Social Security Disability Insurance:
A Time-Table for Collecting Benefits from an actual case history.
Written by Frank Martino
Copyright: Public Domain 2009
0 July 2007 Applicant picks up paperwork for disability at the Social Security Office.
He is told that if he has, begins, or is looking for employment then he will be disqualified from receiving benefits.
He is also told that if he has no "dwelling," i.e., no apartment or house in which to live, if he becomes homeless, then he will be disqualified from receiving benefits.
Applicant's condition is found listed on the Social Security website and is an approved condition for disability. Applicant submits application and is advised by Social Security to get a lawyer. A lawyer is obtained and application is filed.
1 August 2007 The waiting period of twelve full and consecutive months of unemployment begins. See notes in red at bottom of page.
4 November 2007 Lawyer advises that he could get applicant approved to receive checks in approximately two months. However, he would not be given enough money to live on. See the Social Security website which advises that checks will begin on the seventh month.
5 December 2007 Lawyer is unsuccessful in getting hospital records.
6 January 2008 Applicant telephones billing department of hospital and tells the billing department that he owes money. The billing department is happy to give him all the dates of service from their computerized record. One hospital had the correct month and date of service but the wrong year recorded.
Lawyer is now able to obtain copy of hospital records and a letter from applicant's doctor. He submits all documents to Social Security. Lawyer advises Social Security that all documents have been submitted and that the determination may now begin.
7 February 2008 Social Security sends all records to the Kentucky office for the determination.
9 April 2008 Lawyer telephones the Kentucky office of Social Security where the determinations are made. Lawyer learns that the paperwork had been processed and had moved on from the Kentucky office. At this point the applicant’s disability had been approved by the Kentucky office.
12 July 2008 A period of twelve consecutive months of unemployment has been completed.
13 August 2008 Social Security advises that a hearing will be needed in September.
15 October 2008 Social Security advises that applicant has been approved and that his first check will arrive in October, November or December.
We learn from the above that a medical decision was made during the time the records were sent to Kentucky to the time that the records left Kentucky. Thus, a medical decision was made in less than ninety days. The statement that there is a “back log” holding up processing is now patently false.
The Social Security website states that benefits for disability will be paid beginning with the seventh month of disability. See link below.
In 1972 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a five month waiting period was reasonable in order to protect the government's interest by assuring that applications are legitimate. Today the waiting period is twelve months followed by five more months of processing, a total of seventeen months.
Your Social Security contributions are distributed each month with payments to retirees and payments to the disabled. The remainder of the money is forwarded to the US Treasury where it enters the general fund and is immediately spent by Congress. Overhead expenses of Social Security are not taken from the Social Security fund but are paid with appropriations by Congress. The Social Security Administration is therefore powerless to hire more processors without an appropriation from Congress.
To date, Congress has spent 4.5 Trillion Dollars from the Social Security Fund and replaced the money with special non-negotiable Treasury notes. The Social Security Fund is the cash cow of Congress for pork barrel, earmarks, and whatever other spending that members of Congress think will help get them re-elected. The money is gone.
In the very near future, Congress will announce that more money in Social Security benefits is being paid out than money received. Congress has had and will continue to have three options to choose from: 1) raise taxes to reimburse the 4.5 Trillion Dollars, which will get them unelected, 2) stop spending the money, which, in the absence of pork barrel spending, will make it harder to be re-elected, or 3) deny benefits.
In order to deny benefits, the age for collecting benefits has been moved from age 65 to age 68 years. There is talk of pushing it to age 70.
Also in order to deny benefits, the waiting period for processing disability benefits is now seventeen months, which insures that many people will run out of money and, therefore, must necessarily generate an income, or perhaps become homeless, both of which will get them disqualified even if they have waited for well over one year. Your representatives in Congress will then swear "there is a back log."
Oversight of the Social Security Administration is with the US Congress and, more specifically, the House Ways and Means Sub-committee on Social Security. The function of the House Ways and Means Committee is to find the ways and means to raise money to finance government spending. Thus, the House Ways and Means Committee controls the Social Security Administration and has made it the cash cow of Congress.
When you verify what is written here by using the internet search engines, use also the keywords "social security waiting game." You will find stories of bankruptcies, homelessness and suicide.
Every member of Congress gets hundreds of calls by people telling them that they have applied over a year earlier and they want to know when the benefits will arrive. Even the newest member of Congress is quickly schooled in milking the cash cow.
Congress has sold you a disability insurance policy which Congress does not want to honor. A seventeen month waiting period is both unreasonable and unnecessary. Let there be no doubt that it is the exact intent and purpose of the United States Congress to deny benefits by forcing people to expend both their savings and reirement funds so that they must then generate an income in order to eat, or to force people to become homeless so that they will be disqualified.
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then its a duck.
An application that is denied is denied in approximately two months. A hearing for an appeal will then be scheduled about eighteen months later. Why eighteen months for an appeal hearing? Perhaps its because you haven't done your seventeen consecutive months of unemployment.
Just before the November elections, there was a public service announcement of the Social Security Administration aired on a radio station. The announcement gave a hypothetical example of a disabled young man with a wife and two children. He would receive $ 1700.00 per month and, if he dies, his wife and children would receive $2000.00 per month in survivor benefits. A man with children implies that either the man had not worked twenty-five years or longer and, therefore, not paid much into the system, or perhaps that he made over $50,000 per year, an example that does not describe most Americans.
Write to your Senators and Representative and demand the cessation of all Public Service announcements that place Social Security Disability in a positive light. Demand the creation of announcements that speak the reality that it requires seventeen months to receive benefits and, if you do not have enough money to get you through that time, you will become disqualified and Social Security Disability is therefore not for you.
Ask your Congressional representatives to arrange for the local Social Security Office to make the calculations, within thirty days of applying, of how much money to which a person is entitled (based on lifetime contributions plus living expenses). It makes no sense to wait seventeen months and learn that you are not entitled to receive enough money on which to live.
Due to the Social Security Administration's inability, or perhaps refusal, to give necessary information to both applicants and applicants' lawyers, do not depend upon the information given on either this website or the website of the Social Security Administration. Get a lawyer who specializes in disability benefits.
Social Security Disability Insurance is a system that is designed to fail.
This article is in the Public Domain. Please pass it to everyone you know and lets get as many members of Congress unelected as we can.
Payment in the seventh month:
"Definition of Disability
For all individuals applying for disability benefits under title II, and for adults applying under title XVI, the definition of disability is the same. The law defines disability as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months."
For a heart condition:
"b. Persistent means that the longitudinal clinical record shows that, with few exceptions, the required finding(s) has been present, or is expected to be present, for a continuous period of at least 12 months, such that a pattern of continuing severity is established.
c. Recurrent means that the longitudinal clinical record shows that, within a consecutive 12-month period, the finding(s) occurs at least three times, with intervening periods of improvement of sufficient duration that it is clear that separate events are involved.
d. Appropriate medically acceptable imaging means that the technique used is the proper one to evaluate and diagnose the impairment and is commonly recognized as accurate for assessing the cited finding.
e. A consecutive 12-month period means a period of 12 consecutive months, all or part of which must occur within the period we are considering in conection with an application or continuing disability review."
Keep in mind that any nationalized health care insurance that is controlled by the US government will be just as efficient as Social Security Disability Insurance.