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Buffalo Social Security Disability Law Blog

How do I know if my condition qualifies for disability benefits?

When an injury or illness prevents you from working, you can ask the Social Security Administration (SSA) to help supplement your income. But in order for them to help you, you must qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

There are many factors that the SSA looks at when qualifying you for benefits. One of the most important factors is if your condition impairs you enough to prevent you from working. But how do you know if your condition will qualify?

Applying for SSD or SSI benefits

New York residents may qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration if they have contributed to the program through Social Security payroll deductions and have a medical condition that prevents them from working. Individuals who do not qualify for these benefits may still be eligible to receive financial assistance through the Supplemental Security Income program. The Social Security Administration provides guidance for those who are unsure about which application to submit.

When the SSA receives an application for Social Security Disability benefits, one of the first things a representative will do is check the date that the applicant was last insured. In order to qualify for benefits, the applicant must be able to establish that they became disabled before this date. Applicants generally do this by providing the SSA with medical records and submitting Residual Functional Capacity forms completed by their treating physicians.

Social Security disability and appeals deadlines

New York residents whose application for SSI disability or SSD benefits was denied can appeal the decision. They only have up to 60 days after the date of the denial, with an additional five days to account for the mailing of the denial letter, to submit an appeal. This gives them 65 days total for sending their appeal to the Social Security office for reconsideration appeals, requests to have disability hearings and requests for the reevaluation of an administrative law judge's ruling.

Because of the amount of time given to an applicant to file and submit an appeal, the Social Security Administration may not excuse a late appeal. If individuals submit their appeals after the deadline, their case will generally be brought to an end. In order for them to continue to try to obtain disability benefits, they will have to start the application process over from the beginning.

Obtaining benefits during an appeal

New York residents and others who receive disability benefits may have their cases reviewed every three to seven years. After a review, it is possible that benefits will be suspended because an individual's condition has improved significantly. Benefits could also be stopped if a person begins to earn a gainful income. Those who have had their benefits suspended may wish to appeal the decision, and an appeal must be made within 65 days of receiving the notice.

During the appeal process, a benefit recipient may ask that he or she continue to receive payments. For many people, these payments are their only source of income, and it almost forces them to request that they continue to be sent. However, if an appeal is eventually denied, it may be necessary to repay any funds that he or she obtained while the cessation was being appealed. If a person wants to continue to receive payments upon appealing a cessation notice, that person has 15 days to do so.

Is fibromyalgia a disability?

Have you felt a constant ache all over your body for several months? Do you feel tired even after sleeping through night? Are you finding it difficult to focus or concentrate? If so, you may be suffering from a disorder known as fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes musculoskeletal pain all over the body. Estimates suggest that anywhere between six and 12 million people in the United States suffer from this disorder. Symptoms may begin after a physical trauma, but many cases gradually become worse over time without a defined event.

Understanding back payments for disability benefits

People in New York who are applying for Social Security Disability may face a lengthy process to gain approval, moving from their initial application to, at times, a disability hearing or even further in the appeals process. In many cases, when people are finally approved and begin receiving SSD benefits on a monthly basis, they also receive a lump sum payment from the time their application was filed. While some people may be confused about this payment, it is not a settlement of other claims like pain and suffering or lost wages. It is a back payment of monthly benefits from the time they would have been entitled to begin receiving them.

When people apply for SSD benefits, they cite a specific date or incident when they became too disabled to work. They also will submit medical evidence and other information that supports this claim, showing when their disability began. However, people are not automatically entitled to disability benefits as soon as they are unable to work; Social Security Disability applies a five-month waiting period. After that period ends, people are considered eligible for disability benefits.

Blue water Navy vets may be eligible for disability benefits

Some New York veterans of the Vietnam War who were exposed to Agent Orange may be eligible for disability benefits if a proposed bill becomes law. The proposed bill would extend disability benefits to blue water Navy veterans who have contracted one of 14 medical conditions that are believed to be related to Agent Orange exposure.

The House Veteran Affairs Committee has proposed H.R. 299, which would direct the Department of Veteran Affairs to extend benefits to Navy veterans of the Vietnam war who have contracted one of the diseases that are associated with Agent Orange exposure. On May 8, House members moved to accelerate the bill for a vote.

Why were my SSDI benefits denied?

Every year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies nearly 50% of disability claims. Many New York families who face the challenges of a disability then have to manage the stress of a denied claim as well. And almost all of these families wonder the same thing: why was their claim denied?

The SSA should provide you with a letter explaining the reason for the denial, but here are some of the common reasons the SSA denies claims.

Where does New York rank for disability employment?

Individuals with disabilities can face challenges when it comes to employment. Recent statistics suggest that this may particularly be the case here in New York.

According to the organization RespectAbility, New York has seen small increases in its disability employment rate over the past couple of years. However, a recent report suggests that, despite this, the state’s rate remains comparatively low.

When does back pain become a disability?

Back pain is one of the most pervasive conditions to affect Americans nationwide. Virtually every vocation, from office work to construction to transportation, has the potential to cause back pain. When the pain becomes so severe it affects your work, that is when you are left wondering how you will make ends meet.

If back pain is making work difficult or impossible for you, Social Security disability (SSD) benefits may be the helping hand you need. Social Security disability affords qualifiers the resources they need to support themselves while they make a long-term recovery.

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