Category Archives: Social Security

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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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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