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Member, National Association of Disability Representatives

The Disability Claims Digest
Volume 8                                                                             Copyright 2009
In This Issue
Peruse Our Archived Newsletters
Visit our Disability Forum
Prescription Assistance
United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities
What is Social Security Doing to Cure the Claim Backlog?
Are There Other Benefits You Should Be Seeking Besides Social Security Disability?
How Much Can You Earn and Still Receive Disability Benefits
Quick Links

Social Security's Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool

Help with Special Needs Planning

Disability Dollars and Sense

Children's Health Insurance Program

Pass the Class Act

Pass the Community Choice Act

National Federation for the Blind

Independent Living.org

Paralyzed Veterans of America

Transportation Services

CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome)

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome

American Sleep Apnea Association

American Music Therapy Association

We represent Social Security disability claimants locally, regionally and nationally.
Call Us Now!
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Please make note of our new Email Address
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Feel Free to view our archived E-Newsletters by clicking on the following link:

Our Disability Forum
Please visit our disability forum where you can  post a question, respond to a post or share any of your thoughts and experiences with us and others that are on the same journey.
Prescription Assistance is Available
Directly from the Manufacturers
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You may find that the manufacturer of the medicine you already take will provide you with a discount or completely waive the cost.

To find out if you qualify and to find your manufacturer's prescription assistance contact information

Click Here
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

united nations

Human rights questions: human rights questions, including
alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment
of human rights and fundamental freedoms

United Nations 61st Session
News on 110th Congress on Efforts to Reduce Claim Backlog

Social Security has developed a four-
pronged plan to eliminate the unreasonable claim backlog.

Read Commissioner Astrue's detailed statement to the congress to learn more.

What Information Would You Like to Know????

questions from the field

Please email us with any questions or topics you would like addressed in our next edition of The Disability Claims Digest.

Join Our Mailing List

Welcome to the eighth edition of our Disability Claims Digest.  We would also like to extend a particularly warm welcome to our LinkedIn connections.

In this edition, we will be focusing on several topics including:

Social Security is continuing its efforts to relieve the backlog of claims

Make sure you look "outside the box" to determine if there are any other benefit sources available to you aside from Social Security disability

Can you work and apply for or receive Social Security disability benefits at the same time?

Many of the topics that we will discuss in our monthly digests are frequently asked questions by our clients, and we hope that the information we are sharing will help to clarify some of these complicated issues.

We warmly welcome the referral of anyone that you know who may need help with their Social Security disability claim.  If you have any questions or need help with the processing of your  disability claim or with applying for Medicaid, Medicare or welfare benefits, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We are here to help.

You can reach us at:



Please read on....

Breaking News from
the Social Security Administration...

Breaking News

Social Security's on Line Services Continues to Win Accolades

National Hearing Center opens in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Help With Medicare Prescription Costs

Economic Recovery One-Time Recovery Payments... Did you receive yours? Who is eligible?

Social Security Goes Green

Please visit our website for more helpful information and guidance regarding the Social Security claims process.

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Click Here to Enter SSDBC Website
Are There Other Benefits That You Should be Seeking Besides Social Security Disability?

It is always a very difficult time when one comes to the realization that they are too sick or injured to be able to work any more.  People receive all kinds of information from the internet, the television, the newspaper, magazines, friends and family as to what they should do since they are no longer able to work.

I always ask my questions to think about several things once I have taken on representation of their Social Security disability claims.  Is there any other source of income that you may be entitled to?

Oftentimes, I am told by my clients that they do not know of any other sources from whom to obtain benefits once they are no longer able to work.

Then we go down the checklist:

1.    Does your former employer have a short term disability policy that covers you? (STD claim)

2.    Does your former employer have a long term disability policy that covers you? (LTD Claim)

3.   Were you injured on the job?  Or did your job make your conditions so severe that they now are preventing you from being able to work? (Workers Compensation)

4.   Does your state have a short term disability plan? (State STD)

5.   Did you apply for unemployment benefits? (STATE UE)

6.   Do you have a private disability policy of insurance that you purchased on your own in the event something happened to you preventing you from being able to work? (Private STD or LTD Claim)

If you or someone you may know can no longer work because of severe illness or injury, it is extremely important to seek out all benefit sources available.  Call your former employer, call the state, check your paperwork to see if you have any other disability plans and by all means, speak with a workers compensation attorney to find out if you have a viable claim.

How Much Can You Earn and Still Receive Disability Benefits?

Social Security addresses this very question on their official website as follows:

"We have special rules called "work incentives" that help you keep your cash benefits and Medicare while you test your ability to work. For example, there is a trial work period during which you can receive full benefits regardless of how much you earn, as long as you report your work activity and continue to have a disabling impairment.

The trial work period continues until you accumulate nine months (not necessarily consecutive) in which you perform what we call  "services" within a rolling 60-month period. We consider your work to be "services" if you earn more than $700 a month in 2009.  For 2008, this amount was $670.

After the trial work period ends, your benefits will stop for months your earnings are at a level we consider "substantial," currently $980 in 2009. For 2008, this amount was $940.  Different amounts apply to people who are disabled because of blindness. The monthly substantial amount for statutorily blind individuals for 2009 is $1,640; for 2008 this amount was $1,570.

For an additional 36 months after completing the trial work period, we can start your benefits again if your earnings fall below the "substantial" level and you continue to have a disabling impairment. For more information about work incentives, we recommend that you read the leaflet, Working While Disabled-How We Can Help (SSA Publication Number 05-10095):

From The President's
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We hope that the information in this edition of our Disability Digest will prove to be beneficial to you or someone you know that is applying for or receiving Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits.

It is our mission to help as many people as we can to make their way through the frustrating claims process.  We are here to help anyone who is on this journey.  In addition to excellent representation services, we provide all of our clients with guidance, words of comfort, compassion, encouragement and kindness.

If you know of anyone that may benefit from the information contained in our newsletter, please forward it along to them by using the link below.

Until next time, take care and be well.
Sincerely yours,

Lisa S. Wagman, CP
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Our free case assessment allows us to quickly evaluate your claim. Just click on the link below to complete our disability information form.  We will contact you within 24-48 hours with our assessment.


Social Security Disability Benefit Consultants is a subdivision of Premier Legal Services, LLC.  We are independent benefit consultants authorized by law to represent claimants before the Social Security Administration from the initial application to the Appeals Council level.  We are in no way affiliated with the Social Security Administration directly.

We do not provide any legal advice.  Our newsletter is a general service that provides legal information.  We are not a law firm.  The information contained in this newsletter is general legal information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual information.  We do not endorse any content provided by any linked sites, nor do we assume any responsibility for the interpretation or application of any information originating from such content.

Copyright 2007-2009 by Social Security Disability Benefit Consultants.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any use of materials from this newsletter,
including reproduction, modification, distribution or republication,
 without the prior written consent of SSDBC, is strictly prohibited.