Join us on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum from 10am-3pm for the 10th Annual disAbilities Expo, hosted by the AWS Foundation.
Forbes Disability Group, LLC will be one of many exhibitors in attendance. Last year, the disAbilities Expo welcomed over 120 exhibitors and more that 1,200 attendees!
ACTIVITIES FOR ALL!
In addition to the many other exhibitors, Forbes Disability Group, LLC will be hosting a Meet and Greet, General Q&A, and will be offering resources and information regarding Social Security Disability Benefits at their booth. Other activities throughout the day include: performances, art exhibit and sale, adaptive sports, the “Tell Your Story Tent”, plus much more!
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Follow the links below to view the Event on our Facebook page, or to visit the disAbilities Expo website for more information on Exhibitors, Attendees, Activities, Sponsors, and more!
Link to Facebook Event:
disAbilities Expo Website:
Our favorite stories from this week.
“Fear of psychiatric hospitalization is one of the primary reasons that older men — an age and gender group at high risk for suicide — don’t talk about suicide with their physicians.”
“An analysis in The British Medical Journal reports that incredibly short amounts of very easy exercise can have powerful effects.”
“Activities like gardening, walking, or dancing in a non-vigorous, leisurely way for 10 minutes to an hour per week was associated with an 18-percent lower risk of death compared to people who did nothing.”
“Chronic pain involves more than just hurting. People suffering from pain often experience sadness, depression and lethargy. That’s one reason opioids can be so addictive — they not only dampen the pain but also make people feel euphoric.”
To combat the rise of fraudulent disability claims, a new proposal would allow the Social Security Administration to monitor the social media accounts of those who wish to or currently claim Social Security Disability benefits.
In an article titled “On Disability and on Facebook? Uncle Sam Wants to Watch What You Post”, domestic correspondent Robert Pear of The New York Times suggests that the monitoring of an individual’s pictures and posts could help identify any contradictions with their disability claim.
“If, for example, a person claimed benefits because of a back injury but was shown playing golf in a photograph posted on Facebook, that could be used as evidence that the injury was not disabling” Mr. Pear writes.
Proponents of the proposal argue that monitoring social media sites could help curb the number of fraudulent claims, something the Social Security Administration has traditionally been plagued with. The Times reports that, in their most recent financial report from 2017, Social Security overpaid $3.4 billion in benefits to those who did not deserve it.
Opponents of the proposal argue that information posted by individuals isn’t always accurate or up-to-date; pictures and posts that are shared by an individual may not be recent and may not reflect their current state of disability.
The proposal is one of many put forth in the Trump administration’s newly released fiscal budget plan and is expected to be implemented by 2020.
Read the full article “On Disability and on Facebook? Uncle Sam Wants to Watch What You Post” by Robert Pear for The New York Times here.
Gateway to Work is a part of the Healthy Indiana Plan that connects HIP members with ways to look for work, train for jobs, finish school and volunteer. Starting in 2019, some HIP members are required to do Gateway to Work activities to keep HIP benefits.
At the end of the year, the state will review your participation in Gateway to Work. You need to be exempt or meet the required monthly hours eight out of 12 months of the year to keep your HIP benefits.
The Indiana Family Social and Services Administration (FSSA) gives all HIP members a Gateway to Work status based on their information on file with the state. Your status may be Reporting, Reporting Met or Exempt.
If your status indicates Reporting, you are required to do Gateway to Work to keep you HIP benefits. You need to participate in qualifying activities for a certain number of hours each month and report them by calling your health plan provider or by using the FSSA Benefits Portal.
If your status indicates Reporting Met, you already work at least 20 hours per week. You do not need to do anything new for Gateway to Work unless you report a change in employment to FSSA. You can still participate and use Gateway to Work resources if you want.
If your status indicates Exempt, you meet an exemption for Gateway to Work and are not required to participate for the months you are exempt, but you can still participate and use Gateway to Work resources if you want.
The number of activity hours required for Gateway to Work begins at zero in January 2019 to allow members time to learn about the program, find activities and set up your FSSA Benefits Portal account. It then increases incrementally until July 1st, 2020, where the required activity hours reaches 80 hours per month.
Some HIP members are exempt from having to participate in Gateway to Work based on health, education or other factors. Read more about these exemptions here.
Many activities count for Gateway to Work. Gateway to Work groups activities into three categories – Work, Learn, and Serve.
