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Celebrating 60th Anniversary of Social Security Disability Insurance

Celebrating 60th Anniversary of Social Security Disability Insurance

This month marks the 60th anniversary of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. SSDI has been a salvation for millions of people with long-term and severe disabilities and illnesses. The program, signed into law by President Eisenhower on August 1, 1956, amended the Social Security Act (SSA) to provide economic security to disabled workers and disabled children of retired or deceased workers, just as the SSA provides retirees with protection from impoverishment in old age.

Court Finds that SSA Should Classify Your Job the Way It is Performed “Most of the Time”

Court Finds that SSA Should Classify Your Job the Way It is Performed “Most of the Time”

At disability hearings, the Social Security judge will evaluate whether your physical and mental impairments prevent you from performing the work you have done in the past 15 years. On June 7, 2016; the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Stacy v. Colvin upheld the rule that Social Security cannot use the least demanding aspect of your past work to classify the difficulty level of the job.

Continuing Disability Reviews

Continuing Disability Reviews

In the last year, SSA, with direction and funding by Congress, has initiated a more aggressive campaign to review and potentially terminate disability status, benefits and Medicare to tens of thousands of people. At a meeting with Administrative Law Judges locally, it was estimated that as many as 35 to 40 percent of the cases being appealed in 2016 to area SSA hearing offices will be disability cessation appeals, rather than the typical “initial entitlement” cases.

Court Raises the Bar for SSA Judges’ Decisions Denying Social Security Disability Claims

Court Raises the Bar for SSA Judges’ Decisions Denying Social Security Disability Claims

A federal appeals court recently issued a decision containing good news for Social Security disability claimants residing in California, Nevada, Hawaii, and the other states within the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Court determined that when Social Security disability judges decide that a claimant’s testimony at the hearing level is not entirely credible, they must provide “specific, clear, and convincing” reasons for rejecting the testimony, and cite to medical evidence in the record that contradicts the claimant’s testimony.

Waiting Time for Social Security Disability Hearings and Appeals Decisions

Waiting Time for Social Security Disability Hearings and Appeals Decisions

Average Wait Time Until a Hearing is Held (as of April 2016)

The average waiting time for a Social Security Disability hearing has increased significantly this year. The chart below shows the average wait time – in months – between the date a hearing is requested and the date a hearing is held for the hearing offices in Northern California, Reno and Honolulu.