The Judge Will Let Your Attorney Speak On Your Behalf
Following your testimony, the judge will usually give your representative a chance to speak on your behalf, or ask you any additional questions. If your disability attorney has planned to ask you questions, you will know this in advance. If there are expert witnesses present, the judge will then ask them for their opinions.
At the end of the hearing, the judge may ask you a few more questions, and will then ask you if you would like to say anything else.
The majority of the time, you wont receive a decision at the hearing it will come by mail 3-4 weeks later. However, occasionally, a judge may issue a bench decision and tell you whether or not theyre approving you before you leave. Even if this happens, youll have to wait for a written decision to be issued before youll begin to receive benefits.
Will I Be Eligible For Medicare
Medicare eligibility begins after you have received 24 months of Social Security disability benefits. Note that to receive Part B of Medicare , you pay a premium that will be deducted from your Social Security disability monthly check.
Disabled people with relatively low income and assets may be eligible for other programs that pay for medical expenses not covered by Medicare and/or pay the Medicare premium for you. To find out if you are eligible for any such programs, you need to check with your county welfare department.
If you have health insurance coverage already, you need to figure out how Medicare works with your health insurance. Many health insurance policies state that Medicare is to provide the primary coverage with your present health insurance paying only for what Medicare doesnt cover. You need to check with your health insurance company when you get your Medicare card.
Will I Have To Pay Taxes On The Social Security Disability Benefits I Receive
Probably not, but this depends on the amount of your total income. Most people wont have to pay taxes on their Social Security disability benefits. Couples whose combined incomes exceed $32,000 and individuals with income exceeding $25,000 will pay income tax on a portion of their Social Security disability benefits. The IRS has an odd way of figuring out total income for this rule. The IRS uses adjusted gross income as reported on Form 1040, plus one-half of the total Social Security benefits received for the year, plus non-taxable interest.
Single people with incomes over $34,000 and married people with incomes over $44,000 pay tax on a higher percentage of their Social Security disability benefits.
Heres an odd thing: People whose Social Security benefits are reduced because of the workers compensation offset or offsets for other public disability benefits must count the amount of Social Security benefits not paid when determining taxability of their benefits. But if a child receives benefits on a parents account, those benefits count only for determining if the child must pay taxes on Social Security benefits received.
Tax law is very complex. Please talk to a tax specialist if you have any questions about taxes on your Social Security benefits.
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S In The Va Disability Claim Process
- STEP #1: Claim Received: Normally takes between 7 and 14 days
- STEP #2: Under Review: This step typically takes 7 to 21 days
- STEP #3: Gathering of Evidence: This step is the longest phase in the VA claim process and usually takes 30-60 days
- STEP #4: Review of Evidence: Takes 7 to 14 days on average
- STEP #5: Preparation for Decision: This step typically takes 7-14 days to complete
- STEP #6: Pending Decision Approval: 7 to 14 days
- STEP #7: Preparation for Notification: 7 to 14 days
- STEP #8: Decision Notification Sent: The final step in the VA claim process takes 7-10 days
If you submit a Fully Developed Claim , which we highly recommend at VA Claims Insider, youll likely get a VA rating decision in around 90-120 days from start to finish.
And the best news?
The VA is getting fastera lot faster.
Fully Developed Claim versus Standard Claim Timeline
Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits
The Canada Pension Plan provides monthly payments to people who contribute to the plan during their working years.
You may be eligible for CPP disability benefits if:
- you contributed to the CPP for a certain number of years
- you’re under 65 years old
- you have a severe and prolonged mental or physical disability
- your disability prevents you from working on a regular basis
The benefits include payments to children of a person with a disability.
Apply as early as possible if you think you’re eligible for CPP disability benefits. Quebec residents may be eligible for a similar program called the Quebec Pension Plan . It may take several months to process your application.
If you applied for CPP or QPP disability benefits and were told that you’re not eligible, you can ask to have your application reviewed or considered again.
Once you reach age 65, your CPP disability benefit will automatically change to regular CPP payments. Your regular CPP payments may be less than the CPP disability payments you got before.
If so, consider:
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Speeding Up The Process
You can speed up the process. Most claims are denied during the initial review, but there are things that you can do to make sure your claim is on track more quickly and that you get approved for benefits much more quickly. By making sure you have the supporting medical documentation that meets the listing criteria, you can speed up the approval process.
If your condition clearly meets the listing criteria, then your claim will be approved. If your condition is on the Compassionate Allowances list, then you will just need to provide documentation to confirm the diagnosis to have your claim approved.
