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Columbia MO Social Security Disability Law Blog

How SSA can take away SSD benefits after awarding them

Successfully applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be complicated and time-consuming, but once the payments begin, you may feel like the ordeal is finally over. Not so fast -- sooner or later, the Social Security Administration is going to want to check in with you, to see if you are still legally disabled.

Some disabling conditions improve over time, and SSA does not want to provide SSD payments to those it deems healthy enough to go back to work. So the agency periodically reviews the condition of SSD recipients, to determine if they still qualify.

Children with autism tend to wander, often leading to tragedy

One symptom that many people who are not raising a child with autism may not be aware of is wandering. Children on the autism spectrum or living with other developmental disabilities often have the tendency to run away from home, school or another safe place.

Any young child who gets lost could easily get into trouble, and unfortunately many kids with autism will struggle even more to stay safe. Sadly, these wandering incidents often end in tragedy. The Autism Safety Coalition says that 42 percent of autistic children under age 9 who wander end up passing away.

Robotic arm allows user to 'feel' things with its hand

Progress continues on the creation of robotic arms that the user can control using his or her mind, according to Tech Insider. These robotic limbs may someday become widely available for people with no or limited use of their arms due to paralysis, amputation or other reason. This could potentially increase their independence and improve their quality of life.

In the latest possible breakthrough, researchers at DARPA, a Defense Department agency, say that a subject was able to “feel” pressure on a robot arm’s fingers. If true, this would be an important step toward replicating the human arm.

Service animals can help people in rural parts of Missouri too

Service animals are a common presence in Missouri’s metropolitan areas, but rural areas are a different story. A group called PHARM Dog USA, which stands for Pets Helping Agriculture in Rural Missouri, has placed dogs with disabled people 10 times since 2009, and operates in only three other states.

For at least one recipient of a PHARM Dog USA dog, the animal has made a world of difference. The owner of a 260-acre farm, the woman is legally blind. Her vision is limited to very close objects, and blurred shapes beyond that.

3 things to do, in case the SSD trust runs dry in 2016

Time is running out to fix the Social Security Disability system’s financial problems. According to a trustees’ report discussed by USA TODAY, the SSD trust fund will run out of money in 2016. This could mean that people in Missouri who receive SSD or SSI benefits could see their payments reduced by 19 percent about a year from now.

Nobody should get the idea that people are living high off the hog thanks to SSD. This year, the average monthly payment was $1,165, with a maximum of $2,663. Take 19 percent out of these payments, and checks that help families affected by disability make ends meet may no longer be able to do so.

Study says those with autism have unique problem-solving skills

The idea of the autistic savant has a prominent place in popular culture. Dustin Hoffman’s character in the movie Rain Man is perhaps the most famous example, but popular culture often assumes that people on the autism spectrum enjoy intellectual or creative advantages in exchange for the limitations imposed by the disorder.

This belief is quite overstated, and many people living with an autism spectrum disorder require a great deal of assistance. However, in some cases there are people on the spectrum who are high-functioning and demonstrate impressive intellectual skills.

Many with terminal disabilities can skip the lengthy SSD process

We have spoken many times in this blog about how patience is a virtue when it comes to applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Initial applications are often rejected, requiring applicants to appeal. The process can take time.

Sadly, many disabled or seriously ill people do not have much time left. A terminal condition could mean an SSD applicant is not expected to live more than several more months. They cannot wait for the regular application process to resolve itself. Instead, they need SSD funds as soon as possible.

The SSA knows mental illness is real, but getting SSD can be hard

Due to advances in scientific understanding, and greater understanding by society, people with mental illness no longer feel the need to hide their conditions. Rather than being ashamed for being sick, people with mental disorders can speak openly about their conditions and seek treatment options that allow them to live their lives.

This is not to say that living with a mental illness is easy. Many people spend years trying various treatment options until they find one that works. Until they do, daily tasks most of us take for granted may be impossible. For instance, it may not be possible to hold a job and earn an income, just when the person needs money to pay for expensive medications and therapy.

8 reasons SSD applications get rejected, part II

In our last post, we discussed how hard it can be to get an application for Social Security Disability benefits approved in the initial phase. These days, the Social Security Administration approves as few as one out of three SSD applications. Not long ago, most applications were approved.

Though many times, the reasons for rejection seem to be mysterious or unfair, other times the applicant does not succeed because he or she does not fit the criteria for SSD benefits. Last week, we discussed three common reasons the SSA gives for turning down benefits, as provided by The Motley Fool. Today, we will share five more reasons.

8 reasons SSD applications get rejected, part 1

We have spoken before in this blog about how difficult it can be to get your initial application for Social Security Disability benefits approved. In fact, the Social Security Administration appears to be getting stricter than ever. The agency, which administrates the SSD program, approved more than half of applications submitted in 1999. Last year, they approved just one third of applications, according to The Motley Fool.

Even legitimate claims sometimes get turned down, which means many disabled people in Missouri must file an appeal to get the payments they deserve. There are several reasons the SSA might reject a claim. Here are three common reasons. We will discuss the rest mentioned in The Motley Fool article next week.

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