social security disability

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Enzo IX
Posts: 196
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:07 am

social security disability

Post by Enzo IX » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:46 pm

My brother has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure this past year after going into the local ER hospital. His lungs were filling up with liquid and his ankles were swelling up. The thing that I have noticed is that when trying to hold a conversation with him it has hard to understand what he is trying to say. My best description is that his thought process is fragmented. I have to almost question him like a lawyer to get what he is trying to say.

He was working as a lead laborer at a metal rebar coating company and has been there for about 3 years. It was a really good job for him and had benefits that a large company would have, it kept him physically and mentally busy. He has fainted or passed out about three times at work because of the heat and physical exertion from moving rebar.

He just turned 61 years old this September and I was really hoping his job would take him to 62 in about a year when he could apply for early Social Security. I kept telling him you have to at least make it to 62 so you can get early Social Security, you need to give me something to work with so I can develop a workable plan. I just heard from him that they just laid him off this week and the reason was that with his illness that they thought it was getting to be a safety issue.

He really doesn't have any savings and the only thing he owns is a rather rundown house in a nice marketable area. The house as it stands is maybe worth about 200k to a speculator or if a person put in about 80k to renovate it, Zillow ballparks it at 350k.

You have to kind of understand my brother, he is not really good at working out problems and will run away or procrastinate until the problem goes away or solves itself often not his advantage. Basically he's kind of a numbskull, but he's my brother and I will help him in any legal way possible.

I asked him if he was going to apply for state unemployment benefits and he said, "No, I gonna go back to the temp agency and go get another job", I don't think in his current condition that this plan is gonna work for him. I told him I would help him through the paperwork process just try that's what it's there for.

Questions for advice.

1. Do you think if he applies for State umemployment benefits can he get them. Is firing someone for failing health a causable action?

2. Has anyone succussfully applied for Federal disability benefits. I know my other brother who died of pancreatic cancer applied and was denied.
I was told by someone that the Government basically rubberstamps no on the first application. Do you think hiring a disability attorney to help
navigate the process would help.

Thankyou,

Enzo

montanagirl
Posts: 1000
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:55 pm
Location: Montana

Re: social security disability

Post by montanagirl » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:55 pm

Yes. Ask around and get one who does a lot of them. It will take awhile but the benefits are retroactive to the filing date so don't delay.

If the case is as clear as it seems and he has good medical records, SS may accelerate the process. They did that with a friend who has MS.

Question I have is if he would get more or less than his regular SS benefit ... He may just be get paid for one year before filing at 62 but it should help.

Not sure he would qualify for unemployment if he doesn't actively seek another job.

drawpoker
Posts: 2055
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 6:33 pm
Location: Delmarva

Re: social security disability

Post by drawpoker » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:43 pm

Definitely help him get lined up with a good attorney who does these social security disability cases.

It is a well-known fact that people must have an attorney to help them navigate this successfully. This is not a DIY project.

Good luck.

123
Posts: 3913
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: social security disability

Post by 123 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:12 am

From my perspective an attorney may be of little value in persuing a social security disability claim until the claim has been denied at both the initial claim and reconsideration appeal stages. An attorney could be of value at the 3rd stage, where the claimant makes an appearance before an administrative law judge.

The application process is pretty simple. Mostly some questions about recent work (which might not appear on SSA records yet), questons about marriage and children in case others can qualify for benefits as well, questions that identify doctors and other sources that have medical records and approximate dates of treatment, and questions about the kinds of work the person has done and how their current conditions precludes them from doing that now. Sometimes it can be helpful for family members to assist the disabled individual with the paperwork.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

Vernn
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:52 pm

Re: social security disability

Post by Vernn » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:21 am

1) Yes being fired for heart failure should qualify him for unemployment benefits.
2) It is worth it to apply for disability because he would be paid at a rate close to full retirement age rather than discounted for taking it early. Worse case if it has to be appealed he can still apply at age 62 then have benefits retroactively increased once disability is approved.
3) Yes its possible without an attorney but I would suggest the aid of a social worker at his hospital. Also submit your own medical records and don't assume the doctors office will submit them on your behalf.
Yes I've been through the process and have also done it for a friend with congestive heart failure. Seems fitting this would be my first post on the day I lost my friend. Long time reader.

OnTrack
Posts: 377
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:16 pm

Re: social security disability

Post by OnTrack » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:26 am

montanagirl wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:55 pm
Question I have is if he would get more or less than his regular SS benefit ... He may just be get paid for one year before filing at 62 but it should help.

Not sure he would qualify for unemployment if he doesn't actively seek another job.
"The SSA will simply change your disability benefit to a retirement benefit once you have reached full retirement age"
https://www.disability-benefits-help.or ... irement-65

I think seeking another job would be counter productive to establishing disability. Also, I suspect that claiming unemployment plus retroactive disability would be considered double dipping. You need to verify this, IANAL. It might be a good idea to at least have a consultation with a lawyer to avoid any missteps in the process.