Be sure to read over the listings that apply to your condition then make sure you have the medical evidence to meet the listing. Your disability lawyer will be able to help you make sure your medical evidence supports your claim so it can be approved. With the help of an attorney, you are going to be able to build a stronger claim and get approved for benefits.
If you donât meet the listing criteria, then go ahead and your physician complete an RFC. This will help provide the evidence that Disability Determination Services needs to approve your claim. The RFC will give them the full picture of your condition, its severity, your restrictions and limitations and what you can and cannot do. With the help of a lawyer, your claim will proceed much more smoothly.
Write An Appeals Letter
The Social Security forms for appealing a decision give you only a few lines to write your explanation on why you think the decision was wrong, but you should feel free to write the phrase âsee attached pageâ on the form and submit a letter along with the form that carefully outlines the problems you see with the decision.
The denial letter you received from the SSA that denied your eligibility for benefits will include an âexplanation of determination,â which is sometimes called the âdisability determination rationale.â
This explanation of determination will include issues such as what sources the SSA used to evaluate your claim, why the SSA denied your claim, what impairments the SSA evaluated, and a description of your medical condition. If anything is incorrect or missing in your explanation of determination, include this in your letter to the SSA. Also submit any statements, records, or other information that makes your claim stronger.
For more on appeals letters, see How to Write a Successful Disability Appeal Letter, on Nolo.com.
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What To Expect At Social Security Telephone Hearings During Covid
In response to the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders by federal and state officials, the Social Security Administration began conducting telephonic Social Security Disability Insurance hearings on an emergency basis.
Our team has now participated in many of these telephonic hearings.
We are happy to report the hearings weâve participated in were pretty smooth and without major issues.
Our experience is the Social Security hearing office conducting the hearing will call both the claimant and the representative after having all other parties already connected.
We were given the option of having the claimant already on the line with us and conferencing into the call or having the claimant in our office.
In our cases, our clients decided to participate from their own home, and we decided it best to have SSA connect all parties in case of a connection issue.
The only issue we ran into was when we had to speak to our client confidentially. We needed to speak out of the presence of the judge and off the record. The conference call was ended and then restarted in a short period of time.
Otherwise, our team did not experience any technical difficulties with the call, the sound, background noise, connections, or participation.
These telephonic hearings do not give a full opportunity for the ALJ to evaluate a claimant like an in-person or on-camera SSDI hearing. But, they seem to be an adequate substitute given the current crisis.
Reasons A Claim Is Remanded
There are many reasons a claim might be remanded. Possible common issues include:
- Claimant submitted new evidence supporting their disability before the ALJs decision
- Failure to consider a medical opinion
- Procedural error by the ALJ
- Only evaluating physical impairments without taking into account mental impairments
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Social Security Disability: The Initial Application Stage
The initial stage of the Social Security Disability process involves the initial filing of your Social Security Disability application and the Social Security Administration’s review of your initial claim. In this stage of the process you will be filling out your initial application and providing the SSA with the documentation necessary to process your claim for Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security office will then send your file to be reviewed for approval or denial based on the information provided in your initial application. Fill out your information to receive a free case evaluation. Start the disability benefits process today.
Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits
You can file your application for Social Security Disability online, over the phone or at your local Social Security office. You will be required to answer questions pertaining to your disability and your work history and will likely have to fill out a detailed Activities of Daily Living Questionnaire. It is important to prepare as much as possible before you apply to have the best chance of getting approved. Your medical records will need to be provided to the Social Security examiner and you may be asked to undergo a consultative exam. There must be evidence that your disability will last twelve months or longer in order to qualify for disability benefits. They should also help support that you meet the Blue Book listing for the condition you are experiencing.
When applying for disability benefits, you will be required to provide the Social Security office with certain personal information. It is helpful to have this information ready when completing your application for Social Security Disability benefits. Some of the personal information and documentation needed to complete your application include your social security number, your birth or baptismal certificate, the contact information for your doctors and the dates of your visits, the names and dosages of the medications you are taking, a complete history of your medical records, a copy of your most recent W-2 and a detailed work history.
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The Application Processing Time
It normally takes between three to six months for a Social Security Disability applicant to find out if they qualify on their initial application. The exception to this rule is those applicants who qualify for Social Security’s Compassionate Allowance program. The Compassionate Allowance program helps people with severe disabilities get approved for Social Security Disability benefits more quickly. If you have one of the disabilities listed under the Compassionate Allowance program, your initial application may be processed in as little as twenty days.
