Category Archives: Social Security Disability

Jul 7th, 2017

Supplemental Security Income: Maryland

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program of the Social Security Administration (SSA). It helps low income, elderly and disabled people by providing basic needs funding for food, shelter, and clothing and shelter. Since SSI is based on need, the SSA has very low income requirements that a person or family must meet in order to qualify for the program. Can you work while on SSI? Yes, you can work while receiving SSI benefits, as long as your wages fall below SSI’s income threshold.

supplemental security income maryland

When your only income is from a job, the income caps are based on the monthly federal benefit rate (FBR). An individual must earn less than $735, and a couple or family must earn less than $1,103. The SSA counts earned income from a job, but they also count passive income like stocks or income earned from rental property. In-kind income counts too, such as food or shelter you might receive from a family member or community group, so if you are living rent-free, or getting food from a shelter, it counts as income. SSA will also count any other benefits you might be receiving, such as veteran benefits, pensions, child support or alimony; these are all considered passive forms of income as well.

The SSA allows you to own a home and a single automobile while on SSI benefits, but you can’t own many more meaningful assets. These are capped at $2,000 per individual and $3,000 per couple or family. Meaningful assets are also called disposable assets, such as cash, property, stock, bank account, life insurance, or household goods. There are certain exclusions, like wedding rings, savings for burial, and PASS (Plan for Achieving Self Support) savings accounts.

Certain states provide their own assistance—ranging from $10 to $400 per month–in addition to the federal SSI supplement; SSI will generally subtract your state amount from the federal amount they are willing to pay you. Maryland residents fare very well because the state provides generous benefits. You might be eligible for temporary cash assistance and temporary disability assistance, and if you are living in a care home or assisted living facility, the state provides a generous SSI supplement.

To summarize, can you work while on SSI? Yes, but your total monthly income cannot exceed the FBR. If it does, you won’t qualify for SSI. The SSA fairly frequently changes the rules for SSI, so hiring an experienced lawyer can help. Give us a call and we’ll walk you through it.

Oct 6th, 2015

Improve your Chances of having your Multiple Sclerosis Disability Claim Approved

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an insidious disease that can have debilitating effects on those who suffer from it. As MS advances, it can make it impossible for someone to maintain gainful employment. People who suffer from MS are usually eligible for Social Security benefits. However, Social Security Disability Law in Washington DC often dictates that initial claims can be denied. Thankfully there are some steps you can take to help make sure your application is accepted.

Have up-to-date and accurate medical records
Disability laws dictate that to be eligible for benefits, a condition must leave someone impaired for at least 12 months or a permanent disability. Although MS is a progressively degenerative and chronic illness, it often does not flare up for a long enough period of time or cause a permanent condition. Therefore, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will rely heavily on your neurologist’s records of your condition while making a determination. Be sure to stay actively involved with your medical records and make sure your doctor notates any work-related difficulties, even when you are feeling well and healthy.

Know what ailments the SSA will be looking for
The SSA looks at a long list of ailments when determining the application of someone with MS. These ailments include but are not limited to significant weakness, fatigue, vision problems, and cognitive problems. The entire list of qualifying ailments can be found here. Keep an eye out for these ailments and document them carefully to help prove your case to the SSA.

Anticipate your need for disability benefits
Conditions of qualifying for disability benefits often creep up slowly on those with MS. Therefore, you must be extra vigilant with your symptoms. Understand that at some point you will need to quit your job to qualify for benefits, so have some money set aside and a solid game plan set before you apply for benefits.

Talk with your medical provider
Before you apply for disability benefits, have a conversation with your neurologist. Review your symptoms and anticipate needed some additional neurological testing and occupational therapy.

Be detailed in your descriptions
The more information you can give to the SSA regarding your MS, the better chance you will have of having your application accepted. Provide as many details as possible. No detail, regardless of how small it seems, is too insignificant to be included.

Seek legal assistance
Social Security Disability Law in Washington DC is complicated and detailed. A qualified disability lawyer can be an advocate and your best ally in your quest to have your claim accepted.

Suffering from MS can be an uphill battle; applying for disability benefits should not be. If you have MS and believe you are eligible for disability benefits, a Social Security disability lawyer in Washington CD can help you get the money you deserve.

Oct 2nd, 2015

Lupus and SSD Benefits

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

For people dealing with Lupus in their daily lives, it can be hard to describe to others the difficulties associated with the illness. Lupus is an immune system disorder that is not very well understood and can put a lot of strain on your day to day activities. With all of that added burden, the last thing you want to worry about is the also complex and confusing process of applying for and getting social security disability benefits. Fortunately, we are here with some information to make things easier on you.

