It turns out that if you live in a rural area, you are more likely to rely on Social Security Disability benefits. The reasons for this are complex. However, a recent article in the Kansas City Star reported that while 1 in 20 people receive SSD in Kansas City, the number increases to 1 in 8 when you get into the rural counties of southern Kansas.
After two years of no increases in the benefit amount for recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the government announced last fall that individuals receiving that benefit would see a cost of living increase. The increase took effect in the last days of December 2011.
Applying for and receiving unemployment benefits can pose a problem, especially if you have a claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). By applying for both sets of benefits, you are making two statements that are rather contradictory. First, by applying for and receiving unemployment benefits, you are claiming that you are able to work, but you are unable to find employment. By then applying for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Insurance benefits, you would be indicating that you are unable to perform any type of work as a result of a disability that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least twelve-months. Indicating that you are both able to work and unable to work simultaneously. Because these two statements contradict one another, it can lead to problems of credibility with regards to your disability. More specifically, if you indicate to one government agency that you can work, and then indicate to another that you cannot, an Administrative Law Judge may find your testimony regarding your claimed disability to be less credible.
Terminally ill SSD applicants have been caught in the backlog of Social Security Applications and many have have died while waiting for a decision on their appeals. The SSA has a special code for applications in this category: DXDI.
Last year brought a lot of new and interesting discussions to our blogs (here and here). We offered a plethora of information to help our clients through the Social Security Disability process, and we plan to continue to do so! But, before we get a jump start on this New Year-let's look back on some of the important topics from last year. Electronic Social Security Disability Checks-Last May, we blogged about the end of an era. At that time, we mentioned that (in less than two years!) the Social Security Administration was no longer going to be issuing disability payments in the form of paper checks. In an attempt to cut costs, the SSA will soon be switching over to fully-electronic direct deposits for disability payments. The upside to electronic payments still remains...Electronic payments will almost guarantee that one's payment cannot be misplaced, sent to the wrong address, ruined in the rain, or eaten by the dog!