Mental disorders can qualify you for Social Security disability

May 27 2015

Because May is Mental Health Awareness month, we are going to look at some of the mental disorders that can qualify a worker for SSDI (Social Security disability insurance) benefits. As you know, SSDI is for people who are prevented by an illness or injury from working. Among the qualifying illnesses are mental disorders. The Social Security Administration (SSA) says it evaluates the disorders in three main ways: examining the documentation of the diagnosable disorder; considering the degree to which the condition might limit a person’s ability to work; and considering how long the condition might be expected to last….

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How do eligibility requirements for SSDI and SSD benefits differ?

May 20 2015

There are many requirements a person must meet in order to qualify for either SSDI or SSI benefits through Social Security. When residents of Colorado become disabled, they may be able to receive benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance program or the Supplemental Security Income program. To ensure they apply for the right program, it is a good idea that potential disability benefit recipients make sure they understand the eligibility requirements for each. Social Security Disability Insurance The SSDI program is the standard disability program through Social Security and applies to people between the ages of 18 to 65…

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What do you live for?

May 19 2015

For some people, life would not be complete without the soaring, intricate agony of Italian opera. For others, a Colorado Rockies ballgame or a Denver Broncos rivalry battle is what it’s all about. Still others love old movies, new books or travel to exotic places. We all have things that we live for; the passions that propel us forward in life. The National Safety Council encourages everyone to join thousands of organizations next month in promoting safety at work, in play and on the road so that we can all enjoy our passions with our loved ones. Though June is…

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Colorado employees get small legislative victory

May 12 2015

Some of our readers might remember a joint announcement some years ago by the Colorado Department of Labor and the U.S. Labor Department. The two teamed up to say they stood together against the misclassification of employees. As you know, the misclassification of employees — often done in the construction business — is many times a ruse designed to lower costs for the employer at the expense of workers who are injured on the job. Because the workers are misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees, they can be ruled ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits by the state. The executive…

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It’s time to raise ALS awareness

May 05 2015

The Denver chapters of the ALS Association and Muscular Dystrophy Association want everyone to know that May is ALS Awareness Month. Both organizations are devoted to raising awareness of how amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, affects people. The disease of the nervous system has a devastating effect on voluntary muscle control. That’s why the Social Security Administration (SSA) has the disease on its Compassionate Allowances list. The listed conditions are severe ones that trigger rapid claims and benefits responses from the SSA. The SSA says on its website that ALS “is a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal…

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Oil business: Big money, big risks

Apr 30 2015

It’s common knowledge that oil is big business here in Denver. A number of energy companies have offices in tall, gleaming buildings downtown. And a number of those companies have workers with calloused hands and sweat-stained shirts working on rigs not far from those gleaming offices. As the group Conservation Colorado made clear earlier this year with its maps showing oil and gas leases being sold in Aurora and throughout Arapahoe County, more drilling operations could be here in the near future. There’s no doubt that the oil business is lucrative — it accounts for more than $80 million per…

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Simple form is start of complex process

Apr 24 2015

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Division of Workers’ Compensation has a pretty simple form with a pretty innocuous name: Notice of Contest. Denver Broncos’ fans might hope that the form relates to a match-up against the Patriots, but unfortunately, it is the form sent to workers’ compensation claimants when an insurer or employer has decided to dispute (contest) your claim. The form has some basic information: your name, Social Security number, workers’ comp claim number and the like. The section that will immediately draw your attention is the one in which it says your “claim is contested/denied for…

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Debating SSDI is for others. Our job is to take SSDI action.

Apr 14 2015

As the jostling for position get more active among potential presidential candidates — and more and more, among announced candidates — one issue is certain to get plenty of national attention: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI or SSD). The fund that provides the benefits to millions of Americans receiving SSD benefits is due to run short next year, and if no fix is generated by the current Congress and president, beneficiaries could see a cut of 20 percent in their monthly assistance. One of the few things everyone appears to agree on is that possibility is unacceptable. But the fighting…

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Boosting, not cutting Social Security disability benefits

Apr 07 2015

Every year, the Social Security Administration announces a COLA (cost of living adjustment). Those receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI or SSD) are often disappointed. The COLA is typically around a percentage point or so; sometimes it has even been nothing whatsoever. Some disability advocates say even with the COLAs, the benefits awarded to disabled workers are barely enough to keep people alive; and the benefits are far from the stereotype sometimes portrayed in media of people on SSD living the good life while loafing. The reality is instead that these are disabled workers dealing with significant physical or psychological…

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Need more help in promoting safety and aiding injured workers

Apr 06 2015

Certain reports claim injured workers are receiving less support from employers than they did in the past. Despite complaints by employers about costs of contributing to workers’ compensation programs, employers seem to be paying less in workers’ compensation premiums than in the past when compared to the wages they are paying workers. Also, studies suggest that employers are paying less into the workers’ compensation system relative to other costs than has historically been paid in the past. There appears to be justifiable concern that the responsibility of costs for injuries is shifting towards injured workers. Such circumstances particularly harm low-income…

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