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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

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

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

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

New Government Study Debunks Social Security Myths


A government study issued in April 2016 revealed that the vast majority of people denied their Social Security Disability benefits do not return to work. In a comprehensive study conducted by the Office of the Inspector General, only 27 percent of claimants who were denied ended up returning to work. The Myth And The SSDI Reality Social Security Disability Insurance is for those who have worked throughout their lives and paid into the system. If you have to stop working, in most cases you can collect Social Security Disability Insurance as long as your disability [...]

New Government Study Debunks Social Security Myths2019-04-11T00:41:30+00:00

Who Can Be a Substitute Party Upon the Death of a Claimant?


It is an unfortunate reality that some claimants pass away while an application for Social Security Disability benefits is pending; however, if a claimant dies while their disability application is pending, the SSA provides that members of the claimant’s family may still recover their benefits, provided there is an appropriate “substitute party.” Standards for a Substitute Party A substitute party must be a surviving family member who can stand in place of the claimant before the Social Security Administration. Priority of payment is given in the following order: Surviving spouse either (a) living in the [...]

Who Can Be a Substitute Party Upon the Death of a Claimant?2019-04-11T00:45:34+00:00

How Does Education Affect Social Security Disability?


When you are applying for Social Security Disability, you may notice that the Social Security Administration asks you for the highest level of education you completed. Social Security evaluators and Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) use your education to determine what kind of work you may be capable of doing given your age and impairments. Generally, the less education you have, the easier it is to be approved for benefits, as the number of jobs you are capable of performing is smaller than those with more education and training. How Education Is Factored in by the [...]

How Does Education Affect Social Security Disability?2019-04-11T00:45:46+00:00

What Is a Continuing Disability Review?


If you are found disabled by the Social Security Administration and begin receiving benefits, what are the chances that your benefits will be discontinued someday? It's a good question - and an important consideration. The Continuing Disability Review is a mechanism that the SSA uses to make sure that people who are getting disability benefits should still be getting those benefits. When Conditions Get Better, You Need To Update The SSA Not all conditions are permanently disabling, and many individuals find that with access to the proper medical care afforded by their Medicare or Medicaid [...]

What Is a Continuing Disability Review?2019-04-11T00:47:48+00:00

The Truth about Disability Fraud (Or Lack Thereof)


It is not an uncommon belief amongst Americans today that many disability recipients are awarded benefits through fraud. Just how rampant is Social Security disability fraud? The facts may surprise you. Myth: It is easy to qualify for disability. Fact: The opportunity to qualify for disability benefits is not open to everyone. In order to qualify an applicant must have worked for five of the last ten years or for at least one fourth of his or her adult life. Out of those individuals who do qualify only approximately forty percent of Social Security disability [...]

The Truth about Disability Fraud (Or Lack Thereof)2019-04-11T00:48:50+00:00

Do Migraine Headaches Count as an Impairment for SSDI?


Migraine headaches are estimated to impact nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population, approximately 36 million people.1 However, migraine headaches are one of many serious medical conditions that are not specifically “listed” by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Listings & Meeting A Listing Impairment One way to establish disability as defined by the SSA is by “meeting a listing impairment.” To meet a listing impairment, medical records must demonstrate a specific level of severity. If you meet a listing, you will be found disabled. The diagnosis of a condition alone will not suffice: your condition must be [...]

Do Migraine Headaches Count as an Impairment for SSDI?2019-04-11T00:50:22+00:00