Monthly Archives: June 2012

Blind Denver Man Is Walking 2300 Miles for Disabled Veterans

On Memorial Day, Coloradan Steve Modrak took his first steps on what he expects to be a 2,300 mile journey on foot to Fayetteville, North Carolina, home of Fort Bragg, an Army base housing some 40,000 soldiers as well as the Army’s Special Forces. It is harrowing journey for anyone, let alone Modrak who has been blind for the past five years. Modrak’s motivation is the topic we discussed on Wednesday – disabled veterans. When asked why he undertook the journey, Modrak cites the 46 percent of veterans who are coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan with some sort of disability. He also mentions the 1.2 million living below the poverty line, and the 800,000 without work. Although Modrak has never served in the armed forces (a bad back kept him from enlisting in the Navy), he hopes to bring awareness to the plight of disabled veterans and raise money…
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Half of All Veterans Applying for Disability Benefits

On Monday we discussed how severe the impact can be when women suffer disabilities. Because they are less likely to have private coverage than men, women often face more difficult financial times when they are unable to work due to a disability. Today we continue our look at particular groups of people who are more likely than others to feel the impact of a disability that prevents them from working. We discuss the case of veterans who suffer disabilities while serving our country. Disability claims from veterans are at their highest levels ever. Of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, just shy of 50 percent have filed disability claims. For comparison, after the 1990-1991 Gulf War, about 21 percent of servicemembers filed a claim. Veterans are also filing claims for a larger number of medical conditions, likely a result of improved medical diagnoses and treatments…
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Disability Is Particularly Hard on Women

Here is a question for our female readers to consider – if you were to suffer a disability, what impact would that have on your and your family’s financial situation? A study from earlier in the month looked at the way women consider the impact of suffering a disability as well as the actual financial effects for women who do become disabled. Women are more likely to be concerned than men that a disability would have at least somewhat of a devastating effect on their family’s finances; half of women thought so, and, as it turns out, for good reason. For one, women are more likely to suffer a disability. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) found that, with conditions like arthritis affecting women at twice the rate of men, women in general are more likely to suffer a disability in their retirement years. The data from the…
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How SSI Benefits Differ From SSDI Benefits

In Wednesday’s post, we discussed how SSDI benefits are a form of insurance, because you can only receive them if you have worked long enough to have paid enough in FICA taxes to be eligible for the benefits. SSI benefits often get lumped in with SSDI benefits, but the two have important differences. The one trait they do share is that the Social Security Administration uses the same criteria of “disability” to evaluate eligibility for both types of benefits, but that is about where the similarities end, however. SSI or Supplemental Security Income benefits are not a type of disability insurance like SSDI is. SSI benefits are a form of financial assistance for low income, disabled Americans. President Nixon created SSI in 1974 in order to standardize the way that states were providing the same type of benefits. Nixon brought all those different programs under the auspices of SSI, a…
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