Social Security disability programs remain a vital lifeline

A doctor may diagnose a patient with a disability and propose a response protocol. However, a patient’s response to any treatment plan will require extensive notes. Each visit requires updates to a patient’s medical record. That task can quickly generate extensive medical documentation and records, especially where multiple health professionals are involved, such as physical therapists, chiropractors, dieticians and nurses.

Those medical records will be necessary to prevail in an application for Social Security disability insurance benefits, especially in the current political climate. The budget issues facing Congress means that many government agencies have come under closer scrutiny, including the Social Security Administration.

Unfortunately, a few negative examples of undeserving applicants have created negative media coverage for a vitally important program. It’s unclear whether those negative portrayals will make it even harder to qualify under current eligibility guidelines.

Yet it would be a mistake to condemn the entire program because of the misdeeds of a few. No one can predict when an accident or serious illness will render him or herself unable to work. Health insurance might cover some of the treatment costs, but the loss in wages could quickly deplete savings and run a disabled worker into financial ruin.

Fortunately, Social Security disability benefits can provide a lifeline to deserving individuals in such times of crisis. Workers with an adequate work history may qualify for SSSI payments. Yet there are also disability programs for disabled widows, disabled adult children, and individuals who are poor and disabled. An attorney who specializes in this are of law can advise individuals on all of their available options.

Source: Wall Street Journal, “Grand Theft Disability,” Jan. 9, 2014