone through the long process and is currently on disability.

I found the whole process not only confusing, but frustrating as well.
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  #13  
Old 04-09-2012, 02:48 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is online now
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Originally Posted by Digital is the new Analog View Post
I was under the impression that the attorney was paid out of a percentage of your delayed benefits - something on the order of 20 or 25%. I could be wrong, of course....


-D/a
The law firm I used for SSDI--which advertises on TV ( fine in these cases)--handled the unbelievable amount of time-dependent paperwork, and will send a lawyer with you to the judge for the ultimate go/no-go.

I believe their fee was 0.50% of the first monthly benefit.

Definitely worth it.
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  #14  
Old 04-09-2012, 04:26 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is online now
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Originally Posted by barbitu8 View Post
If you receive worker's comp, there will be an offset on those benefits due to your SS benefits. The same may be true for any private policy. SS will never "come to the rescue." The requirements for disability under SS are very strict.
This is only partly true, although you kinda-sorta corrected it lower down. Social Security benefits may be offset against workers' compensation benefits; however, in the 18 reverse offset states (or Puerto Rico) your workers' compensation benefits may be offset against Social Security benefits instead. Doesn't make much difference to the recipient, but still.
Quote:
Originally Posted by obbn
Disability is seperate from SS reierment and you benefit is based on the number of years worked and the amount of money you made over your working life.
This is a bit misleading; once you reach age 62, SSDI is automatically converted into SS retirement. You can't collect both at once.

Last edited by Really Not All That Bright; 04-09-2012 at 04:27 PM..
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:37 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
This is only partly true, although you kinda-sorta corrected it lower down. Social Security benefits may be offset against workers' compensation benefits; however, in the 18 reverse offset states (or Puerto Rico) your workers' compensation benefits may be offset against Social Security benefits instead. Doesn't make much difference to the recipient, but still.

This is a bit misleading; once you reach age 62, SSDI is automatically converted into SS retirement. You can't collect both at once.
True, however'it'isimportant that it is understood that the benefit that one receives can vary greatly depending on a persons income and time paying into the system. From what I have seen, the monthly benefit I am recieving is quite high compared to many others. Im kow of some who receive about 1/2 of what I do because their income was much lower when they were working. However, it seems that no matter your income while working, the benefit provided by SS disability is a fraction of your working income. I am thankful for it, but woild'certainly return to work if it was possible.
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:17 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
This is only partly true, although you kinda-sorta corrected it lower down. Social Security benefits may be offset against workers' compensation benefits; however, in the 18 reverse offset states (or Puerto Rico) your workers' compensation benefits may be offset against Social Security benefits instead. Doesn't make much difference to the recipient, but still.

This is a bit misleading; once you reach age 62, SSDI is automatically converted into SS retirement. You can't collect both at once.
The age when disability benefits are converted into old-age benefits is the full retirement age:

Quote:
(c) When disability ends after November 1980. Your period of disability ends with the close of whichever of the following is the earliest—

(1) The month before the month in which you attain full retirement age as defined in § 404.409.
20 CFR 404.321

The significance of that is your benefits would no longer be subject to continuing periodic review.
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  #17  
Old 04-09-2012, 05:47 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is online now
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Oops. Yes, 65 not 62.
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:02 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
Oops. Yes, 65 not 62.
It's no longer 65. It's 66 and 4 months:
Quote:

If your birth date is:

Full retirement age is:




Before 1/2/1938

65 years.



1/2/1938—1/1/1939

65 years and 2 months.



1/2/1939—1/1/1940

65 years and 4 months.



1/2/1940—1/1/1941

65 years and 6 months.



1/2/1941—1/1/1942

65 years and 8 months.



1/2/1942—1/1/1943

65 years and 10 months.



1/2/1943—1/1/1955

66 years.



1/2/1955—1/1/1956

66 years and 2 months.



1/2/1956—1/1/1957

66 years and 4 months.



1/2/1957—1/1/1958

66 years and 6 months.



