Social Security benefits are poised to increase by a record 5.9% in 2022
Signed into law in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Social Security Act instituted the benefits provided for retirees and senior citizens, dependent mothers, and children, the jobless, casualties of work-related accidents, people with permanent and temporary disabilities, among others.
Each year, millions of Americans receive retirement, disability, and survivor benefits under the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program. As such, the largest expenditure in the federal budget system is Social Security. In 2022, Americans getting Social Security benefits will see the biggest increase in their payments in forty years, a response to fast-rising inflation during the coronavirus pandemic. The average increase of benefits for disabled workers is $76 per month.
According to the State of Louisiana, the Disability Determination Services (DDS) determines if applicants qualify under the requirements set forth by Title II (Disability Insurance Benefits) and Title XVI (Supplemental Security Income – SSI). All disability benefits provided to citizens and administrative and operating costs of the program are fully-funded by the federal budget. Your reliable social security disability claim attorney at E. Orum Young can provide you with more information.
Eligibility for the Disability Benefits under Title II
Under the Disability Insurance Benefits, three categories of individuals are qualified to avail of disability benefits. These are:
- Disabled insured workers under the age of 65
- Disabled person since childhood (before the age of 22) (He/she must be a dependent of a parent entitled to Title II disability or retirement benefits or of a deceased insured parent.)
- Disabled widow or widower aged 50-60 (He/she is qualified if the deceased spouse was insured under Social Security.)
Eligibility for the Disability Benefits under Title XVI
Under the Supplemental Security Income – SSI, disabled adults (over the age of 18) and disabled children (under the age of 18) who are financially needy with limited income and resources can avail of disability benefits.
Definition of Disability
The Social Security Act defines disability as the “inability to perform in any substantial gainful activity because of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which is expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
Medically determinable impairment
According to the Social Security Administration, “medically determinable physical or mental impairment must result from anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities which can be shown by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques. The impairment must be established by objective medical evidence (signs, laboratory findings, or both) from an acceptable medical source, not on an individual’s statement of symptoms.”
Louisiana Disability Benefits
If you live in Louisiana and you suffer from a disability, illness, or crippling condition that stops you from employment, you may be qualified for Social Security Disability benefits.
Most claims for disability benefits are handled through the Disability Determination Services or DDS. Appeals are heard by DDS Hearing Units or the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of Hearing and Appeals.
Compassionate Allowances List
The SSA has listed over 200 conditions under the Compassionate Allowances List or CAL. Launched in 2008, the CAL enumerates certain conditions that are considered critical that they automatically meet the definition of disability by the SSA. If you can submit medical evidence that you are suffering from one of the listed illnesses, then the SSA can expedite the approval of your claim and award your benefits in days or weeks.
12 New Additions to the CAL in 2021
In 2021, twelve new conditions were added to the CAL. These are:
- Charlevoix Saguenay Spastic Ataxia (ARSACS)
- Choroid Plexus Carcinoma
- CIC-rearranged Sarcoma
- Congenital Zika Syndrome (CZS)
- Desmoplastic Mesothelioma
- Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
- Pericardial Mesothelioma
- Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma (RHL)
- are Syndrome
- SCN8A Related Epilepsy with Encephalopathy
- SYNGAP1-related NSID
- Taybi-Linder Syndrome
The SSA will screen all disability applications and check if you are eligible for the CAL program. Speed up the application process by ensuring that you submit all medical evidence proving that you have a CAL condition.
TERI Disability Claims
Other circumstances that would merit an expedited disability claim are if the applicant has a terminal illness and that all the non-medical qualifications for SSI or SSDI are met.
The Social Security Administration defines terminal illness as “a medical condition that is untreatable and expected to result in death.” The SSA will try to identify a potential TERI case early in the process either through the claimant’s declaration(s) or indirectly through TERI case descriptors. Inpatient or at-home hospice care should be declared during the application process as this is one of the factors that SSA will check for TERI cases.
The SSA also has a program called Presumptive Disability or PD. If you have a condition that is listed under the PD, then the SSA can grant you the SSI benefits even before they arrive on a decision of the disability application. Conditions under the PD include spinal cord injuries that cause the inability to walk without assistance, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Down Syndrome, low birth weight, etc. Even if the SSA denies the application, there will be no need to repay the benefits already granted.
If the applicant does not have enough money for food and medical care or if the applicant is homeless or dealing with immediate eviction to shelter or foreclosure on a home, the SSA can expedite the process. It is important to include this in the application to speed up the social security disability claim.
If the disability that you are applying for started when you were on active duty in the military, the SSA will also be able to expedite the process.
How to Apply for Disability Benefits
Applications for disability benefits may be submitted at any of the local Social Security offices, which are located throughout Louisiana, online at www.ssa.gov or by phone at 1-800-772-1213. These applications are sent to the DDS Area offices in Baton Rouge, Shreveport, and Metairie for evaluation and decision on medical determination. In most cases, the DDS will get evidence of medical determination from the applicant’s medical sources. Should the evidence provided be insufficient, the DDS will request a consultative examination (CE).
Thereafter, the application is given back to the appropriate Social Security Office for the final processing of the application and the decision.
How To Speed Up Your Social Security Disability Claim
Hiring Legal Services to Fast track Your Social Security Disability Claim
If you are filing for disability benefits and you meet at least one of the criteria that qualifies you for expedited processing, you need to mention such circumstances in your application. Hiring a Louisiana attorney is considered one of the best ways to ensure a quick transaction. Rest assured that E. Orum Young will be dealing with Social Security and taking action to ensure the proper processing of your claim.
Other Tips On Speeding Up Your Social Security Disability Claim
Should you not qualify for the expedited processing of a social security disability claim, final decisions can take years. Some tips to ensure a smooth-sailing transaction are:
- Ensure that you have accurately completed all of the mandatory paperwork.
- Quickly respond to the SSA if and when they contact you for additional information.
- Secure your own medical records.
- Submit medical records and other documentation early in the process.
Seeking Legal Help
Having a disability is devastating and needing to apply for benefits could create more impact on health and safety. Louisiana attorneys at E. Orum Young can evaluate your case and make the necessary steps in speeding up the process. Take a load off your chest and let your dedicated attorneys fight for the benefits that you deserve. Schedule an appointment now.