February 4th, 2014
Acting Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn W. Colvin recently announced that 25 new Compassionate Allowances conditions will be added to the existing list of conditions, bringing it up to 225 in total. The Compassionate Allowances program aims to ensure that Americans with the most serious disabilities are able to secure their benefit decisions in a matter of days, rather than months or years. Through its use of advanced technology, the program has been successful in identifying applicants with diseases or conditions that constitute disability, and has since approved approximately 200,000 people through this fast track process.
The initiative demonstrates an important collaboration between the government, medical professionals, advocacy groups, and the general public, in an effort to establish what constitutes a serious condition that warrants disability, and to act on these findings quickly and effectively. The list of conditions now includes a dozen more cancers, as well as additional disorders that affect the digestive, neurological, immune, and multiple body systems.
For more information on the Compassionate Allowances program, as well as a complete list of conditions, visit:
If you have any questions about securing your benefits, please do not hesitate to call us at (716)636-7600.
November 8th, 2013
On Wednesday, October 30th, the Social Security Administration announced that monthly Social Security and Supplementary Security Income (SSI) benefits will increase by 1.5 percent beginning in 2014. This increase affects nearly 63 million Americans.
This change comes as a result of a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Increased payments to over 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31st, 2013, while the adjustment for more than 57 million Social Security beneficiaries takes effect in January 2014.
Lastly, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax will increase from $113,700 to $117,000. Of the 165 million workers who pay Social Security taxes, it is expected that approximately 10 million will pay higher taxes as a result of this increased taxable maximum.
November 15th, 2012
Am I eligible for Social Security Disability?
In order to qualify for SSD you must have worked in a job(s) covered under the Social Security System and paid Social Security taxes. By working and paying taxes, you earn Social Security credits. The number of credits required to qualify for disability depends on your age and how long you have worked. You can check your Social Security Statement to see how many credits you have earned or contact Social Security’s toll free number at 800.772.1213 for this information.
Can I work and still receive Social Security Disability Benefits?
Working and receiving benefits is possible under certain circumstances. Generally, if you make less than $800.00 gross wages per month, and your work is not considered “substantial” than you can work and also receive Social Security Disability benefits.
If I win my case how much money will I receive?
This depends how much you have paid into the Social Security system. Monthly individual amounts for Social Security Disability range from approximately $800.00 to $2100 per month. If you have dependent children under age 18 you will be paid an additional 50% of your benefit amount for your children’s support.
How far back will Social Security go in awarding me benefits?
You cannot get paid back benefits dating more than one year prior to your application date. It is very important to submit your application for Social Security Disability benefits within 17 months of stopping work.
How does Social Security decide who is disabled?
The Social Security Administration considers an individual disabled if they meet the following criteria:
- The applicant cannot do work they previously did;
- The applicant cannot adjust to other work because of the applicant’s medical condition (s);
- The applicant’s disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or result in death.
If you need assistance with an existing claim or have questions about a potential claim please feel free to contact me at 716.932.6814.
October 8th, 2012
After reading a recent article in the Buffalo News entitled “A brief review of how Social Security disability payments work” I thought I could address some of the issues that in my experience many people face in navigating and understanding the system.
Depending on your own situation, you may be eligible for one or more of the following:
- Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits: a benefit for disabled workers who have worked long enough to be covered under the Social Security system;
- Supplemental Social Security Income Benefits: a benefit paid to disabled persons who meet federal poverty guidelines, regardless of whether they have worked or paid into the Social Security System;
- Disabled Widow or Widower’s Benefits: a benefit available to disabled adults over the age of 50 whose spouse worked under the Social Security system, and is deceased;
- Disabled Adult Child Benefits: a benefit available to unmarried, disabled adults whose disability began before age 22, and who has a parent that has worked under the Social Security system, and is deceased, retired or disabled;
- SSI Child Disability Benefit: a benefit available to persons under the age of 18 who are disabled.