1/2/1958—1/1/1959

66 years and 8 months.



1/2/1959—1/1/1960

66 years and 10 months.



1/2/1960 and later

67 years.
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  #19  
Old 04-10-2012, 04:13 AM
phxjcc phxjcc is offline
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I would like to say thank you to all the posters especially to obbn. I have MS and have been waiting 2 years and have not heard a thing from the SSA.

By the way, Binder and Binder [the big national advertiser] is not a good choice for SSA cases. Do a google search and you will find out why.

I have 160 quarters of work history and a three inch thick medical file and just want to get in front of a judge.

TA
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:18 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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Forgive me if I missed it above....... when did social security expand into disability? I assume it started as simply a retirement benefit.

Can you expand a bit on SS disability benefits for dependants........ spouse too or just kids? Isn't there a benefit for kids upon the death of the parent....... is that something different or just the ultimate disability?

Are the benefits limited to children living at the time the disability started?

Do worker's comp and private plans also cover dependents?
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  #21  
Old 04-10-2012, 09:41 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is online now
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The 1935 Social Security Act provided for retirement and death benefits only. Disability was added in 1956.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by:
Quote:
Do worker's comp and private plans also cover dependents?
It replaces a portion (typically two thirds) of the employee's average wage while he is totally disabled and a lesser amount if an employee is partially disabled and not earning a certain percentage of his prior income.

Neither workers' compensation nor SSDI pays anything directly to dependents (unless the worker is in jail, in the case of the former).

Social Security death benefits are completely separate. Those are paid to widows, children who are under 18 at the time of death (or under 19 and still in high school), and children who are over 18 who are themselves disabled.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:56 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
Neither workers' compensation nor SSDI pays anything directly to dependents (unless the worker is in jail, in the case of the former).

Social Security death benefits are completely separate. Those are paid to widows, children who are under 18 at the time of death (or under 19 and still in high school), and children who are over 18 who are themselves disabled.
This is not correct. In the first place, death benefits are paid to the surviving spouse (if there is one, otherwise as specified in the Act) and it is only $250.

Auxillary benefits are paid to certain dependents (both if the wage earner is retired or disabled) as set forth in the Act and Regulations. See this link for a start in reading about auxillary benefits: http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-0350.htm

I gave this link before, but I'll give it again, and you can go through the Table of Contents for other relevant info: http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-0000.htm
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:44 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is online now
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A "surviving spouse" is a widow. Or widower.

Last edited by Really Not All That Bright; 04-10-2012 at 05:44 PM..
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  #24  
Old 04-10-2012, 06:09 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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And this, ladies and germs:
Quote:
Originally Posted by barbitu8 View Post
To obtain disability benefits, one must first file an application with the district office. It will have its own doctors review your medical treatment, alleged limitations, vocational and educational background (20 CFR 404, subpart P.) If your disorder(s) does not meet or equal one listed in the Listing of Impairments (described in Appendix 1 to 20 CFR 404, subpart P - a link to which I gave), the district office will then consider if you are disabled due to your residual functional capacity and vocational factors if you are unable to return to your past relevant work (appendix 2 to 20 CFR 404, subpart P). Once the district office denies benefits (which it usually does), you must file a request for reconsideration. If again denied (very likely), you have 60 days to file a request for a hearing before an ALJ. 70% of cases previously denied are granted benefits at this level. (The disparity was so great that one attorney filed an action to have SSA explain this large percentage of reversals. SSA agreed to review the process and the case was dismissed. One reason for this disparity is that the ALJ considers 20 CFR 404 and the Rules promulgated pursuant to that regulation; whereas, the district office considers an internal guideline called POMS (Program Operating Manuals) which is basically a restatement of the regs but in simplified terms, along with SSA's interpretations of the regs.) If you are again denied, you can file for review by the Appeals Council (near DC). If again denied, you have then exhausted your administrative remedies and now you can file an action in the district court (20 CFR 404, subpart J.) If the Court denies, you can appeal pursuant to the appeals process for any suit filed in the district court.
...is why you should get a lawyer who specializes in Disability cases.

