Archive for January 2014

Apply for Disability Benefits Today!

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Applying for Social Security Disability is the first step in obtaining disability benefits from the government. If you are reading this email then it means you are at the very beginning of a long process. You will be given deadlines to respond to requests by Social Security and they will find it very easy to deny your benefits or reduce your maximum benefits over a missed date. Get used to this. As you go through this process you will find that these dates can make or break your claim. The application date is the very first event in your Social Security Disability claim. Should you prevail, the Application date establishes the day that Social Security must start paying you. Delaying your benefits by even one month can harm your case. The burden is on you to prove you are disabled according to their rules and this is a time sensitive process. You need to be aware that time is money. Social Security works month to month and the date of your initial application is really the month of your application. This is important to you because it involves money. You need to act before the end of the month in order to preserve your maximum benefits.

I definitely encourage you to at least preserve your rights by starting your application. According to Social Security’s rules you only need to start the application to protect your rights. It’s called a protective filing. You can do this online and you don’t have to complete the application to protect your rights. Please take a moment and start a Disability Application online. You apply through the Social Security website and it is very secure. You don’t have to finish the application in one sitting. In fact if you get to the 8 digit application screen then you have successfully preserved your rights. If you did that then you are well on your way to getting your benefits from Social Security. Let’s get a healthy start to get the benefits you deserve. Tim

Start your Disability Application Online

Winning TIP #1

500px-International_Symbol_of_Access.svgSocial Security disability benefits (SSDI) can be difficult to obtain. Often, an individual who uses a cane, walker or wheelchair may assume that SSDI will pay benefits automatically. However, SSDI will require proper documentation of any ambulatory limitations. This includes a prescription from a medical doctor for equipment such as walkers and wheelchairs. When an individual has a disabling medical condition that is severe enough to restrict their movement, Social Security will classify the condition under their impairment listings. Each listing has criteria that an applicant must meet in order to receive benefits. Social Security looks for an “inability to ambulate effectively” in order to qualify for disability assistance. This phrase describes a severe limitation in the ability to walk without assistance from another person or devices such as canes, walkers or wheelchairs. Examples of conditions that satisfy the SSDI definition of the inability to ambulate effectively include:

• Major joint problems. • Rheumatoid arthritis. • Spinal stenosis. • Amputation. • Scleroderma. • Fractures. • Dermatomyositis or polymyositis.

Another condition that may qualify for SSDI benefits includes a “disturbance of gait and station.” This neurological disorder disrupts the ability to walk, stand or balance. Most often, a patient with this type of disorder will need a wheelchair. Examples of conditions that satisfy the SSDI definition of “disturbance of gait and station” include:

• Huntington’s disease. • Cerebral palsy. • Post-polio syndrome. • Muscular dystrophy. • Diabetic or peripheral neuropathies. • Multiple sclerosis. • Stroke. • Traumatic brain injury. • Paralysis or spinal cord injuries.

While the need for a wheelchair may establish a patient’s “inability to ambulate effectively” or a “disturbance of gait and station” according to Social Security, the agency may require the individual to meet additional criteria to receive automatic approval for benefits. To assist with the application process, providing documentation from a physician, such as the prescription for a cane, walker or wheelchair, will facilitate a quicker response from SSDI. To be eligible for SSDI payments without meeting the listing criteria, an individual must show that he or she cannot perform any job including sedentary work. If SSDI determines that the applicant can perform sedentary work, even while needing a wheelchair, the agency will deny the claim. In making the decision, Social Security will use a residual functional capacity assessment (RFC) from the medical documentation available. Therefore, the prescriptions for walking devices provide concrete evidence of the severity of the disability.