What Is A Disability Interview? How Can I Prepare?

The application process for Social Security disability can be long and complicated. Many people who apply are not granted benefits on their first attempt. But something that can help increase your chances of succeeding on your disability application is to work with a Social Security disability attorney, who can help you understand how the process works and what the various parts of the application process entail. One important part of filing a Social Security disability application is a disability interview. Continue reading

Social Security Disability and Veterans Disability

Disabled veterans who have a service-connected disability are able to collect both Social Security disability and veterans disability benefits from the U.S. government. Many disabled veterans who are totally disabled can collect both, with many getting veterans disability first and then later applying for Social Security disability benefits. In many situations, getting veterans disability benefits first can help when it comes to being approved for Social Security disability benefits. This is because the Social Security Administration is likely to give deference to the Veterans Affairs determination concerning a veteran’s disability status.  Continue reading

Social Security Disability (SSDI) Expedited Reinstatement

Recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits at times are surprised to learn that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has terminated their benefits. One reason they have been canceled may be that the recipient of the benefits has started to earn too much money and the SSA terminates their benefits. In such a case, the recipient may be able to reinstate those benefits. This process is known as Social Security Disability (SSDI) expedited reinstatement. Continue reading

How to Avoid Social Security Disability Fraud Sites

In order to receive Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI), an applicant must fill out an application and be approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Unfortunately, many people do not exercise their due diligence before applying for benefits. At times, they fall prey to social security disability fraud sites and are scammed by fake callers who claim to be able to “fast track” their application. If you are trying to get disability benefits, it is important that you do not fall into the trap of a scammer.

Keep an Eye Out for Social Security Fraud Advisories

The Acting Inspector General of Social Security for the Office of the Inspector General at the SSA issues frequent fraud advisory warnings that help alert the public about ongoing phishing scams related to Social Security issues. In 2016, for example, the Inspector General issued an advisory explaining that there was an e-mail fraud campaign where scammers were reaching out to people, whether they had or had not started an application for benefits. These particular scammers would contact people and tell them they needed some “additional information” to complete their application. The scammers would then ask the people to confirm their Social Security numbers and/or bank account numbers. Sometimes, the scammers even set up a fake website that mirrored the SSA’s to make people believe they were filling out a legitimate application.

A similar advisory warned of an e-mail with the subject “Review Your Social Security Activity” from a sender claiming to be the “Social Security Administration” and the e-mail even bears the SSA’s official seal. It then takes people to a website to ask for their social security number. Unfortunately, with the advances in technology, hackers and scammers are becoming more sophisticated and people cannot always tell the scams from real sites.

Tips to Avoid Social Security Disability Fraud

There are a few steps you may want to take to avoid falling for Social Security scams:

  • Do not give your Social Security numbers or any personal information to anyone you do not know.
  • Do not wire money or agree to pay anyone who calls you.
  • Make sure you regularly check your benefits status online to ensure your application was completed.
  • Do not give into pressure. If someone calls you and is trying to force you to give them your information, this is likely a scam.

What If You Are a Victim of Fraud?

If you believe you are a victim of fraud, the SSA OIG has a Fraud Hotline and online service where you may report any information you may have. Your reports will help the SSA gather information for the purpose of issuing additional advisory warnings. However, you should not expect to be contacted by the SSA. In fact, the SSA has made it clear on their website that they will not provide anyone with a status update of any allegation made and reported to them.

Get Help From an Experienced Disability Attorney

It is difficult to understand the process of applying for Social Security disability benefits, even without considering the possibility of fraud. To help maximize your chances of successfully applying for benefits, contact the experienced Mount Pleasant Social Security disability benefits attorneys at Klok Law Firm, LLC.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

The Worn Out Worker Rule and SSDI Claims

When an individual applies for Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) from the Social Security Administration (SSA), the SSA will look at grids as part of their analysis to determine whether benefits should be awarded. Specifically, the SSA will consider the following factors:

  • Your age
  • Your educational background
  • The skill level required for your previous jobs
  • Your transferrable job skills
  • Your residual functional capacity (your ability to perform light, medium, or heavy work)

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SSA Grid Rules and Your SSDI Claim

In the case of Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI), older age often means a higher likelihood of getting awarded benefits. One major reason why this is the case is because the Social Security Administration uses what’s referred to as SSA grid rules to determine eligibility. These grids take into account the following factors:

  • Your age
  • Your educational background
  • The skill level required for your previous jobs
  • Your transferrable job skills
  • Your residual functional capacity

Overall, these grids point to an underlying notion that older workers will likely have a more difficult time entering new jobs. It is important to understand the different factors when considering whether to file a claim for SSDI benefits. Continue reading

Deciding Between Early Retirement or Disability Benefits

It typically gets easier for individuals to prevail on disability benefits claims as they get older, especially when they are over the age of sixty. This is based in part on the general premise that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider that it may be more difficult for older workers to enter new workplaces. Even so, some elderly individuals opt to pull their retirement benefits early rather than try to apply for disability benefits for several reasons. The process to apply for disability benefits may scare some people, while others may be concerned that receiving disability benefits would reduce the amount of benefits they are entitled to receive. An experienced disability attorney can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages to applying for disability benefits. Continue reading

Establishing Proof for Social Security Disability Benefits

One of the necessary prerequisites to building a successful claim for Social Security disability benefits is establishing that you in fact have a medical disability. Specifically, any person who files a disability claim must produce “acceptable medical evidence” that supports that establishes proof of a disability and indicates the severity of that disability. Typically, the proof to support social security disability benefits claims is supported by documentation issued by a licensed medical provider that has previously treated the claimant specifically for their disability. However, with that broad idea in mind, claimants often have difficulty figuring out what evidence they will need to support their claim. Continue reading