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supplemental security income (ssi) Archives


Children and adults with autism may be eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits and/or Supplemental Security Income. As with all impairments, Social Security Disability Benefits is only available for people who have a work history and have paid FICA taxes. Supplemental Security Income is available for people who meet the medical requirements of disability but have no work history or haven't paid enough in taxes.

What is a transferrable skill?

If a claimant is 50 there is a good chance the during your hearing the judge and vocational expert will talk about transferrable skills. Skills are knowledge about a job that is gained by performing the job. A skill requires the exercise of judgment that goes beyond carrying out simple job duties. Examples of skills can be assembling equipment or complex objects. A skill can be keeping a money drawer balanced using a computer. Social Security has said that basic driving ability, filing papers, greeting customers and basic food preparation are not skills.

Earned Income Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit for low to moderate income working people. This Tax Credit incentivizes work while providing additional support to low income workers, particularly workers with children. People working part-time often receive the Earned Income Tax Credit. And some of those workers have applied for social security disability benefits. They are working part-time because of their disability and are unable to work full-time.

Using the Internet to Adjudicate Disability Claims

In this day and age, the Internet has become a ubiquitous and practical source of information for any investigator or finder of fact. When adjudicating a claim, however, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) may not rely upon information obtained from the Internet or social media sites, whether from a computer or smartphone (Hallex I-2-5-69). Although the Internet has proven useful as a general source, any researcher should exercise caution when evaluating the credibility and veracity of information obtained from the Internet.

Borderline Age Situations

In deciding whether an applicant meets the qualifications for disability benefits, Social Security Administration will apply a five-step process known as sequential evaluation. The final step in the process considers vocational factors (age, education, and past work experience) along with the claimant's residual functional capacity, to see if the individual can make an adjustment to other work. Where enough vocational factors are favorably present, the medical-vocational guidelines ("grid rules") at Appendix 2 to 20 CFR 404.1569 should warrant disability for individuals who have reached a certain age bracket. Essentially, the rules lean toward a finding of disability for elder claimants with limited education and/or no transferable skills.

Dignity and Respect

As early social welfare systems focused on means-tested assistance programs, individuals who received government benefits were often stigmatized. Even today, there are those who deem Social Security as money wasted on the indolent and irresponsible, and those asking to receive their benefits are sometimes viewed with loathing and contempt. Yet, our Congress was clear in defining the Social Security program. "Social Security is not a handout; it is not charity; it is not relief. It is an earned right based upon the contributions and earnings of the individual. As an earned right, the individual is eligible to receive his benefit in dignity and self-respect."

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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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