When it comes to systemic lupus erythematosus, there are two ways that it is described by the Social Security Administration. The first way it is understood is through involvement in two or more organs and/or body systems. In this case, the administration notes that at least one of the organs or body systems must be at least moderately affected by the lupus. Furthermore, the administration notes that there should be at least two symptoms present. These symptoms can include fatigue, fever, unintentional weight loss, or malaise. The administration also recognizes this immune disorder when two of the symptoms are present and the lupus manifests repeatedly. In this instance, the individual must show that the ailment also limits their daily life, prohibits them from functioning socially, and/or prevents them from completing tasks without losing concentration, focus, or otherwise. If one of those is true, the symptoms are present, and the lupus manifests or has manifested repeatedly, then it can be recognized by the Social Security Administration.

This just barely covers the details of applying for social security disability benefits when dealing with lupus. In fact, there is a lot more that goes into the process of applying for benefits and receiving them. That being said, an attorney can help. There are a number of social security disability attorneys in Washington D.C. and elsewhere, so be sure to investigate your options. Getting professional help will definitely ease the process.

Sep 29th, 2015

Goal: Why did my SSI application get denied?

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

When a person is dealing with medical issues that hinder their everyday lives and functioning, obtaining assistance to help aid them is highly critical. For an individual who is disabled, such assistance includes Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. When applying for such aid, there are applicants who get denied for various different reasons. Being rejected for benefits can be a scary thought for those who are really depending on it to survive. To avoid getting denied the first time around, seeking the services of a Disability Attorney in Washington, DC may be your best bet. If your SSI application has recently been denied, here are some possible reasons as to why that decision was made.

1. Age
While many individuals of various ages have been able to obtain SSI disability aid, age is still a deciding factor when it comes to determining whether an applicant gets denied or not. When applicants hit the 50-54-year-old age mark, Social Security does not expect these individuals to start a new career in a completely different field than what they are skilled in and acquainted with. This is due to their advanced age, which prevents them from being expected to retrain for even sedentary work. Applicants of younger ages may be seen as more capable of picking up new work skills.

2. Capability of work
When it comes to obtaining SSI benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will first determine if you are capable of completing any type of work before they give an applicant access to aid. If a person is capable of doing sedentary work, in the least, their application has a higher chance of being denied; especially if they do not have enough work experience.

3. Disability not detected
A huge reason for the SSA not being able to identify you as disabled would be because they were not provided with enough documentation for them to judge their decision off of. If the SSA does not see that an applicant meets their listing for disability, a status of denial will be offered. For this reason, the more medical records and the more paperwork detailing your sickness you send over along with your application the better.

Sep 25th, 2015

How to Find a SSD Lawyer in Washington, D.C.

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

Part of what it means to be a successful member of society is having a job. Earning a living wage and taking care of yourself and your family is inherently American, and most people would agree that this is the yardstick by which to measure your success in life. Unfortunately, though, for many Americans, they are unable to achieve even this modest goal. Either through physical limitations or disabilities, or old age, millions of people cannot get and maintain employment. Fortunately for them, though, the Social Security Program exists.

For anyone suffering from a disability or on the verge of retirement, Social Security is a way to ensure that your livelihood stays intact and that your needs are met. But how do you navigate the structure of this system? What if your application is denied? What requirements must be fulfilled to receive benefits? If filing for Social Security seems like a daunting task, that’s because it very well can be. Many applications, sometimes as much as 60%, are denied initially. Thankfully, though, you have options available to you.

In Washington, D.C., finding an SSD lawyer isn’t too difficult. You can search online for a listing of Social Security offices and law offices that specialize in SSDI claims. However, be sure to thoroughly research and vet these lawyers before deciding. Because of the number of applications, and the high number of appeals, many law offices can be swamped with claimants. This isn’t to say that they are not satisfactory in their services, it just means that it can be difficult to find one who will dedicate the same amount of time to your case as you will. Nonetheless, don’t be discouraged if your lawyer isn’t able to spend as much face time with you as you’d like since most of the time these processes are more about paperwork than interaction.

If you’re unsure about whether or not to work with a lawyer, just know that using legal services improves your chance of an application getting approved by as much as 30%. If you try to file a claim yourself and get denied, the appeals process can be difficult and stressful. A lawyer will know what forms you need, what evidence you need, and what your particular judge will be looking for. This can save you time and also possibly afford you more benefits than you would get if you appealed by yourself.

Sep 22nd, 2015

Why Was My Social Security Disability Application Denied?

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

Several factors are considered when you apply for Social Security disability. Most applications get denied because they receive an incomplete or poorly filled out application. As a government agency, they need precise information. Did your application get denied because of something you did or was there logic behind their decision?

Social Security disability is a form of income. The primary reason that these applications get denied is related to that income. Ask yourself if you make too much money. They have thresholds they must follow, and if you make one penny more than they say you can, your application will get denied. Although you are allowed to be a working member of society, your income may not exceed this threshold. If you are working or otherwise earning income above what they considered to be the “substantial gainful activity,” your application may get denied. As you look into the matter, bear in mind that the Social Security Administration only considers working income – any other type of income, including investment earnings, is not considered.

