Tag: Disability

Here’s the Average Social Security Check for Retired Workers, Survivors, and the Disabled
Social Security Disability

Here’s the Average Social Security Check for Retired Workers, Survivors, and the Disabled

Whether you realize it or not, there’s likely no social program more important to the financial well-being of seniors in this country than Social Security.
What you may not realize is what Social Security does for more than 19 million other people each month.
How much do retired workers, survivors, and the disabled receive each month from Social Security?
The average retired worker benefit Retired workers accounted for almost $60 billion of the $80 billion paid out in January, and comprise 42.6 million of the 62 million total beneficiaries.
It’s also worth pointing out that the Social Security Administration (SSA) suggests the average retiree should aim to replace 40% or less of their wage income with payouts from Social Security.
The average monthly payout for survivors According to the latest Social Security snapshot, the SSA paid an average of $1,152.22 to “all survivors,” which is an average of the nearly 6 million people receiving a check each month, including nondisabled and disabled widow(er)s, children of deceased workers, widowed mothers and fathers, and parents of deceased workers.
In the case of a widow or widower, as long as the survivor benefit is higher than what they’d receive each month based on their own work and earning history, they can claim the higher survivor benefit.
The average check for disabled workers Last but not least, nearly 8.7 million disabled workers receive an average monthly payout of $1,197.07, working out to $14,363.84 a year.
As with the other categories, the average disabled worker will earn enough from Social Security to move above the federal poverty level, but not by much.
Should an individual have worked, but not have reached 40 lifetime work credits prior to their long-term disability, a reduced-credits scale relative to age can be used that, in many instances, qualifies a disabled worker for monthly benefits.

7 Things You Need to Know About Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability

7 Things You Need to Know About Social Security Disability Benefits

There’s also a Social Security program that pays disability benefits based on your work history, which can provide a valuable inflation-protected income stream if you become unable to work.
With that in mind, here are seven things American workers and their families should know about Social Security disability insurance.
There are two forms of Social Security disability insurance Generally, when you hear someone refer to “Social Security disability,” they’re talking about Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI.
The minimum duration of work required varies from 1.5 years for workers who become disabled before age 28 to 9.5 years of work for workers who become disabled at age 60.
Second, you need to be disabled (obviously).
How much would you get if you became disabled?
Just like with retired workers, your average Social Security-taxed earnings are used to determine your disability benefits.
In general, the amount you can expect to receive from Social Security Disability Insurance is slightly less than you could expect to receive had you worked until full retirement age.
You’ll need to create an account at www.SSA.gov if you haven’t done so already, and you can then view your statement, which is packed with valuable information about your Social Security and Medicare benefits, including how much you could expect to get from disability benefits if you were to qualify for them this year.
You may still need disability income insurance Social Security retirement benefits are designed to replace about 40% of the average worker’s income.

Cost-shifting between workers comp and Social Security disability disputed
Welfare

Cost-shifting between workers comp and Social Security disability disputed

The study, released March 26, is focused on the interaction between SSDI and workers compensation benefits and explores cost-shifting that may occur between the two programs.
“There have been some allegations or thoughts that perhaps workers comp cuts in benefits or the tightening of compensability standards at the state level might induce injured workers to file for SSDI … we found that the majority of states did not decrease benefits with a specific focus on permanent partial disability and permanent total disability,” said Jim Davis, director and actuary for Boca Raton, Florida-based NCCI.
Looking at the overall amount that is paid through SSDI is important, according to Emily Spieler, a professor of law at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston.
They will apply for Social Security disability, sometimes while they are receiving the partial benefits, but the amount that is paid out by Social Security over a lifetime for someone who has a workplace injury may be far higher than is paid by workers compensation,” said Ms. Spieler.
NCCI saw the biggest change occur in the number of SSDI applications during the 2007-2009 recession.
“The largest increase in SSDI applications was during the great recession and this is common across states … and that is in contrast or versus any kind of activity at the state level,” said Mr. Davis.
The number of Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries rose 58%, and SSDI expenditures grew 138%, to $143 billion from $60 billion, from 2001 to 2015.
“We have two different programs here.
There are still some lingering questions, said Ms. Spieler.
… the second question is to what extent have what they call ‘benefit changes’ had an impact on this cost shift?

