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May 2018 Archives

Social security benefits can help black lung sufferers

Workers in West Virginia who have been employed in the coal mines for many years may face lifelong health effects as a result of years of work underground breathing in coal dust. Known as "black lung," the lung diseases and damage caused by long-term coal mining work can be a permanent disability that prevent miners from going back to work. For people suffering from this severe illness, filing for Social Security Disability can be an important step.

STABLE accounts offer savings options for SSI recipients

People with disabilities in West Virginia who are receiving Supplemental Security Income may be worried about how they can save money without losing eligibility for the programs they depend on for ongoing monthly expenses. One such vehicle that can be used is a STABLE account, a specific type of investment account available for people with disabilities under the provisions of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. These types of accounts are similar to other investment accounts like a 401(k) for retirement or a 529 for college savings. People with disabilities can use the contents of the account tax-free for expenses associated with their disabilities.

The interplay between SSD and LTD benefits

If a Virginia resident receives long-term disability (LTD) benefits, he or she may be required to also file for Social Security Disability. The LTD provider will reduce the amount of money an individual receives by the amount a person receives from the government. For instance, if someone were receiving $1,000 a month in LTD benefits and received $500 from the government, the LTD provider would reduce its payout by $500.

Approaches to speed up disability decisions by citing dire need

An applicant in West Virginia pursuing Social Security Disability benefits might have grounds to submit a dire need request when threatened by the loss of a home. The expected shutoff of utilities or an inability to purchase medicine might also qualify as a dire need. People with disability claims pending at the hearing level could benefit from submitting a dire need request. If the agency finds the request to have merit, then a hearing for the applicant might be scheduled as soon as possible ahead of other cases.

Slow decision process for SSD

West Virginia residents who have submitted an application for Social Security Disability benefits should be prepared to wait for what could a significantly long time before they receive a decision. The process for determining disability can be a lengthy one as disability examiners have no deadline by which they are required to come a decision.

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