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St. Louis Social Security Disability Law Blog

Missouri struggles to finance federal guarantees for health care

Health care is one of the most important investments that people or their governments can make. It is comforting for workers, the elderly and people with lasting disabilities that the Social Security Administration (SSA) is prepared to offer them much needed financial assistance. Many also become concerned if the likelihood of a successful claim goes down.

Missouri is struggling with working out how to pay for its spending connected to the federal Medicaid program. The Show Me State is home to more than $10 billion in spending on health care and medical coverage for low-income families. An expansion of the Social Security program led to more people being eligible for Medicaid within a decade of the program's creation.

Social media may keep you from receiving disability payments

If you have a debilitating injury or illness that prevents you from working, then you'll want to use caution when you post on social media. A report published by the New York Times just this week chronicles how the current Presidential Administration has been secretly crafting a proposal that would require Social Security disability examiners to review recipients' social media pages to see what they've been up to.

When discussing the budget last year, some members of Congress vowed to support any legislation that would expand the Social Security Administration's (SSA) review of Facebook or Twitter pages in making disability determinations. Many of them agreed that this was one approach that had the potential of improving the SSA's ability to identify fraud and thus improve the program's integrity.

Experts say people claim Social Security too early

Are you thinking about claiming Social Security in the near future? If so, you may want to think about it carefully, considering your age and the potential benefits that you could get. A new report just came out with some experts saying people often do it too early.

Per the report, roughly 33 percent of women and 29 percent of men filed to get their benefits when they were 62 years old in 2017, the most recent year with complete statistics. That makes it the most popular age, and it is also the soonest that you're allowed to file. It makes sense. People are simply waiting for the first day that they can claim, and then they do it.

Can your job cause arthritis?

Arthritis is a general term used to describe over 100 different kinds of joint disorders. Over 53 million adults suffer from arthritis of some kind, and it is important to receive testing from a doctor to see if you have it. It is particularly important for older Americans to see their doctors to see if they have the condition. 

Arthritis develops due to wear and tear forming in the joints. It can occur over time naturally from aging, but certain practices can exacerbate the problem. Some people have jobs that worsen arthritis, and these people may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits or other compensation if they become unable to work. 

Multiple sclerosis flare ups can last several months

Just this week, actress Selma Blair appeared at The Oscars. Many fans of hers were shocked to see her using a cane. Even more people were dumbfounded when they heard her speak during interviews in the days afterward. Many wondered if she'd had a stroke or if she'd been in some accident that hadn't heard about. It then came out that she's been privately battling Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

In some of those interviews, you could see her struggling with to pick up a leg to walk, to lift her arms and to get words out. She acknowledged that she has learned from her doctors that these are all effects of an MS flare-up. She's asked those who interviewed her to return in a year and suggested that they'll see that she'd doing remarkably better then.

What's considered a disability isn't always intuitive

If you ask around enough, while someone in your immediate group of friends may not be on disability, it's likely that they have a friend or relative who is.

The reasons that people became disabled and receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) may surprise you.

Ways new scammers attempt to get your Social Security Number

If there's one thing that most of us are taught when we're first given our Social Security Number (SSN), it's to keep it private. Unfortunately, we don't always succeed in this. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently released a warning to consumers to avoid having both their SSNs stolen and bank accounts sucked dry.

They note that there's been an uptick in phone scammers calling unsuspecting American citizens claiming to be SSA employees, asking for their SSNs and bank account information. They're often threatened with having their disability or retirement benefits pulled from them if they don't provide it.

What many consider as the most disabling mental health condition

The term "disability" is one that can be defined differently depending on the perspective of the person using the word. Mental health conditions that the Social Security Administration (SSA) classifies as disabling often have to be so crippling that they affect an individual's ability to function, even if special accommodations are made. Researchers have their own opinion about what is the most disabling mental health concern though.

Researchers who published a Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology study in November determined that depression and other mood disorders can result in the most profound functional impairments or disability of all conditions.

Does chronic back pain qualify you for SS Disability?

The Social Security Administration has a long list of diseases and conditions that qualify applicants for the payment of Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI. Perhaps you sustained a spine injury a few years ago that resulted in the chronic back pain you suffer now. You are not able to work because of the pain. Are you eligible to receive SSDI?

About chronic pain

What's process is used to determine who gets disability benefits?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a five-step graduated vetting process to determine whether an individual has a qualifying disability. It has to prevent them from working before deciding if they should receive a monthly stipend to help them afford their basic expenses.

When you fill out your application for benefits, one of the first things that you'll be asked by the SSA is whether you're working and, if so, how much you earn. If you generate in excess of $1,220 per month, then the SSA will determine that you're not disabled.