Posts in:Blog

Disability Benefits for Wounded Warriors

Posted May 24, 2019 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

This coming Monday, May 27, 2019, we celebrate Memorial Day. While many Americans are excited for the long weekend, it is important to remember the roots of the holiday. Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering and honoring people who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

To further honor and assist our veterans, the Social Security Administration provides expedited processing to military service members who become disabled while on active military service on or after October 1, 2001, regardless of where the disability occurs.

Even active duty military members who continue to receive payment while in a hospital or on medical leave should consider applying for disability benefits if they are unable to work due to a disabling condition. Active duty status and receipt of military pay does not necessarily prevent payment of Social Security disability benefits. Although a person cannot receive Social Security disability benefits while engaging in substantial work for pay or profit, receipt of military payments should never stop someone from applying for disability benefits from Social Security.

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

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By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Assessment of Work-Related Functional Abilities in Disability Determinations

Posted May 17, 2019 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Assessments of a person’s ability to function at work provide important information for disability determinations, and many validated tests are available to assess work-related physical and mental functions. However, because no single test of function is likely to provide all of the information needed to evaluate an individual’s ability to work, it is important to consider information from multiple sources, including health records, functional assessments, and standardized reports from the applicant and relevant health care providers, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The report, Functional Assessment for Adults with Disabilities, contains findings and conclusions regarding the collection of health data and the assessment of functional abilities that can help determine an individual’s eligibility for Social Security disability benefits.

While an individual may be able to perform certain physical demands of a job, such as lifting or standing, during a single performance-based assessment, that does not mean he or she can do so repeatedly or continuously throughout the work week. An individual’s capacity to work may also be adversely affected if he or she experiences comorbid physical-mental health conditions or medication side effects. For example, common side effects for treatment of pain — including nausea and difficulty concentrating — can further impair a person’s ability to function at work.

Additionally, when assessments of functional ability are conducted outside of an actual work setting, they may not sufficiently capture whether an individual can work full-time on a regular, continuing basis. Testing is typically administered in a quiet, controlled setting, and thus is not always reflective of the environmental factors (e.g. temperature, noise, and heights) and social demands the individual may encounter at work.

Assessments of work-related functional abilities are extremely important in disability determinations and can make or break a case. To be disabled under Social Security’s rules, you must be unable to return to your past relevant work or any other work available in the national or regional 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: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Supplemental Security Income: An Overview

Posted May 10, 2019 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Signed into law by President Nixon in 1972, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) works in tandem with Social Security to protect low-income seniors and people with severe disabilities against the worst effects of poverty. The modest income support from SSI gives seniors and people with disabilities who have limited income and resources the ability to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, and pay for needed, often life-sustaining medications.

There are strict requirements to qualify for SSI. Assistance is reserved for people who are blind; age 65 or older; or have a severe disability – and who meet very strict income and asset limits. The Social Security Administration will consider money you earn from work, from other sources, and any free food and shelter as income that affects your eligibility. Income such as food stamps, needs-based assistance funding, loans, or small amounts of income received irregularly or infrequently are not considered countable income. The Administration will also consider assets such as cash, bank accounts, land, vehicles, personal property, and anything else you own that can be converted to cash and used for food or shelter. The resource limits are $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.

The SSI program also has strict citizenship and residency requirements. You must be either a U.S. citizen or meet the alien eligibility criteria under the 1996 legislation and its amendments. Furthermore, you must live in the United States or the Northern Mariana Islands. Individuals living in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or abroad are not eligible for SSI payments.

Benefits for SSI are extremely modest, and average around $542 per month, or $6,504 per year — way below the Federal poverty level. The monthly maximum SSI amounts for 2019 are $771 for an eligible individual, $1,157 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, and $386 for an essential person.

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.

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By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disablity Services, LLC®