Monthly Archives: September 2013

No Need to Fear Potential Government Shutdown if You Receive SSDI or SSI Benefits

Last week, CNN had an interesting story about what would happen to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits should the government happen to shutdown this week over the legislative issues currently bogging down the House and Senate. It is our hope that a resolution will occur before this piece is published; however, we want to discuss what would happen to your benefits if the government did shut down. If there is a government shut down or one takes place during a future term, you should know that Social Security payments are considered “mandatory”, meaning the payments are automatically authorized no matter what happens legislatively. One hurdle that could arise during shutdown is that Congress appropriates money each year for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to pay its employees, meaning things could slow down (processing times) if people are not working. However, as CNN noted, during…
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Obama Administration Implements New Disability Hiring Policy

According to DisabilityScoop, President Barack Obama is moving forward with a regulation to urge companies doing business with the federal government to increase the number of employees hired with disabilities. Under the plan, companies doing business with the federal government would be expected to ensure that people with disabilities make up at least 7 percent of their workforce. If this goal is met, it could open up as many as 585,000 jobs in the next year. The Obama administration insists that the rule is not meant to establish a quota, but a goal that contractors would be expected to work toward. Under the rule, contractors with at least 50 workers would have to take steps to recruit, train and document disabled employees, much like they are required to do for women and minorities. Previously, there was a “good faith” effort by contractors, according to DisabilityScoop. “The need [for disabled hiring]…
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Las Vegas Woman Who Suffers Severe Short-Term Memory Loss Denied Disability Benefits

The Las Vegas Sun had an interesting story last week about a woman who suffered hippocampus, a brain complication caused by atrophy that resulted in short-term memory loss and her fight with the Social Security Administration (SSA) over disability benefits. Tina Kitchel, 41, a former medical technician, when into cardiac arrest three years ago during an emergency cesarean section, her heart stopping for 27 minutes. During that time, she suffered hippocampus. She ended up in a coma for 13 days—when she awoke, she was told she would never be able to recall a memory again. She does not remember her wedding day or the births of her children. “It’s like I woke up in a dystopian society,” Kitchel said to the Sun. Kitchel’s neurologist told her she would never be able to work again. In order to make ends meet, she applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. However,…
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Less Than One Percent of SSDI Recipients Wrongfully Received Benefits

Last week, the Washington Post reported that the Social Security Administration (SSA) issued about $1.3 billion in potentially faulty disability payments to people who held jobs while claiming they were unable to work between December 2010 and January 2013. It should be noted that the figures represent less than one percent of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit payments paid during the period. The Government Accountability Office estimated that 36,000 people improperly received benefits. “During a time of growing concerns about the solvency of the [disability insurance] trust fund, it is important that SSA take every opportunity to ensure that only eligible beneficiaries receive payments under this program,” the report said. Sen. Tom Coburn R-Okla., a ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, said in a statement that the information “demonstrates just how little importance the Social Security Administration places on policing its disability rolls.” To…
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