Social Security Disability News

Posted Monday, September 23 by Gilbert B. Laden

Social Security law changes frequently. There are regulations, policies, and cases, to name a few. The Social Security Administration (SSA) issues Social Security Rulings, which are known as SSRs or, simply, rulings.

They are binding on all components of SSA. In 2011, SSA issued SSR 11-1p. As a result of this ruling, SSA's general policy is not to allow an individual to file a new claim while a previous claim is pending before, for example, the Appeals Council. One of the problems is that the Appeals Council has a huge backlog of cases. As result, it can take a long time for it to decide on a case. There are certain things that a person needs to do to ensure that the old claim, and possibly a new claim, is properly considered.

While medical evidence is very important evidence in a disability case, there are different types of nonmedical evidence which are valuable. In a disability claim, SSA has to determine the date of disability. So, it is important to be able to document the date last worked, not to be confused with the date a person is officially taken off the employment roll, and to prove that earnings received after the date last worked are not for work done after that date, but may be accumulated vacation pay, sick pay, or part of a severance package. Pay stubs should be saved.

Health insurance is a big concern to disabled individuals. Some are fortunate to be able to continue health insurance for 18 months, because they are covered under COBRA, a federal statute. What they may not know is that if they are found to be disabled by SSA before the 18 months are up, and meet other requirements, they may be able to have the COBRA coverage extended for 11 more months. The end of that 11-month extension typically will coincide with the beginning of entitlement to Medicare. Then there is no gap in health insurance coverage. It is important to be able to develop the disability case in a way to maximize the chances of getting the case decided in time to take advantage of the opportunity offered by COBRA.

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The information on this web site is made available by Gilbert B. Laden, P.C., for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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He has been certified as a specialist in Social Security Disability Law by the National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, as acknowledged by the Alabama State Bar.