Your application may get denied if the Social Security Administration believes that your specific disability will not last over a year. They take the expected duration of your disability into consideration. Examples include bone fractures (as most will heal on their own within six months). Blind people, for instance, are exempt from this rule because once you’re blind, it doesn’t go away. Even more severe disability claims such as those involving acute trauma (think motor vehicle accidents) will get rejected if they do not believe the duration of the disability will last over a year.

What if you were to refuse to cooperate? Many people do not allow governmental entities, such as the Social Security Administration, access to records they consider private such as medical records. If the Social Security Administration cannot gain access to your records as proof of your disability, your application will get denied. It is best to be truthful and upfront from the very beginning. Cooperate with everything – this includes attending every appointment and consultative examination required so that the Social Security Administration can come to a decision about your case.

Other determining factors such as drug and alcohol addictions, criminal history and behavior, and falsifying information on your application can guarantee you a denial. You’re applying for Social Security income – money from the government – and they have very stringent requirements. If you fail a drug test or if you otherwise break one of the rules, you’re disqualifying yourself.

Simply follow the rules, and provide all the as much truthful information as you can. If you find that your claim still gets denied, contact the law firm of Fred S. London at (877) 978-3058 for an immediate, free consultation.

Aug 11th, 2015

Applying for Social Security Benefits in Washington DC With a Knee Injury

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

If you are living in the Washington DC area, are suffering from knee pain and are interested in applying for Social Security disability benefits because of it, you have come to the right place. Though you can complete the application process on your own, it can be hard to gather the right evidence and apply for Social Security Benefits in Washington DC properly without guidance from an attorney. So, as we go forward, keep that in mind. For now, you’ll need to know if your injury qualifies you for disability benefits.

The root of most cases of knee pain is the joints. Injured joints can cause severe, debilitating pain whenever the knee is moved. Though it is possible to qualify for SSD benefits if you suffer from severe joint pain, it is not an easy task. This is where a Social Security disability lawyer can help you through the application process.

In regards to severe joint pain, the SSA requires that the applicant provide evidence that his ailment is “medically determinable.” This means that you, the applicant, must have specific medical tests done that can physically show the SSA your injury. These results can provide you with an arsenal of evidence to use when applying for Social Security benefits in Washington DC. This evidence has to prove that your joint pain will last longer than a year and that it is so severe that it is altering your lifestyle and work performance.

An SSD attorney can take you through the specific tests and medical procedures that will help support your case. However, a rough list includes your official diagnosis, MRIs, x-rays and labs, in addition to proof that you have tried different treatment options and how your body responded (or didn’t respond) to that treatment.

According to the SSA, you can qualify for benefits in one of two ways:
1. Proving that your disability meets the requirements outlined in the SSA’s book of disability listings
2. Showing that your disability limits you physically or mentally, preventing you from working full-time

To qualify under the SSA’s disability listings, your joint pain must be caused by a deformity. This can be proven with an MRI. Since the joint pain is pinpointed to your knee, this deformity must be so severe that it alters your ability to walk normally – thus altering your day-to-day lifestyle. Do you need help running errands? Can you walk up stairs by yourself?

Qualifying for Social Security benefits in Washington DC under the second set of qualifications can be even more difficult. If you do not know what your best bet is, or even where to begin, an SSD lawyer can help you get your application started.
Washington DC Knee Injury

Aug 10th, 2015

Applying For Social Security Disability With Anxiety

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

Anxiety disorders can cover a wide range of symptoms and experiences, and it is hard to condense all of the information about applying for social security disability with any emotional disorder into such a short post, but there are some common rules and guidelines that can help you claim the benefits you deserve.

It should be noted that not every individual suffering from an emotional disorder qualifies for social security disability. The main rule of thumb is that, in order to qualify, your disability must have a marked impact on your life and disrupt your day to day functions. It is also important to note that the emotional disorder must be a long term one. Individuals suffering from short term anxiety are not eligible for social security disability.

Furthermore, people applying for social security disability must prove that they suffer from a generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic, or severe phobia. Obviously, self diagnosis can be unreliable, so you should discuss your personal situation with a doctor, psychologist, or other qualified health professional to help you determine whether or not you match any of these qualifications for social security disability. This health professional will also help you determine whether or not your disability causes a regular and serious disruption to your daily life, your ability to work or focus, your ability to function in a social setting, or your ability to control your disorder. These are also requirements necessary to qualify for social security disability.