Injured worker not totally disabled: Appeals court
Welfare

Injured worker not totally disabled: Appeals court

Geraldine Wolfe suffered a work-related accident in April 2002, and her resulting workers compensation claim was established for injuries to her right shoulder, neck and upper back in May 2003, according to the decision in Matter of Wolfe v. Ames Department Store Inc. published on Thursday by the State of New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department in Albany.
Due to her causally-related injuries, Ms. Wolfe ceased working in November 2011.
In June 2014, a workers compensation law judge ruled the injured worker was permanently totally disabled as a result of her 2002 injuries and that a defense of labor market attachment — referring to a claimant considered to be attached to the labor market if he or she is found to be making reasonable efforts to obtain gainful employment consistent with his or her medical restrictions — did not apply.
But the committee appealed for review and the Workers’ Compensation Board in February 2015, held the judge’s decision in abeyance and referred the injured worker for evaluation by an impartial specialist — with a directive that the specialist render an expert opinion on the issues of permanency and whether there was support for a finding of permanent total disability.
In a May 2016 decision, the board agreed with the physiatrist’s assessment — finding that she suffered from a temporary partial disability, deeming it premature to classify her with a permanent disability and directing that claimant undergo an MRI and nerve conduction study.
In light of its finding of a partial disability and claimant’s testimony as to her efforts to find employment or pursue vocational training, the board further concluded that claimant was not attached to the labor market as of Dec. 16, 2013.
The injured worker appealed the decision, but the appellate court affirmed the board’s ruling, citing precedent that to establish a total disability, a claimant must demonstrate that he or she is totally disabled and unable to engage in any gainful employment Confronted with the conflicting medical opinions of Neal Baillargeon, claimant’s physician, and John Buckner, an orthopedist who conducted an independent medical examination of claimant, the board sought the opinion of Mr. Salerno, an impartial specialist, who diagnosed the injured worker with chronic cervical spine pain secondary to degenerative changes with left upper extremity neurologic symptoms, but found that it was premature to determine the severity rating because the last MRI was conducted in 2012, according to the appeals court.
“Although Salerno did not believe that claimant should be classified as permanently totally disabled at that juncture, he did find that she suffered from a marked medical impairment (85%) that was ‘most likely permanent’,” the court said in its ruling.
“In our view, Salerno’s opinion as to the need for further testing and the board’s subsequent adoption thereof, as well as its finding that claimant suffers from a partial disability, is supported by substantial evidence in the record and, as such, will not be disturbed,” the court added.
An attorney for Ms. Wolfe could not be immediately reached for comment.

Social Security disability beneficiaries, expenditures increase: NCCI
Welfare

Social Security disability beneficiaries, expenditures increase: NCCI

The number of Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries rose 58% and SSDI expenditures grew 138%, from $60 billion to $143 billion from 2001 to 2015, according to a report from the National Council on Compensation Insurance issued Monday.
The report looks at the interaction between SSDI and workers compensation benefits and explores cost shifting that may occur between the two programs.
Since 2010, the number of SSDI beneficiaries has been relatively stable, and spending growth has moderated, said Boca Raton, Florida-based NCCI.
In cases where a person receives both workers comp permanent total disability benefits and SSDI, workers comp shoulders a greater portion of total benefits.
The workers comp share of total benefits paid ranged from 68% to 90%, according to the report.
“Some observers have suggested that the long-term increase in SSDI claims and spending is a result of state legislatures lowering WC benefits to shift costs to SSDI,” NCCI said.
“The study found that contention to be inaccurate.
An analysis found that most states did not reduce WC benefits over the past 15 years, and in states where benefits changes did occur, those changes did not prompt more workers to file for SSDI.”

How big will my Social Security disability benefit be?
Social Security Disability

How big will my Social Security disability benefit be?

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Most people focus on the retirement benefits that Social Security pays.
More:How much will I get from Social Security if I earn $100,000?
Below, we’ll look more closely at how the Social Security Administration calculates disability benefits and what amounts you and your family members might be entitled to receive.
Can I get disability benefits under Social Security?
After that, though, the requirement goes up by half a year for every two additional years of age, topping out at 9.5 years for those age 60 or older.
For disability benefits, the SSA recognizes that if you’re disabled early in your career, there’s no way you’ll have a 35-year work history.
Specifically, the SSA does the following calculation: The result is the number of years of earnings included in your work history.
Spouses can get benefits if they’re 62 or older or if they’re caring for your child who’s disabled or under age 16 and receiving Social Security.
If the total payments on your account are greater than 150% to 180% of your primary insurance amount, then the SSA will limit the amounts paid to family members proportionately in order to stay under the family maximum.

How Big Will My Social Security Disability Benefit Be?
Social Security Disability

How Big Will My Social Security Disability Benefit Be?

