Are you applying for Social Security the wrong way?

I will BET you didn’t know this about applying for Social Security disability:

Make sure everything is consistent the whole way through all of your paperwork and conversations. Keep copies for yourself …. they do read all of the forms. That is why I am saying that you must be consistent the whole way through. It is all logged in and if you have to go before a judge he goes over all of it, too. He will actually refer to certain sections that were filled out, etc.

Continue reading Are you applying for Social Security the wrong way?

Winning a Social Security overpayment case

Overpayment cases are very tough to win.  If you decide to fight an overpayment, you need to know what you are up against.

Here is what the law says about how Social Security evaluates whether you have to pay back an overpayment or not.  This is taken from Social Security Ruling 88-6c. Continue reading Winning a Social Security overpayment case

Social Security Overpayments

It is the opposite of winning the jackpot:  you open the letter from Social Security and find out that you owe them $10,000, $20,000, even $30,000.

What happened?

There are several scenarios which may result in Social Security claiming an overpayment occurred; and demanding that you repay some, or all, of your benefits. Continue reading Social Security Overpayments

Social Security denial: do you have to wait 60 days to reapply?

I hear this one with some frequency. I am meeting with a client and they tell me that someone at Social Security told them that if they want to appeal, they have to wait sixty days before starting a new claim / filing a new application.

So, is it true or not? Continue reading Social Security denial: do you have to wait 60 days to reapply?

What is an Social Security Informal Denial?

I am often asked:

I got an informal denial. What is that?

An informal denial typically means that Social Security is denying you because you may not be eligible for disability benefits. This is different from being denied because you are not disabled.

You may be disabled, but if you are not eligible for any type of Social Security benefits, you may be denied through an informal denial.

For example:  you, your spouse, or your household makes too much money or has too many assets.  This results is a financial denial. This sometimes happens in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cases where, in addition to being disabled (unable to engage in a Substantial Gainful Activity, e.g. full time work), you also have to prove financial eligibility.

Another possibility is that you have not worked long enough (and earned enough quarters of coverage) to qualify for benefits, or you do not have quarters of coverage within the right time period to qualify for benefits.

In both examples the problem is eligibility:  Social Security does not think you can even get your foot in the door.

The flip-side of this, is that Social Security is not even considering whether you are medically disabled. They are not even getting to that step of the analysis.

If you disagree with the informal decision, the general recourse is to request a formal decision. The informal decision will tell you exactly how to do this, for example, by completing the application process or submitting a form.

Since Social Security is denying your case very early on in the review process, you may want to review your case with an attorney to see if there is a significant problem with your eligibility. If so, the lawyer may be able to direct you in how to get over this hurdle.

What happens after Social Security finds you disabled

After waiting months (even years) to get your Social Security disability hearing, and then months more to get the decision, you finally have it!  Social Security has found you disabled. It is “Favorable” (either Fully Favorable or Partly Favorable).

Ok, now what? When do my Social Security benefits begin?

Here’s the thing: Social Security disability cases have two parts:

Part 1. Deciding if you are disabled? That was what the hearing was about.
Part 2. Deciding your eligibility for benefits, the benefit amount, and the amount of back benefits if any.

Part 1 is done. Part 2 is just starting… Continue reading What happens after Social Security finds you disabled

Waiting to apply for Social Security disability? YOU CRAZY!

Some people wait years to apply for Social Security disability benefits. I get a number of reasons:

  • I did not want to appear needy.
  • I did not want to believe I was disabled.
  • I did not want to look like I was trying to scam the system.

This is completely the WRONG-headed! Continue reading Waiting to apply for Social Security disability? YOU CRAZY!

Social Security partly favorable decision EXPLAINED!

Getting a Partly Favorable or Partially Favorable decision in a Social Security disability claim is confusing for a lot of people.

First, lets go over what it does not mean.  Under the Social Security system, there is no partly or partially disabled. Either your impairments keep you from being able to work (and therefore disabled) or not. There is no half disabled. Disability determinations under the Social Security system are all or nothing.  Comment:  This is also one reason it is so hard to get on Social Security. Continue reading Social Security partly favorable decision EXPLAINED!