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March 2011 Archives

Grandmother commits SSD fraud to care for grandchildren

When a grandmother of five began to commit Social Security fraud over 20 years ago, she did so in order to keep her five grandchildren in her home and out of the foster care system. Now she has pleaded guilty to fraud and may be sentenced to a year in prison, which would have the exact result she worked to avoid: sending her grandchildren to foster care.

Are foster agencies improperly using kids' SSDI benefits? part 2

Earlier this week, we began a discussion of the allegations against child welfare agencies. Specifically, they are accused of improperly and unfairly pocketing Social Security amounts paid out on behalf of foster children who qualify based on a disability or a deceased parent. Critics claim that the state and local agencies should be diverting this money to the children so they are able to care for themselves when they turn 18 and age out of the foster care system.

Are agencies improperly using foster kids' SSDI benefits? part 1

In 2003, the United States Supreme Court ruled that state and county welfare agencies are legally entitled to use foster children's Social Security benefits to cover some of the costs of the child's foster placement and other care. There are federal and state regulations which echo that decision. In recent months, however, critics have been crying foul, claiming that by taking foster kids' Social Security Disability benefits, agencies are undermining the children's future.

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week, part two

Earlier this week, we began a closer look at multiple sclerosis, a debilitating neurological disorder that affects approximately 300,000 people in the United States. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has declared this week Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week to spread information and raise awareness about this devastating disability throughout the country.

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week, part one

In California and across the country, people and organizations are recognizing Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week in a variety of ways, from orange billboards in New York to orange buildings in Utah. Because MS remains a relatively mysterious and misunderstood disorder, disability experts say that it is important to spread awareness about the disease.

Tax credits for the disabled, part two

Earlier this week, we detailed various income tax credits that may be relevant for people with disabilities, depending on income, marital status, and other various factors. For those who qualify, including these credits on your 2010 federal income tax return may result in a tax refund that is several thousand dollars larger.

Tax credits available for the disabled, part one

As the federal income tax filing deadline approaches, there are several important considerations that apply solely to people with disabilities. In particular, Social Security Disability benefit recipients should ensure that they are taking advantage of all of the many available tax credits and deductions, and that they are paying the proper amount of taxes on benefits received.

SSD programs allow recipients to work without losing 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. 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.

Department of Education to overhaul disability review

Last month, we wrote about the U.S. Department of Education program which claims to forgive the student loans of those who are unable to work because of a disability. Many people who have attempted to take advantage of this program have lodged complaints, alleging that the confusing application process, which mirrors many of the procedures used for the determination of Social Security Disability eligibility, is tedious and frustrating. Moreover, many applicants are denied with little to no explanation and even fewer possibilities for recourse.

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