Apr 30th, 2016

What Happens During the Application Interview with the SSA?

Fred London Law 0 Comments Uncategorized

You can complete SSDI and SSI applications by phone, online, or using your local Social Security office.  However, attempting to file online has disadvantages, so it’s best to do it in person.

If you do it in person, you need to bring a photo ID. If you don’t bring one, you will have to go through an identification process in which a claims representative asks you personal questions.

Aside from bringing your ID, you should bring your birth certificate. Also, be prepared to answer questions about your medical conditions, medical treatment sources, medications, any testing that you’ve had, and your work history. These topics relate to how to Social Security Administration makes approvals on disability claims.

When providing your medical treatment history, be sure to include all sources of treatment back to the time your disability began. You should also include every current source. Do this because Social Security will need it to determine whether or not you are currently disabled and also what your date of onset is. This is critical to determining how much back pay you are eligible to receive.

Providing full names and addresses of treatment sources is just as important. Doing so will assure that the disability examiner who processes your case will not have any difficulty obtaining the needed medical records. In the majority of cases, the largest processing delay deals with obtaining medical records to complete an application.

When providing your work history, you should include your entire work history for the 15-year period prior to becoming disabled. This information should include job titles and detailed descriptions of your job duties. Social Security uses this information to properly evaluate your ability to perform any of your past work activity and the chance you have at doing other types of jobs.

If your claim involved SSI, you will need to provide information about your income and income resources. SSI is a need-based disability program and it is subject to income and resource limits. During the disability interview, a claims representative will ask you questions about your bank accounts, vehicles, insurance policies, land, and other resources that could be converted into cash.

The claims representative uses the information you provide to complete your disability report form SSA 3368. This form has your medical source contact information along with your treatment dates, along with medication and testing. You will then sign a medical release form that gives Social Security access to your medical records.

Once all necessary forms have been completed, your disability claim file is transferred to a state disability agency (DDS, or disability determination services) for a medical disability decision.

Apr 29th, 2016

What Should I Do When I Receive an Overpayment from the SSA?

Fred London Law 0 Comments Uncategorized

It’s possible that you could receive an overpayment from the Social Security Administration (SSA) if you are receiving benefits. When you receive an overpayment, it is up to you to notify the SSA to resolve the situation.

What is an Overpayment?
Simply speaking, an overpayment means you received more money in a month than you should have been awarded. The overpayment is the difference between the amount you received compared to the amount owed.

What Causes an Overpayment?
A variety of causes can cause an overpayment including:

-Actual income is more than you estimated
-Changes in your living situation
-Changes in your marital status
-You continue to receive benefits after your disability ran out
-Benefits were incorrectly calculated because of incorrect or incomplete information

Overpayment Notice
SSA will send a notification that explains the overpayment and ask for a full refund within 30 days. The notice describes the action taken if the refund is not made in its entirety. SSA may withhold the overpayment at the rate of the lesser of 10 percent or the entire monthly payment. The notice will state the month that the proposed withholding will start and explain how you can appeal the decision. You may also ask SSA to review and waive the overpayment, which means you would not have to pay the overpayment back.

If you believe you received the overpayment notice in error, you can request a reconsideration. As long as you ask for an appeal within 10 days after you receive the notice, SSA will continue to make payments until a final determination is made.

You can also request for a waiver of the overpayment and complete the form SSA-632 if you believe you were not at fault for the overpayment. If the waiver is granted, you will not have to repay all or a portion of the overpayment. You must show that it was not your fault that you were overpaid and that you cannot pay back the overpayment because you need the money for standard living expenses. It’s possible you may need to submit bills to prove financial hardship.

What if the Waiver is Denied?
If your request for a waiver is denied, you will have to pay back the overpayment or have it withheld from your money benefits. There are several repayment options including withholding a proposed amount each month or making monthly payments if you are no longer receiving benefits.

Apr 28th, 2016

Marriage’s Effect on Social Security Disability Benefits

Fred London Law 0 Comments Uncategorized

Getting married is one of the milestones of life, and as many know, it ushers in a variety of changes to your lifestyle as well as your legal situation. From the taxes you pay to the places your kids go to school, being married will affect every aspect of your life. However, what many people don’t know is that when you get married, your disability status can be affected. To understand the specifics on this situation, take note of the following aspects of marriage’s effect on Social Security disability benefits.

Effects on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

People who receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits became disabled, whether through illness or injury, before retirement and thus are unable to work. If you receive this type of disability insurance or retirement benefit, your payments will not be affected by marrying.

Effects on Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is awarded to people who are aged, blind or disabled and have little or no income. It provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing and shelter for those who need it, and it is calculated based on your current income and where that places you in regard to the poverty line. As a result, and unlike with SSDI, your SSI benefit may change if you get married, as your spouse’s income will be added to yours. Furthermore, if both of you receive SSI benefits, both of your individual rates will be switched with a couple’s rate.

Effects on benefits for widows and widowers

If your spouse passed away and you receive SSDI benefits as a result, or if you receive benefits from a deceased former spouse as a divorced widow or widower, you will see restrictions on your SSDI income if you remarry. People who remarry before age 60, or age 50 if they are disabled, will no longer be eligible to receive these benefits.

Effects on divorcees and children

Divorcees who receive SSDI benefits from their former spouse will generally see these benefits stopped if they remarry. Benefits given to children under age 18, or students aged 18 or 19, who receive these benefits due to a disability or on behalf of their parents may also be taken away if they get married.

Apr 27th, 2016

How Should I Approach a Disability Appeal?

Fred London Law 0 Comments Uncategorized

If you are one of the people in the unfortunate situation of having been denied Social Security Disability benefits, SSA will allow you to appeal your denied claim.

The quickest and easiest way to submit an appeal for your denial is online through the SSA website at ssa.gov. Before you begin, it is useful to have all relevant information and materials regarding your claim on hand.

If you prefer to submit an appeal offline, SSA notes that “You can find and print the forms you need to request an appeal on our Forms Page. In addition to the appeal request form, you will need a paper ‘Disability Report – Appeal’ (SSA-3441) and an ‘Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration’ (SSA-827).” Once printed and completed, you may mail the forms to your local Social Security office.

First, you will need to gather your personal information, including

* Name, Social Security number, address, and phone number
* Date of denial decision
* If applicable, your representative’s name, address, and phone number. A representative may be a lawyer, friend, or anyone you’ve chosen to help you with your appeal. SSA
will work with your representative and will receive copies of any decisions we make about
your application

Additionally, you will need the following medical information:

* Name, address, and phone number of someone who knows about your medical condition
* Description of any change in an existing medical condition or a new one
* Name, address, phone number, and dates of all visits to any healthcare provider, type of treatments, and tests since you last provided evidence of your disability or medical condition
* Name of any medicine you are currently taking, reasons for taking it, side effects, and name of the doctor who recommended or prescribed it
* Changes to your daily activities, work, and education

You may want to have on hand any medical records or prescription bottles to refer to, as well as any additional documents that support your appeal. These document will help Social Security making a decision on your claim, and include medical reports, forms, or written statements regarding your disability. Following your appeal submission, SSA will provide a cover sheet you can use to submit any documents you want them to include with your request.

If denied on the initial application, there are four levels of appeal: reconsideration, hearing before an administrative law judge, review by the Appeals Council, and Federal Court Review. It is important to understand that your appeal may take time, so gathering all necessary information and following the guidelines from ssa.gov will ensure a smooth appeal process.