About Rob Levine & Associates
If you or a loved one has been injured and needs legal help, please contact Rob Levine & Associates for a free consultation. Our Fee Free Policy means that you do not pay unless you win. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will review your case to help you understand what your next steps should be. Getting legal help can ease your mind and let your focus on getting better.
At Rob Levine & Associates we are experienced in personal injury cases in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. We are also experienced with social security and veterans disability cases nationwide. Our team is available 24/7 to help you. Contact us at 800- 742-3940 or visit our website for more information.
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Average Va Disability Claim Processing Time In 2021
- As of March 2021, the average Fully Developed Claim took 118.4 days from start to finish. COVID has caused some delays. The VA is also updating various DBQs and has delayed some C& P exams.
- As of December 2020, the average Fully Developed Claim took 117.8 days from start to finish. There has been some delays due to COVID-19.
- As of July 2020, it took the VA an average of 93.6 days to complete a VA claim. There has been a slight slowdown in VA claims processing due to COVID-19.
- As of March 2020, it took the VA an average of 79.9 days to complete a VA disability claim from start to finish.
- In October 2019, it took the VA an average of 94.3 days to complete disability related compensation claims.
- In October 2018, one year earlier, the average VA claim took 141.2 days from start to finish.
- This means VA claim adjudicators shaved an average of 46.9 days OFF the total VA claim processing time in one year!
Do NOT submit a Standard Claim unless you have to
If you need help with your VA disability claim, VA disability increase claim, secondary VA claims, service connection, youve been denied VA benefits, or you think you deserve a higher VA disability rating, please complete the free 3-step intake below.
==> VA Claims Insider Elite: www.vaclaimsinsiderelite.com
What About Death Discharge
If the borrower dies, the government may discharge federal student loans. What does it include? Death Discharge involves Direct Subsidized, Perkins Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, Unsubsidized Loans, Grad PLUS Loans, and Direct Consolidation loans. Moreover, authorities may discharge a Parent PLUS Loan upon the students death for whom the parents got the loan. How to get this kind of discharge? To receive a death discharge, the family should present an original of the death certificate or an exact and complete photocopy of an original or certified copy of the death certificate.
Parents should provide the death certificate to the school for Perkins Loans and Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans servicer, Direct Consolidation Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans. In exceptional circumstances, U.S. Department of Education for Direct Loans and the guarantee agencys CEO for Federal Family Education Loans loans may also require the death discharge determination on another strong documentation, subject to a case-by-case analysis.
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Evaluating Your Claim For Social Security Disability Benefits
Once you have submitted your application, the Social Security office will check to see whether or not you have worked enough to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits and whether your current employment status disqualifies you from receiving disability benefits. If you meet the necessary criteria, the Social Security office will send your application to the Disability Determination Services department for a full review. It is this department that will be making the actual decision as to whether or not your disability claim is approved.
The Disability Determination Services office will review the information and medical records you have provided with your application for disability benefits. If the examiner reviewing your case does not have enough medical documentation to prove your disability, he or she may require you to attend a consultative exam. In some cases, more than one consultative exam may be requested.
After the Disability Determination Services have received all of the information needed to process your claim the employees with gather to evaluate the information within your file and will make a decision based on that information. They will approve or deny your claim based on the medical evidence provided, whether or not your specific disability is included in the Social Security Listing of Impairments, if you are able to perform the work you were doing prior to your disability and whether or not you are capable of performing any type of work at all.
Chapter 1: Step Four Proving You Cant Do Your Past Relevant Work
The SSA will find that you are not disabled if your impairment does not prevent you from being able to perform any of your past relevant work.
Past relevant work is generally defined as full-time work that meets the following criteria:
- You performed the work in the past 15 years
- The work lasted long enough for you to learn to do it
- The work was substantial gainful activity
When the SSA cannot make a decision based on your current work activity and medical facts alone, and it is established that you have severe impairments, RFC plays an important role.
Your Burden to Establish an Inability to Perform Past Relevant Work
You have the initial burden of proving disability by establishing a physical or mental impairment that lasts at least 12 month and prevents you from engaging in any work. You maintain this burden of proof for the first four steps in the five-step sequential evaluation.
At this step SSA does not consider your age, education, employability, or whether past relevant work exists in significant numbers in the national economy.
The fifth step is when the burden shifts to the SSA to show if you can perform other work.
ALJ Considers RFC & Physical and Mental Requirements of Past Work
The ALJ will review your RFC and physical and mental requirements of your past jobs in order to decide whether you can do work you did in the past.
Mental RFC is evaluated according to mental demands of work as described in theCode of Federal Regulations .
Work that is Unavailable
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