Category: Social Security Disability

Why have a Lawyer help with your Social Security Disability Claims?

Being found disabled has never been easy. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has 4 stages in the application process for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The 4 Stages are: 

  1.  Filing an Application for Social Security Disability Benefits/Supplemental Security Income;
  2.  If denied you then file a Request for Reconsideration;
  3. If your Request for Reconsideration is denied  you file a Request for Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ); and
  4. If you receive an unfavorable decision from an ALJ you may appeal the unfavorable decision with the Appeals Council (AC).

Number of applicants winning their disability is decreasing:

Over the years less and less applicants filing for disability have received disability at the Hearing level in front of an ALJ (after step 3). And even fewer have received disability benefits prior to this stage. The average approval rate has dropped to around 36% nationally.  In the past the approval rate has been above 50% at the hearing level. Unfortunately approval rate appears to be continuing to decrease. The trend is less and less people are being approved for disability benefits.

Why you need an Attorney:

The lesson to be learned is if you are seeking disability benefits from the SSA, you need all the help you can get. After an initial denial, it is wise to engage the services of an attorney who practices Social Security Disability law. This is not a guarantee of success, but it does increase the odds. Once you receive a denial you have a strict time frame to file an appeal. An experienced attorney will help guide you through the appeals process and ensure your medical record is updated. As each Social Security Hearing Office is different, a local attorney will have a feel for the various local judges and may have some additional insight that is helpful.

If you have been denied Social Security Disability, call the trusted lawyers at Perry Law Office.

 

WHAT IS A WINDFALL OFFSET IN SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY?

Many times people who file for disability with the Social Security Administration (SSA) have claims for both Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Also, many times, the person who is found disabled is really only entitled to, at most, five months of past due SSI benefits. Yet, SSA will start off paying the person many more months of SSI to which they are not really entitled. When SSA tries to figure what you are owed in past due DIB, they reduce that amount by what you have been overpaid in SSI. This is called the windfall offset.

Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? But it is not. SSA withholds the past due DIB until the offset is calculated. In about a twenty-one percent (21%) of the time it is not calculated at all and another thirty-one percent (31%) of the time it is not done in a timely manner. Two percent (2%) of the time it is done incorrectly. Only about forty-five percent (45%) of the time are things done properly. This can be very confusing to individuals receiving disability benefits. It can also make it difficult for the disabled person to receive all past due benefits to which they are entitled.

At Perry Law Office, after we help a person obtain a favorable decision that they are disabled, we follow their claim in an effort to see that all past due benefits are properly paid.

 

What is a Windfall Offset in Social Security Disability?

Many times people who file for disability with the Social Security Administration (SSA) have claims for both Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Also, many times, the person who is found disabled is really only entitled to, at most, five months of past due SSI benefits. Yet, SSA will start off with paying the person many more months of SSI to which they are not really entitled. When SSA tries to figure what you are owed in past due DIB, they reduce that amount by what you have been overpaid in SSI. This is called the windfall offset. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? But it is not. SSA withholds the past due DIB until the offset is calculated. In about a twenty-one percent (21%) of the time it is not calculated at all and another thirty-one percent (31%) of the time it is not done in a timely manner. Two percent (2%) of the time it is done incorrectly. Only about forty-five percent (45%) of the time are things done properly. This can be very confusing to individuals receiving disability benefits. It can also make it difficult for the disabled person to receive all past due benefits to which they are entitled. At Perry Law Office, after we help a person obtain a favorable decision that they are disabled, we follow their claim in an effort to see that all past due benefits are properly paid.

Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance/Disability Insurance Benefits?

What is the difference between Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance/Disability Insurance Benefits? 

Difference between Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under Title XVI of the Social Security Act and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI or SSD) otherwise known Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) or Social Security Disability, under Title II of the Social Security Act. Most people do not know there are two different programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). In fact there are others but these are the two I am going to focus on today. The main difference is that Supplemental Security Income is income based and only available to low-income disabled individuals. If you make too much or have too much money saved in a bank or a retirement plan such as an IRA, 401K, or the like, or you live with you may not be eligible for SSI. Supplemental Security Income also has a cap on your monthly benefits that is substantially lower than Disability Insurance Benefits. Generally SSI is for those who have never worked, including children; who have worked but very little and have not worked enough to qualify for DIB; for those who have worked but a long time ago. Along with meeting one of these, you must be considered low-income pursuant to Social Security Administration.

