Tag Archives: social security disability benefits

How do you determine your onset date for Social Security disability?

A question that is also asked and plays a critical role in your SSD process is the date that you became disabled. At times, applicants can struggle answering this because if they have multiple impairments, chances are, they didn’t start at the same time, but simply developed over time. Picking a wrong onset date can cost you a lot of money in your benefit pay period or even hurt your chance in being accepted. Generally, your onset date will be the day that you were unable to perform daily tasks at work because of your medical condition. The onset date is also determined based on your medical records as well.

social security disability benefits

How To Determine Your Onset Date

SSD will consider all of these factors into deciding your onset date:

1. Applicant claim: Your claim will list when you became disabled. This will be listed in the application as well as the disability report.


2. Work History: Your local Social Security office will review your claim and document the day you stopped working based on the Work Activity Report.


3. Medical evidence or relating to the disability: You should submit all medical records that are relevant to your disability so they can be reviewed by SSA. These records will show the impairments you have and the duration of time.


The onset date is the day the injury or disorder happened and caused you to not work. Based on disability ruling, the disability should expect to interfere with your work for at least a year. Based on the facts of the evidence, a medical advisor will be able to guide Social Security in dictating when your onset date should be.


It is easiest to determine your onset date if you apply for SSD shortly after your accident. If you established your disability as soon as the incident happened, the medical records will be accurate and there shouldn’t be any issues in Social Security determining your date. Those who do qualify for SSD benefits will set their onset date prior to the application, but you must be able provide evidence to back up your date. There will only be problems in determining your onset date if you wait too long to claim for disability benefits. If you need further help, please contact a disability attorney who can guide you and help fill out your application.

What Can a Lawyer Do After a Car Accident?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, then you already know the amount of frustration and confusion that can come as a result. It’s not unusual for the people involved to want to turn to outside parties to help them make it through this tough and often tumultuous time. If you’ve been considering hiring the services of an auto accident case lawyer, you might be wondering what, if anything, an attorney can do for you. Here are just a couple of items to consider:

Accident Case Lawyer

An Accident Case Lawyer can Give you Advice about any Offers

If the car accident wasn’t your fault, then the other driver’s insurance company is required to cover the damages as part of the liability coverage. However, this doesn’t automatically mean smooth sailing. Often, insurance companies will try to settle for as little as possible, even if it means offering you less than you are actually owed.


Before you receive any offers, a lawyer can let you know what your claim is worth and how much you should expect. Once you get an offer, a lawyer can review it to let you know whether or not it’s something you should accept or reject.


An Accident Case Lawyer can Review other Legal Options with you

Even if the insurance company sends you a fair offer, it doesn’t mean you have to accept. In many cases, you might want to consider further legal options against the other driver — for example, if they were driving drunk and cause injuries, you might be able to file a personal injury case. An attorney can let you know what your legal options are and what course you might want to take.


An Accident Case Lawyer can help Fight your Legal Battles

If things don’t go smoothly, however, you are definitely going to want to consider legal counsel. If the opposing insurance company denies the claim, or if their offer is too low, or if you are sued for some reason, an attorney is not only a good idea, but is pretty much a necessity at this point. When it comes time to actually file motions or defend yourself from motions that have been filed, you’re going to need the help of an experiences, qualified attorney.


If you would like to know more about hiring an attorney to help with your car accident claims, we would love to hear from you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Are You at Risk for Your Disability Payments to Stop?

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), two things can cause your disability payments to stop.

Social Security Disability Benefits

The first thing that can cause your disability payments to stop is if you are working at a level that the SSA deems “substantial.” Stay aware of the current guidelines that determine substantial income from being employed. For 2017, earning of $1,170.00 per month ($1950.00 if you are blind) is considered substantial income. If your benefits stop due to substantial income and you become unable to work again, you have five years to ask the SSA to restart your benefits due to your condition. The SSA will review your medical condition, but as long as you are within the five-year period, you will not be required to submit a new application for benefits.


If you have work expenses due to your disability, the SSA may be able to deduct those expenses from your monthly earnings before deciding if you are still eligible for disability benefits. One example is if your disability prohibits you from driving or using public transportation, and you have the added expense of paying for a taxi to get back and forth from work. Other examples include counseling services, copayments for prescriptions, a wheelchair, or specialized work equipment.


Make the SSA aware of any significant changes in your situation, including if you start or stop working, or if your duties, hours, or pay changes. Also, you need to report work expenses related to your disability right away. You can report these changes by phone, mail, or in person.


Your benefits can stop if the SSA determines that you are no longer disabled. It is your responsibility to inform them immediately if your condition improves. Occasionally, the SSA reviews the current medical condition of everyone receiving disability benefits to ensure each person still has a qualifying disability. Typically, if you are still unable to work and your condition has not improved, your benefits will continue.


