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Social Security Disability Attorney In Los Angeles


This is NOT legal advice. This blog provides general information about Social Security Disability cases. To discuss your particular

circumstances and claim, please contact a lawyer in your area. Please feel free to contact Disability Advocates Group at (800) 935-3170

or online if you have any questions regarding your Social Security Disability claim.


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Stay up to date on the latest news in social security disability law.

Faces and facts of social security disability and work

Faces and facts of social security disability and work Faces and facts of social security disability and work

Work rules for people receiving social security disability and supplemental security income vary from person to person.

The SSA has set out a set of general guidelines, the most important of which is, you can’t work under ‘substantial gainful activity’ while receiving benefits. If you decide to go to work, you can work through ‘trial work period’ under which you would be able to continue your benefits while earning an amount within the income limits set by the Social Security Administration, SSA.

The earning limits for an individual working under trial work period vary each year. The limit stated for 2019 is $880 per month for an individual. This means that any individual working and receiving social security benefits could not earn more than this amount of income. Your benefits will be discontinued immediately if your income increases beyond this amount.

What to report about your work to the Social Security Administration

If you are receiving disability benefits and decide to go to work, you are responsible for informing the SSA of starting any work under trial work period, and any of the changes that may follow. These changes include:

  • Time when you started or stopped working;
  • How much income you are earning;
  • If you started paying for your medical expenses from your income through work;
  • Your work details such as duties, hours, responsibilities, promotion or pay changes;

You can report changes in your work by phone, mail, or in person. You can find your local office on our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/locator. You may use mySocial Security to report your monthly wages online at. www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

What if your symptoms get worse

You will be able to keep all of your benefits as long your income does not cross the income limits set by the SSA under trial work period. The trial work period is of 12 months initially, however, if you lose your job during this period or your symptoms get worse again, preventing you to continue your work then you can ask the SSA to reinstate your benefits. You will be able to reinstate the benefits if this happens within the 36 month extended period of eligibility.

On the other hand, if you lose your job or your disability strikes again after the 36 month extended period of eligibility, then you may have to file for disability again.

 

 

Reinstatement period

Lastly, if your benefits were reduced or stopped during the trial work period or extended period of eligibility, you can always ask the SSA to re-continue your full benefits if you became disabled again. You won’t have to file a new application as long as you make the request to restart your benefits within 5 years of getting your benefits stopped.

Remember that even if you are working within the income limits during trial work period, the administrative law judge or a disability examiner may still see to your work as an ability to perform substantial gainful activity. It is important that you talk to an attorney to represent you in the best possible way if you want to do some work and continue your benefits.

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Tips for veterans living on SSDI

Tips for veterans living on SSDI Tips for veterans living on SSDI

Almost 3.8 million veterans experience some kind of disability in the U.S. today, as of 2019. Among those, a whopping 1.1 million veterans have a disability rating of 70% or higher, which means their disability is severe enough to prevent them from ever going to work again. The severity of disability of so many of those veterans means they are unable to earn for themselves.

Fortunately, most veterans are able to secure some kind of benefits either under Social Security Disability benefits or veteran benefits under the Department of Veteran Affairs. However, living as claimants of social security and VA benefits and not being able to work may be very difficult and not a choice of some of those veterans. Also, the veterans may not know what options would they have once they rely solely on those benefits.

Here are a few points to ponder that you (as veterans) may not already know, that might improve your life quality while on disability:

  • You can go to work

Yes, you read that right. The social security administration lets you test the waters by letting you perform a limited amount of work under the ‘Ticket to Work’, TOW. The TOW allows veteran beneficiaries to find alternate modes of work with incentives while keeping an amount of their benefits even when they recover a little from the disability.

If you are a veteran willing to go to work while you are on the road to recovery, the TOW may be the best option for you. This is free and completely voluntary and can help you regain control of your life, slowly.

