Social Security Benefits Archives - Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, L.C.
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Archive for Social Security Benefits

What is a Trial Work Period?

It’s safe to say that most people never think that they’re going to have to apply for social security disability. However, accidents happen, injuries occur, and plans eventually must change. But, what if you are granted benefits, but want to return to work? What if you try to go back, but find that you still aren’t physically able to work again? Well, the SSA has a program in place to protect your benefits while you attempt to return to work. This is referred to as a “Trial Work Period.” This time is essentially a nine-month period of grace in which any recipient can attempt to reenter the workforce.

It’s important to note that participation in this program is dependent upon a recipient reporting their work activity to the SSA. The program is a real positive for any recipient whose condition has improved enough for them to return to work. With the trial work period, you don’t risk your benefits. In other words, it’s a safe way to return to work. There is some responsibility associated with this program though. In addition to reporting your work activity, you must also report your income and any impairment related work expenses.

One important aspect of this program that many people don’t realize is that if you return to work, and the nine-month period expires, you may still receive your benefits if you don’t earn more than the Substantial Gainful Activity, or SGA amount. You may recall that to be eligible for disability benefits, a person must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). For 2017, the SGA per month of a non-blind person is $1,170. For instance, if you return to work, and stay after the 9-month period, but only make $1000 per month. You may still receive your benefits. Don’t forget though, on average, the SGA changes from year to year. It generally increases, but it’s always important to be aware of how it changes.

What if your conditions improve, you return to work for more than the 9-month period, but then your conditions get worse after a year? Well, that too may not a major issue. For five years after you return to work, if your conditions return or worsen, you may be eligible for “expedited reinstatement” if your benefits were terminated due to your work activity. In other words, your benefits may be reinstated quickly. Think of this as another safety net if you wish to return to the active work force.

We understand that a lot of people who are granted benefits want to return to work. However, make sure you understand the program, and report everything to the SSA properly. If you fail to report proper earnings, or if you don’t enroll in the program, but return to work, you might owe the SSA money. Also, though these programs are intended to benefit you, you must meet all SSA requirements to continue receiving disability benefits or ask for a reinstatement of benefits. These programs do not guarantee protection or reinstatement.

Several of our clients have consulted with us when returning to work, and we are always happy to help. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a client of ours, give us a call today for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form, and we will call at a more convenient time.

Social Security Disability Lawyers: Are They Expensive?

SSD Lawyer

Despite the complicated claims process associated with social security disability benefits, there are still plenty of people that are reluctant to hire a lawyer. For most, it’s simply a matter of practicality. After all, aren’t SSD lawyers expensive? At Jan Dils, we feel it’s important to be as transparent as possible, and a large part of that transparency means addressing how expensive SSD lawyers are, as well as where the money charged ultimately comes from.

Put simply, social security disability lawyers behave differently from many other attorney services. In order for us, or any social security disability lawyer, to collect a payment, we must first win your case. If the claim is rejected, or we lose the appeal process, then you are not held liable for any payments. As a result, we have just as much of a stake in your claim as you do.

If we do manage to win your claim though, then we’re restricted to only collecting 25% of your disability backpay, up to a maximum of $6,000. While this may sound like a large amount of money, it’s important to remember that SSD claims involve a great deal of negotiation. Of course, there are a few minor out-of-pocket expenses that you might be responsible for, such as paying for costs associated with medical records or for postage, but you should never have to pay an SSD attorney outside of their contingency fee from winning.

If you believe that you might qualify for social security disability and are in need of the services of a knowledgeable social security disability lawyer, then be sure to contact Jan Dils today. We always fight for our clients through each stage of the process, in order to ensure that our clients get everything that they are owed. Since SSD lawyers don’t get paid unless you do, our services are virtually risk-free and will only help to improve the chances of your claim succeeding.

Mental Illness: Causes and Symptoms

mental health

For those interested earning disability benefits based on the existence of a mental illness, it can unfortunately be a long and arduous process. While a Charleston disability lawyer can ensure that a claim is settled in a fair and efficient manner, that doesn’t mean the Social Security Administration always treats those with mental illnesses in an agreeable way. As it stands, there simply isn’t too much that we understand about mental illnesses. We can pinpoint the symptoms, but there’s still not enough information on the effects that genetics and the environment can have on the development of many different mental illnesses. Still, this guide will take a look at some of the most common mental illnesses that qualify for disability benefits, as well as their causes and symptoms.

Schizophrenia is one of the most common mental illnesses that the Social Security Administration evaluates in disability claimants. As previously mentioned though, no one really knows or understands what causes schizophrenia to develop in people. As of right now, we understand that it’s a mixture of a variety of different factors, but that’s about it.
Developmental disabilities are another common mental illness that the Social Security Administration evaluates. Unlike schizophrenia, which can be more difficult to prove, mental retardation is much more straightforward. When the SSA evaluates mental retardation claims, they look to see how functional the person is on their own, and whether they could perform any level of work on their own.

Although bipolar disorders are understood to occur from a chemical imbalance in the brain, it’s still not entirely understood why this imbalance occurs in the first place. Still, bipolar disorders can have serious and lasting effects on a person’s mental health, as well as how functional they are in society. It’s for this reason that the Social Security Administration regularly evaluates claims based on bipolar disorders.

It’s important to remember that if you, or someone you know, suffers from one of these mental illnesses, then you should seek out a knowledgeable Charleston disability lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you go through each step of the claims process and work with you to get access to the benefits that you deserve.