No offense, bb8. That was actually a really good summary of the process. But, OMG, not something that an unwell person should have to navigate alone!
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:30 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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Originally Posted by phxjcc View Post
I would like to say thank you to all the posters especially to obbn. I have MS and have been waiting 2 years and have not heard a thing from the SSA.

By the way, Binder and Binder [the big national advertiser] is not a good choice for SSA cases. Do a google search and you will find out why.

I have 160 quarters of work history and a three inch thick medical file and just want to get in front of a judge.

TA
I am very sorry to hear about your situation. Don't give up hope, I more than most understand how frustrating it is waiting on a decision. As I said up thread, I had practically given up on SS, then out of the blue I get the call from my attorney that we have a hearing. One thing I forgot to mention about the hearing is that the judge had asked me how I was able to support myself all the years since my injury. I was very honest in telling him that I used most my savings,my family helped me and that I attempted to go back to work on several occasions, but that I was unable to do the job. He said that he would count the limited income I had brought in from the few jobs a "failed attempts to return to work". The important thing that I learned from this is do not lie to the judge about any income during the process, as they have access to your IRS information. He seemed to appreciate my honesty. The hearing was in a small room in the local federal courtouse. The only people there were my attorney, the judge, a ballif and a court reporter. In my case it seemed very informal.

The only other big piece of advice I can give you is to look into a Medicare Advantage Plan once you get Medicare (which should be right away if you have been waiting a few yeas). I have found the Advantage plan to be much better and easier than straight Medicare. There is no cost to out, but your health insurance will be managed by a private insurance company and prescription coverage is integrated into the plan. The insurer in my case is Blue Cross/Blue Shield, but there are many who provide the plans. Do your research, there is a comparison page on the Medicare site, take your time and carefully compare drug coverage as what is cover varies. Your opinion and others may vary on this advice, but I have found it much superior to standard Medicare and Medicare part D.

Oh, I had originally thought about going with Binder and Binder, but went with a local attorney that my Workers Comp attorney reccomended. After we won the case, I found out that I was her very first client.

If you have more questions, feel free to PM me. I am not a Medicare expert, but I can certainly give you a heads up on what it is like to live under Disability. Good luck to you!

Last edited by obbn; 04-10-2012 at 07:35 PM..
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:18 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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Originally Posted by barbitu8 View Post
This is not correct. In the first place, death benefits are paid to the surviving spouse (if there is one, otherwise as specified in the Act) and it is only $250.

Auxillary benefits are paid to certain dependents (both if the wage earner is retired or disabled) as set forth in the Act and Regulations. See this link for a start in reading about auxillary benefits: http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-0350.htm

I gave this link before, but I'll give it again, and you can go through the Table of Contents for other relevant info: http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-0000.htm
So that I understand, are you clarifying the distinction between a small $250 "death benefit" and "auxillary benefits" that are paid to dependents upon death which is considered a disability?
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:00 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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Oh, and just an note, once you go on disability rarely is it ever "for life" no questions asked. Even though I have been declared permanently disabled from time to time I have to undergo a "disability review" from SS. In fact, just yesterday I received notification of a review. These are quite nerve-wracking for it is almost like going through the approval process again. They do a complete review of your medical info, drugs, etc. and then a panel of doctors who have never met you decide our fate. Even though my condition hasn't changed since approval, I am very nervous about the review. Remeber, these same doctors initially denied my claim years ago and I had to go in front of a judge to get approval. I wouldn't be so concerned if I knew I could work, but if they make a determination that I am no longer disabled I have no idea how I will be able to support myself, not to mention the medication I require every month. Out of pocket it would cost hundreds of dollars per month.

