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When a concurrent Title II and Title XVI case is awarded, the claim goes to the local Field Office for a determination of SSI benefits. This process takes some time, because the claim specialist at the field office needs to make an appointment to call the claimant to document the claimant’s income and assets to determine financial eligibility (SSI is a need-based program). Then the claim gets sent to the Payment Center, where Title II benefits are calculated, and then the SSI benefits offset the Title II benefits. Therefore, concurrent cases typically take several weeks longer to get paid than straight Title II-only disability claims. This is frustrating, because the SSI claimants are the ones who often need to money the most.

The monthly Title II disability benefit (PIA) is usually greater than the monthly Title XVI SSI amount. And while the SSI benefits begin to accrue on the filing date of the claim, the disability benefit is not paid until after the 5-month waiting period after the onset date. To evaluate these payment issues, you need to compare the filing date with the onset date, and know that the eligibility date for Title II is 5 full calendar months after the onset date.

Continue Reading Title II Offset When a Representative Fee is Involved

I’m not the person I used to be.

Social Security disability applicants sometimes tell me this when I meet with them to discuss their claims. At the hearing, I will ask them to explain to the judge why they are a different person today than when they were able to work. It is usually compelling

Almost all the hospital groups now have patient portals, which give patients online access to their medical records, test results, upcoming appointments, and more.

When developing a disability claim, I find that I am asking clients more and more frequently to provide me with the user name and password for their patient portal account.

Those seeking Social Security disability benefits often contact a lawyer after they receive a notice of disapproved claim in the mail. That denial letter offers some explanation of why the claim was disapproved, but it is often too vague to be much help to the lawyer developing the claim.

After an appeal of that initial

Social Security’s Program Operation Manual Series (POMS) states that an RFC must reflect the claimant’s ability to work on a sustained basis. See POMS Section DI 24510.057

RFC represents the most a claimant can do despite his or her limitations or restrictions. Ordinarily, RFC is the individual’s maximum remaining ability to do sustained work

I frequently talk to clients and potential clients, who say “I am diagnosed with x, y, and z,  so I cannot work.” I hear this statement almost every week.

Here is how I respond:

“Well, x, y, or z can certainly be a basis for disability. But the issue in your case, and the reason

Certain findings in a Social Security disability case are reserved to the Commissioner. Particularly, the determination of whether or not your are disabled is reserved to the Commissioner. See 20 C.F.R. 404.1520b(c)(3). Therefore, your doctor’s opinion that you are disabled in given no special significance by the SSA.

In fact, the heading for this

From time to time I ask certain clients to keep a journal to keep track of their symptoms. For people with symptoms that are variable day to day, a journal can be be a good tool to quantify how often the symptoms are severe.

Every case is different, and everyone’s symptoms are different. So a

When Social Security Security evaluates a claim for disability, it uses a 5-step sequential evaluation. For steps 4 & 5 of the sequential evaluation, Social Security assesses your functional limitations and incorporates those limitations into a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). That RFC is then compared to the requirements of competitive work to determine whether

Those applying for Social Security disability benefits want to know when their claim will be decided. Since by definition a disabled person cannot work, the wait for a decision is a real struggle for most disability claimants. However, there are a couple of steps you can take to speed up the disability claim process.

First,