Monthly Archives: October 2013

What You Need To Know About the Government Shutdown and Social Security

Last week, we discussed the possible ramifications of a federal government shutdown when it comes to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Because the shutdown is ongoing as we are writing this post, we want to reiterate that Social Security payments are considered “mandatory” and that payments are automatically authorized no matter what happens legislatively. The Social Security Administration (SSA) issued a press release last week highlighting this fact. However, there will be some SSA services that will be slowed or temporarily halted. According to the SSA, offices will only provide assistance for the following: Helping you apply for benefits Assisting you in requesting an appeal Changing your address or direct deposit information Accepting reports of death Verifying or changing your citizenship status Replacing a lost or missing Social Security payment Issuing a critical payment Changing a representative payee Processing a change in your living…
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United Nations Holds High Profile Disabilities Meeting in New York

Last week, the United Nations held its first-ever high-level meeting to discuss helping people who suffer from disabilities. The event was held at the U.N. headquarters in New York. More than 1 billion people worldwide suffer from disabilities. Officials said the meeting was convened to encourage inclusion for people with disabilities in all aspects of life. “Far too many people with disabilities live in poverty. Too many suffer from social exclusion. Too many are denied access to education, employment, health care, and social and legal support systems,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, according to DisabilityScoop. Ban Ki-moon told leaders at the event to “break barriers and open doors”. Representatives and guests at the event included U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and musician Stevie Wonder. More than 800 people attended. “I am here before you to ask you to see me,” Loretta Claiborne, a Special Olympics athlete said according to…
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CCD Debunks Faulty Disability Benefit Reports

Last week, we blogged about a Washington Post article, indicating that the Social Security Administration (SSA) paid about $1.3 billion in potentially faulty  Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit payments from December 2010 and January 2013. The report came from statistics compiled by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Following the release of the report, the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) issued a press release indicating that it may have contained misleading information in order to gain media attention. First, the CCD reported that the methodology used did not take into account the SSA’s work rules, making it faulty. The CCD release said that the GAO report did not include “impaired-related work expenses” (IRWEs), which are deducted from a person’s earnings or benefits. These include items such as wheelchairs and specialized work equipment. The GAO statistics also did not take into account “unsuccessful work attempts” (UWAs), according to the CCD,…
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