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JoMoney
Posts: 6325
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:31 am

Re: social security disability

Post by JoMoney » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:42 am

Enzo IX wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:46 pm
...
2. Has anyone succussfully applied for Federal disability benefits. I know my other brother who died of pancreatic cancer applied and was denied.
I was told by someone that the Government basically rubberstamps no on the first application. Do you think hiring a disability attorney to help
navigate the process would help.
...
Anecdotally, I've known two people who received disability. Both had kidney failure and had to receive regular dialysis, which are on the list for qualifying disabilities. Both were rejected and wound up getting an attorneys help, which was advice they had received from others, that "it's almost impossible without an attorney". The process took well over a year before they were approved, they did receive a lump amount for the payments back to when they should have been approved, and the attorney took a large chunk of that as payment.
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham

Factor1
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:18 pm

Re: social security disability

Post by Factor1 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:39 am

I recently applied for LTD and SSDI. I got the LTD in one week but SSDI took about 6 months. I did it all myself. I got everything the first time through. This is very unusual but it can be done. This is not for the faint of heart. In the end, I decided that nobody could have done a better job than me on my case. When I did this, there was not anything that I did not know about this complex area as it applied to me. I spent most of the three months that I was on FMLA doing all the work, research, etc. SS attorneys and consultants can help with the SSDI application. By law, their fees are capped at about $5-6,000. By way of example, Allsup is a national firm that specializes in SSDI. Below are a few websites to get you started that I found helpful. If you are interested, I will make myself available offline to share whatever knowledge that I have to help you get pointed in the right direction. Good luck.

www.disabilitysecrets.com
https://disabilitydenials.com/free-reso ... ty-claims/
search for ssa publication 10029, disability benefits
https://www.allsup.com/

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ObliviousInvestor
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Re: social security disability

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:06 am

montanagirl wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:55 pm
Question I have is if he would get more or less than his regular SS benefit ... He may just be get paid for one year before filing at 62 but it should help.
He will get more as a disability benefit than he would have gotten as a retirement benefit at 62. Specifically, he'll get his primary insurance amount (i.e., his full retirement age benefit) rather than a reduced amount (as he would have gotten by filing for retirement benefits early). In addition, the calculation based on his earnings history will be looking at slightly fewer years, which will also have a very slight positive impact on the benefit amount.
Mike Piper, author/blogger

Rupert
Posts: 3821
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: social security disability

Post by Rupert » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:19 am

Yes, he should apply for disability. If for no other reason it gets him on Medicare sooner. A 61-year-old man with documented congestive heart failure who worked a blue-collar job and was fired due to his physical impairment should have a fairly easy time qualifying for disability. It's not a quick process though. Expect it to take a couple of years and expect the first application to be denied. The first denial means nothing. It's one tactic SSA employs to weed out the fraudsters (of which there are many). Make him continue to see his doctors regularly during the process. Medical records are very important in this process.

OnTrack
Posts: 377
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:16 pm

Re: social security disability

Post by OnTrack » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:45 am

Does he have a plan for continued medical insurance? If not he should definitely make plans for that: cobra, ACA, Medicaid?

Enzo IX
Posts: 196
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:07 am

Re: social security disability

Post by Enzo IX » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:38 pm

Mille Grazie,

Many thanks to those that have answered my post concerning how to help my sick brother.

The board has such a broad spectrum of population with different expertise and life experiences. It's always best to get many heads looking at a problem to get to a good solution.

I'm going to push my brother with my help to hire a local disabliity attorney to at least go to an initial consultation meetng to see if he/she thinks my brother has a good case. I guess there is a maximun fee that is set at the end of the hopeful approval process that they take out of the lump sum initial check. With that in mind I would think that they will only take on cases that they feel will have a good chance of approval.

I guess I will have to financially support him until the approval process or until he hits 62 years of age for Social Security. I need to make sure he continues his health insurance because of the need for his medical needs, records and all those heart and diabetes medicines he takes. If he doesn't have insurance or monies to pay for the medicines he won't take and that would not be good.

Questions,

1. Could I hire an attorney and draft up a loan agreement with his house he owns free and clear as collateral and have the attorney file a lien on the
house so I can hopefully get the monies that I have loaned him back eventually I don't want Enzo to be forgotten if my brother predeceases me and
everyone does the cash grab at the end.

Thankyou,

Enzo

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dm200
Posts: 18920
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Location: Washington DC area

Re: social security disability

Post by dm200 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:44 pm

Rupert wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:19 am
Yes, he should apply for disability. If for no other reason it gets him on Medicare sooner. A 61-year-old man with documented congestive heart failure who worked a blue-collar job and was fired due to his physical impairment should have a fairly easy time qualifying for disability. It's not a quick process though. Expect it to take a couple of years and expect the first application to be denied. The first denial means nothing. It's one tactic SSA employs to weed out the fraudsters (of which there are many). Make him continue to see his doctors regularly during the process. Medical records are very important in this process.
Over recent years, some folks I know qualified for Social Security Disability quickly and easily, while some others had more of a challenge. I would not engage an attorney for SSDI. On the other hand, maybe (don't know for sure) there may be some issues and possible violations of rules, etc. regarding employment discrimination. Maybe that might be worth pursuing.

Factor1
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:18 pm

Re: social security disability

Post by Factor1 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:44 pm

1. For Social Security disability lawyers, the fee is limited to 25% of the past-due benefits you are awarded, up to a maximum of $6,000. See https://www.disabilitysecrets.com/question16.html

2. Make sure a formal promissory note exists for the money you loaned your brother. At death, the executor will need to have the estate pay off that note before distributing the house or proceeds from its sale to the heirs.

3. Please speak to at least three Social Security disability attorneys. Be sure they practice in this area 100% of the time. Any reputable attorney should be willing to have an initial free consultation with you. You are correct that the attorney will be determining the likelihood of success during this initial meeting before deciding to assist you further. Remember that attorneys are in the business to make money from doing this type of work.

4. It is true that you do not need an attorney (or anyone else) to file the claim. You can file it yourself. However, realize that everything stated in the claim becomes part of the record. Some attorneys like to be involved in the filing of the claim, if nothing other than to review it before filing. This disability money is very important. You need to decide if this is something you want to do yourself or something that you want professional help with.

5. This allsup link is a great source for the types of questions you will need to answer on the claim application. See https://www.allsup.com/

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