Social Security’s Musculoskeletal Listings May Change

Posted February 23, 2018 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Changes to skeletal conditions

After almost six months of review, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has approved proposed amendments to Social Security’s Listings for musculoskeletal disorders. Expect this proposal to appear in the Federal Register in the near future. Remember that this is only a proposal. The public has a right to comment on the proposal. In general, agencies will specify a comment period ranging from 30-60 days, but the time period can vary.

The “notice‐and‐comment” process enables anyone to submit a comment on any part of the proposed rule. This process is not like a ballot initiative or an up‐or‐down vote in a legislature. An agency is not permitted to base its final rule on the number of comments in support of the rule over those in opposition to it. At the end of the process, the agency must base its reasoning and conclusions on the rulemaking record, consisting of the comments, scientific data, expert opinions, and facts accumulated during the pre‐rule and proposed rule stages.

When an agency publishes a final rule, generally the rule is effective no less than 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register. If the agency wants to make the rule effective sooner, it must cite “good cause” as to why this is in the public interest.

If you or someone you know is unable to work due to a medical condition, please contact us for a free evaluation of your claim!

See more here: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/

By: Thomas A. Klint of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Are My Social Security Disability Benefits Permanent?

Posted February 16, 2018 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

SSA Reviewing medical evidence

Contrary to popular belief, Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income benefits are not considered permanent disability benefits. In fact, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) is supposed to review most cases every three to five years to determine whether an individual remains disabled. However, it is not uncommon for an Administrative Law Judge to recommend that a “younger individual,” which is defined as a person under the age of 50, be reviewed at the end of the first calendar year to see if there is medical improvement.

Historically, SSA had neglected these “continuing disability reviews,” but they are becoming more and more common. SSA has the burden of proving that there has been medical improvement when it comes to a disability review. However, it is not uncommon for SSA to deem that a medical improvement has occurred and stop benefits. You do have a right to appeal and you must read SSA’s notification letters carefully and follow the instructions. Here are some tips to keep in mind in hopes of ensuring a smooth disability review.

  • Continue treating with your medical providers. If you stop treating, it is more likely that your benefits will be stopped.
  • Respond to all notices. Pay attention to the deadlines in the letters that you receive from SSA. When returning requested forms to SSA, make sure you either drop them off at your local office and get a stamped receipt OR send them in by certified mail and request a signature.
  • Get an updated letter of support from your treating specialist if you are in the midst of a review.
  • Make sure SSA receives your updated medical records from your doctor if they are requested. Sometimes doctors fail to respond to SSA’s requests, which can jeopardize your benefits.
  • Finally, be realistic. Some disabilities are permanent, but many are not. If your doctor is telling you to return to work, you may in fact be physically and mentally ready to start working again. Start slowly and make sure you notify SSA if you start earning money at any type of occupation.

Don’t worry. If the medical evidence and objective findings consistently supports that you remain disabled, you will likely retain your benefits. Just remember to make sure that you follow SSA’s directions and if you have any questions about the review process, call your local SSA office for details.

If you or someone you know is unable to work due to a medical condition, please contact us for a free evaluation of your claim!

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Super Bowl Sunday is this Weekend!

Posted February 2, 2018 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Representative Payee Program

Super Bowl LII takes place this Sunday, February 4, 2018, right here in our hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota at the majestic U.S. Bank Stadium. The Philadelphia Eagles will take on the New England Patriots, with Justin Timberlake performing at half-time. We all hope for an exciting game.

Unsurprisingly, football leads a number of studies as the most dangerous sport. Injuries occur during football games and practice due to the combination of high speeds and full contact. While overuse injuries can occur, traumatic injuries such as concussions and knee or shoulder injuries are the most common. Some ex-NFL players now suffer from an incurable degenerative brain disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head.

You may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if you have suffered severe physical injuries – even if they were not sustained at work. The Social Security Administration has designated several impairments, including reconstructive surgeries of major weight-bearing joints, spine disorders, amputations, bone fractures, and soft tissue injuries, that may lead to an automatic finding of disability when certain requirements are met. You may also qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if you have sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury under the Administration’s neurological listings (see links below).

Even if your injury does not meet one of Social Security’s listings, you may still qualify for disability benefits if your impairments have (or are expected to) put you out of work for one year or longer. The Social Security Administration will consider whether your conditions prevent you from returning to your past work or any other work available in the regional or national economy.

If you or someone you know is unable to work due to a medical condition, please contact us for a free evaluation of your claim!

By: Thomas A. Klint of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Complete list of Musculoskeletal Adult Listings: SSA.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/1.00-Musculoskeletal

Complete list of Neurological Adult Listings: SSA.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/11.00-Neurological

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®