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July 2011 Archives

United States debt default could jeopardize SSD payments

If you have paid any attention to the national news over the past month or so, you have likely heard of the United States' very significant pending deadline. By August 2, Congress and the President must reach an agreement on whether to raise the nation's debt ceiling. If that decision is not made, the U.S. will lack the funds necessary to make all of its debt payments during the month of August, likely falling short by some $130 billion by the end of the month.

Disabled veteran files thousands of disability lawsuits

After losing a leg to diabetes in 1996, George Louie's life - and life purpose - changed. While navigating his new life as a physically disabled person, he began to see that the disability systems and allowances, such as handicap accessible parking and building entrances, were severely lacking in the majority of California cities. Louie decided to take it on himself to make a change.

Hours reduced at SSA field offices

As Congress continues to debate the budget, it seems more and more likely that some cuts will be made to Social Security programs such as Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income. Although the final outcome of this ongoing debate is still unknown, SSD applicants and recipients will likely notice changes at their local Social Security field offices, starting next month.

Obtaining SSD benefits for heart diseases

Last week, we wrote that the Social Security Administration had added 12 heart diseases to its list of Social Security Disability Compassionate Allowances, with the changes set to take effect on August 1. Because they are now designated as such, those who suffer from cardiovascular system ailments such such as aortic atresia, mitral valve atresia, tricuspid atresia, endomyocardial fibrosis, and heart transplant graft failure, among others, will likely have their SSD applications processed more quickly and receive benefits more easily.

SSA adds 12 conditions to fast-track list

The Social Security Administration announced this week that it has added 12 Compassionate Allowance conditions to its list of conditions that qualify for expedited processing. Beginning August 1, individuals with these conditions will no longer be required to provide a work history on their SSD applications.

Social Security checks at risk if lawmakers can't agree

President Barack Obama told reporters yesterday that the United States does not risk default on its debts because its government cannot put politics aside. Today, the president warned that, if Congress and the administration cannot come to terms on the deficit, about 70 million Americans won't get their August 3 Social Security checks, disability payments or veterans benefits.

Man drives van into Social Security office

Certainly, the Social Security Disability application process is a complicated and frustrating one. From filling out the tedious paperwork, to providing detailed proof of your disability and its effects on your life, and then to sitting through the year-long (or greater) waiting period, the experience can be maddening. Going through an SSD appeal is not much better - again, there is a frustrating process and a long waiting period, with no guarantee of success on the other end.

Impairment focus: Lupus

This week, an unauthorized biographer has reported that pop singer Lady Gaga chooses many of her outlandish wigs and costumes to hide the side effects of lupus. Last year, Lady Gaga admitted that she had tested "borderline positive" for lupus, but that she was not suffering from any major symptoms of the disease. However, biographer Ian Halperin is claiming that Lady Gaga wears her ever-present wigs and makeup to hide the hair loss and rashes that are often caused by the disease

Increased scrutiny of SSD judges' approval rates

For years, the Social Security Administration has only released the data on each of its administrative law judge's Social Security Disability appeal approval rates by request. Now, in response to mounting pressure from both Congress and the media, it posts the monthly SSD appeal approval rates for each of its 1,400 judges on the SSA website, leading to a potential for greater scrutiny of decisions and negative impacts on SSD applicants.

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