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Atlanta Social Security Disability Law Blog

Many veterans receive Social Security disability benefits

Social Security disability benefits are a financial lifeline for millions of Americans who cannot work due to long-term debilitating illnesses and injuries. What Georgia residents may not know, though, is that there is a large subset of the disability benefits-receiving population who are former members of our nation's military. Disabled veterans do receive and can apply for Social Security disability benefits to help maintain their needs after their periods of service have ended.

In fact, according to the Office of Retirement Policy at the Social Security Administration, more than 9 million American veterans received disability benefits in 2016. While some of the veterans who received benefits during 2016 served during World War II, the majority of the veterans receiving assistance from the Social Security Administration were active during the Vietnam War.

What are compassionate allowances?

Compassionate allowances is an important program through the Social Security Administration and its Social Security disability program that disabled individuals should be familiar with. Because Social Security disability can be complicated, disabled individuals may have many questions concerning compassionate allowances and Social Security disability benefits in general.

The list of compassionate allowances maintained by the Social Security Administration is used to quickly identify medical conditions that definitionally meet Social Security's requirements to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. There are a number of different illnesses on the compassionate allowances list that includes certain cancers, adult brain disorders, rare disorders impacting children and other diseases and illnesses as well. The list of compassionate allowances is updated with new medical conditions with the input of a variety of different groups.

The work history component of Social Security disability

Disability may seem unlikely to many people, however, a 20-year old worker has a 25 percent chance of becoming disabled prior to reaching retirement age. This makes Social Security disability (SSD) insurance benefits all the more important to understand. Social Security disability benefits are available to disabled individuals who suffer from a medical condition that is so severe that it prevents them from working and is expected to last for 12 months or longer or result in death. Social Security disability is a program workers pay into during their work years.

It is important that disabled individuals understand how to meet this requirements in the SSD application to qualify for benefits. In addition to medical records, they must provide work-related information that demonstrates their disability renders them unable to work. The social Security Administration will evaluate the type of work the disabled individual has done in the past and if the medical condition they suffer from prevents them from being able to engage in their work or another type of work.

Can I return to work on Social Security disability?

To qualify for Social Security disability, the disabled individual must suffer from a disability that is so severe it prevents them from working. Some disabled individuals, however, may want to see if they are able to return to work but unsure if they can do so and may wonder if they will lose important disability benefits for trying. Social Security disability (SSD) insurance pays out to disabled individuals the money they paid into the program during their working years.

While Social Security disability helps disabled individuals suffering from a long-term disability, and it can be challenging to qualify, the Social Security Administration also encourages disabled individuals to return to work when possible. Because of that, it provides a Ticket to Work program which allows the disabled individual to determine if they are able to return to work without losing their disability benefits.

Social Security disability help when facing unexpected disability

An unexpected disability can leave a disabled individual wondering how to make ends meet and pay for daily expenses. Disability benefits may be available through different sources including Social Security disability as one option to consider. Social Security disability benefits may help disabled individuals address some of those concerns and better provide for their daily needs.

When an individual is unable to work due to a disability that is so severe it renders them unable to engage in gainful employment, they may be able to obtain benefits through the federal Social Security disability program. Disabled individuals must qualify for SSD benefits by having the necessary work credits to have paid into the disability insurance system and suffer from a disabling medical condition that is expected to last for 12 months or longer or result in death.

The requirements for disability due to a heart condition

Heart disease can be a serious daily concern for sufferers. When heart disease interferes with the sufferer's ability work and earn a living to support themselves and their families, Social Security disability (SSD) benefits may be available to help. Heart conditions are included among the illnesses that Social Security disability benefits may be available for. The Social Security Administration (SSA) includes disorders that impact the proper functioning of the heart or circulatory system as heart conditions disability benefits may be available for.

It is helpful to be aware of what the SSA considers when evaluating a medical condition such as heart disease for benefits. The SSA focuses on symptoms, signs, laboratory findings, responsiveness to prescribed treatment and functional limitations when evaluating disability claims for heart conditions.

Appeals options for denied disability applications

To understand the Social Security disability application process, it is important to understand that an initial denial of benefits is not the end of the road. There are several levels of appeal and many initial applications are denied. It is possible for an application that was initially denied to be approved during the appeals process which can be somewhat complex and challenging to understand so guidance can be helpful.

There are important timelines for appeals when the applicant has received a denied claim so it is also helpful to be familiar with what those timelines are and to make sure to abide by them. In general, the applicant has 60 days after a claim has been denied to bring an appeal. It is important to promptly proceed with the appeals process and to not delay because of the important time limitations in place.

Understanding disability benefits for veterans

It is important for those that honorably served our country to be familiar with disability benefits options available to them. Disability benefits is a monetary benefit paid to disabled veterans that are disabled because of a disease or injury that they suffered or was aggravated during their active duty military service. Compensation for other disabilities may also be available depending on the circumstances.

Specifically, even if the disability arises after the veteran's service, disability benefits may be available for post-service disabilities considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring during the disabled veteran's service or presumed to be related to circumstances of the veteran's military service. Additionally, benefits may also be available to surviving family members of a service member who was lost on active duty, active duty for training or inactive duty training.

Social Security disability application backlog now at 1 million

The wait for Social Security disability benefits is, unfortunately, a long one which is why it is helpful for disabled individuals to be prepared to submit a thorough application and to also be prepared for the appeals process if necessary. Currently, greater than 1 million applicants are waiting for a hearing concerning their Social Security disability (SSD) application which can take up to 2 years to receive.

Applicants waiting for a hearing have already had their initial application for benefits denied and, depending on the state, the hearing may be the second level of appeal. Most applications for disability are initially denied. Applicants improve their chances of obtaining benefits through the appeals process which has 4 levels. Approximately 10.5 million disabled individuals currently receive disability payments. The average benefit is $1,037 a month.

Application basics for Social Security disability benefits

Social Security disability benefits are important for individuals injured at work and other disabled individuals, including disabled veterans. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration reports that 25 percent of workers will become disabled prior to reaching the age of 67. For disabled individuals who suffer from a disability that is expected to last a year or longer, Social Security disability benefits may be an option to help.

To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, a disabled individual must meet certain requirements, as determined by the Social Security Administration. To qualify for disability, the disabled individual must be unable to work because of a physical or mental medical condition; the disabled individual cannot adjust to any other type of work because of the physical or medical mental condition they are suffering from; and the disability must be expected to last a year or longer or result in death.

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