Harlan Still & Koch

Columbia Social Security Disability Law Blog

The 2 types of Social Security Disability benefits

When you are suffering from a long-term disability, it is likely that this has had a significant impact on the way that you go about your daily life. In addition, it will probably have determined the extent to which you are able to earn money. This is why there are two federal programs in place to mitigate the financial impact that mental and physical disabilities have.

The two federal programs in place are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI). If you want to file for disability benefits in Missouri, the program that you should apply for will depend on your career history and other circumstances. It is important, therefore, that you understand the difference between the two types of Social Security benefits.

Suffering from long-term disability after a work accident?

Being injured at work can affect all aspects of your life. Unfortunately, serious injuries at work can lead to long-term disabilities. If you have an active role at work, your injury might prevent you from being able to continue working at the same position.

Moving forward in a positive way after a serious injury is very important. After you have made significant progress recovering physically, you should think about taking small steps to make progress returning to gainful employment. It is likely that you will have already filed for workers' compensation benefits so to help you during your recuperation from your injuries. However, in the future, if your injuries do not fully resolve, you will need to seek long-term disability benefits.

Can I apply for Social Security Disability if I’m older than 50?

Disability afflicts everyone regardless of age. Some people might think that if they’re older, they might have a harder time applying for and receiving benefits from Social Security.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Once you reach age 50, it’s actually easier for you to receive disability benefits.

Documentation you need to file a workers' compensation claim

Suffering an injury or illness on the job in Columbia, Missouri can cause you a lot of problems. You might miss a lot of time at work, which can lead to serious financial trouble. The medical expenses stemming from an injury and the lack of income can spell debt. Today, we will discuss the documentation needed to file a workers' compensation claim in Missouri so you file correctly the first time.

When you seek immediate medical evaluation and treatment you need to tell your doctor that the injury occurred on the job. When you notify your doctor of the circumstances, he or she will make sure that every single symptom, test and treatment method is documented in detail so it can be provided as part of your claim.

Do I need short-term or long-term disability insurance?

Living with a disability is difficult enough without having to navigate the complexities of insurance. One of the most important but confusing aspects of disability insurance is short-term versus long-term disability. What do they mean, and which one should you select?

In this post, we will discuss the major differences between them so that you can make the decision that is best for you.

Can you get Social Security Disability benefits for depression?

While physical disabilities may be a visible representation of someone’s inability to consistently perform certain job-related tasks, mental health problems can be more difficult to recognize. But if you suffer from a mental disorder as defined by the Social Security Administration (SSA), you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

How are mental disorders categorized?

What information is needed when filing an SSD claim online?

The advent of the internet has simplified many aspects of our lives. For example, these days, it is possible to apply for Social Security disability benefits online. This may be useful for those in Missouri whose disabilities prevent them from being able to write or leave the home. However, many initial applications for SSD benefits are denied, even if one's application was completed online. Therefore, before applying for disability benefits online, it is important to have all the necessary information at hand, so that one's application can be as complete as possible.

First, if an applicant was not born in the United States, they will need to include the date and place of their birth on their application, as well as their Permanent Resident Card number. If an applicant is married, they need to include identifying information on their spouse. If the applicant is divorced, information on the divorce will need to be supplied. Information on minor children, disabled children or children who are full-time students also needs to be included on the application.

Filing for disability benefits for a mental disorder

Not every disability carries a visible moniker. For example, when we see a person in a wheel chair we understand that person might have a disabling medical condition. However, other disabled persons in Missouri suffer in silence, including those who have a disabling mental condition.

For example, we generally cannot not see that a person is suffering from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression or other documented mental health conditions. Moreover, mental illnesses still carry a negative stigma, meaning those who are afflicted with them may not tell others about their condition.

'Compassionate Allowance' can fast-track SSD benefit applications

When a person in Missouri files for Social Security disability benefits, it is usually because they are suffering from a medical condition that is so debilitating that they can no longer continue working to support themselves. SSD benefits can be the safety net that helps these individuals afford their daily living expenses and medical care. It is important that those who qualify for benefits get the help they need as soon as possible.

For this reason, the Social Security Administration recognizes that some medical conditions are clearly disabling. Therefore, the agency has instituted the "Compassionate Allowance" program. If an applicant for Social Security disability has a condition that falls under the listing in the Compassionate Allowance program, their application for disability benefits will be expedited. This means that the applicant will be awarded disability benefits based simply upon a medical confirmation of their condition. An applicant need not do anything special to be considered for the Compassionate Allowance program.

Can you apply for SSD benefits if you retire early?

Many people in Missouri anticipate working until they reach their full retirement age. Then, with their full retirement savings and Social Security benefits, they'll be able to enjoy their retirement goals, whether this means travelling the world, buying a motorcycle or simply enjoying their free time with their family and friends.

However, for those who suffer a major illness or injury before reaching retirement age, these dreams could be shattered. If a person's health is so poor that they cannot continue working, they may be forced into taking an early retirement. This could be devastating, not just on an emotional level, also but because the worker will not have contributed as much to their 401(k), IRAs and other retirement savings as they would have liked. Moreover, depending on their age, if someone takes an early retirement and thus has not worked as many years as they planned, then their Social Security retirement benefits may not be as high as they expected. All of this combined could mean a person is living on a lower income than they would have wanted once retired.

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