  • You can earn benefits on past disabilities

Sometimes veterans or their families may get so caught up in their disabilities where they may not have considered the option of filing for social security claims or VA benefits on time. Fortunately, if you are eligible under non-medical conditions for social security disability insurance, and are able to prove to the SSA of your past disability, you may be granted SSDI benefits. Although these benefits will be granted as backpay or lump sum with a larger tax than regular monthly benefits, this will still be more than enough to help you pay back loans or medical bills for which you had to borrow money.

  • You have options

Most of the veterans are granted SSDI or VA benefits if they are completely disabled or receive a 70% disability rank respectively. Although not all of the 3.8 million veterans may be granted benefits, there are always multiple options for you to consider.

You can file for both social security disability benefits and veteran disability benefits at the same time. If you qualify for both, good news is you can choose to keep both of them under certain conditions. On the other hand, if you receive a 65-70% rating on your disability, you will still have high chances of being granted VA disability benefits but will be denied Social Security. This is because you are either completely disabled or not disabled under SSA’s rules. In that case, you may also get veteran worker’s compensation, which is not a disability program. Since it is not an income, but compensation, you will not have your benefits reduced due to it even if your benefits increase the threshold.

It is wise to consult a disability attorney while taking these considerations. Your attorney will not only provide you legal guidance but you will also learn which benefits to seek first to maximize your income.

 

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How limited education or illiteracy may be considered as eligibility for disability claims

Levels of education and disability claims Levels of education and disability claims

Many people in America never consider of their education as a privilege. Although it is an ingrained right to every citizen, some people may not be educated due to many unavoidable circumstances such as insufficient resources, disease, sickness, family business such as farmers or abusive childhoods such as trafficking or parents not letting the child go to school.

Some disability applicants, although older come to us with no disease but an inability to get jobs to support themselves due to illiteracy or not enough education. Even when these people could perform some king of work in ‘undemanding jobs’, it may not be enough for them to run the household or care for a child (if any).

Most of these type of applicants do not possess high school diplomas, cannot read or write or cannot even communicate in English such as immigrants from urban towns of Europe since world war II.

When considering an applicant’s claim, the first step of the SSA examiner is to look for ‘medical disabilities’. If the claimant does not meet the list of impairments, the SSA would look further to see if the applicant’s physical health prohibits them from performing sufficient work. The SSA would calculate the claimant’s residual functional capacity to see whether they fit into the category of disabled.

Educational levels of claimants

These are the most common educational levels used by the SSA to decide a person’s capability in RFC:

  • Limited or little education;

If the claimant attended school up to the grades between 7th and 11th grade, the SSA labels their education as limited. A person with limited educational background will have some skills such as reasoning, math ability and language skills but do not possess the necessary qualifications to gain a full time job. For instance, a 54 year old man was granted disability benefits on his claims on arthritis and insufficient education. Though he worked prior to the arthritis in a marble factory, his disability and illiteracy now made it impossible to gain a standard job to fulfill his needs.

  • Mediocre or marginal;

If the claimant’s did not study further than grade 6, their education level is defined as marginal by the SSA. A person with marginal education can only perform in unskilled jobs.

  • Illiterate or no education;

A claimant with no education or an ability to read or write anything let alone their own name are considered as illiterate by the SSA. Although an illiterate person can find work in sedentary jobs or ‘undemanding fields’ such as coal mines, crane drivers etc, the illiteracy combined with some kind of minor disability such as lumbar pain makes it impossible for them to perform work.

  • Unable to speak or communicate in English;

Since English is the national and official language in the US, almost every job requires a person to be able to speak English to be able to perform at work. A claimant unable to read, write or speak in English may be considered for disability benefits by the SSA but it doesn’t guarantee that their claim would always be approved.

The SSA would look into how far the claimant went to school, their educational levels and high school grades, teacher’s remarks (if any) etc. If the claimant was a special child, it would be necessary to be able to provide documental proof to the SSA that the child attended a special education program.

This is just an overview of how a limited or no education may enable a person to claim disability benefits. You can consult a professional disability attorney for more guidance.

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Disability Advocates Group is a law firm dedicated to serving individuals who have become disabled and are seeking to obtain the benefits they need and deserve. At Disability Advocates Group, we specialize in representing disabled clients in their claims for Social Security Disability Benefits.

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