The Fate of Social Security Disability Insurance

It seems like every year, new information circulates regarding cuts to social security Social Securityprograms. However, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is experiencing pressures at a significant pace. If not for a last-minute effort by Congress and the White House at the end of last year, SSDI payments could have been reduced by nearly 20% by the end of 2016. While there will be no cuts to SSDI in 2016, the stopgap is only in place until 2022 and programs funds are being drained much quicker than they can be replenished.

Social Security Disability provides financial payments to individuals (and potentially members of their family) if they have worked long enough to accumulate sufficient credits and have a medical condition that has prevented them from working or is expected to prevent them from working for at least 12 months or end in death.

To keep SSDI afloat, Congress approved a fund-shifting scheme from the Social Security retirement fund. That was a short-term solution to a problem that is not going way.  The question now, however, is how long will these benefits last and what will the benefits program look like after 2022?

Before Congress will sign off on extending the program beyond 2022, there will be long looks at how to reduce costs and get more people off the books. Other changes to watch for include modifications in program eligibility and substantial modifications to the benefit formula.

If you believe you have a disability which prevents you from working and have not applied for Social Security Disability, it would be wise to consider doing so now. Changes to SSDI are coming, and it’s better to be ahead of the changes than trying to catch up from behind.

The attorneys at Howland, Hess O’Connell have handled Social Security Disability claims extensively over the years. We are experienced in preparing the documentation and supplementing the application in a way which provides our clients with the best chance of obtaining benefits. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced team of attorneys to discuss the possibility of you obtaining social security disability benefits, call 215-947-6240.

Legal Disclaimer: The contents of this website are intended solely for informational purposes. They neither constitute nor imply an official legal opinion on behalf of Howland, Hess, Guinan, Torpey, Cassidy and O’Connell nor do they establish an attorney-client relationship of any kind. Howland Hess O’Connell encourages all readers to seek and consult professional counsel before acting upon the information contained on this site.

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Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits and Maximizing Likelihood of Success

Social Security Disability Benefits are payments made to you and, potentially, certain members of your family if you have worked long enough and have a medical condition that has prevented you from working or is expected to prevent you from working for at least 12 months or end in death.

Social SecurityThere are several ways to apply for social security disability benefits. The first option is to go to your local social security office where you can apply in person. If you don’t know where the nearest social security office is, you can go to the Social Security Office Locator website where all you need is your zip code to find the office nearest you. If you are comfortable filing an application online, you can do so here. Click on “video instructions” for an tutorial on filing your claim online.

Finally, if you are not comfortable filing a claim online and don’t want to travel to one of the offices or are not able to do so, you can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. If someone is not available to take your application, a time will be scheduled when someone can call you back to fill out your application.

There are numerous intricacies critical to your chances of succeeding on a claim for disability benefits, a few of which will be mentioned below. It is important to note that it is difficult to win social security disability benefit claims, which is why the assistance of an experienced attorney can be crucial.

The first tip to help solidify your claim for disability benefits is to be as specific as possible in your description of how your disability (be it an injury or an illness) impacts your ability to perform any type of work. It is critical that you describe all the limitations you are experiencing which impact your ability to work.

Next, recognize that one of the quickest ways your claim will be denied by Social Security is if you are no longer receiving treatment for the injury or illness you claim renders you disabled. Treatment by a doctor specific to the limitations claimed and relevant documentation can make or break your case. If your doctor’s records effectively detail your functional limitations, you stand a better chance of receiving social security disability benefits.

Finally, if you have a physical injury or illness and it has impacted you mentally, be sure to explain that. Many people feel the need to emphasize their physical limitations and skip over or downplay the significance of the mental hurdles their injury has created. If you are struggling with concentration or memory, or are depressed or anxious, this is something the Social Security Administration will generally take into consideration. While some people may feel embarrassed, explaining the full extent of the impact of your injury is the best way to succeed in a claim for disability benefits.

If you are contemplating filing a claim for disability benefits with social security, the attorneys at Howland Hess O’Connell are willing and able to advise and assist you in this process.

Legal Disclaimer: The contents of this website are intended solely for informational purposes. They neither constitute nor imply an official legal opinion on behalf of Howland, Hess, Guinan, Torpey, Cassidy and O’Connell nor do they establish an attorney-client relationship of any kind. Howland Hess O’Connell encourages all readers to seek and consult professional counsel before acting upon the information contained on this site.