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September 2011 Archives

SSA delays SSD approvals in anticipation of new fiscal year

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Social Security Administration employees and administrative law judges in several states were recently told to slow down or completely stop their work on Social Security Disability cases this week. The slowdown is believed to be a tactic of managers to increase their offices' appearance of productivity in the new fiscal year, which begins next week.

Your family may also qualify for SSD benefits

Many people who are considering, applying for, or receiving Social Security Disability benefits are unaware that other members of their family may also qualify for SSD benefits based on the recipient's work record. Because the amount of monthly SSD benefits are often significantly less than a recipient's former monthly income, these additional amounts paid to family members can be of significant help to a family who is struggling to make ends meet.

SSD, SSI, Medicare and Medicaid: An overview

For people who are new to government benefits, the sheer volume of available programs can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to determine the differences between these programs, what each provides, and what is required to qualify for them, without slogging through several pages of dense government material. So, for simplicity's sake, we will provide a brief overview of Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income, Medicare, Medicaid, and how all four programs interact with one another.

SSA investigates potential SSD fraud in Puerto Rico

The Social Security Administration's inspector general has reportedly launched an investigation into potential fraud regarding several hundred recent Social Security Disability applications made by residents of Puerto Rico. The probe is part of an ongoing effort from the SSA to determine whether disability fraud is a widespread problem in the U.S. commonwealth.

Developer of SSD Compassionate Allowances program wins service medal

An associate commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Diane Braunstein, was presented with a prestigious public service award Thursday night for her development of the SSA's Compassionate Allowances program. Braunstein, who is now Associate Commissioner for International Programs, was honored with the 2011 Samuel J. Heyman Citizen Services Medal from the Partnership for Public Service. The medal is given to federal employees who have made significant contributions to the nation, in the hopes that their service will inspire others.

Obama's deficit-reduction plan leaves Social Security Administration alone -- for now

As government officials search for ways to cure our current debt crisis, many people in Los Angeles and elsewhere have nervously been eyeing the front page and wondering if government officials' efforts to cut spending will affect the benefits on which they depend. At last, there is some good news - President Obama has recently signaled that he will not include cuts to the Social Security Administration's benefit programs in his most recent $1.2 trillion deficit-reduction plan.

Employment does not result in automatic loss of SSD benefits

Many people hesitate to file for Social Security Disability and related programs because they believe that they will never be able to work again once they begin receiving benefits. For some SSD recipients, re-starting their employment may lead to the loss of Social Security Disability benefits, depending on how much they earn and the nature of their disability. However, the Social Security Administration has several programs designed to give SSD recipients the freedom to work if their disability allows, without cutting off their benefits.

SSA's fast-track system for disability determination

When you or a loved one applies for Social Security Disability, you can usually expect to wait several months before your application is approved or denied. In the case of a denial and a subsequent appeal, the wait time can be even longer. For many SSD applicants, this creates a significant hardship, as they are no longer able to work and have no way to pay their bills.

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