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Columbia MO Social Security Disability Law Blog

Cancer sufferers may qualify for Compassionate Allowance

National Cancer Survivors Day took place earlier in June, and it serves as a good reminder that many people all across the nation are battling this disease and winning. Still, such battles come at a cost, both physically and financially. Cancer itself is a serious disease, and even treating cancer can make a person feel very ill for an extended period of time. This can lead to financial difficulties, especially when the medical bills pile up and a person cannot work for a year or more or if the illness is projected to be fatal.

The Social Security Administration recognizes that those who are battling cancer may be in need of financial help. Those fighting cancer may choose to seek Social Security disability benefits. And, depending on the type of cancer they suffer from, they may qualify for a Compassionate Allowance.

Disability benefits based on a diagnosis of depression

Depression is a serious mental illness that may rob a person of their happiness, energy and capacity to function. It can manifest in physical symptoms and may cause a Missouri resident to endure significant and life-altering suffering. Because depression can affect a person on so many different levels, the Social Security Administration recognizes it as a disability in certain situations.

In order for depression to serve as the basis of a disability benefits claim, the applicant's condition must qualify as a disability. For example, a person with depression may be required to show with medical evidence that they suffer from multiple depression-related disturbances, such as but not limited to sleep disturbances, decreased energy, diminished interest in life activities, thoughts of ending their life, changes in weight and others.

Why are your disability benefits being reviewed?

The Social Security Administration has in place a strict definition of "disability" that Missouri residents must meet before they may receive disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income. For the most part, a person's disability must be expected to last for at least a year in order for the individual to qualify; if their disability will resolve before 12 months have passed then they may not be approved for benefits.

To ensure that only qualifying individuals are receiving benefits, the Social Security Administration undertakes periodic reviews of recipients' disability cases. During a review, a disability benefits or SSI recipient may be asked to provide evidence of their continued disability so that their benefits are not cut off without cause. If their disability persists, they will likely continue to receive their benefits as they had in the past and until their next review comes up.

Disability benefits for substance abuse related disabilities

Substance abuse, including but not limited to drug use and alcoholism, can cause irreversible and damaging harm to a person's mind and body. Even if the individual is able to overcome their addiction they may still suffer from the effects of their affliction for the rest of their lives. For this reason, some individuals who have suffered from substance abuse may be eligible to seek disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.

When a Missouri resident begins the process of applying for benefits based on the past substance abuse, they will need to satisfy many of the requirements that other disabled men and women must also address. They will need to prove with evidence that they meet the definition of "disabled" and they will need to offer information regarding their capacity to do work.

The burden and cost of applying for SSDI benefits

It's no secret that applying for disability benefits can be a long and difficult process. Many people spend months and years waiting for decisions and appeals. This wait comes at what is often a very stressful and financially difficult time in people's lives; a time where they can no longer work and they are counting on receiving money from SSD benefits just to make ends meet. The problem is that in addition to the delays and lengthy wait times, the process of applying for SSD benefits can also be very costly for these individuals who are already in dire financial situations.

A recent article looked at the story of a 62-year-old Honolulu man who was suffering from debilitating Alzheimer's and could no longer work as a mason. With him out of work, money was getting very tight and the family was counting on him receiving SSD benefits. With the help of his lawyer, this man worked diligently to gather evidence and documents to support his claim. In an effort to show that his Alzheimer's had begun to show signs as early as 2015, he and his lawyer drafted up a one page, two question document for his doctor to fill out. The surprise came when the doctor sent a bill for $350 just to fill out this single document.

SSDI benefits and your family

Most people don't think of kids when they think of social security. However, you may be surprised to know that social security paid out benefits to more then 4.2 million children in 2017. This is because benefits for children are just one type of family benefit paid by social security. Social security also pays spousal, and ex-spousal, benefits. Children may receive social security benefits when either one or both parents are disabled, retired or deceased.

There are a variety of situations in which your social security benefits can actually go to a family member, including a spouse or child. One such situation is referred to as "child in care" benefits. This type of benefit is paid to a spouse of any age who is not entitled to normal spousal benefits but who exercises parental responsibilities for a child under 16, or a disabled child under 22 years old. Another type of benefit is referred to as the "children's benefit." This type of benefit is paid directly to a child's representative for a child up to age 18.

What if I receive SSD benefits and would like to work?

There is often a belief that when a Missourian is getting Social Security disability benefits, it automatically implies an inability to work. However, for many recipients of SSD benefits, there is a chance they can eventually get back to work and end their need for SSD. This is where Ticket to Work and various work incentives can be beneficial. Before using Ticket to Work, it is important to understand how the program works and what benefits are available.

With Ticket to Work, the person getting SSD benefits can get training, job referrals, vocational rehabilitation and other forms of employment support. There will be no medical reviews while taking part in Ticket to Work as long as progress is being made in the attempt to get back on the job. There will be a trial work period, an extended period of eligibility, Medicare will continue, and work expenses that are related to the disability will be available.

Demystifying Social Security Disability

There is often a lot of confusion and a lot of misconceptions surrounding social security disability and those individuals who receive these SSD benefits. It is important to have some basic information and facts before you apply for SSD benefits, as it can be a long and difficult application process. Social security disability can be a very important lifeline in a difficult time when you are faced with an unexpected illness or injury that leaves you unable to work.

Social security disability is a program that most American workers contribute to through their federal payroll taxes. Workers thereby earn their social security earnings through their years spent in the workforce. The amount and qualifications for SSD benefits are determined based on the amount an individual has paid through their taxes on earnings while employed, and is then used to supplement their income when they are no longer able to work.

The timeline for your SSDI appeal

Most people have heard the horrors of the social security disability application process, from denials to confusing applications to years of waiting, the list of complaints goes on and on. Included in this difficult process is the fact that many claims get denied the first time around and must then go through the appeals process. So, for many people the question is: what does the appeals process look like and how long is it going to take?

For starters, after you file your initial claim, the Social Security Administration will thoroughly review that claim and will then send you a letter with their decision. If they have denied your claim and you disagree with that decision then you may file an appeal. You must file your request for an appeal in writing within 60 days of receiving the SSA decision letter. The fastest way to file your appeal is online through the SSA website, where you will be able to upload supporting documents with your appeal as well.

What medical conditions qualify for Social Security disability?

One important question disabled individuals might have is what medical conditions qualify for Social Security disability benefits. There are different methods to qualify for SSD benefits and it is important to understand the different processes. Qualifying for SSD benefits can be essential for the daily needs of many disabled individuals, which is why it is important to understand how to apply for benefits.

The Social Security Administration keeps a "Listing of Medical Impairments" that generally qualify for SSD benefits. If the disabled individual suffers from a disabling medical condition that is not on the list, they can still file an SSD claim under the Social Security Administration's eligibility guidelines. Medical conditions that generally qualify for SSD benefits are broken down into categories.

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