Disability Insurance Benefits or Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits are available when an individual has earned enough work credits (paid enough into the Social Security fund through your paycheck, which are taken out with your taxes). From each of your pay checks your employer must pay FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes. This is more like paying an insurance premium. Each time you got paid, a portion of your check went to a fund to support Social Security. In return for making such payments, upon becoming disabled you are entitled to various monthly disability benefits. The amount you receive is specifically related to the amount you have put in over the years. If you have worked or have not worked enough you will not be eligible for Disability Insurance Benefits. Another factor to consider is how long you have been out of work, Social Security uses a formula which creates a date where you are no longer eligible for DIB. This is called your date last insured. In order to receive Disability Insurance Benefits you must be found disabled prior to your date last insured.

Beyond these major differences, the actual requirements to be found disabled are the same. The definition of disabled does not change, but the program you are eligible to be found disabled under may based on your work history and financial status.

You can be found disabled and qualify for both Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance. If applying you should apply for both to protect your right to claim either. If you never apply you may lose out on benefits you may otherwise be entitled to.

If you have been denied Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance (Disability Insurance Benefits), you may want to call an attorney to help you receive the benefits you may otherwise be entitled too.

Call Perry Law Office today to speak with an experienced attorney to discuss your options and help you obtain SSI or Disability Insurance Benefits. Remember, once you receive an denial you have a short deadline to appeal.

 

Thank you

Perry Law Office, P.C.
260-483-3110
www.perryoffice.net

Your Responsibility to Report Financial Changes AFTER Being Found Disabled

 It was a long time coming, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) has finally found you are disabled and you are now receiving Disability Insurance Benefits and/or Supplemental Security Income(SSI). This could be as a result of being found disabled upon your initial application or if after you attending a social security hearing in front of an Social Security Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Whether you represented your self or were represented by an attorney, the responsibility to notify SSA of any changes is solely your responsibility. 

You need to be aware of the requirement to report certain changes in your circumstances to SSA. One such change, but a big one, is getting a paying job. Whether working affects your disability benefits will depend on your specific case. It is important that if you do get a paying job you notify Social Security Administration immediately. Another event where you need to update SSA is if you are receiving SSI, and you receive non-work based income. This could include, but is not limited to, someone giving you money or someone providing you a place to live for free. Especially with SSI, both situations have the potential of impacting how much you receive in benefits for a month.

Prompt reporting can go a long way towards heading off SSA from saying you have been paid too much and asking for repayment of benefits received. You are required to report changes to SSA no more than 10 days after the end of the month in which the changes take place. To report changes you may visit your local SSA office in person, go on line at www.socialsecurity.gov, or call 1 – 800 – 772 – 1213.

If you have applied for Social Security Benefits, whether Disability Insurance Benefits and/or Supplemental Security Income and have been denied please contact Perry Law Office, P.C. as we may be able to help you. Just because you are working part-time does not mean you are not disabled.

 

Thank you

Perry Law Office, P.C.
260-483-3110
www.perryoffice.net

 

Why have a lawyer help with your Social Security Disability Claim?

 

Obtaining a ruling of disability has never been easy. There are four (4) stages in the application process for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) through the social security administration: (1) Filing an Application for Social Security Disability Benefits/Supplemental Security Income; (2) if denied you then file a Request for Reconsideration; (3) if your Request for Reconsideration is denied  you file a Request for Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ); and (4) if you receive an unfavorable decision from an ALJ you may appeal the unfavorable decision with the Appeals Council (AC).  For applications filed in 2009 through 2011 only about 40% of applications were eventually approved. Since then things have become more difficult. The number of claims paid at the initial and reconsideration stages of social security disability has remained about the same. But in 2014 less than half of those who went to the hearing level were found disabled. Historically, that had been, on average, 60% or more. Things did improve a bit in 2015 with nearly 55% of those who went to the hearing level being found disabled. The lesson to be learned is that those seeking disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) need all the help they can get. After an initial denial, it is wise to engage the services of an attorney who practices Social Security disability law. This is not a guarantee of success, but it does increase the odds. Once you receive a denial you a strict time frame to file an appeal. If you have been denied Social Security Disability, call the trusted lawyers at Perry Law Office.