Posts in:March, 2020

Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic

Posted March 30, 2020 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

It has been an extraordinary week as we as a company and community face the ongoing challenges and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is of the utmost importance that we stay strong, stay connected, and continue to practice social distancing to slow the health and financial impact of the disease.

As many of you may already know, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has closed all of its offices to the public and has directed its staff to work from home as much as possible. The virus has proven to be deadly, particularly among the older population and for those with certain underlying medical conditions, and the SSA has therefore taken these steps to protect their staff and the public as much as possible while still fulfilling their mission-critical work to provide income security.

We have been informed that all SSA offices are continuing to take and adjudicate claims. They are prioritizing dire-need claims as they are identified. The SSA is also implementing policy and procedural changes intended to avoid reducing or suspending benefits during this health crisis. While this change to working-from-home for many of the SSA’s employees may slow the process, it is not stopping. However, the SSA warns that you may experience longer than average wait times on their national line.

The Office of Hearing Operations (OHO), the part of the SSA that handles hearings for SSDI and SSI claims, has also not shut down at this time. They have reported, however, that any hearings and prior-scheduled appointments will not be handled in-person at this time. Where possible, they will be held via telephone. People who have scheduled appointments may receive a call from the SSA or OHO to arrange to have their hearing handled on a phone conference. The call you receive, they say, may not come from a government phone number as many of their staff are also working from home.

IF YOU HAVE A HEARING SCHEDULED IN THE NEXT TWO MONTHS,  we will be reaching out to you to make arrangements to either appear for the hearing via telephone or for us to request a postponement for a time when you can appear in person.

We are grateful to all of our clients for your patience and understanding in these unprecedented times, and for our employees who continue to work hard to provide the best service we can. The best way to stay in touch with us is to use email. Please email us any changes to your treating providers or address changes to customercare@premierdisability.com. Please email us any changes to your treating providers or address changes. It is our goal to remain open and to continue serving you to the best of our ability.

In the famous words of Justice William Brennan, Jr., “We must meet the challenge rather than wish it was not before us.”

Please take a moment to review the material on the virus, including how to keep yourself and your family safe, from the Centers for Disease Control:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/protect/index.html

We wish you all the best,

Thomas A. Klint, Premier Disability Services, LLC®

 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) An Important Message

Posted March 18, 2020 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

We want to extend our heartfelt sympathies to all who have been affected by the outbreak of COVID 19 (Coronavirus). At Premier Disability Services, LLC, the health and well-being of our clients and our team members is our highest priority.

 

Premier Disability Services is asking several of our employees to take every precaution to avoid the further spread of COVID 19. We are asking several employees to work from home when possible, and require employees to self-quarantine for at least 14 days if they show any symptoms of illness. These circumstances may lead to more extended call wait times, and we would like to thank you for your patience in advance. If you need to get a hold of our office, and your inquiry can wait, we ask that you send an email to: customercare@premierdisability.com.

 

We hope you and your family stay healthy and safe during this difficult time. We will continue to keep you informed as the situation evolves.

 

Thomas A. Klint

President & CEO

Premier Disability Services, LLC

Social Security Disability for Respiratory Illness

Posted March 13, 2020 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Breathing problems are a common reason for people to apply for disability benefits. Respiratory disorders that prevent proper lung function include COPD illnesses such as bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema; infections like tuberculosis and pneumonia; hereditary diseases like cystic fibrosis; sleep-related disorders like sleep apnea; and cancers, like lung cancer and mesothelioma. For most of these disorders, the SSA awards disability based on the results of breathing tests. For episodic disorders like asthma and recurrent infections, the SSA will look at how frequently you have episodes that require medical care.

Respiratory disorders may be evaluated under the 3.00 category of Adult Listings: https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/3.00-Respiratory-Adult.htm

Even if your condition does not meet the criteria for disability benefits under the Blue Book guidelines, you could still qualify under the medical-vocational allowance. The medical-vocational allowance is a series of guidelines that will determine whether you are able to work based on your condition. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider your age, educational background, work experience and work history, along with your residual function capacity (RFC) to determine whether you can perform the demands of your job. Your RFC establishes the maximum amount of work you can do given the limitations of your condition.

The SSA will also consider the “non-exertional” demands of work (mental, postural, manipulative, visual, communicative, and environmental) and exertional demands of work (walking, standing, sitting, lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling) to determine whether you could perform work, either under modifications for your condition or in a different position entirely. If you are found to be unable to work under the medical-vocational allowance, you could qualify for disability benefits.

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®