Can I Receive Social Security Disability?

Social Security provides financial assistance for those with disabilities. People in these situations can apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Those who apply for and successfully receive Social Security may receive benefits to help them live as they are unable.

However, these programs differ in a few important ways, and if you are considering applying for Social Security, you should speak with a Social Security lawyer who can find out if you are eligible for the program and assist you with the application process. A rejected claim will cost you time and may cause you to lose important benefits. A skilled attorney can make sure your claim is accepted. Be wary of non-attorneys who practice SSDI or SSI law; they will likely charge similar fees even though they are not lawyers. If you need assistance with an SSDI or SSI claim, always hire an attorney who has experienced in Social Security law.

Am I Eligible for Social Security?

To be eligible for either kind of Social Security, you must have a disability that affects your ability to work. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), an individual is disabled and potentially eligible for benefits if that individual has been or expects to be unable to work for at least 12 months due to one or more mental or physical health issues.

What is the Difference Between SSD and SSI?

Knowing the differences between SSD and SSI is important when applying for Social Security. Some of the primary differences between these two types of programs include:

  • SSD applicants generally must be less than 65 years old. SSI has a specific plan for those who are 65 or older.
  • Funding for SSI derives from federal tax revenues, while SSD benefits come from payroll taxes.

Possibly the most significant difference for applicants is the qualifications for both programs. Though those applying for SSI and SSD must have some type of disability, only those with low income and few assets may apply for SSI. Specifically, individuals applying for SSI must:

  • Own less than $2,000 in assets
  • Have no more than one automobile
  • Have only one home that serves as the applicant’s primary residence

Married couples have most of the same criteria, but they can possess up to $3,000 in combined assets.

Why Should I Hire a Social Security Attorney?

A lawyer who understands Social Security law can give you more information about specific eligibility requirements and work with you to file your Social Security application. If the SSA denies your claim, you will need to file an appeal in order to get necessary benefits. In this situation, a lawyer can compile the evidence for you and make a case for your right to receive benefits.

What Should I Know About Retirement Planning?

Preparing for retirement can be a complex process, but fortunately lawyers can ensure that those considering retirement have legally sound, effective retirement plans. Attorneys who specialize in elder law, estate planning law or probate law may be able to assist clients with retirement preparations. These attorneys may be able to handle all the details concerning retirement and estates in order to meet the goals of those arranging for retirement.

Important Factors in Retirement Planning

Retirement preparations are about utilizing your savings and any sources of income to ensure you are able to stop working. However, it can also include preparations for the later future, such as long-term care and administering your estate. When planning for retirement, some details for which you may want to prepare include the following:

  • Retirement plan – Though lawyers cannot make investment decisions for you, they may be able to structure an IRA, 401(k) or other plan so you can reach your retirement and estate planning goals. An attorney can give you information about what you can and cannot do with a retirement plan and how you can optimize it to meet your needs.
  • Medicaid – An attorney may be able to give you information about Medicaid and decide what medical care options are best for your retirement. If Medicaid is the best option, you can receive assistance preparing all the necessary documentation for a Medicaid application.
  • Long-term care – Whether you eventually plan to move into a nursing home, arrange for a caretaker or some other form of long-term care, planning can be beneficial. You may also want to arrange for a guardian to handle your personal business and take care of your estate.
  • Living will or advanced directive – You may want to prepare for a situation in which you are unable to make medical decisions. Advanced directives can give physicians and loved ones information about how you want to handle certain situations. You can also appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf.
  • Estate planning – Readying your estate to give to beneficiaries is important. You should have a will to provide specific instructions about how to handle your estate when you pass away. Additionally, a lawyer can work with you to prepare trusts and find other ways to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries according to your wishes.

 Get Retirement Planning Assistance from an Attorney

Preparing for retirement is not easy, which is why you should not have to do it alone. An experienced lawyer who handles the legal aspects of retirement planning can make the process smoother for you.

Who is Going to Be the Next Social Security Commissioner?

Acting Social Security Administration Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin has been chosen to lead the agency permanently.

Last month, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Colvin to the job. Colvin has served as Deputy Commissioner of Social Security for the Social Security Administration (SSA), a position she has held since January 2011. She has also served as the Acting Commissioner of Social Security since February 2013, when Michael J. Astrue stepped down.

Through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs, millions of Americans will be receiving some type of benefit through the SSA this year.

If you have questions about an application for benefits, do not hesitate to contact our Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers for a free consultation.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers

Prostate Cancer Added to Compassionate Allowances List

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that it has added prostate cancer to the list of medical conditions allowed under its Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program.

The program allows for the expedited process of disability benefit decisions. In addition to prostate cancer, 12 other types of cancers, as well as other disorders that affect the digestive, neurological and immune systems were added to the CAL list.

This is a big deal—other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer in men.

Sponsored by Troutman & Troutman, P.C., located in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Can the Social Security Administration Look at My Social Media Accounts?

Several members of Congress said last month that the Social Security Administration and administrative law judges (ALJs) have not done a good job reviewing claims to determine if they are fraudulent.

The representatives have proposed changes, including to social media policies, to review applicants.

Rep. James Lankford and Rep. Jackie Speier said Social Security Administration (SSA) employees should be allowed to look at the social media profiles of those applying for disability, saying that photos and other information people post can expose the applicants as able-bodied, according to the Washington Times.

Currently, the SSA has prohibited ALJs from searching the internet for incriminating evidence when weighing a person’s disability claim.

Sponsored by Troutman & Troutman, P.C., located in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

SSA Cuts Have Led to Busy Signals and Customer Services Issues

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has undergone a series of service cuts in order to save money, which has led to issues.

According to Reuters, the agency stopped mailing annual statements in 2011 in a budget-cutting move that saves $70 million annually, with Americans given the option to check statements online.

In addition, the SSA has consolidated 92 field offices across the country into 46 offices, and closed 521 contact stations. The results have led to busy signals being reported by callers to the agency’s customer service lines.

If you are waiting for the SSA to contact you, it might be in your best interest to contact a Social Security disability attorney to see if you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Sponsored by Troutman & Troutman, P.C., located in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Back Injuries Number One Cause of Disabilities

A picture of an accidentTIME Magazine reported recently that about 1 in 10 Americans suffer from lower back pain, making it the number one cause of job disability around the world.

The magazine reported that Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on lower back pain treatment, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

If you suffer from a back issue like degenerative disc disease (DDD), you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Do not hesitate to contact our Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers for a free consultation. You may also reach us by phone at (918) 587-0050.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers

Obama Administration Will Not Propose Chained-CPI Social Security Cuts

The White House confirmed recently that President Barack Obama would not push for a proposal that would reduce Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.

The Obama administration announced last month that it would not pursue chained-CPI (consumer price index) in its proposed budget for the 2015 fiscal year. The move would have reduced Social Security benefits for millions of Americans based on inflation numbers.

If you have questions about applying for disability benefits, contact a Tulsa Social Security disability attorney. We offer free consultations, and you may reach us by phone at (918) 587-0050. Contact us today to learn more about your rights.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers