Whittier California Social Security Disability Blog

Could a Facebook post result in an SSDI denial?

No one who's legitimately eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits wants people defrauding the Social Security Administration (SSA) and taking money that should be used for those who are truly ill or injured. However, just how rampant fraud and abuse are is a matter of debate. The SSA's own numbers show that it's relatively rare and that funds obtained fraudulently are often recovered.

Nonetheless, the Trump administration is seeking to increase the SSA's use of social media monitoring to find evidence of fraud by claimants. The idea of monitoring people's Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts isn't completely new. The SSA's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has arrested people for allegedly defrauding the agency based at least in part on photos posted to social media that called into question whether they warranted disability payments.

Who qualifies for Railroad Employee Retirement Benefits?

The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) was formed in 1937 by the U.S. Congress. At the time it was created, the use of railways was overly popular in California and the pensions that private railroad companies offered were inadequate for the risks that workers in Whittier and other parts of the state faced. The expectation was that the RRB would operate similarly to how the Social Security program does.

To qualify to receive benefits as part of the RRB program, rail workers who worked before 1995 need to have spent at least 10 years working on the railroad. If they performed their job after that, then they only need to have spent five years to qualify to take part in RRB.

Information to gather before a Social Security Disability appeal

Many Social Security Disability applicants don't get the benefits they're seeking on their first try. Sometimes, the first submission gets denied. If this happens to you, you can submit an appeal. Although there's never a guaranteed result, many applicants have achieved success through the Social Security Disability appeals process.

Here is the information you'll want to gather to prepare for your appeal:

Low birth weight and failure to thrive as qualifiers for SSI

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) has a designation for newborns who have low birth weight and another one for children who are failing to thrive. Parents who are fighting for these benefits might be confronted with a host of information that is very confusing. Oftentimes, this information comes when the parent is still coping with a premature birth and other medical conditions for their child.

For the purpose of SSI benefits, low birth weight is used as a qualifying factor for babies from birth to their first birthday. Failure to thrive has a longer window. Babies and toddlers from birth to 3 years old can qualify for SSI based on this criterion.

Don't fall for scam Social Security phone calls

People who are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and those who are applying for it want to do what they can to get their case decided. Unfortunately, scammers are preying on that desire by using it to get information out of innocent people. One scam that is going around involves people receiving phone calls that appear to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The issue that people might find confusing is that the caller ID might show the national service center phone number, which is 800-772-1213. The caller might state that the agency needs additional information to process your application or that there is something missing from your file. They might even claim that your benefits will be terminated unless you provide the requested information on that phone call.

Can I appeal my denial of railroad disability benefits?

If you are a railroad employee whose claim for Railroad Retirement Act (RRA) benefits was denied, you need to take swift action in order to preserve your right to appeal the denial.

Workers have the right to request that the decision be revisited, but they must do so, in writing, within 60 days of the decision to deny the RRA benefits. This will (or should be) clearly stated on the denial of claim letter you received in the mail.

Appealing a Supplemental Security Income claim that was denied

Applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from the Social Security Administration (SSA) is an important task millions of people will complete during their lifetime. There is the possibility that your application for SSI could be denied for a variety of reasons. If your SSI claim is denied, you need to know how to appeal the denial, so you can acquire benefits.

Should your claim be denied, the SSA will send a letter informing you of the decision. If you feel that the decision is not fair, you are within your rights to appeal the decision. There are two ways your SSI claim can be denied: for medical reasons and for nonmedical reasons.

The link between heart disease and disability

When you think of heart disease, you probably think primarily of heart attacks and strokes. Even then, you likely think most about fatal incidents.

There's a reason that you look at it this way. After all, reports have found that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. It is followed by cancer and then medical mistakes and errors.

Does fibromyalgia qualify you to receive disability benefits?

When you take pride in your work, the thought of not being able to complete your job duties can be overwhelming. If you view your career as a part of who you are, like an extension of yourself, a disabling condition like fibromyalgia can devastate you – both mentally and physically.

But when you know your body is declining, you might also face concerns about your financial future. And although Social Security Disability (SSD) might not solve all your concerns, qualifying for benefits could help pay for your expenses as your ability to work fades over time.

Documents needed to file for disability benefits

California residents seeking disability benefits typically find the application and approval process frustrating and stressful. The Social Security Administration (SSA) puts a great amount of effort into making sure that applicants do not attempt to defraud the disability program. As such, many people who deserve these benefits, including Supplemental Security Income, receive a notice of denial instead of the approval they need.

Because of the care the SSA takes to ensure applicants are eligible for benefits, it can take a long time to hear back from the administration. You can streamline the application process to receive a (somewhat) faster response by seeking help from a disability attorney. This ensures that you do not make any errors when applying for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income, and that you have all of the required documentation.

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