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Colorado Springs Law Blog

Social Security disability benefits will increase next year

Good news is afoot for recipients of Social Security disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income. Payments for Social Security disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will increase by some next year. The increase is due to a cost of living adjustment that is mandated by law. The cost of living adjustment is due to inflation. The Social Security Administration recently announced the 2.8 percent increase for the upcoming year.

The increase will go into effect the last day of the year. It will impact the 8 million recipients of Supplemental Security Income and the 62 million who receive various social Security benefits. For those receiving SSI benefits, the maximum federal benefit will increase from $750 to $771. Couples who are receiving SSI benefits will see an increase in their benefits from $1,125 to $1,157. The increase is the largest since 2012 and is more than the increase from last year.

Frequent questions about workers' compensation benefits

If you are in need of workers' compensation benefits, you may have a variety of important questions. The first question that will likely need an answer is how to determine if you qualify for workers' compensation benefits which requires a determination of two factors, including if you are considered an employee and if your injury was work-related.

In addition to determining eligibility for benefits, there are other factors that may also need to be considered such as the impact of state laws on your workers' compensation claim and the rules related to fault for the accident. In general, workers' compensation benefits are no-fault benefits which means that, with some exceptions such as if the worker is intoxicated or using drugs, the worker will enjoy workers' compensation coverage for injuries or illness suffered while on the job.

SSD benefits may be impacted by workers' comp, public disability

If you are receiving, or have thought about applying for Social Security disability, you may not realize that other programs can impact the amount of Social Security disability that you receive, or are approved for. Today, many people have more than one job, whether that be a combination of part and full time employment or owning a business and engaging in a side-job to help make ends meet. The way one is paid and the way these jobs are characterized (i.e. contract worker or employee?) can impact the way disability benefits are paid out.

In the same way, receiving workers' compensation and other public disability benefits, can potentially reduce a person's previously approved Social Security disability benefits. Workers' compensation benefits are paid to a worker in instances of a job-related injury or illness. These benefits can be paid from a variety of sources, either federal or state workers' compensation agencies, employers, or by insurance companies on behalf of employers. Public disability payments that may affect your Social Security benefits are those paid from a federal, state, or local government for disabling medical conditions that are not job-related.

How to appeal a denied claim for disability benefits

Knowing how to make a claim for Social Security Disability benefits is important because so many applications are initially denied. Knowing how to apply, and provide a thorough and complete application, can be helpful in wading through the sometimes challenging application process for SSD benefits.

Options to apply for Social Security Disability benefits include in person, over the phone or online. There are two components to the initial application for disability benefits. They include a form that will require basic information about the applicant for disability benefits, as well as a second disability report form that must also be completed and submitted by the applicant. The disability report is used to determine if the applicant is eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits.

Cash assistance easier to attain for disabled applying for SSD

For those with disabilities, life is a little tougher than for those who do not suffer from a mental or physical disability. While Social Security Disability is a federal aid program designed to help those with disabilities, there are always improvements that can be made to further bolster our disabled population. The Colorado State Board of Human Services unanimously approved a rule that will make Colorado's Aid to the Needy Disabled (AND) program more accessible for Coloradans with disabilities.

'AND' can be sought in addition to this Social Security Disability benefits they may already be applying for. If a person is in the process of applying for SSD or SSDI they can be approved for 'AND' in the meantime prior to hearing the decision from the SSA. 'AND' was created to put some desperately needed cash in the hands of people living with disabilities while they are applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). These federal programs were designed to ensure that people living with disabilities can meet their basic needs.

Appealing a denied claim for disability benefits

The Social Security Disability appeals process can be critically important for many disabled individuals and their families. Because the majority of initial claims for Social Security Disability benefits are denied, understanding how to wade through the multiple levels of the appeals process is important.

When a claim for Social Security Disability benefits is initially denied, the applicant should not necessarily be immediately discouraged. Many initial claims for SSD benefits are denied. The appeals process involves four levels of appeal and it is helpful to know what each is. The first step in the appeals process is a request for reconsideration. It involves a fresh set of eyes reviewing the claim anew.

The importance of knowing about workers' compensation benefits

Workers' compensation benefits in Colorado are a vital lifeline for injured workers and their families, which makes them important to understand. Workers in Colorado can suddenly find themselves injured and unable to work, which can mean time without a steady income and an inability to pay bills or afford necessities.

Unfortunately, work-related injuries and illnesses can be common, which is why being familiar with what workers' compensation benefits have to offer and how they can be accessed is so important. Most employers in Colorado carry workers' compensation insurance, which provides coverage for injured employees regardless of fault. To begin with, injured workers should understand both their rights and responsibilities associated with a workers' compensation disability claim.

How can Social Security Disability benefits make a difference?

After many year of dedicated work, it's possible your body could fail you. It's not anyone's wish that their health wouldn't be what it once was, but it happens to people. An event may have happened that sent a person's health to a negative place, or it may be an injury that's slowly worsened over time. Whatever the instance, Social Security Disability benefits can help to lessen the impact that an inability to work can have on a person's finances.

That's because SSD benefits supplement one's income by determining a person's ability to qualify. In cases of Social Security Disability, a person must have paid wages from their paychecks over a number of hours to qualify for the base level of benefits. In order to qualify, there is a process in which paperwork must be filled out and submitted, and they will often ask for proof of medical records to prove one's disability. It's possible that an initial claim for SSD could be denied or approved.

The review the process for Social Security disability benefits

Understanding how Social Security disability benefits will be reviewed is important for recipients of disability benefits to understand. The Social Security Administration reviews the medical conditions of those receiving disability benefits from time to time to ensure that they continue to meet the definition of disability.

Because of how important Social Security disability (SSD) benefits are for many disabled individuals and their families, it is important for them to understand this process. In circumstances when the disabled individual's health has not improved, or their disability continues to prevent them from working, they will generally continue to receive their disability benefits. A Social Security disability review is based on if the disabled individual continues to have a qualifying disability to receive disability benefits.

New study shows common trends in Colorado workers’ compensation

Even though Colorado’s done a lot to decrease the amount of accidents within the last decade, there are still several injuries that tend to follow a particular pattern. While most have come to expect what jobs are more dangerous in the state, they might not consider the most frequent times when an injury happens or what type of accident it is.

Recently, the Denver insurance company Pinacol evaluated five years of data to examine frequent types, timing and rate of injuries that occur in the state. The data could prove useful in making workers take more caution within their daily routines.