Tag Archives: Social Security widower’s benefits
If you have an illness that you think should qualify you for Social Security benefits there’s one thing you and every other claimant must do regardless of your disability – provide sufficient proof that you actually are disabled. The Social Security Administration defines disability as “the inability to engage in any ‘substantial gainful activity’ (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” In other words, the claimant must both prove both that he has a disability and that it is severe enough to qualify for federal benefits.
First and most important, the claimant must provide documentation from “acceptable medical sources” of his condition. Licensed physicians are prime examples of acceptable medical sources and are capable of establishing all disabilities. Other medical professionals are permitted to act as acceptable sources but only in limited situations specific to their areas of expertise. For instance, a psychologist is competent to provide evidence for mental disabilities and a podiatrist is competent to provide evidence for foot issues, but not the other way around. Medical professionals who are “treating sources” i.e. professionals who’ve tended to the claimant over a long period of time, are deemed the most important sources of information.
Once the claimant has chosen an appropriate medical source to assist in making a disability claim, that medical professional must then hand over reports to the SSA. Such reports include medical histories, lab tests, and reports describing the claimant’s ability to perform “work-related” tasks.
Sometimes, the claimant is not able to get all the information he needs from his own doctors or medical sources that are available to him. The claimant is then permitted to schedule a Consultative Examination with either his usual treating source or another medical professional to obtain the specific medical information needed by the SSA. A complete Consultative Examination Report would include the following information:
• the claimant’s major complaint;
• a detailed description, within the area of specialty of the examination, of the history of the major complaint;
• a description, and disposition, of pertinent “positive” and “negative” detailed findings based on the history, examination, and laboratory tests related to the major complaint, and any other abnormalities or lack thereof reported or found during examination or laboratory testing;
• results of lab and other tests (for example, X-rays);
• the diagnosis and prognosis for the claimant’s impairment;
• a statement about what the claimant can still do despite his or her impairment; and
• the consultant’s consideration, and some explanation or comment on, the claimant’s major complaint and any other abnormalities found during the history and examination or reported from the laboratory tests.
If you think you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits and have questions, call The Law Offices of John T. Nicholson at 1-800-596-1533 for a free consultation today.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefit Eligibility for Noncitizens
There are certain situations in which noncitizens may be eligible for SSI benefits. As a noncitizen, you must meet one of the following requirements:
- Have been lawfully residing in the United States as a permanent resident on August 22, 1996, and be blind or disabled;
– Have been receiving SSI on August 22, 1996, and are lawfully residing in the United States;
– Have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and have a total of 40 credits of work in the United States. (Work credits of your spouse or parent may count towards your total as well)
It is also important to note that even if you have at least 40 total work credits (equal to 10 full years of work), you may not be immediately eligible to receive benefits if you entered the U.S. on or after August 22, 1996. In that case, you may not be eligible to receive SSI benefits until you have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the U.S. for a total of five years.
There are some other situations where noncitizens may be eligible for SSI payments as well. This includes active duty members of the U.S. armed forces, members of federally recognized Indian tribes, and certain noncitizens who have been admitted to the U.S. as refugees or victims of severe human trafficking.
If you think you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits and have questions, call The Law offices of John T. Nicholson at 1-800-596-1533 for a free consultation today.
Source: SSA Publication No. 05-11051, ICN 480360, December 2012
The John T. Nicholson Law Offices: Cincinnati Office is located at 7103 Hamilton Mason Road, Cincinnati, OH 45069 and is by appointment only. Please call (513) 276-4677 for a free consultation or to schedule an appointment today.
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Social Security Disability Application Process Now Online
If your disabling condition makes it hard for you to drive or arrange transportation to your local Social Security office, there is some good news from the Social Security Administration. You’re now able to complete and submit your application for Social Security disability benefits from the privacy of your own home computer.
The amount of time the process takes to make a decision on your application can vary depending on a number of factors, such as:
• the nature of the disability;
• how quickly medical records are obtained from your doctors, hospitals, or other medical sources; and
• whether the SSA needs to send you for a medical examination in order to obtain evidence to support your claim.
There are several ways that the service can be sped up. In some cases, a new project known as the Compassionate Allowances initiative allows the SSA to fast-track cases involving people with very severe. Some 165 different types of disabilities qualify for this expedited decision, and that list continues to grow. To read more about the Compassionate Allowances initiative, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.
Another way to speed things up involves the Quick Disability Determinations initiative, which uses technology to identify claimants who have the most severe disabilities and then encourages the SSA to expedite those cases.
The SSA also gives claimants a list of things they can do to help speed the process along. The most important is that the more information an applicant provides in the beginning, the less time will be wasted with additional requests. Applicants should make sure to provide the following information initially:
• all medical records or documentation you have;
• the names, addresses, and phone numbers for any doctors, hospitals, medical facilities, treatment centers, or providers related to your disabling condition; and
• the names, addresses, and phone numbers for recent employers and the dates worked for each employer.
If you think you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits and have questions, call The Law Offices of John Nicholson at 1-800-596-1533 for a free consultation today.
Last updated by John Nicholson on .