Tag Archives: doctor opinions

What are the best doctor opinions for purposes of getting social security disability?

SSR Rulings on Doctor’s Opinions:

The Social Security Administration periodically issues “Social Security Rulings.” A Social Security Ruling (“SSR”) is essentially a modification of the Social Security Administration’s policies and procedures, and although an SSR does not have the same effect as a law, all parts of the Social Security Administration must comply with its terms.

For instance, on August 9, 2006, the Social Security Administration issued SSR 06-03p, the stated purpose of which was “[t]o clarify how [the Social Security Administration] consider[s] opinions from sources who are not ‘acceptable medical sources’ and how [the Social Security Administration] consider[s] decisions by other governmental and nongovernmental agencies on the issue of disability or blindness.”SSR 06-03p discusses the types of evidence that the Social Security Administration evaluates to make a disability determination. This evidence “includes, but is not limited to, objective medical evidence; other evidence from medical sources, including their opinions; statements by [an applicant for disability benefits] and others about the impairment(s) and how it affects the [applicant’s] functioning; information from other ‘non-medical sources’ and decisions by other governmental and nongovernmental agencies about whether an [applicant]is disabled or blind.”

According to the ruling, “acceptable medical sources” include licensed physicians, licensed or certified psychologists, licensed optometrists, licensed podiatrists, and qualified speech-language pathologists. Sources other than “acceptable medical sources” include nurse practitioners, physician assistants,licensed clinical social workers, naturopaths, chiropractors, audiologists, therapists, educational personnel, social welfare agency personnel, and friends, family and associates of an applicant for disability benefits.The significance of the distinction between “acceptable medical sources” and other sources is that the Social Security Administration will consider only evidence providedby an acceptable medical source for purposes of establishing “the existence of a medically determinable impairment.” Among other things, this means that a medical opinion from an acceptable medical source can lead directly to a determination about whether or not an applicant for disability benefits has a qualifying disability.Although opinions from other sources might not have as much influence on an official disability determination, the evidence from other sources can be important. These opinions provide the Social Security Administration with evidence regarding the severity of an applicant’s disability, along with the extent of an applicant’s ability to function despite the disability.

If you believe that you are eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits, or if you have been denied and want to appeal, then any evidence you have from sources other than “acceptable medical sources” can be important. Talk to an attorney who focuses on Social Security disability law if you have questions about establishing your entitlement to disability benefits.  Call today 1-800-596-1533  for a free consultation.

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Can I get both worker’s compensation and Social Security disability benefits?

Can I get both worker’s compensation and Social Security disability benefits?

Workers’ compensation pays benefits to employees who suffer an injury at work or experience a work-related illness. Benefits for workers’ compensation include medical treatment and money for the partial replacement of lost wages. For an employee who cannot work while recovering from an injury or work-related illness, workers’ compensation can pay temporary total disability benefits. In cases in which the injury or work-related illness has long-term or permanent consequences, an employee can receive permanent disability benefits. When an employee dies as the result of an injury or work-related illness, then the employee’s dependents can receive survivor benefits. In general, workers’ compensation is a program run by state governments.

Similarly, Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) provides benefits to insured workers with disabilities, or in other words, to those who: (1) have been employed for at least five of the last ten years; (2) have paid FICA (“Federal Insurance Contributions Act”) taxes; and (3) have a “disability” as the Social Security Administration defines the term. A disability, for purposes of Social Security, is a serious medical condition that lasts (or has lasted) for more than a year and prevents someone from being gainfully employed. In addition, SSDI will provide benefits to the disabled children of insured workers, so long as the children became disabled before they reached the age of 22, as well as to the disabled surviving spouses of insured workers who have died. Generally, SSDI is administered by the federal government.

A person can receive workers’ compensation and SSDI benefits at the same time, but workers’ compensation benefits might reduce the amount of SSDI benefits. Under the Social Security Administration’s rules, a person who receives workers’ compensation benefits and Social Security disability benefits at the same time may not receive combined benefits that amount to more than 80 percent of the person’s average current earnings before the person became disabled. For example, if a person earned $4,000.00 per month before becoming disabled, then the person would be eligible to receive $2,200.00 per month in SSDI benefits after becoming disabled. If that same person were also to receive $2,000.00 per month in benefits from workers’ compensation, then the person’s SSDI benefits would be reduced to $200.00 per month to comply with the Social Security Administration’s 80 percent rule.

If you have a current or potential worker’s compensation claim and are interested in applying for SSDI benefits, or if you simply want to be sure that you are receiving the maximum SSDI benefits for which you are eligible, then you should consider speaking with an attorney who has experience with Social Security law in order to minimize the off-set. Call the Nationwide Law Offices of John T. Nicholson at 1-800-596-1533 for a free consultation today.

Posted in Personal Injury, Social Security SSD/SSI | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

How to terminate my Social Security Representative Payee?

If you feel as though you no longer need a Representative Payee SSA.gov suggests the following:

budget social securityIn order to become your own payee, you must show SSA that you are now mentally and physically able to handle your money yourself. You could provide:

  1. A doctor’s statement that there has been a change in your condition and that the doctor believes you are able to care for yourself; or
  2. An official copy of a court order saying that the court believes that you can take care of yourself; or
  3. Other evidence that shows your ability to take care of yourself.

Note: Be advised that if SSA believes your condition has improved to the point that you no longer need a payee, we may reevaluate your eligibility for benefits.

However, in my experience if your Representative Payee is an approved organization then your chances to be become your own payee are slim to none.  The main reason being, that SSA has likely already done extensive screening due to the fact that they will only allow an organization to be a Payee Representative as a last resort.  Most of these Organizational Payee Representatives charge a fee ranging anywhere from 25 dollars a month at some organizations here in Dayton up to 75 dollars a month in some larger cities such as Cleveland and Columbus.

Therefore, the best option in many cases for a person unhappy with their current Organizational Payee Representative is to simply request that the Representative be changed from to an Organization with lower fees or a family or church member that will agree to apply as a representive.  All of this can be handled through your local Social Security Administration Office without the aid of an attorney.

Posted in Social Security SSD/SSI | 7 Comments