See the frustrating thing is that while I am not bed ridden, I am unable to maintain employment. Here are days when it might be possible that I could do work. The problem is that when I do anything even remotely straining or even stand too long I am in terible pain for the next day or so. Or the days when the pain is so bad (most days when it is raining) I can't even get out of bed, employers usually like you to show you everyday. Plus with the morphine it isn't unusual for me to become very lethargic, possibly falling asleep at random times during the day. Now I take ampjetamie just to keep me awake during the day. Which of course brings up a huge problem. Not too many employers are willing to hire someone who is taking strong narcotics every day, the liability is too great. Even something a simple as being a delivery driver. If I got into an accident, it puts the company at risk for a lawsuit. It is incredibly frustrating, I want to return to work, as I am tired of living with little money and I am bored out of my mind, but I just don't see how I can find an employer willing to accomidate all the limitations that I will bring with me. If anyone knows of someone willing to hire me, let me know.

Well, my apologies, as it appears I just went on a rant. This is what living on disability does to you, makes you crazy! Sorry for the long post, I thought you might be interested in the review process.
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  #28  
Old 04-11-2012, 03:51 PM
chloes1 chloes1 is offline
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I get SSDI because of my Rheumatoid Arthritis, I have deformities because of it and as a result was approved in just 10 weeks. :faints:

I'd also be happy to tell what I know as well....

chin up OBBN!! you're right the process will make you crazy!
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  #29  
Old 04-11-2012, 04:39 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by What the .... ?!?! View Post
So that I understand, are you clarifying the distinction between a small $250 "death benefit" and "auxillary benefits" that are paid to dependents upon death which is considered a disability?
The death benefit is a lump sum of $250 (http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-0391.htm.) Auxillary benefits are paid monthly to those dependents who qualify if the wage earner is either drawing old age insurance benefits or disability benefits or is deceased and was drawing such benefits (http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-0350.htm): (a) Children under the age of 18 or disabled before reaching 22 ; (b) the parent of such child if the child is disabled or under age 16 (http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-0339.htm) (c) In some cases, parents' benefits (http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-0370.htm); (d) Surviving spouse age 60 or older or a disabled surviving spouse age 50 or older (http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-0330.htm);

Those benefits are conditioned as set forth in the Regulations, and a few other auxillary benefits are possible. You can check the link yourself for any others.
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  #30  
Old 04-11-2012, 04:47 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chloes1 View Post
I get SSDI because of my Rheumatoid Arthritis, I have deformities because of it and as a result was approved in just 10 weeks. :faints:

I'd also be happy to tell what I know as well....

chin up OBBN!! you're right the process will make you crazy!
Your RA was severe enough to meet the Listing of Impairments:
Quote:
e. How we evaluate inflammatory arthritis under the listings.

(i) Listing-level severity in 14.09A and 14.09C1 is shown by an impairment that results in an “extreme” (very serious) limitation. In 14.09A, the criterion is satisfied with persistent inflammation or deformity in one major peripheral weight-bearing joint resulting in the inability to ambulate effectively (as defined in 14.00C6) or one major peripheral joint in each upper extremity resulting in the inability to perform fine and gross movements effectively (as defined in 14.00C7). In 14.09C1, if you have the required ankylosis (fixation) of your cervical or dorsolumbar spine, we will find that you have an extreme limitation in your ability to see in front of you, above you, and to the side. Therefore, inability to ambulate effectively is implicit in 14.09C1, even though you might not require bilateral upper limb assistance.

(ii) Listing-level severity is shown in 14.09B, 14.09C2, and 14.09D by inflammatory arthritis that involves various combinations of complications of one or more major peripheral joints or other joints, such as inflammation or deformity, extra-articular features, repeated manifestations, and constitutional symptoms or signs. Extra-articular impairments may also meet listings in other body systems.

