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What is Substantial Gainful Activity for SSDI Purposes?


Social Security decides whether you are disabled using a five-step process called the Sequential Evaluation Process. The first step is quite simple: the SSA wants to know, are you earning any money? And if you are, is the job you're working and the money you're earning considered "substantial gainful activity"? A Complicated Way Of Looking At Something Simple The SSA defines the "gainful" part of "substantial gainful activity" (or "SGA") for 2019 as the gross earning, before taxes, of: $1,220 per month (on average) for a sighted person $2,040 per month (on average) for a [...]

What is Substantial Gainful Activity for SSDI Purposes?2019-04-24T19:25:37+00:00

The Long Wait for Disability


Waiting for your Social Security Disability Insurance hearing can be frustrating. And waiting is something many SSDI applicants have to do, all across the country. Waiting for more than a year to have your hearing is quite common, after already being denied at the Initial Application and Reconsideration levels of the disability process. In some places, the wait for a hearing can be more than 18 months. In Charlotte, North Carolina, for instance, in 2016, the wait was nearly two years once an applicant requested your hearing. At the time, Charlotte had the single most [...]

The Long Wait for Disability2019-04-09T23:46:34+00:00

Preparing for SSDI Hearing When the Claimant Has Died


You may wonder, does my loved one still have a Social Security Disability Insurance claim? The loss of a loved one after a long disability can be a difficult time, especially if they were waiting on a disability claim. In most cases, if your loved one filed for disability benefits before their death, their claim can still continue. If you qualify to step in under substitution of party (SOP), there are many things you can do to help their claim when the hearing comes around. What to do to prepare for a hearing Preparing for a [...]

Preparing for SSDI Hearing When the Claimant Has Died2019-04-11T00:24:30+00:00

Substitution of Party: What Happens When a Disability Claimant Dies?


When a Claimant Passes, The Claim May Still Continue In most cases, if your loved one filed for disability before their death, their claim can still continue. In this situation, Social Security requires a process called a “Substitution of Party” (SOP). How To Become Or Appoint an SOP To become the SOP, you sign a simple form letting the Social Security Administration that know you wish to continue the claim for disability. You will be responsible for gathering medical evidence or other important information for the case.  You will need a copy of the death [...]

Substitution of Party: What Happens When a Disability Claimant Dies?2019-04-09T21:00:26+00:00

Drinking, Drugs & Disability: Will Substance Abuse Hurt my Case?


The issue of substance abuse can be a complicated one. In short, abusing drugs or alcohol will make your disability case tougher, but that does not mean you will definitely be denied. Substance Abuse Can Make The Process More Difficult When considering drugs and alcohol, the question the Social Security Administration must ask is: If the claimant stops using drugs and/or alcohol, would they still be disabled? In some cases, this is very simple. In others, it can be much more complicated. Examples of how Substance Abuse Can Affect an SSDI Claim Example 1: Applicant [...]

Drinking, Drugs & Disability: Will Substance Abuse Hurt my Case?2019-04-05T18:41:22+00:00

What Happens After My SSDI Hearing?


It is normal to wonder, even before your disability hearing, what to expect once you appear before the judge. While there is no way to be certain what will happen, there are a few guidelines about what to expect at the hearing and after. A SSDI Decision Will Take Some Time To Be Rendered First, do not expect to get a decision at your hearing. Very rarely does a claimant get a decision during the hearing. Even if you know someone who got a decision at the hearing, it does not mean you will. Some [...]

What Happens After My SSDI Hearing?2019-04-11T00:40:25+00:00

What Happens if I Have a Bad Administrative Law Judge?


The internet has dozens of review sites where you can find ratings of restaurants, airlines, mechanics, doctors, and even social security disability judges. You may have looked up your administrative law judge (ALJ) when your hearing was scheduled. A lot of people wonder what happens if you have a judge who does not pay a lot of their cases. Having a social security disability lawyer can help. Preparation For Your SSDI Hearing Is Key You'll want to prepare for your hearing the same way, regardless of how your administrative law judge pays cases. You'll want [...]

What Happens if I Have a Bad Administrative Law Judge?2019-04-11T00:41:01+00:00

Why Do I Need to Have an SSDI Hearing?


We all seem to know at least one person who moved easily through the disability process, getting an approval from Social Security within a matter of months. But somehow your case has dragged on nearly two years (or longer!) and now you have a hearing set with a judge. At this point many people are very frustrated with the disability process and want to know why they were not approved sooner. Some people are approved faster than others for a variety of reasons. Factors That Lead To A Hearing Being Required for Disability Benefits The [...]

Why Do I Need to Have an SSDI Hearing?2019-04-11T00:41:15+00:00

How to Access Free or Low Cost Medical Care


For any disability claim to be successful, there must be medical evidence demonstrating that your impairments are severe. This presents a problem for many claimants who lack reliable access to medical care. The main barrier to accessing appropriate medical treatment for those who are no longer able to work is cost. Some are lucky enough to be eligible for employer sponsored health insurance through their spouse. If this option is not available to you, it is important that you seek alternative means of receiving treatment. First, Look At Medicaid You should first determine if you [...]

How to Access Free or Low Cost Medical Care2019-04-11T00:42:41+00:00

Appeals Council Remand Rate Plunges


Every claimant who is denied at hearing by an ALJ has the right to appeal that decision to the Appeals Council, which is a basic safeguard of every claimant’s due process rights. Unfortunately, data released by the Social Security Administration reveals that the number of successful appeals has plummeted over the past eight years: Year 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Percentage of claims overturned on appeal 21.77% 21.19% 18.62% 17.11% 14.34% 13.58% 12.03% 10.41% 11.83% <br="clear"> As shown in the above chart, in 2010 the Appeals Council overturned (or “remanded”) 21.77 [...]

Appeals Council Remand Rate Plunges2019-04-11T00:42:58+00:00