Knowing Your Rights under Social Security Disability


Social security law and government welfare benefitsIt is estimated that the fund that helps pay for disability insurance under Social Security will run out sometime next year. This shortfall would trigger a 19% drop in benefits. These budget cuts would immediately affect 11 million people receiving disability benefits, and other beneficiaries could see reduced or interrupted payments in the near future. Having gradually evolved over the last half century, along with the rest of the Social Security system, the number of individuals receiving benefits is currently twice the number it was in 1995, and six times the number in 1970. And for just the third time in 40 years, millions of Social Security recipients, disabled veterans, and federal retirees can expect no increase in benefits. The annual cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) is based on a measure of inflation, as measured by the government. However, inflation has been so low this year, that economists say there is little chance of a benefit increase. There are several proposed solutions to fixing this looming problem, including merging the disability trust fund with the overall Social Security retirement fund. While this fund is also being depleted, the overall retirement fund has a longer lifespan than the disability fund. While the debate rages on about how to replenish the Social Security disability fund and save Social Security disability payments, it is important for you to fully understand the benefits that you are entitled to under the program.

Automatic Approval

While no illnesses qualify for automatic approval of Social Security disability benefits, some medical conditions receive faster approval. While a formal medical approval is always required, some conditions are so serious that they clearly meet disability standards. For these types of disabilities, the Compassionate Allowance (CAL) initiative can help to expedite processing of both Social Security and SSI disability claims. CAL is simply an internal method to speed up medical decisions, but does not remove any of the other requirements, such as work requirements, and the need-based Supplemental Security Income program, which has financial limits that must be met. For example, the five-month waiting period to receive Social Security disability still applies, even when a medical allowance is received very quickly.
There are other methods to expedite medical approvals as well. Wounded Warriors is one such example. Military service members can receive expedited claim processing if the disability occurred while they were on active duty.  A supplemental security income example of expedited claim process is presumptive disability. For some severe medical conditions where allowance is expected, several months of payment may be available in advance of receiving the official medical decision.

Speak with a Social Security Disability Attorney Now

If you or someone you know is currently receiving social security disability benefits, or may be eligible to receive benefits, you should speak with J. Robert Surface, an experienced Social Security disability attorney. He can assist you with your claim and has the experience and knowledge to ensure you receive the full benefits to which you are entitled.