Monday, March 13, 2017

Five Month Waiting Period for Disability Social Security May Soon Be Scrapped for ALS Patients

Currently, disability social security policies require a five month waiting period for the approval and release of disability benefits to victims of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). The length of the waiting period can be attributed to the sheer volume of applicants and the actual process required by the application.

Depending on where you sit in the queue, you sometimes can’t even be guaranteed that you will be approved within this waiting period. Any back payments can therefore be made past five months.

Immediacy of Need

For many citizens suffering such a disability, this amount of time may prove to be too long and perhaps, too late, especially when they are seeking treatment. For example, patients of ALS suffer from progressive symptoms, such as difficulty in walking, constantly tripping or falling and general weakening of the muscles. Eventually, they may even lose the capability of holding their head up, which affects breathing, speaking, swallowing and chewing.

While there is no treatment that can reverse the effects of ALS, there are ways to slow down the progression of ALS and improve the quality of the patient’s life. Medications, breathing care and physical therapy can help the patient maintain muscle strength for as long as possible. The concern, however, is that as much as nearly half of those with the disease may die within as few as 16 months after diagnosis. Read more from this blog.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Challenges to Gaining Eligibility for Social Security Disability for Rare Diseases May Intensify

With the impending repeal of the ACA (aka Obamacare), everyone is on guard and trying to figure out what’s going to happen next with their insurance coverage. If reports on supposed amendments are true, then a substantial number of covered individuals under the ACA will lose their coverage.

Among the sectors concerned about these changes are those suffering from rare diseases. As it stands, it can already be challenging to gain eligibility for social security disability on account of a rare disease. How much more difficult it will be under the new system is a major concern for those afflicted by a rare disease.

Status Quo

Under the current system, being granted benefits for disability under the social security system requires proof that the individual is suffering from total and permanent disability. Typically, it can be a severe physical or mental disorder lasting anywhere from a full 12 months. In determining the level of disability, the SSA refers to the “Blue Book,” a compendium of all SSA-approved disorders and their corresponding requirements for qualification.

The requirements vary with each rare disease. Some will only require an official diagnosis, such as ALS, while others require a more stringent proof, such as showing “gross anatomical deformity” of joints in the case of fibrous dysplasia (FD). Read more on this article.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Gaining a Deep Understanding of Your Patient’s Eligibility for Social Security Disability

In 2015, the Social Security Administration reported that the agency has paid disability benefits to more than 10.2 million Americans. In total, disabled members and their beneficiaries received approximately $11.4 billion in that year alone. In terms of the type of disabilities, nearly 31.7 percent have been diagnosed with musculoskeletal disorders.

Every month, these disabled individuals and their families are receiving supplementary pay of about $1,165 on average. At present, the SSA continues to cater to the concerns of its members as the agency strives to upgrade to a better system.

Overview of the Application Process

When a patient files for Social Security disability insurance, the medical provider’s task is to verify the extent of his disability. This may be supported through medical diagnoses, laboratory results, psychometric tests and other documents. Such evidence must be able to prove his physical and/or mental capacity to do work or resume work. Read more from this blog: