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Midwest Disability, P.A.'s Blog

Can You Own a Gun While on Disability?

Here in the Midwest, it is not uncommon to own a firearm. According to a 2017 survey by the Pew Research Center, the South is the region with the most guns (about 36%), followed by the Midwest and West (32% and 31%, respectively) and the Northeast (16%). Although the Second Amendment protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms, the right to receive Social Security benefits if you are a gunowner is not necessarily guaranteed under the Constitution.

Currently, Social Security Administration does have a few reasonable restrictions on guns (an individual may not bring a firearm into a Social Security office, for example), but at present the Administration has no law in effect that prevents an individual from owning a firearm while collecting disability benefits.

Medical Evidence Is A Vital Part Of SSDI Application Process

Needing Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can feel overwhelming. Many people have legitimate claims to these benefits due to a serious illness or injury that prevents them from working, but the application process can be long and complicated. Unfortunately, many first-time applicants are met with denials, which can feel disheartening. Luckily, Minnesota residents hoping to obtain SSDI benefits can set themselves up for approval as well as possible by providing important evidence during the application process.

Some of the most important evidence that an applicant can provide is medical evidence. This information must be objective and come from what the Social Security Administration deems an acceptable medical source. This information will help the SSA better understand the applicant's situation, and if the applicant agrees, the SSA can help gather medical evidence from applicable medical sources.

Can applicants receive expedited payments for SSI?

When a person lives with a disability and cannot work, it is common to worry about facing a financial emergency. Though applying for Supplemental Security Income benefits can often help qualifying Minnesota residents make ends meet on a monthly basis, it can take months to gain an approval and longer to receive the first payment. As a result, many people wonder whether it is possible to receive expedited payments.

Fortunately, the option of expedited payments does exist, but as with other factors relating to SSI benefits, individuals must meet certain stipulations before receiving an early payment. When it comes to this option, the Social Security Administration may begin payments before a person receives a formal approval for SSI on the basis of presumptive disability or presumptive blindness, which essentially means that the SSA will make payments early on the presumption that the application has a significant likelihood of gaining approval.

What Will President Biden Mean for Social Security Disability?

Among a flurry of executive actions in President Biden's first few days in office, a move to withdraw a proposed rule that could have cut off benefits for hundreds of thousands of disabled Americans was little noticed.

The rule, first proposed by President Biden's predecessor in 2019, would have required continuing disability reviews every two years for many individuals already receiving disability benefits- likely cutting off benefits to thousands of people for supposed medical improvement or for difficulty just keeping up with Social Security's ever-changing requirements.

Knee Problems

The knee is the largest weight-bearing joint in the body, carrying most of the body weight when standing or walking. A chronic and severe knee condition can greatly impact the ability to work, though many knee problems are short-lived as they are easily managed through physical therapy, surgery, or medication. To be awarded disability under the Social Security Act, the impairment must persist or be expected to last for twelve months or longer. Diagnoses of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout are commonly occurring causes of chronic knee pain.

If the problem is severe enough to affect the ability to ambulate effectively, disability may be awarded under Listings 1.02 or 14.09. In many cases, an individual with a knee problem can still ambulate, but may be limited in the amount of time spent on their feet. An individual restricted to standing or walking no more than two hours total in an eight-hour day would be limited to sedentary jobs. While many sedentary jobs still exist in the national economy, an individual over the age of 50 who has never had a sedentary job may still be awarded benefits.

Should You Appeal or Re-File Your Disability Claim?

No one wants to receive an unfavorable decision from an administrative law judge.

And just because Social Security says you're not disabled that doesn't mean your health problems just go away.

Thankfully, you have a couple of options to pursue your case when Social Security gets it wrong, but whether to appeal or file again is often a difficult decision that you'll likely want to discuss with a disability attorney.

What Do I Do After A Denied Disability Claim?

The Social Security Administration works hard to prevent applicants from receiving benefits when they are not eligible. This is probably something you approve of since fraudulent claims take funds away from those who truly need them. Nevertheless, the consequence of being so diligent about evaluating each claim is that agents reject many claims that may be valid.

Simple mistakes on your application or a lack of supporting evidence for your disability are just two reasons why the SSA may deny your request for benefits. Fortunately, when the SSA denies a claim on the first try, it is not necessarily the end of the line. There are several steps you can take if you disagree with the decision the SSA makes.

The 4 levels of an SSDI appeal

For Minnesota residents and those across the country who are unable to work due to a disability, the denial of a benefits application can be devastating. Often, it can take a lot of time and effort to properly complete an application for Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI,, and hopes are often dashed when applicants learn that they have been denied. Fortunately, a first-time denial is not necessarily the end of the road.

Many individuals have the ability to appeal the Social Security Administration's decision to deny an application. In fact, most applicants have to go the route of filing an appeal because the majority of first-time disability benefits applications are denied. However, it is essential that applicants understand that different levels of the appeal exist, so it is important that an applicant understand which suits his or her case.

Vocational Expert Testimony: The Dictionary of Occupational Titles

Vocational experts are present at every Social Security Disability hearing. Their job is to not only classify your past relevant work, but to also testify as to what jobs are available in the national economy. Often their testimony at the hearing may be difficult to understand due to the legal terms or other Social Security specific terms being used in their testimony.

This blog post is specifically dedicated to the "Dictionary of Occupational Titles." It is important to note that The Dictionary of Occupational Titles is generally shortened to "DOT" when referred to in the hearing. 

Social Security Disability Consultative Examinations: What to Know

Consultative examinations are required in some Social Security Disability cases. Consultative examinations are essentially medical examinations scheduled by the DDS claims examiner.

Consultative examinations are often times scheduled if an individual lacks sufficient medical records. They are also often scheduled when an individual has not been seen by a doctor or provider for a length of time. These consultative examinations are generally scheduled and attended prior to the hearing. However, a consultative examination can be scheduled post-hearing in some cases.

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Contact us online or call our offices directly at 888-351-0427 for a free case evaluation. All cases are taken on contingency, meaning there are no fees until we recover benefits for you.

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In Minnesota, we handle Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. Throughout the nation, we handle SSDI applications and appeals for people from Ohio to Kansas, North Dakota to Texas and everywhere in between.


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Coon Rapids, MN 55448

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