How can I speed up the decision on my Social Security claim?

It can take a long time to get approved for disability benefits; several years for many claimants (applicants). However, there are a number of methods to speed up the process. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will expedite the processing of SSI and/or SSDI claims that meet certain requirements, typically where a certain medical or financial condition is present. Additionally, there are several options for expediting the resolution of claims are at the hearing level. Continue reading “How can I speed up the decision on my Social Security claim?”

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Can I apply for Social Security disability benefits if I have a drug or alcohol addiction?

Yes, but your addiction cannot be the reason why you are unable to work. You cannot apply for disability on the basis of your addiction alone. This means that there must be another medical or psychiatric condition other than your addiction that is the reason why you cannot work. Continue reading “Can I apply for Social Security disability benefits if I have a drug or alcohol addiction?”

The Social Security Secrets Episode 6: What is a Denial Letter, and How Can it Help Me?

After waiting months for a decision, you finally get a letter from Disability Determination Services (DDS), but like 75% of all applicants, you were denied. Your first thought was probably not G-rated. But if your second thought was “what in the world does this letter even mean?” you’re not alone. Continue reading “The Social Security Secrets Episode 6: What is a Denial Letter, and How Can it Help Me?”

Social Security Secrets Episode 4: Getting Approved for Social Security – What are the Listings?

We’ve talked a lot about the application and approval process for Social Security disability benefits: what happens when and by whom.

But here’s what you really want to know: How sick do I have to be to get approved for SSI and SSDI?

Continue reading “Social Security Secrets Episode 4: Getting Approved for Social Security – What are the Listings?”

The Social Security Secrets Series Episode 3: Getting Approved for Social Security – Who Makes the Decision and How?

In the last two episodes of The Social Security Secrets Series, we talked about the first two steps in the SSI/SSDI application process: financial eligibility and the basic application process. Now that you have submitted your application to the Social Security Administration (SSA), what happens? Continue reading “The Social Security Secrets Series Episode 3: Getting Approved for Social Security – Who Makes the Decision and How?”

The Social Security Secrets Series Episode 2: How Do I Apply?

Collecting your information is half the battle

Episode 2: How Do I Apply?

At this point you have passed the work and income requirements for at least one Social Security disability benefits program, SSI or SSDI. Now let’s talk about what you should expect during the application process. Though the process is a bit cumbersome, it does not have to be painful if you know what to expect and how to make it a bit easier. Continue reading “The Social Security Secrets Series Episode 2: How Do I Apply?”

Maximizing benefits for disabled veterans

I am a disabled veteran. Can I get both Social Security and VA benefits?

The answer is an unsatisfying “maybe.” Whether a disabled veteran is eligible for both Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits depends on several factors. Continue reading “Maximizing benefits for disabled veterans”