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Posts Tagged ‘tulsa SSI lawyer’

Social Security Adds 13 New Conditions to Fast-Track Program

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Last month the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) added 13 new conditions to its Compassionate Allowances (“CA”) list. Conditions on the CA list – now at 113 total – are those that qualify for fast-track processing through the often slow disability benefits application process. Whereas regular applicants may take up to a year or even longer to begin receiving benefits, applicants with a condition on the CA list can begin receiving benefits in days or months. Over the past 12 months, the SSA was able to quickly approve 60,000 applicants for disability benefits because of the CA program.

The 13 new conditions that the SSA added to the list involve immune system and neurological disorders. The conditions are the following:

  • Malignant Multiple Sclerosis,Paraneoplastic Pemphigus, Multicentric Castleman Disease
    Pulmonary Kaposi Sarcoma, Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma, Primary Effusion Lymphoma, Angelman Syndrome, Lewy Body Dementia, Lowe Syndrome, Corticobasal Degeneration ,Multiple System Atrophy, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, The ALS/Parkinsonism Dementia Complex

The other conditions on the CA list include rare genetic disorders, certain types of cancer and early-onset Alzheimer’s. Further details on the comprehensive list of conditions that qualify an applicant for the CA program are available from the SSA or a Tulsa SSI lawyer. The SSA periodically holds public forums where it solicits information on whether it should add new conditions to the list.

Have you been able to take advantage of the Compassionate Allowances program to receive disability benefits? How was your experience applying for the program?

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

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

State SSI Cuts in Rhode Island Have Dire Consequences

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) provides benefits to lower income, disabled Americans. Unlike other disability benefits (SSDI, for example), SSI does not base benefits on work history and payments made into the system. If you qualify for SSI benefits, you receive an amount that does not increase or decrease depending on how long you have worked before receiving benefits.

All states but six (Oklahoma is one of the states that does) provide supplemental SSI benefits in addition to the federal SSI benefits. As of January of this year, SSI benefits were $674 a month for individuals and $1,011 for a couple. For people living independently (this term covers most people living on their own), Oklahoma provides a modest increase in SSI benefits, adding $42 for an individual and $84 for a couple each month. Those applying for SSI benefits may wish to speak to a Tulsa SSI lawyer.

SSI beneficiaries in Rhode Island are going to court over their state’s decision to cut its extra SSI payments to beneficiaries. The added benefits in Rhode Island are substantial, so disabled beneficiaries may be put in a difficult situation if the benefits they have come to rely upon are suddenly drastically cut. The cuts are set to begin this week and reduce the added benefits from $538 a month to $332 (this is the amount that the state provides on top of the federal SSI benefits).

The cuts are already having an impact on disabled beneficiaries, as assisted living facilities are now closing their doors and having to evict some of their residents. The cuts amount to a reduction of almost $2,500 a year, which is a large portion of the income that disabled beneficiaries live off of. Many of them were just getting by as it was, so the disability benefits cuts have hit them hard. Rhode Island’s experience may be a good case study for what happens when disability reductions take place without a transition or without finding ways to improve the process in a way that harms the least number of people.

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