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Austin Social Security Disability Law Blog

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.

An overview of long-term care - Part I

Most of our readers probably know that our nation's population is aging as people live longer due to making healthier choices and benefiting from the advancements of medical technology. However, even though people are living longer, they are not necessarily living with the freedom of movement and in the good health they experienced in their younger years. Millions of Americans will, at some point in their lives, need long-term care. Here, in Part I of a multi-part series, we will begin to take a look at long-term care in America.

First, what exactly is "long-term care?" Well, this type of care is usually classified as care that is given because a person is unable to take care of some of the most basic parts of life. This can include needing help with moving, eating or using the restroom. Many people who need long-term care are suffering from illnesses and may be at least partially disabled.

The potentially devastating effects of a brain injury

Millions of Americans will someday find themselves dealing with something they never planned for: a work-related injury. Despite the fact that employers throughout the country, including in Texas, have been emphasizing worker safety for years, it is almost impossible to completely prevent workplace injuries. And, of all the different types of injuries a worker could suffer from, a brain injury is probably the worst.

Even a minor brain injury, like a concussion, can keep a Texas worker from returning to the job. A concussion could make a worker nauseous, or it could even make the worker temporarily blackout. Despite the fact that many people may consider a concussion to be a "minor" injury, anyone who suffers a concussion on the job should seek immediate medical attention. Multiple concussions could have a major impact on a person's life down the road.

What are some of the most common reasons for a denied claim?

Many people find the process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits to be fraught with concern over the fear that they will go through all of the steps that are required and still end up with a denied claim. This concern is not overblown, as it is commonly reported - and most Social Security Disability attorneys would probably be able to tell their clients - that about six out of 10 applications for benefits are denied on the initial review.

This can leave many Texas residents wondering why these claims are denied. Well, as most people would expect, the vast majority of denied claims are due to the failure of the applicant to meet the requirements as they are outlined by the Social Security Administration. For instance, to qualify to receive SSD benefits the applicant must have a disability that is expected to last more than 12 months - if the impairment is not expected to last this long, the application will be denied.

Administrative judges with the SSA are still under fire

There a quite a few government agencies that are on the receiving end of almost daily criticism. Besides the Internal Revenue Service, there is probably no bigger target than the Social Security Administration. But, as any Social Security Income Attorney would probably be able to tell our readers, oftentimes this criticism is misdirected.

For instance, many of our readers probably remember seeing media reports last year about the manner in which Social Security Disability administrative judges were reviewing application appeals. Several of the judges in question presented themselves before a Congressional committee in order to answer to reports that they were approving applications at an unusually high rate, oftentimes in the upper 90 percent of cases reviewed. Now, these administrative judges are in the spotlight again.

Getting the right information and taking action

When Texas residents suffer injuries or illnesses that leave them with a complete inability to work, they face a great deal of uncertainty. For some, the biggest question is whether or not the disability is temporary or permanent. For others, the need to find an alternative means of earning an income, despite their disability, can be a daunting task. In many cases, one big question needs to be answered: Should I apply for Social Security Disability benefits?

The Social Security Disability attorneys at our firm know that uncertainty can make a person careful - considering all options before making any big decisions is always a good idea. However, in some cases being careful can trump the need to take action, which may be detrimental down the road.

Can you work at all while receiving SSD benefits?

Millions of Americans have a disability that leaves them with a complete inability to work in any job whatsoever. For those individuals, their monthly Social Security Disability benefits may be all they have to live on and pay their bills. However, most Social Security Disability Attorneys would probably be able to tell our readers that in many cases an opportunity comes up for someone who is receiving SSD benefits and that person thinks, "I can do that job, even with my disability."

But, those same people may be thinking, "Am I even allowed to work when I'm receiving SSD benefits?" It is a valid question. While a person may be willing to take a chance that they can work and earn an income, there is always the uncertainty about whether or not the job will be long-term, or whether or not the potential employer will accommodate the person's disability. This can leave a Texas resident wondering if the risk is worth the reward.

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