If your benefits are under review, the SSA will gather information from doctors, hospitals, and other medical sources. In some cases, they will ask you to go for a special examination at no cost to you. They will review all the information to determine if your condition has improved. If they determine your condition has improved, they will consider the type of work you do to decide whether or not your condition has improved enough for you to return to work. If they determine you can return to work, your benefits will stop.


Other things that can cause your social security disability payments to stop are not following doctor’s orders, giving false or misleading information, and not cooperating with the SSA.

The Many Benefits of the Social Security Disability Program

When you can no longer work due to a severe illness or injury, the thoughts that can go through your head can be nerve-wracking. One of the biggest concerns for most people figuring out how to live with little or no income. Often the answer comes in the form of disability benefit payments. Qualifying for disability benefits can allay many of your apprehensions and fears. Aside from providing a source of income, there are many other benefits that are associated with the Social Security disability program.

social security disability benefits

Your income will increase over time
If you remain on disability for an extended period of time, you will undoubtedly get annual increases in your payments. The increases are tied into the Consumer Price Index, so they fluctuate yearly, and they may not always be significant. However, if you are relying on long-term disability payments from your employer, the amount will stay static the entire time you are on it.


Your survivors benefits and retirement amounts will increase
When you begin receiving disability benefits, your Social Security earnings record stops. The importance of this fact comes into play when it is time for you to retire or for your survivors to receive benefits. Those amounts are calculated based on average earnings during a specific period of time. If the time you were on disability does not count, the average amount of money increases, so the monthly payments will increase as well. In short, receiving disability payments has no negative effects on average earnings.


Low taxed amount
Only 50% of your disability income is taxable. That leaves the other half to be completely yours.


People who opt for long-term disability payments are often limited in their access to Medicare. However, people who opt for disability payments have better access for a longer period of time to Medicare. Medicare coverage includes both Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical) coverage.


Return-to-work incentives
The Social Security Administration (SSA) categorizes all disability benefit recipients. Those who are considered capable of recovering from a condition are eligible for a vocational rehabilitation program. During the time in the program, participants are still eligible to receive benefits until completion of the program. People who are not expected to improve are eligible to participate in a trial work program and still remain eligible to receive benefits.


If you have questions about the many benefits of the disability benefits payment program, contact the law office of James Mitchell Brown today. We are here to serve you.

Disability Insurance – The Most Ignored Insurance of Them All

We insure our cars, our homes, our jewelry and other property. But what about the most important asset we have – our bodies? Disability insurance is the most ignored insurance coverages out there. So what is disability insurance, what does it cover and how long does it cover the individual?

Disability Insurance

There are two types of disability insurance, short and long term. Though they offer distinct coverage, they also work together. For example, if you use up your short term disability, the long term disability steps in to take over.


Short Term Disability Insurance:
A short term disability policy normally is designed to replace 80% or more of your gross income, typically for 60 to 180 days. Usually you have to wait for an “elimination period” of five to 10 days before coverage can start. Many businesses offer short term disability but there is usually either a copay from the employee or they pay the whole premium amount.


Long Term Disability Insurance
Long term disability, as stated above, steps in after your short term disability ends. Although it can last much longer, even through the rest of your life depending on the policy, it only covers typically up to 60% of your salary. Although this coverage is offered by some businesses, others do not offer it.


Short term and long term disability differ from worker’s compensation in that it will cover you for injuries not sustained at work, such as a car accident. It also differs from Social Security Disability Benefits in that the definition of ‘disability’ is a lot harder to prove with Social Security. An example of this is if you are an injured factory worker who stood on their feet all day and Social Security could say you could work at a sedentary job and deny you payments.


If your place of work does not offer these insurance coverages, you can shop for personal coverage.


What if you have coverage and you are being denied?
There are horror stories associated with denial of personal injury disability cases. One of the biggest culprits of being denied is the Medical Consultant Review. If your doctor is not sufficiently informed about your symptoms and your condition, this review can terminate any benefits. Be aware that they can surveille you as well during the process of review. Also, there are a multitude of other ways the claim can be denied, such as not understanding your policy to the full extent. This is where a seasoned personal injury disability lawyer could help. Consulting with a licensed attorney to ask the right questions and navigate the difficult field of disability insurance can save you heartache, time, and a potential loss of disability coverage.


Short term and long term disability insurance are important and very often overlooked. These insurances help assure you can keep your life going after suffering a debilitating injury. If you don’t have disability coverage, it would be wise to research the subject and decide if getting policies in these areas are right for you.