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Austin Social Security Disability Law Blog

How do medical expenses affect your life?

By now most Texas residents know that medical expenses are a significant burden for many Americans. Despite the efforts of the federal government, as well as many state governments, the costs for most medical procedures and medications seemingly just continue to rise. With wages stagnant in many parts of the country, the situation seems to be untenable.

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when data was gathered for the year 2012, approximately 25 percent of American families reported that they had to deal with the financial burdens that are associated with medical care. Families with minor children were more likely to be dealing with these financial complications than other families.

It's tax time: some but not all disability benefits are taxed

Spring has arrived in Austin. The buds are beginning to show on the trees, the grass is turning bright green again and it is time to file your taxes. This last little event is something many people dread and for different reasons. Many of our readers who receive disability benefits may have questions about taxes, especially if this is your first tax season after approval.

Public policy reasons protect certain types of income from taxation. For instance, child support is an off-limits income; it is neither deductible nor taxable. Tax law also recognizes Social Security disability benefits as a type of income that needs special treatment, but there are some rules.

What should you include in an initial SSD application?

When it comes to Social Security disability applications, your chances of approval do not depend on your first impression. You have several opportunities to appeal an initial denial. We cleared this bit of misinformation up in our last post. Even though you get several chances for approval, you still want to try to make a good first impression.

The Social Security Administration provides some general guidance as you prepare to file your application in Texas. The agency lists the information you should have ready and available as you complete your application. This includes information about your person, finances, work history and medical condition.

Initial impressions on applying for Social Security Disability

Most of our Texas readers have probably heard the old saying "You only get one chance to make a first impression." In general, this is true. However, at our firm we try to make sure that our clients and potential clients understand that sometimes the initial impression regarding the application process for Social Security Disability benefits can be a bit deceiving.

For instance, many people who apply for SSD benefits may feel like they should just give up if their initial application is denied. But, as any Social Security Disability attorney would probably be able to tell our readers, that could be a mistake. There is an appeals process for anyone who is denied Social Security Disability benefits, and in many cases going through the appeals process can result in a different decision. In the right circumstances, we try to encourage applicants not to give up.

Seizures and Social Security Disability

Some of our Texas readers may have suffered a seizure at some point in their lives. For some people, this was a one-time event in their life with a common cause. However, for others who have suffered repeated seizures, just going through daily life can become a question mark - "Will I have a seizure today?" The sudden and unpredictable nature of seizures has even led many states to issue driving restrictions for people who have a known history of seizures.

When some people have a seizure they actually suffer other injuries because of their rapid body movement, or perhaps from falling. These injuries could include broken bones, head injuries or joint dislocation. Even worse, however, is that some medical professionals believe that repeated seizures may actually lead to changes in the person's brain, making the condition worse over time.

Who determines disabilities in Texas?

For most people in Texas, the process by which they apply for Social Security Disability benefits is a mystery. The Social Security Administration does everything it can to inform people throughout the country on how to go about applying, but unless you've actually been in this situation the process can be daunting at times.

In most cases, the most important question on a potential applicant's mind is "Who determines whether or not I am disabled?" Social Security income attorneys in Texas would know that the answer is the Division for Disability Determination Services.

Current discussion about SSD benefits focuses on funding issues

Anyone who keeps up with the political news out of our nation's capital knows that there seems to be little chance of any significant legislation passing in the last two years of President Obama's term as president. The elections last November pushed the Republican Party into complete control of the United States Congress, and the conflicting ideologies between Congress and the President is leaving many people with little hope of seeing much accomplished in the near future.

However, despite this friction between the two political parties, there are many things that will need to be addressed in some form or another before too long. One is the funding issue for Social Security Disability. Any Social Security Income attorney would probably be able to tell our readers all about the significant problems this funding is facing, but, in short, there are some who are predicting that the fund will be depleted as soon as 2016.

Taking the right approach to applying for SSD benefits

For most people who are getting ready to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, the change can be drastic. The applicants have worked all their lives and being stuck with a disability - whether it is from an illness or injury - that leaves them with a complete inability to work can be difficult. On top of this transition, the applicants have to deal with the process of applying for SSD benefits, which can be difficult for anyone to grasp.

Even though a disability can be hard to deal with, the best approach to this type of transition is to go into the process with a positive attitude. Many of our Texas readers have probably heard that about 6 out of 10 applicants are denied Social Security - and that is right, for the most part. But a denial can occur for any number of reasons, including the failure to include the most accurate and up-to-date documentation of the disability.

An overview of long-term care -- Part III

In Part I and Part II of this multi-part series, we took a look at what long-term care is and who might end up in need of long-term care in their lifetime. Here, in Part III, the final part of this series, we will take a look at the bottom line: How does a Texas resident pay for long-term care?

Over the past six years most Americans have learned more about health insurance and medical care than they probably ever wanted to know. The Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," stirred up quite a hornet's nest as millions of Americans began to be covered by health insurance -- even if they never had insurance before. However, what most people still don't realize is that the vast majority of health insurance plans do not cover the most of the costs associated with long-term care.

An overview of long-term care - Part II

In Part I of this overview of long-term care in America we looked at what exactly we mean when we are talking about long-term care. We discussed what type of assistance a person who is receiving long-term care might need, as well as where this care can take place. In Part II, we will take a look at who might end up in need of long-term care at some point in life.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that of all people who live to the age of 65, approximately 70 percent will end up in need of long-term care before they die. This makes sense, as most people who receive long-term care are elderly - although some are facing chronic disabilities in addition to their advanced age.

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