(iii) Extra-articular features of inflammatory arthritis may involve any body system; for example: Musculoskeletal (heel enthesopathy), ophthalmologic (iridocyclitis, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, uveitis), pulmonary (pleuritis, pulmonary fibrosis or nodules, restrictive lung disease), cardiovascular (aortic valve insufficiency, arrhythmias, coronary arteritis, myocarditis, pericarditis, Raynaud's phenomenon, systemic vasculitis), renal (amyloidosis of the kidney), hematologic (chronic anemia, thrombocytopenia), neurologic (peripheral neuropathy, radiculopathy, spinal cord or cauda equina compression with sensory and motor loss), mental (cognitive dysfunction, poor memory), and immune system (Felty's syndrome (hypersplenism with compromised immune competence)).

(iv) If both inflammation and chronic deformities are present, we evaluate your impairment under the criteria of any appropriate listing.
If it is clear that an impairment meets a Listing, disability benefits will be quickly granted.
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  #31  
Old 04-11-2012, 04:51 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obbn View Post
Oh, and just an note, once you go on disability rarely is it ever "for life" no questions asked. Even though I have been declared permanently disabled from time to time I have to undergo a "disability review" from SS. In fact, just yesterday I received notification of a review. These are quite nerve-wracking for it is almost like going through the approval process again. They do a complete review of your medical info, drugs, etc. and then a panel of doctors who have never met you decide our fate. Even though my condition hasn't changed since approval, I am very nervous about the review. Remeber, these same doctors initially denied my claim years ago and I had to go in front of a judge to get approval.
See the last paragraph in one of my prior posts. No matter if they are the same doctors, SSA must show medical improvement related to your ability to work, or an exception thereto. (Post #8)

Last edited by barbitu8; 04-11-2012 at 04:53 PM.. Reason: Show the post number
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  #32  
Old 04-11-2012, 05:35 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chloes1 View Post
I get SSDI because of my Rheumatoid Arthritis, I have deformities because of it and as a result was approved in just 10 weeks. :faints:

I'd also be happy to tell what I know as well....

chin up OBBN!! you're right the process will make you crazy!
Thanks and you are right, it will drive you crazy. I was classified as permanently disabled, so from hat I understand I will be reviewed every seven years vs. someone who SS classifies has a disability that might improve, thus requiring a review every three years. I am not knocking the SS Adminisrtarion for conducting the review. It makes sense to verify that benefits are being paid only to those that have a true disability. However, that doesn't take away the feeling of nervousness that comes with one of these reviews. I am not concerned and honestly wish I could go back to work. I miss working very much, enough that I still dream about it. It isn't only the money I miss, but the pride from having a career and being proud of a profession. The only hope that I have of returning to work is undergoing a specific surgery done by a medical group that specializes in FBBS (failed back surgery syndrome). This surgical group comes highly recommended, but they don't accept Medicare and p
Quote:
Originally Posted by chloes1 View Post
I get SSDI because of my Rheumatoid Arthritis, I have deformities because of it and as a result was approved in just 10 weeks. :faints:

I'd also be happy to tell what I know as well....

chin up OBBN!! you're right the process will make you crazy!
Thanks and you are right, it will drive you crazy. I was classified as permanently disabled, but I understand I will be reviewed every seven years vs. someone who SS classifies as having a disability that might improve, thus requiring a review every three years. I am not knocking the SS Adminisrtarion for conducting the review. It makes sense to verify that benefits are being paid only to those that have a true disability. However, that doesn't take away the feeling of nervousness that comes with one of these reviews. I am not concerned and honestly wish I could go back to work. I miss working very much, enough that I still dream about it. It isn't only the money I miss, but the pride from having a career and being proud of a profession. The only hope that I have of returning to work is undergoing a specific surgery done by a medical group that specializes in FBSS (failed back surgery syndrome). This surgical group comes highly recommended, but they don't accept Medicare and paying cash isn't an option for me. I keep explorimg avenues for a solution, but haven't found one yet. Hopefully I will one day be able to find a medical treatment that will fix the problem, not just mask the symptoms. In the end, I am thankful for what I have, for I know that there are many out there that have it a lot worse than I do. I am blessed with a wonderful and supportive wife and family. I feel very deppresed at times because I feel so limited in what I can do financially for my family, but I realize that it is beyond my control. I can live with that fact because I know that I have done all I can, ie: I tried to return to work several times after the accident. Mentally it is very difficult for those of us on disability and I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who is saying they would rather stay on it than return to a productive life.

