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Social Security Disability Information

Applying for a disability benefit with the Social Security Administration calls for necessary papers and documents regarding your personal history, medical records, identity, and employment; therefore it is important to have them ready in order to have positive results. For some residents of San Antonio, or even anywhere in America, it can be complicated to file for disability benefits by themselves, which is why having legal representation assists in making the application process easier. In order to avoid having your application denied or delayed, make sure you have these documents ready:

  1. Personal Social Security number, along with your spouse and your children who are below the legal age.
  2. Original (or certified-true copy) of your birth certificate
  3. Contact information of your doctors, nurses, or other medical professionals who had treated you
  4. Dates of consultation and healthcare pertaining to your present condition
  5. Information regarding your prescription
  6. Medical and laboratory records connected to the condition
  7. Summary of your whole employment history (or last 5 employments you had)
  8. Recent Form W-2 earnings statement (from each employment), or tax returns (if self-employed)
  9. Honorable discharge from military services
  10. Information regarding other disabilities filed with your insurance company or worker’s compensation
  11. Name, along with necessary information or someone (a relative or friend, possibly) who can assist your application

Many disability applications have been denied because they have not supplied the necessary documents or have not given the right ones on time. Make sure that these documents are originals or certified true copies – since notarized copies will not be accepted by the SSA – otherwise, if you lack these documents, the SSA may consider other evidence. There are instances where applicants themselves process their papers to show they are really medically impaired.

Because of the length of time it takes to process and review each disability claim, those who have been approved can be qualified for benefits 12 months before their application, although not before your disability. These benefits can also depend on the date the SSA has settled as the start of your disability.

Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security disability benefits versus Supplemental Security Income benefits

Most people confuse Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) with Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and no wonder! Even their acronyms are almost the same! But in fact, SSDI and SSI are two completely different federal programs designed to provide financial assistance to the disabled.


Length of employment

The main difference between SSDI and SSI as far as a benefits applicant is the duration of work requirement. Under SSDI, the applicant must have worked for a requisite period depending on the age of disability onset. Under the SSI, there is no such requirement; you may qualify for SSI even if you have never worked a day in your life.

Funding source

Another difference between SSDI and SSI are their source of funding. SSDI is actually an insurance program which is paid for through payroll taxes. You, as an employee, are paying for SSDI through the taxes imposed on your paycheck every month. This is why you need to have worked for a certain period to accumulate the required credit to be eligible for SSDI. For example, if you become disabled before the age of 24, you must have worked at least 18 months in the last 3 years. SSI, on the other hand, is funded through general taxes, which means that children and the disabled who have never been gainfully employed can get financial assistance through SSI.

Total and partial disability

It should also be noted that an applicant for SSDI must meet “recent work test” criteria, which essentially investigates work status at the time of the disability, the extent of the disability and its impact on gainful employment. In other words, to qualify under SSDI, you must be completely unable to do work for at least 12 months because of your disability, or the disability is life threatening. Partially disabled applicants may qualify under SSI even if they are capable of gainful employment provided their disability is severe and long-term, and has a significant impact on their ability to work.

However, under both SSDI and SSI there are a set of eligibility requirements that an applicant must meet in order to receive the benefits of either program. It is also possible than an applicant may qualify for benefits under both SSDI and SSI, but certain conditions may apply. A Social Security lawyer would be able to advise you on which one to apply for first in order to maximize the benefits that you can get from these federal programs.

How to Handle Alcoholism in the Workplace

Alcohol is enjoyed by millions of Americans every day. While most people can drink without forming a dependency or addiction to alcohol, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism predicts that one in every 13 adults abuse alcohol or are alcoholics. Alcoholism is a chronic disease whose onset is subject to a person’s psychological condition, genetics, and environment.

As an employer, what your employees do in their free time is not typically any of your concern. However, once an employee’s performance begins to decay due to off-the-clock factors, you may want to intervene in the appropriate manner.

There are many warning signs that an employee may be coping with alcoholism. Studies indicate that people who are alcoholic are at least 300% more likely to miss work. They may quickly use all their sick days, frequently take Fridays and Mondays off, or seem to always have some household emergency to deal with that precludes them from coming in to work. Alcoholics use these kinds of tactics to abuse your trust to stay home and drink. dealing with alcoholism in the workplace

Alcoholics  and drug abusers are also likely to allow their work performance to suffer drastically, especially if they are intoxicated at work. While just about everyone has a bad day every so often, a long term pattern of deteriorating work quality can be a warning sign that something in an employee’s personal life is affecting him or her professionally.

Employees who present these issues alongside a change in mood or attitude could be a cause for concern, as they are likely to affect the productivity and happiness of other employees.

While you should never try to diagnose an employee’s alcoholism yourself, and it is inappropriate to outright accuse an employee of being alcoholic, there are measures you can take. Most employers offer a confidential “Employee Assistance Program” that is designed to handle these kinds of touchy and personal matters. Through the program, an employee can be offered counseling and a professional opinion can be formulated by the counselor, who will know what the necessary steps to take from there are.

Because alcoholism is a disease, it’s important to remain sensitive to individuals who are suffering from it rather than harshly punish them for not meeting their work obligations. If possible, allow them appropriate time for rehabilitation, especially if the employee has been loyal or with the company for a long time. Recovering from alcoholism is a long and difficult process and the support of an employer can really help a person feel valued.