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Columbia MO Social Security Disability Law Blog

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.

Before applying for SSD, check your work history

The Social Security Disability Insurance program is not need-based. However, the Social Security Administration generally does require that an applicant have put in a certain amount of time earning an income before he or she can qualify for benefits, even if he or she has become disabled under the agency's definition.

One of the requirements to be approved for SSD payments is to have enough "working credits." A disabled worker must have sufficient work history, and have worked recently enough under the rules, or cannot receive SSD benefits.

How a car accident can lead to a claim for SSD benefits

When a lot of people think of the word disability, they oftentimes think of conditions or illnesses a person can be born with. But as our frequent visitors know, this isn't always the case. A person can become disabled because of a condition that develops later in life. A person can also become disabled after being involved in a motor vehicle accident as well.

As you can imagine, motor vehicle accidents extend far beyond simple fender benders. From serious pedestrian strikes to violent head-on collisions, some of the more severe crashes are likely to lead to debilitating injuries or conditions. Let's take a look at a few today.

In Missouri, wheelchairs are tax-free -- but parts are not

Missouri residents with limited mobility likely know that the state does not impose sales tax on wheelchairs and scooters. This exemption goes back to a statute that the state Legislature passed several years ago. However, the author of that bill recently learned that a loophole in the law could mean that people may have to pay taxes to get their mobility devices repaired.

It turns out that replacement parts for scooters and wheelchairs are not included in the tax exemption. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, this came to light when a medical supply company in Springfield underwent an audit, and learned that it should have been collecting sales tax on parts.

White matter damage in parts of the brain may cause depression

Brain injuries can cause a wide variety of troubling symptoms that have a serious impact on victims’ lives. One of the most frightening side effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is depression. There have been far too many cases of high school and college football players committing suicide after suffering head injuries on the field.

Though it has long been known that there is a link between TBI and depression, along with anxiety, just why this occurs remains unknown. Given how common this symptom is -- some psychologists estimate that up to 70 percent of TBI victims develop depression or anxiety -- figuring out the reason could help lead to treatment options.

Gov. Nixon signs Missouri ABLE bill into law

It has been nearly a month since we discussed the Missouri Achieving a Better Life Experience Program, or ABLE. As we discussed back on June 2, the Missouri Legislature passed a bill to establish ABLE, a program through which disabled people can put up to $14,000 into a special account and thus qualify for disability benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income.

Most need-based government programs limit the amount of income the applicant’s household brings in. But in many cases, this limit is quite low; many people struggle with incomes above the maximum that nevertheless may be quite close to poverty.

How Asperger syndrome fits into the autism spectrum

People who have heard of Asperger syndrome may not realize that it is a form of autism. Parents of a child living with Asperger may struggle to afford the therapy and services, but Supplemental Security Income may help pay those important bills.

According to Autism Speaks, Asperger syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder. Because people with Asprger generally do not have significant delays in cognitive development or language, Asperger is considered to be on the high functioning end of the spectrum. In fact, children with Asperger often show average to advanced language development.

Report finds that SSA overpaid $17B in disability benefits

A deeply critical new report says that the Social Security Administration overpaid disability benefits by nearly $17 billion over the past decade. The findings led one U.S. senator to say that the errors deprived those who rightfully deserved the payments.

However, the SSA says it has a nearly perfect record for avoiding overpayment or underpayment of Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits. The agency says that in fiscal year 2013, 99.8 percent of Social Security payments had no overpayment.

Disabled may soon be able to set aside $14K, qualify for benefits

Many public benefits out there to help disabled individuals and their families are need-based. In other words, the disabled person’s household income must be below a certain amount for him or her to qualify. Supplemental Security Income is an example of a need-based disability program.

Many families of modest income, who could use these benefits to make ends meet, nevertheless exceed the maximum income. To help close this gap, Missouri State Sen. Eric Schmitt introduced a bill in the Legislature that would allow people in this position to set aside some of their income, tax-free, in order to qualify for SSI and similar benefits.

Disabled people are twice as likely to be victimized by violence

Though many disabled people are able to overcome their physical or mental challenges, they may remain vulnerable to criminals. Violent crime in particular is a big problem for disabled Americans, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics recently reported that in 2013, people with disabilities in the U.S. were more than twice as likely to be victimized by violent crime, compared with the general population. In total, there were 1.3 million nonfatal violent crimes committed against disabled people that year, according to Disability Scoop.

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