Jun 26, 2008

More on Social Security Disability

When I was filling in for JLP at All Financial Matters last week, I discussed Social Security Disability benefits and they actually sounded pretty good. But it looks like they might be rather difficult to get. Beachgirl just shared that her dad, who hasn't been able to work for some time now, was just denied disability benefits. And from what I can gather, he's not able to work at all.

It would be one thing if the Social Security Administration's letter said that since he still has cognitive abilities, he could find a different job. But if I'm reading the portion she posted correctly, they're saying that they think he could still do his job as a maintenance worker. Huh?

Fortunately, her parents have consulted an attorney, who believes they have an excellent chance of winning an appeal. I hope he's right!


Anonymous said...

My mom went through this too. Her lawyer said they generally turn you down the first time, and appealing is standard. (She was hit by a bus (in her car, thankfully) and deals with a lot of pain now.) After the appeal, it all worked out. So my guess is that is what's going on.


Disability Blogger said...

Cathy, I tried to post a response to your writeup on social security disability on the other site, but I'm not sure if it took. Here's what I tried to post. Sorry if I end up repeating myself.

Good synopsis. I would point out, though, that (I am a former disability claims examiner for the social security administration) that the one year rule for satisfying the SSA definition of disability can be "projected". That is, you don't actually have to be out of work for a year to qualify. Upon review of your medical records, a projection can be made as to the likelihood of a claimant being unable to work. Also, cases are typically set for review ("diaried") every one, three, and seven years, depending on the severity of a claimant's condition and the likelihood (or not) that medical improvement might occur.

Chief Family Officer said...

@Jennifer - I'm so sorry about what your mom has gone through, and is still going through, from the sound of things. Thanks for your input.

@Disability Blogger - Thanks for your clarification!

Anonymous said...

I went through this with my husband while he was still alive.
It can be a lot of work and double speak, but if you get the correct documentation and keep going at it, you won't need a lawyer. Most lawyers charge you up to 1/3 of your benefits, and when you or yours can no longer work,who can afford that. Just keep appealing if you get turned down. Carol

Disability Blogger said...

"Most lawyers charge you up to 1/3 of your benefits"

No. Disability representatives may charge 1/4 of the claimant's backpay, up to a maximum of $5300.00

"you won't need a lawyer"

For most individuals, I wouldn't worry about representation at the intial claim or reconsideration level. However, at a hearing held by an administrative law judge, it would be foolish to go in unrepresented. Remember the saying: "He who has himself for a lawyer..."

Chief Family Officer said...

@Carol - Sounds like you went through a very difficult time. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

@DL - Thanks again for sharing your expertise!