Just because you do not meet the specific requirements listed here in a typical fashion, however, does not mean that you cannot draw disability benefits. Cases are evaluated with more scrutiny than simply checking the aforementioned boxes, and you may qualify for some benefits even if you do not match what was previously said. The details of the application and the qualifications for benefits are tricky, and they are best explained by a qualified professional that knows the details. You can find all the information on how to apply for social security disability on the Social Security Administrations website. There you can also find a variety of ways to speak with someone within the administration about the procedure to apply.

Aug 6th, 2015

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits with Schizophrenia

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

People who suffer from schizophrenia have a heavy cross to bear. One of the most Often this condition is so mentally and emotionally debilitation it is impossible for someone suffering from it to be able to carry on with the day-to-day activities many of us take for granted. When schizophrenia makes it impossible for someone to hold down a steady job it is possible for that person to apply for Social Security disability benefits.

Qualifying for disability benefits
A person with schizophrenia must first qualify for disability benefits.  In order to do so, there must be proof of a diagnosis by a physician. You must also have documented proof that the condition has caused you to be unable to work for at least one full year. You must also meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) schizophrenia listing or be able to show a reduced ability to function due to the condition.

Meeting the SSA listing for schizophrenia
Qualification for disability benefits is virtually automatic if the requirements set by the SSA are met. The standards for qualification include having medical evidence of the following issues:

* Hallucinations or delusions
* A catatonic state
* Illogical thought in connection with a blunt, flat, or inappropriate presentation
* Being isolated or emotionally withdrawn

The above symptoms also must result in at least two of the following issues:

* A severe restriction in daily activities
* A severe difficulty in dealing with other people
* Severe problems in maintaining attention, perseverance, or pace on tasks
* Repeated episodes of increased symptoms associated with an inability to function. Each episode must last at least two weeks.

Repeated episodes of increased symptoms associated with an inability to function. Each episode must last at least two weeks.

Other qualifications
If the above qualifications are not met, disability benefits may still be applied for. The alternate qualifications include:

* Repeated episodes of increased symptoms with each episode lasting at least two weeks
* A current state of functioning that causes symptoms to increase with even a small amount of demands or change to environment
* A current living arrangement that has been in existence at least one year that provides a highly supportive environment without which there is a lack of functioning

If you or someone you love are suffering from schizophrenia and think you may be eligible for disability benefits, your next step is to speak with a lawyer who is well-versed in Social Security disability law. The attorneys at Fred London Law are experts in the field and can answer any questions you have.  Contact us today.

Jun 12th, 2015

Information about Social Security Disability Benefits for those with Back Pain

Fred London Law 0 Comments Social Security Disability

Back issues are a common problem for which people tend to seek Social Security disability benefits. Not every back issue is eligible for disability benefits, however many are.   For example, those suffering from periodic back pain due to aging or lack of movement are not eligible, unless they qualify based on a Medical Vocational allowance, including a review of their age, education, and their remaining ability to perform work related tasks. People who have degenerative issues such as spinal stenosis or disk degeneration may be eligible by meeting a listing or qualifying based on a Medical Vocational Rule. Applying for disability with a back issue requires the applicant to meet specific severity requirements for the particular disorder that is the cause of the issue. When the social Security Administration is considering granting disability benefits due to a back issue, the most important determining factor is credibility.

The qualifying process

Applicants petitioning the Social Security office for disability benefits due to back pain will generally be required to prove they have a “medically determinable” injury that has lasted for at least one full year. As part of proving the impairment, the applicant will need to provide results from x-rays or MRIs. I the absence of these test results, a doctor’s note that explicitly states that the pain is caused by a physical abnormality of the spine or spinal canal will need to be provided.

Evaluation of severity

The Social Security Administration generally expects people to work through their back pain; which is why they don’t approve a large number of claims. In order to determine if a claim will be approved, they look at specific factors.

– The Social Security Administration will look at the applicant’s objective symptoms to see if they meet the qualification standards.
– They will also take a look at the applicant’s functional limitations. These are essentially physical limitations that have been brought about because of the back pain. Functional limitations are generally determined by looking at ease in walking, the need to frequently change positions, and the ability to do certain types of work.
– The Social Security Administration will also take the applicant’s credibility into consideration when determining whether or not a claim will be approved.

Evaluation of credibility

Because back pain is easy to cite as a cause for the need of disability benefits, and can often be difficult to prove, the Social Security Administration always takes into consideration the credibility of the applicant. They determine credibility by assessing the following factors:

– The frequency of doctor’s visits
– Attempted treatments
– Doctor’s opinions of pain level and limitations
– The effect of the pain on daily living
– Whether the extent of the pain is being exaggerated
– How the reported pain compares to the reports of others with similar issues

Determining eligibility for disability benefits for those with back pain can be a slippery slope. Due to the indefinite nature of back pain, there are many factors that need to be decided on before benefits can be granted. Anyone who feels that they may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits due to a back problem should contact our firm for more information and guidance.