Q&As

Mr. LaPorte's answer: You may be eligible for surviving divorced spouse benefits. The answer depends in large part on your current age. You seem to meet Social Security’s requirement that the marriage lasted at least 10 years before divorce. Social Security required that your ex-wife have paid sufficient FICA taxes on her work record to have been eligible for benefits. Social Security also requires that if you are not disabled, you be at least 60 years old. If you are between 50 and 60 years old, you can receive benefits if you are disabled according to Social Security’s rules, and that disability began within 7 years of her death. Generally, you must also be currently unmarried to receive surviving divorced spouse’s benefits. Here's the link to more information about receiving surviving divorced spouse's benefits: http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1811/~/receive-benefits-from-deceased-ex-spouse's-record

Mr. LaPorte’s answer: Below is the link to Social Security Ruling 06-03P which says that licensed clinical psychologists are "acceptable medical sources" for purposes of both treatment evidence and opinion evidence. I would get a second opinion from another, local attorney who specializes in Social Security disability appeals. Your neurologist and psychiatrist may not be willing or able to provide supporting opinions of disability, but their treatment records and reports, together with the evidence and opinion of the psychologist, must all be evaluated to create the picture showing the basis for your disability claim. Good luck with your appeal. http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OP_Home/rulings/di/01/SSR2006-03-di-01.html

Mr. LaPorte’s answer: It is hard to know whether you really need to hire an attorney to file for EXR. Since you were previously found eligible for benefits, you have dealt with SSA before, and are familiar with their practices. If you were able to qualify for benefits previously without an attorney, you should be able to gain re-eligibility without one now. The only difficult part may occur after the provisional benefits are resumed, when SSA does its disability evaluation to determine whether your benefits can be restored indefinitely. An experienced attorney may be of help in guiding you in submitting evidence showing your eligibility in that evaluation process.

Generally, EXR applies when:

  • Your previous entitlement to SSDI benefits terminated due to performance of SGA; or your previous SSI disability/blindness eligibility terminated because of excess earned income or a combination of earned and unearned income;
  • You are not be performing SGA in the month (currently $1040 gross income) you apply for EXR;
  • You are unable to work at the SGA level due to your medical condition;
  • You have a current medical impairment(s) that is the same as, or related to, your original disabling impairment(s);
  • You request EXR within 5 years from the month your benefits stopped. Below are links to SSA guidelines on EXR:

    http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityresearch/wi/exr.htm
    https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0413050045

Good luck with your decision.

You are eligible to request EXR if you meet all the following requirements:

  • Your previous entitlement to SSDI benefits terminated due to performance of SGA; or your previous SSI disability/blindness eligibility terminated because of excess earned income or a combination of earned and unearned income;
  • You are not be performing SGA in the month (currently $1040 gross income) you apply for EXR;
  • You are unable to work at the SGA level due to your medical condition;
  • You have a current medical impairment(s) that is the same as, or related to, your original disabling impairment(s);
  • You request EXR within 5 years from the month your benefits stopped.

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityresearch/wi/exr.htm
https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0413050045

Mr. LaPorte’s answer: Below are some links to SSA rules/publications concerning allegations of bias by an ALJ or by SSA. While these links will clarify the bases and procedures for bias, I do not recommend that you file a claim alleging bias, given the limited information in your question. A case technician would or should not determine the criteria for when a case will be decided in an On the Record (OTR) review, and this case technician may not accurately be stating the ALJ's opinion concerning OTR rulings in mental impairment cases. Also, OTR determinations are the small minority of favorable decisions issued by ALJs, as most judges must hold a hearing to resolve the conflict in the medical opinion about your eligibility. I also recommend you consult with a local attorney about representation at a hearing. Good luck.

SSA publication - http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10071.html#a0=-1
HALLEX - http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/hallex/I-03/I-3-1-25...
POMS - https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0203103300

http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/can-a-lawyer-do-anything-about-possible-bias-in-a--1062813.html

Mr. LaPorte’s answer: I agree with the answer provided by Mr. Farrell. I would add only the fact that your prior attorney would not have a "lien", but would be required to file a petition for attorneys fee for approval of an authorized fee in the event that your case were approved at a hearing. You would have the right to respond to your attorney's petition for attorneys fees. Any new attorney would also have to file a petition for attorney fees if your case were approved, and benefits paid. I would get at least one more opinion from a qualified local Social Security lawyer before making your decision about proceeding to the hearing.

http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/is-it-worth-it-to-go-to-my-social-security-hearing-1093327.html

Mr. LaPorte’s answer: Below is a link to the SSA webpage for Compassionate Allowances, which provides the list of 200 conditions SSA presently recognizes as entitled to a fast-track approval process. Even if your condition is not one of those listed, you should consult with an attorney in your area; and ensure with your doctor that your condition is sufficiently documented. Good luck.

http://www.ssa.gov/compassionateallowances/

http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/i-have-been-diagnosed-with-a-rare-and-terminal-dis-1090957.html

Mr. LaPorte’s answer: You might want to take a look at 20 CFR 404.1574(c): it provides that work performed for short durations of 3-6 months, ceased because of medical reasons, does not count against the required 12-month initial period of disability. The 4-day "unsuccessful work attempt" should not adversely affect the claim.

http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/my-6-year-old-girl-was-recently-diagnosed-with-hea-1032974.html

Mr. LaPorte’s answer:You may want to look at 20 CFR 416.1124(b) and POMS section SI 00830.655.
These regulations provide that federal, state, or locally-ordered relocation assistance is "excluded from income", and therefore does not reduce your SSI benefit. While your question did not identify whether a government agency was involved in the determining that your landlord has to fund your relocation, I agree with the others who recommend that you report the relocation assistance to the SSA field office

http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/relocation-funds-and-notifying-ssi-of-income-1068287.html

Mr. LaPorte’s answer: It would be advisable for your son to hire an attorney experienced in Social Security and SSI disability issues. The standards for disability differ in the various state, federal, and insurance programs. Your son should hire an attorney with an office in his area of residence. The best referral sources can come from the local SSA offices, or can be obtained from your son's treating doctor. Many of the best attorneys are sustaining members of NOSSCR, indicating a special emphasis in Social Security law practice.

http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/looking-for-an-attorney-o-help-my-son-get-his-ssi--1064993.html