To those reading this thread, please understand that I am not looking for sympathy. I just want to make it clear that those of us who have had to go on disability aren't freeloaders and truly dont want to be in this situation. We are here because we don't have any other options and we are so limited in options that getting off of disability is almost impossible.
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  #33  
Old 04-11-2012, 06:09 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obbn View Post
I am not knocking the SS Adminisrtarion for conducting the review.
SSA has no choice. Periodic reviews are mandated by the Social Security Act. If you want to "knock" somebody, it is Congress.
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  #34  
Old 04-11-2012, 11:41 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbitu8 View Post
SSA has no choice. Periodic reviews are mandated by the Social Security Act. If you want to "knock" somebody, it is Congress.
Nope, not going to complain about them either. An occasional review to make sure everything is as it should be sounds quite reasonable to me. Doesn't make it any less stressful, but it's reasonable. And I am not known for being agreeable to anything Congress does, but they got this one right.

Last edited by obbn; 04-11-2012 at 11:42 PM..
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  #35  
Old 04-13-2012, 05:21 PM
phxjcc phxjcc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obbn View Post
I am very sorry to hear about your situation. Don't give up hope, I more than most understand how frustrating it is waiting on a decision. As I said up thread, I had practically given up on SS, then out of the blue I get the call from my attorney that we have a hearing. One thing I forgot to mention about the hearing is that the judge had asked me how I was able to support myself all the years since my injury. I was very honest in telling him that I used most my savings,my family helped me and that I attempted to go back to work on several occasions, but that I was unable to do the job. He said that he would count the limited income I had brought in from the few jobs a "failed attempts to return to work". The important thing that I learned from this is do not lie to the judge about any income during the process, as they have access to your IRS information. He seemed to appreciate my honesty. The hearing was in a small room in the local federal courtouse. The only people there were my attorney, the judge, a ballif and a court reporter. In my case it seemed very informal.

The only other big piece of advice I can give you is to look into a Medicare Advantage Plan once you get Medicare (which should be right away if you have been waiting a few yeas). I have found the Advantage plan to be much better and easier than straight Medicare. There is no cost to out, but your health insurance will be managed by a private insurance company and prescription coverage is integrated into the plan. The insurer in my case is Blue Cross/Blue Shield, but there are many who provide the plans. Do your research, there is a comparison page on the Medicare site, take your time and carefully compare drug coverage as what is cover varies. Your opinion and others may vary on this advice, but I have found it much superior to standard Medicare and Medicare part D.

Oh, I had originally thought about going with Binder and Binder, but went with a local attorney that my Workers Comp attorney reccomended. After we won the case, I found out that I was her very first client.

If you have more questions, feel free to PM me. I am not a Medicare expert, but I can certainly give you a heads up on what it is like to live under Disability. Good luck to you!
Thank you.
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  #36  
Old 11-16-2012, 06:24 PM
phxjcc phxjcc is offline
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Yes, this is a Zombie thread.

But, I wanted to publicly thank obbn again.

Benefits were just granted.

Mod: you can close this if you want.
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  #37  
Old 11-16-2012, 07:07 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phxjcc View Post
Yes, this is a Zombie thread.

But, I wanted to publicly thank obbn again.

Benefits were just granted.

Mod: you can close this if you want.
Wooohooo! Bet that felt GREAT!
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  #38  
Old 11-17-2012, 12:24 AM
obbn obbn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phxjcc View Post
Yes, this is a Zombie thread.

But, I wanted to publicly thank obbn again.

Benefits were just granted.

Mod: you can close this if you want.
Congratulations! That is great news. You will find that living on what disability pays won't be easy, but you now have the peace of mind that you won't be living on the streets because you can't work. I wish you the best!
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