Abromson & Carey, Attorneys at Law
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Newark Social Security Disability Law Blog

Bipolar disorder and Social Security benefits

Social Security provides mental illness coverage for qualifying mental conditions under two programs. Bipolar disorder meets these eligibility requirements because it causes mood swings that make education, work and parts of daily living hard to perform.

Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to disabled workers across the nation, including those in New Jersey, who had Social Security taxes deducted from their pay. These beneficiaries, usually working adults, must have a sufficiently-long work history.

SSD Compassionate Allowances slowed

The Compassionate Allowance program was implemented by the Social Security Administration to expedite Social Security disability claims for 200 illnesses. However, Newark residents may be disturbed to hear that approval of many of these claims have been delayed by months and even years.

The program was designed to assist claimants with serious and harmful diseases such as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, early-onset Alzheimer's disease and some stages of cancer. Claimants should only have to provide a diagnosis of specified diseases to meet eligibility requirements. Other SSD programs, by comparison, require more medical evidence including information on the progression of a disease.

Disability freeze may be available for blindness

Blindness and low vision are serious medical conditions that prevent individuals from seeing either completely or reducing their ability to see in a significant way. These individuals may struggle to find a job. Unfortunately, blindness and vision loss plague many New Jersey residents and can prevent them from earning the incomes that they need to live.

As has been discussed in prior posts on this Social Security Disability legal blog, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a type of Social Security benefit that pays individuals who cannot work. In conjunction with Social Security Disability benefits, which are primarily based on medical qualification, a person who suffers from blindness or vision loss may be able to apply for both programs.

Approval for disability benefits delayed for many

Obstacles were increasing for many claimants in New Jersey and nationwide seeking Social Security disability benefits over the last several years. Currently, only approximately 45 percent of claimants are approved for SSD benefits.

Claimants must wait, on average, 600 days for an eligibility hearing. Currently, over one million claimants across the United States are awaiting hearings. This situation was further aggravated by the 10 percent reduction in the Social Security Administration's operating budget since 2010.

Crohn's disease and Social Security disability benefits

Social Security disability benefits for illnesses may help beneficiaries in Newark dealing with a severe disease pay for escalating treatment costs. Those with Crohn's disease may be eligible for SSD benefits for illness, because it is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Crohn's disease primarily impacts that gastrointestinal tract and presents inflammation and tissue damage that needs long-term management. It is a chronic condition that may last a lifetime. Some people display mild and occasional symptoms while others may suffer debilitating and frequent symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and fatigue.

Is there any incentive to try to work when receiving SSD?

The Social Security Administration does offer several incentives that are aimed at encouraging individuals who receive Social Security Disability benefits to find gainful employment. However, New Jersey residents who are currently receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration for qualifying illnesses or injuries are encouraged to speak with Social Security Disability benefits attorneys before they suspend their benefits to find jobs. Taking employment may pre-empt an individual from receiving certain support that they need and may delay their ability to begin receiving benefits again, if they are unable to continue their jobs.

One of the incentives that the Social Security Administration offers is a trial work period. The trial work period can last for up to nine months, and during that time, the individual may continue to receive their disability benefits, as long as they are still disabled. There are reporting and earnings requirements attached to this incentive that individuals should be aware of before they begin working.

Intellectual disability eligible for benefits

People in Newark with an intellectual disability comprise over 14 percent of the working age recipients of Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income for a disability, according to recently-issued statistics from the Social Security Administration. Although recipients generally receive these Social Security disability benefits for a longer time, meeting eligibility requirements is becoming more difficult.

Intellectual disability, as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is a disorder that begins in childhood resulting in intellectual and adaptive functioning deficits. An intellectual functioning deficit occurs when a person scores at least two standard deviations below the population average or has an IQ no greater than 70.

Social Security Disability under pressure from proposed budget

The Social Security Administration manages a variety of different financial programs. Most people are familiar with the program that pays individuals during their years of retirement. Few are well versed in the rules surrounding a program that serves millions of Americans,each and every day: Social Security Disability Insurance.

Unless a person or a loved one is disabled and unable to work, there is little reason for the average Newark resident to have significant concerns about this program. However, the Social Security Disability Insurance program serves nearly 11 million Americans and their dependents at a cost of billions of dollars each year.

Traumatic brain injury and disability benefits

Individuals in Newark may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits for medical conditions such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A claimant, however, must meet certain requirements for qualifying for SSD benefits for injury.

A TBI, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a disruption of the brain from a bump, blow or jolt to the head or from a penetrating head injury. While everyone faces the risk of TBI, children and older adults face a greater possibility of suffering this injury.

Disability benefits possibly on chopping block

Newark residents may have heard that the Trump administration, in its budget proposal, intends to cut Social Security disability payments to workers by $72 billion over the next decade. The cuts are intended to lower the federal deficit without reducing Social Security retirement benefits.

The SSD benefits program received attention during the recession as the amount of benefits and recipients dramatically grew. Spending on SSD benefits rose by 160 percent from $54.9 billion in 2000 to $142.7 billion in 2016.

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