Mar 28th, 2016

What Happens When a Child Recipient of Benefits turns 18?

Fred London Law 0 Comments Uncategorized

Raising children is not for the feeble. Add disability to the mix and the pressures mount. Navigating Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in Baltimore rocks the heartiest of parents and now top it with this: Three months before birthday 18, parents are notified that benefits will end. Yes, disability benefits for children end at their eighteenth birthday.

An extension of benefits may be granted in cases where children meet one or both of the following criteria:

1. The child remains a full-time student at an elementary or secondary school.
2. The child bears a disability that began before age 22.

Qualifying under the first criteria, a student must submit a statement of attendance certified by the school to Social Security. Full-time standing equates to 20 hours per week of study unless the school uses a higher scale. Benefits continue for students until they graduate or turn 19 whichever date falls first. However, payments stop if a beneficiary is no longer a student, drops below full-time status or marries.

Qualifying under the second criteria, the child or a representative must contact a Social Security office to file for a continuation of benefits. Before placing the call, the applicant should be prepared with a history of the condition including names and addresses of doctors and hospitals that hold the claimant’s medical records, schools attended and a work history if applicable.

In Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cases where the child receives SSI benefits until age 18, the case is reviewed in the child’s eighteenth year. This process is termed redetermination. Medical and non-medical criteria for determining adult eligibility differ from that which approves children. For example, the parent’s income and resources do not factor into an adult’s determination. Also, the adult decision focuses on work where the child’s decision looks at function.

To complete a redetermination, field officers gather information on disability and function and the data is forwarded to the decision-making agency. With children bridging to age 18, Social Security considers capacities and limitations in education, participation in paid and volunteer training and work, and work related stress. Performance in these areas likely predicts adult work success. Commonly, if a disability exists up to age 18, the claimant qualifies as a young adult as well.

With the added pressures of a child turning 18, the seeking of continued benefits overwhelm. A representative or advocate aids in the child’s case and can relieve stress and clarify processes. Finding a disability representative in Baltimore can ease the process.

Mar 28th, 2016

What Can I Expect From My Social Security Disability Interview?

Fred London Law 0 Comments Uncategorized

An interview is required to receive Social Security benefits in Baltimore. After a claim is filed, a social security representative will contact the claimant to schedule an interview. Interviews can be conducted face-to-face or over the phone. Interviews take approximately one hour if the applicant is prepared. This fact is an incentive to do the work of preparation.

Keep in mind, the interview is simply a fact-finding mission. The claims representative from SSA will ask a series of questions to gather information with which to make a decision regarding the case. Questions will relate to work history, medical condition and history, military involvement, marital status, number of children, and workers compensation claims.

To prepare, SSA encourages claimants to begin the application process online which aids in quicker interviews. In doing so, the applicant will gather information and paperwork vital to a disability decision. This data will also be useful for the interview. While the task can be daunting, enlisting the help of an advocate or qualified person eases the stress. Furthermore, keep in mind that truthful and forthright information provides a solid foundation for a disability case.

After submitting the application, the gathering of additional details and paperwork to support the interview begins. This list of useful documents includes medical records, workers compensation records and recent W2 forms. Knowing the following information is essential: birthdates and social security numbers of the spouse and children, marriage and divorce dates, bank account numbers, names of and contact details for medical professionals as well as previous and current employers. See a full Adult Disability Interview Checklist at for detailed information on what to bring. (If you are applying for a child, SSA also offers a Childhood Disability Interview Checklist.)

Processing disability claims in Baltimore can be an overwhelming and lengthy process. A legal advocate can assist in this process and provide reassurance to applicants preparing for the interview. Also, an applicant has a right to have a legal representative or qualified person of his or her choice present during the interview.

Mar 3rd, 2016

Overcoming the myths around the SSDI application

Fred London Law 0 Comments Uncategorized

There are many false truths about the Social Security Administration application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) that often prevent eligible candidates from correctly applying for these benefits. Listening to these myths can lead to incomplete or incorrect submissions and can cost many people the support they need.

“Why apply? I’ll just be denied.”
The first myth facing many eligible individuals is an immediate denial of their claims. A 10-year analysis of the outcomes of disability applications, completed by Social Security Administration, shows that, on average, 28 percent of claims were awarded after the first application. Many individuals learn that number and choose not to apply, which is unfortunate, because, for the same 10-year period, SSA approved another 17 percent of applications, on average, after reconsideration.

“I’m not sure why I was denied – I’ll start over.”
The SSDI application can be very stringent, including work and medical history, and about 20 percent, on average, of the applications in the same 10-year period were denied due to technical issues within the responses. Many applicants who have been denied then return to the beginning of the process, filling out a new application – the second myth. A better option would be to appeal a denied claim, and a good SSI Disability representative in Washington, DC can help applicants navigate the process.

