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November 2010 Archives

SSD vs. Veterans Disability Compensation

We recently wrote about the wide frustration with the seemingly ever-increasing Social Security Disability (SSD) application wait times. As applicants wait for an answer, they usually face growing financial difficulties, leading many to seek other options to pay their bills. Some may consider the Veterans Disability Compensation (VDC) program, thinking that it is similar to SSD. However, there are significant differences between the programs, and an applicant who is eligible for one may not be eligible for the other.

SSD Judges Receive Death Threats from Frustrated Applicants

Last week, we wrote about the ever-increasing Social Security Disability application wait times, and how it was affecting applicants across the country. Data recently released by the Social Security Administration has expanded on this growing problem: the agency reports that threats to kill or injury administrative law judges or staff who are intricately involved in the Social Security application process have increased by 18 percent over the past year. However, Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue is not confident that this is a problem that will be solved any time soon.

SSA Refuses to Comment on Possible Standardized Mental Health Test

A little unclear wording is making a lot of people very nervous. A new proposed federal regulation from the Social Security Administration (SSA) contains imprecise language regarding those who would seek to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits for mental health. Advocates worry that the new language may impose a standardized test on these individuals, greatly decreasing the number of people with mental disabilities who are able to receive SSD. Although lack of clarity has caused substantial public outcry, the SSA is refusing to comment on the growing controversy.

Social Security Administration Struggles to Catch Up with Applications

Throughout the country, applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits face a process that is time-consuming, confusing, and that is accompanied by a wait time that usually stretches for months or even years. However, Social Security Administration officials claim that the Social Security Disability application wait time has decreased in cities across the country as a result of an increase in staff numbers and a rapidly progressing move from paper toward electronic records and application processing.

November is American Diabetes Month

This month, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is working to raise awareness of the increasing occurrence of several forms of diabetes in its annual knowledge drive. According to the ADA, of the approximately 24 million Americans with diabetes, 95 percent have Type 2 diabetes. In addition, there are 57 million Americans with pre-diabetes who are at risk of developing the disease. These growing numbers have contributed to the rate of deaths due to diabetes, which has increased by 45 percent since 1987. In comparison, during that time period, deaths attributable to heart disease, cancer and stroke have all declined.

Unemployment Rate for People with Disabilities Continues to Rise, Part Two

Earlier this week, we talked about the record numbers of unemployed Americans with disabilities, and the concurrent increase in applications for Social Security Disability Insurance.

Unemployment Rate for People With Disabilities Continues to Rise, Part One

Across the country, Americans are unemployed in record numbers. However, most are unaware of the significantly higher number of unemployed people with disabilities. In the third quarter of 2010, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities was 67 percent higher than for people without disabilities. With this increase in unemployment has come a rise in SSDI claims, leaving many waiting several months for benefits.

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