Most people focus on the retirement benefits that Social Security pays.
Below, we’ll look more closely at how the Social Security Administration calculates disability benefits and what amounts you and your family members might be entitled to receive.
Can I get disability benefits under Social Security?
After that, though, the requirement goes up by half a year for every two additional years of age, topping out at 9.5 years for those age 60 or older.
The process for calculating disability benefits is very similar to that for retirement benefits.
So $805.50 plus $673.60 equals $1,479.10, so that’s what your primary insurance amount would be, and that typically matches up to what you’ll receive for your own disability benefit.
For disability benefits, the SSA recognizes that if you’re disabled early in your career, there’s no way you’ll have a 35-year work history.
Take one-fifth of that number of years.
The result is the number of years of earnings included in your work history.
If the total payments on your account are greater than 150% to 180% of your primary insurance amount, then the SSA will limit the amounts paid to family members proportionately in order to stay under the family maximum.

Study links later return to work with longer-term opioid prescription
Welfare

Study links later return to work with longer-term opioid prescription

Longer-term prescribing of opioids more than triples the duration of temporary disability among workers with work-related, nonsurgical, lower-back injuries when compared to claims with no opioid prescribing, according to a study released Thursday by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Workers Compensation Research Institute.
Using data from 28 states, for injuries between 2008 and 2013 where workers had more than seven days of lost work time, the study estimated the effects of opioid prescriptions measured in several ways, including whether workers received multiple prescriptions for opioids and whether workers had opioid prescriptions within the first three months after an injury and three or more filled opioid prescriptions between the 7th and 12th months after an injury.
Researchers culled information on opioid prescriptions from prescription transaction data collected from workers compensation insurers and their medical bill review and pharmacy benefit management vendors, according to the study.
The study also found that local prescribing patterns played a strong role in determining whether injured workers receive opioid prescriptions.
Workers who lived in high-prescription states, per pharmacy data, were more likely to receive opioid prescriptions than workers who lived in low-prescription areas.
“Our results imply that a 10-percentage-point increase in the local rate of longer-term opioid prescribing is associated with a 2.6-percentage-point higher likelihood that an otherwise similar injured worker would receive longer-term opioid prescriptions,” the study states.

California statute of limitations for temporary disability awards upheld
Welfare

California statute of limitations for temporary disability awards upheld

Reprints Gloria Gonzalez A California appeals court nullified an award to an injured worker for temporary disability benefits occurring five years after the employee’s injury.
While employed by the county as a deputy sheriff, Kyle Pike suffered an injury to his right shoulder on July 31, 2010, and was granted a 12% permanent disability award in May 2011, according to court documents in County of San Diego v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board and Kyle Pike.
Mr. Pike sought to reopen the petition and receive temporary disability benefits on May 26, 2015, arguing that his shoulder injury had worsened.
The county paid all benefits owed to him for the five years from the date of the injury up to July 31, 2015, but declined to provide additional benefits after that date.
A workers compensation judge issued an order determining that Mr. Pike was entitled to the additional benefits — a decision upheld by a majority of the board, which concluded that the judge was “authorized to award temporary disability indemnity within the five-year period, to continue until the 104-week limitation is exhausted or period of temporary disability ends.” However, the dissenting board panel member concluded that the language of the statute “is not susceptible of an interpretation that permits an award of temporary disability more than five years after July 31, 2010, the date of (Mr. Pike’s) injury.” In its appeal, the county argued against awarding temporary disability payments for periods of disability occurring more than five years after the date of the underlying injury that Mr. Pike suffered while working for the county.
The question at the heart of the appeal is “straightforward,” the Court of Appeal, 4th Appellate District, Division 1 in California said in ruling in favor of the county, concluding that the plain language of the statute indicates that the county’s view was correct.
The court annulled a board order affirming the judge’s order awarding the temporary disability benefits beyond the five-year period.
The appeals court remanded the case to the board with directions to grant the county’s petition for reconsideration.
Attorneys of record for multiple parties involved in the case could not be reached for comment.

What Medicaid’s Work Requirement Means For Seniors, People With Disabilities, And Their Caregivers
Social Security Disability

What Medicaid’s Work Requirement Means For Seniors, People With Disabilities, And Their Caregivers

The Trump Administration announced last week that it will allow states to require Medicaid recipients to work, take job training, or do community service to stay eligible for the program, which provides both medical and long-term care services for people with low incomes.
What will the requirement mean for older adults, younger people with disabilities, or their family caregivers?
The Trump Administration would leave their Medicaid eligibility up to the states.
That’s not unusual: One-quarter of family caregivers say they spend 40 hours a week helping relatives.
Children qualify if they are under age 19, students under age 24, or if they are “permanently or totally disabled.” They must also live with their caregiver for at least half the year.
Who is a dependent?
In Kentucky, because her parents may not meet the definition of a dependent, she may be subject to the work requirement.
According to its proposal, “caregiving services for a non-dependent relative or other person with a disabling medical condition” satisfy the 80 hours per month work requirement.
But Kentucky’s caregiving exception may not apply in other states that impose work requirements.
Most who can work, already do.