“I don’t need much information to be approved.”
Washington, DC applications have found two steps that have helped to prevent technical denials of their claims. They have contacted an advocate versed in the application process and have carefully reviewed the SSA Disability manual, which spells out crucial details and documentation needed for a successful SSDI application. The idea of the application requiring little documentation can be appealing for many applicants, but compiling the required information as listed in the disability manual can not only smooth out the application process but also increase the applicant’s odds of a favorable outcome.

“It will be years until I find out if my claim was awarded.”
Another common myth is that the process is extremely lengthy. The time to review and make a determination on an adequately documented case can range from several weeks to several months, but the Compassionate Allowances program allows SSA to expedite claims for individuals with certain serious diseases or qualifying medical conditions. SSA fast-forwards the process to a public outreach hearing to determine if the disease, injury or illness meets the current definition of disability.

Applicants seeking Social Security representation in Washington, DC find that working with a knowledgeable attorney can increase their chances of success when it comes to applying for SSDI benefits.

Mar 3rd, 2016

Important Payment Information Every SSI/SSDI Recipient Should Know

Fred London Law 0 Comments Uncategorized

The application process to receive social security benefits through the Social Security Office Washington DC can be a lengthy one and the waiting period to receive benefits can become financially strenuous for people who do not have another source of income. The entire decision process can become overwhelming so before eligibility is determined; there is some important payment information every SSI/SSDI recipient should know.

By law, you cannot begin receiving disability benefits unless you’ve been disabled for five months or more so in most cases payments begin after the sixth month of being disabled. Once the Social Security Administration has notified you that you are eligible to receive SSI/SSDI benefits, you will be advised in writing what your approximate start date will be and how much you can expect to receive each month.

You may be eligible to receive back payments for the months you didn’t collect benefits while awaiting a decision. If anyone else in your family is eligible to receive benefits, a separate notice will be sent to each individual along with an informational booklet.

When Payments Begin

SSI benefits recipients can expect to receive their payment from the Social Security Office Washington DC on the first day of each month. If the first day of the month lands on a weekend day or on a holiday, your benefits payments will arrive one business day before.

Very few people receive payments by mail because the Social Security Administration encourages benefits recipients to receive their monthly payments via direct deposit to your bank account or through the Direct Express card program. However, if you do still receive payments by mail, keep in mind that there may be delays in the mail. If you haven’t received your payment by the fourth day of the month, you should call the agency to inquire about your payment.

How Long You Can Expect to Receive Payments

If your medical condition hasn’t improved and you are still unable to work, benefits will continue, but that doesn’t mean that you will receive benefits indefinitely. There have been medical advances and rehabilitation techniques that help improve certain medical conditions so the SSA will check in periodically to check on possible improvements to your disability.

Combined SSI and SSDI Payments

If you are among the benefits recipients that receive both SSI and SSDI payments, you can expect to receive your payment on the third day of each month unless it lands on a weekend or holiday in which case you can expect it to arrive one business day before then. If you started receiving benefits after 1997, certain exceptions allow you to have your payment date changed.

Mar 3rd, 2016

Can Gathering More than One Doctor’s Letter Benefit my Disability Case

Fred London Law 0 Comments Uncategorized

Applying for Social Security and SSI benefits is known to be a complex process. In fact, only 3 out of every 10 applicants are approved when first applying and there is no guarantee that your claim will be accepted when you request an appeal. The average time to await a decision is 3 to 5 months. However, there is no specific deadline for a decision, and there are cases that can take more than a year for a final determination. Due to the compound process, it is very wise to provide as much documentation and do whatever you can to increase the chances of having your claim approved as fast as possible.

What You Will Need to Apply for Social Security and SSI Benefits
If you are just starting the application process for Social Security and SSI benefits, it will greatly help your case if you provide detailed medical documentation and work history so that the disability examiner has supporting data that will prove your inability to work. Especially if you could provide your complete history of treatment and contact information for any current and previous doctors, who have treated you.

Make sure you provide up-to-date contact information and include your physician’s name, address, phone number, and if possible, you should also include the name of the proper person to speak to. If you’ve ever been hospitalized, you will want to make sure to include all of the treating facility’s contact information as well. The Social Security examiners will use their own database if you don’t have the information available. However, their information system does not include all medical facilities, so it’s best that you save them the step and provide it when you apply. Being thorough in the information you provide will help move your case along smoother. The goal is to ensure you’ve covered all of your bases, and that usually means getting your doctors to write letters for you too.

How a Letter from Your Doctor(s) Can Help You When Applying for Social Security and SSI Benefits

Getting written statements from any and all doctors who have and continue to treat your condition will strengthen your case immensely. Although they are probably experienced in assisting patients with documentation for claims, make sure their statements are not brief and vague. They should provide as much detail as possible that can support your claim and prove your inability to work. If your preliminary application is denied and you request a hearing, the opinion of your doctor can play a crucial role in determining whether you will win or lose your case. When more than one physician is reinforcing your inability to work in writing, it improves your chances of being approved. That means that the more, the merrier when it comes to gathering letters from your doctor(s) while trying to be awarded Social Security and SSI benefits.