Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
Call to schedule an appointment today.
314-925-0242 or 800-652-5775

St. Louis Legal Issues Blog

What should I know about credits for Social Security Disability?

For Missourians who are injured and unable to work, Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits for injuries can be a lifesaver. However, one aspect that many applicants are not fully aware of is among the most important: Social Security credits. There are a certain number of credits accrued from work that the person must have to get SSD benefits. For those who work, but do not have enough credits to qualify, they will retain the credits they have accumulated. If they go back to work, the credits they earn can be added to the credits they had in the past.

Credits are earned through working and paying Social Security taxes. For 2017, the worker must earn $1,300 for one work credit per year and $5,200 to get the maximum total of four for a year. For those who earn more than they need for their lifetime, they will not receive an increase in benefits. The average amount the person earned will determine the monthly payments. When seeking Social Security Disability benefits for injuries, the number of work credits the person needs will vary, depending on his or her age at the time of disability.

SSD evidence requirements for mental conditions

For Missouri residents who are suffering from what they believe are qualifying mental conditions to receive Social Security Disability benefits, the evidence is one of the most important factors in getting an approval. Most will understand the need for medical evidence, but there are other aspects that can be used to provide proof to the Social Security Administration that the person warrants Social Security Disability benefits for mental conditions. This includes evidence from people who know the applicant and evidence from schools.

The SSA will consider relevant evidence regarding the applicant's mental disorder and how it affects their daily functioning when it comes from people who know the person. These individuals do not need to be close relatives. It can be anyone who knows the applicant from relatives, friends, caregivers, neighbors, religious authorities, social workers, case managers and more. The statements given by the applicant and statements given by those who know the applicant will be compared for consistency and used in conjunction with medical evidence and any other evidence the SSA might have.

The unique issue of pensions in a military divorce

The life of a service member can be a difficult one for not only that person, but also the family. In many cases, the challenges faced - movement to a different base or deployment - are mostly out of the hands of the military member, but can be a challenge for the entire family. Unfortunately, when it comes to divorce, these types of issues unique to service members can also creep up.

One such issue involves military pensions and how they may be administered during a divorce. Much of the guidance on handling the process comes from the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act. Much like civilians going through a divorce, a military pension will become part of the property division process, but how it is treated - community property or sole property - will depend on the state law that is governing the process.

Can my children get benefits if I get Social Security disability?

When a Missouri parent is injured and needs Social Security disability benefits, one common concern is what will happen with their children and if the children can also receive benefits. The Social Security Administration will pay not just to help those who receive qualifying SSD benefits for injury, but for their families as well. This is done so the children can have what they need to function on an everyday basis and complete school. Knowing who is eligible and how to get these benefits is imperative.

The following are the criteria for an unmarried child to get benefits: the child must be younger than 18; he or she can be 18 to 19 and a full-time student through 12th grade; the child is 18 or older and has a disability of his or her own that started before turning 22. In some instances, the SSA will pay for stepchildren, grandchildren, step-grandchildren, or adopted children. For the child to receive benefits, he or she must have a parent who is disabled or retired and can get Social Security; or the parent must have died after working long enough and paid Social Security taxes.

Fighting for workers' comp benefits after a denied claim

If you suffered an injury at work, you know how important it is to have financial support. You have medical bills to pay and a family to support, and a work accident can be a significant threat to your financial well-being. However, injured Missouri workers may find that it can actually be quite difficult to secure benefits after a work accident.

Unfortunately, getting the benefits you deserve may not be as simple as filing a workers' compensation claim. Claims can come back denied, which can be discouraging. It is important to remember that, if this happens to you, it may not be the end of the road. You could have grounds to move forward with an appeal, continuing your fight for the support you need to get better.

Cardiovascular issues and waiting for more evidence for SSD

When a Missouri resident has a cardiovascular issue that he or she believes warrant the approval for Social Security disability benefits, the evidence is one of the key factors toward getting those benefits. Claimants must meet a variety of federal regulations and requirements before being approved. Evidence is a key factor in the process and there are times when the Social Security Administration will wait before asking for more evidence regarding the issue or issues as it makes its decision.

With cases based on cardiovascular problems, the SSA will wait for more evidence when there is information that indicates the impairment has yet to stabilize and the change in the impairment could have an influence on the determination or decision. When this is the case, the SSA must wait so the illness can be evaluated properly in terms of severity and duration while it is stable.

Is it worth it to appeal if my Social Security disability stops?

A Missourian who is getting Social Security disability benefits for injury and had the benefits stopped might be discouraged thinking that an appeal is a waste of time. However, the Social Security Administration has multiple levels of appeal and many people who meet the criteria for qualifying SSD benefits for injury have had their benefits stopped and then got them again on appeal. There are four different levels of appeal: reconsideration, a hearing before an administrative law judge, going to the appeals council, or filing with federal court. It is vital to understand certain basic factors about the process.

The SSA is not perfect and it does make mistakes in denying benefits or stopping benefits for people who have every right to receive them. Therefore, an applicant has the right to appeal. The person will have 60 days from the time the decision is made to seek an appeal. The countdown for days begins after the letter is received informing the person that the benefits are stopping. A person who misses the cutoff date to appeal can explain to the SSA why the request was late. If there is a good reason, the SSA will allow the appeal.

Taking the needed steps to win a Social Security disability claim

A Missouri resident who has suffered an injury and cannot work will have the right to seek Social Security disability benefits for injury. However, it should be remembered that many claims are denied. Frequently, this is not due to the injury not being sufficient to achieve qualifying SSD benefits for injury, but because there might have been missteps or mistakes made while going through the process of applying. That makes it wise to ensure that the case is properly prepared with help from an experienced attorney.

There are many crucial factors in a SSD case. This includes having all the medical information organized and following all the rules to get benefits. A legal professional who is experienced in helping clients get SSD benefits for their injuries will know what is necessary to have the best chance of a claim being approved the first time. Even if it is not, a lawyer can help with the appeals process from start to finish.

Woman regains disability benefits for illness after appeal

Missouri residents might be discouraged when they seek Social Security disability benefits and are either denied or have their case reviewed and lose their benefits. However, they should be aware that they have the right to appeal. While the idea of an appeal might be considered a waste of time, the reality is that in some cases, a person who appeals a denial of Social Security disability benefits will eventually be approved for benefits. The appeals process can be effective if the person's condition is deemed as meeting the criteria for qualifying SSD benefits for illness.

A Tennessee woman is an example of the value of appealing a denied claim. She had lost her benefits in September, but was recently informed that she is again considered disabled and will receive the benefits that were stopped. The woman had been approved for benefits in 2013. She was suffering from a variety of illnesses for her entire life, was told that she was too ill to work and her issues warranted benefits. In August 2017, a review determined that she could work, and her illnesses were not sufficient to continue getting disability. She filed an appeal and was told she was disabled.

The long-term impact of your car accident

A Missouri car accident can change your life in an instant. In one moment you can be driving along, and in the next, you could find yourself with life-altering or debilitating injuries. The injuries you may find yourself with after an accident may be serious, and dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic accident can be even more complex when you were hurt because of the reckless or negligent actions of another driver.

You do not have to deal with the aftermath of an accident alone, but you may seek a complete evaluation of your case and explanation of the legal rights available to you. It is possible to hold liable parties accountable for what you suffered, no matter the nature of your injuries.

Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
225 South Meramec Avenue, Suite 426
St. Louis, MO 63105

Toll Free: 800-652-5775
Phone: 314-925-0242
Fax: 314-727-5297
Map & Directions

google map