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Posts Tagged ‘Supplemental Security Income’

36 Years Later Rhode Island Woman Gets Disability Benefits

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

While disability benefits applicants often face long waits, not many face one as long as a Rhode Island widow. Cecelia Frusher has been appealing Social Security Administration (“SSA”) decisions and court rulings since 1975. Her case should give hope to those frustrated by the process – she received retroactive benefits on behalf of her husband going back those three decades.

Frusher’s husband, Dr. Richard Frusher, began experiencing symptoms related to schizophrenia in 1974. He applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) benefits in 1975, and the SSA denied his application. Richard’s family tried again in 1978 to get him benefits, but the SSA denied the application again.

When applying for early retirement benefits in 2003 for Richard, Cecelia decided to try yet again for disability benefits. This time, the SSA permitted Richard to receive Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits, but not SSDI benefits.

Frustrated by her husband’s inability to receive SSDI benefits, Cecelia sought out disability benefits attorneys and appealed the original 1975 denial. She filed a lawsuit in federal court, which denied her appeal. She appealed that up to the federal appeals court, which found that there was not substantial evidence to support the lower court’s findings. The case back went back down, and, earlier this year, a judge found that Richard should have been receiving benefits since 1975 until his death in 2005.

Cecelia urges disability applicants not to give up hope in the process. What have you had to endure in order to begin receiving disability benefits?

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys

Facts Underlying SSI Disability Benefits for Children

Friday, November 11th, 2011

On Wednesday, we posted about talks in Congress that might result in cuts to Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits for disabled children. Today we mention a few of the numbers behind the program that help us arrive at a better understanding of it.

SSI for children with disabilities is a program available to lower income Americans who have children with disabilities. Financial guidelines determine whether you are eligible for the program. If your family’s income exceeds the eligibility levels, you will likely not be able to receive SSI benefits for disabled children.

Here are other facts that help us understand that situation better:

  • The program has grown by 40 percent since 2000, but , in absolute terms, the numbers are not as staggering – 1.2 million low income families receive the benefits, or 1.6 percent of all American children
  • Some growth should naturally be expected for multiple reasons – an increasing number of Americans live in poverty (some 45 million this year), medical doctors and psychologists are increasingly better equipped to make early diagnoses of disorders, and the Supreme Court opened up eligibility for the program in the 1990s in order to accommodate children suffering from mental and behavioral afflictions
  • Verification of disabilities for children has a similar standard as for other Social Security Administration (“SSA”) disability programs, but the standard is actually more difficult to meet than the standard for adults.  It requires clear evidence from medical experts and professionals to qualify for SSI benefits for disabled children, but for children the decision is based on medical evidence alone and does not consider other factors that would be considered for an adult.
  • Families who are receiving the benefits are subject to ongoing review, and, every year, a fifth to a third of benefits end when the SSA determines that children are no longer eligible

How have disability benefits for your disabled children helped your family cope with the difficulties of raising a child with special needs? More information on eligibility for the SSI program for disabled children is available from a Tulsa OK SSI lawyer.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys

Cuts May Be Coming to SSI Benefits for Disabled Children

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Some of its critics refer to it as “the other welfare.” Congressional members of a subcommittee of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee are considering possible cuts to Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits for disabled children. SSI benefits for children with disabilities became a popular target for critics after a series of articles last fall from The Boston Globe suggested that lower income families were putting their children on psychiatric medication in order to receive disability benefits. Additional details on proposed changes are available from a Tulsa SSI lawyer.

Chair of the subcommittee, Kentucky Republican Geoff Davis, noted his concern over recent growth in the program. He commented that “SSI today offers monthly checks without any requirement that benefits be spent on helping the child overcome his or her disability.” He also expressed concern that most of the growth in benefits for disabled children was due to mental and behavioral impairments.

The fact that SSI benefits for disabled children has grown, however, does not mean that the growth is entirely due to conniving applicants, as critics seem so quick to suggest. There are undoubtedly some who try to take advantage of the system, but there are more for whom SSI benefits for their disabled children are a lifeline. One woman – a Texas mother of an 8-year-old autistic boy – testified to the subcommittee that without her SSI benefits, she would have been unable to stop working in order to care for her son who also suffers from seizures.

Caring for children with disabilities requires substantially larger amounts of time and money. Some children may require around-the-clock care. Families of these children must somehow care for the children’s special needs while still earning enough money to cover basic necessities as well as additional medical costs; this can be difficult for anyone, especially low-income families.

Have you benefited from the SSI program for disabled children? How did the benefits help you care for your children?

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys