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January 2012 Archives

Are Social Security Disability benefits included in gross income?

With the start of a new year, there is one fast-approaching date on the minds of many people in Los Angeles and throughout the state and country: the tax filing deadline. Over the next couple of months, we will write several blog posts on the tax implications of Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income and other Social Security benefits. With this, we will hopefully help you ensure that you do not run into any surprises when you file your state and federal income taxes in April.

Social Security Disability cannot be garnished by creditors

If you have been fallen ill or been disabled to the point that you are unable to work, applied for Social Security Disability, waited the many months it generally takes to have your case decided, and then been approved for SSD benefits, it is a safe assumption that you are fairly strapped for cash. So what happens when a credit card company files a lawsuit against you, seeking to garnish your Social Security Disability benefits to pay a credit card debt?

Study examines common risk factors for disability applicants

According to a new study, familial factors such as genetics and childhood environment do not significantly affect the likelihood that a person will eventually receive Social Security Disability benefits, medical leave, or a similar program. Instead, lifestyle factors such as marital status, education level, residence and age are better predictors of whether a person will apply for disability benefits of any kind.

Depression treatment costs go up while quality of care declines

Although the use of psychotherapy and hospitalizations to treat depression has declined in recent years, the overall cost of depression treatment has increased significantly in the U.S. The reason for this, according to Medicaid claims data, is the increasing use of psychiatric and antipsychotic drugs to treat depression.

State program helps ease SSD recipients back into work

In recent months, there has been a seemingly-endless stream of news articles and congressional sound bites warning of the imminent exhaustion of the Social Security Administration's reserves and the pressing need to overhaul Social Security Disability and related programs. While there may be some truth to the assertion that the SSA programs need oversight and adjustment, it is troubling that the only proposals thus far involve deep cuts to the SSD programs on which so many people in California rely.

SSA launches review of SSD appeals process

After a series of articles indicating that the Social Security Disability appeals process was significantly less than consistent, the Social Security Administration has reportedly commissioned an independent review of the system. The focus of the review will be to determine whether SSD administrative law judges award disability benefits to applicants who do not deserve them, and deny the applications of people who legitimately qualify for benefits.

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