Work activities include: employment/self-employment, homeschooling, job search activities, and on-the-job training.
Learn activities include: adult education, college courses, general education classes, job skills training, and vocational education.
Serve activities include: volunteer work, public service, and care-giving services.
To learn more about the Gateway to Work program, visit the official IN.gov website here.
“Under the sequential evaluation process for evaluating disability, if it is determined that an individual is not engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA) and has one more severe medically determinable impairment(s) which do not meet or equal the Listing of Impairments but prevent him or her from performing past relevant work, evaluation of the individual’s capability to do other work becomes necessary”
-SSR 83-10: TITLES II AND XVI: DETERMINING CAPABILITY TO DO OTHER WORK — THE MEDICAL-VOCATIONAL RULES OF APPENDIX 2
An individual’s capability and capacity to do other work depends on numerous “vocational factors” that the SSA takes into consideration, including Residual Function Capacity, age, education, and prior work experience. These considerations give the SSA an idea of the type of work you can do (if any). The types of work that can be done “in the national economy” can be classified several ways. One of the ways in which a type of work is classified is by what is called an “exertional level”. The exertional level of a job is defined as “the extent of a specific job’s requirements in the primary strength activities of sitting, standing, walking, lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling”—that is, how physically demanding a job is given the frequency of exertion needed to complete that job.
This classification of exertion requirements ranges from “sedentary”, “light”, and “medium”. While there are also “heavy” and “very heavy” work classifications, we will only cover the levels of sedentary, light, and medium work.
According to Code of Federal Regulations § 404.1567, the physical exertion scale is as follows:
- Sedentary work
- lifting no more than 10 pounds at a time
- occasionally lifting or carrying articles like “docket files, ledgers, and small tools”
- involves sitting, although “a certain amount of walking and standing is often necessary in carrying out job duties”
- Light work
- lifting no more than 20 pounds at a time
- frequent lifting or carrying of objects weighing up to 10 pounds.
- requires a “good deal of walking or standing”
- involves sitting most of the time with “some pushing and pulling of arm or leg controls”
- if someone can do light work, it is also determined that he or she can also do sedentary work, unless there are additional limiting factors such as loss of fine dexterity or inability to sit for long periods of time
- Medium work
- lifting no more than 50 pounds at a time
- frequent lifting or carrying of objects weighing up to 25 pounds
- If someone can do medium work, it is also determined that he or she can also do sedentary and light work
Note the use of “occasionally” and “frequently”—in these cases, “occasionally” means occurring from “very little up to one-third of the time”, while “frequently” means occurring from “one-third to two-thirds of the time”.
In conjunction to exertional levels, work can also be classified in terms of skill level, which pertains to the skill requirements and abilities needed to learn and perform the specified tasks of a specified job.
According to Code of Federal Regulations § 404.1568, the skill requirements scale is as follows:
- Unskilled work
- needs little or no judgment to do simple duties that can be learned on the job in a short period of time
- may or may not require considerable strength
- can usually learn to do the job in 30 days, with little specific vocational preparation and judgment
- does not gain work skills by doing unskilled jobs
- Semi-skilled work
- need some skills but does not require doing more complex work duties
- may require alertness and ability to pay close attention to processes and tasks
- less complex than skilled work, but more complex than unskilled work
- coordination and dexterity may be necessary
- Skilled work
- requires judgment to obtain the proper form, quality, or quantity of production
- may require laying out work, estimating quality, determining the suitability and needed quantities of materials
- may require making precise measurements, reading blueprints or other specifications
- may require making necessary computations or mechanical adjustments to control or regulate the work
- may require dealing with people, facts, or figures or abstract ideas at a high level of complexity
Join us Saturday, May 11, 2019 for the 10th Annual Northeast Indiana disAbilities Expo at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, where Forbes Disability Group LLC will be in attendance as an Exhibitor. Stop by our booth for a meet-and-greet, general Q&A, or to request more information regarding Social Security Disability Benefits.
For more information about the event, visit:
Hope to see you there!
At Forbes Disability Group, LLC, we have been using the “HITECH” Act to more efficiently and effectively order electronic copies of medical records for our clients. This is a more beneficial way of ordering records, as it reduces the cost of obtaining medical records for both ourselves and our clients, increases privacy and protection of the records, and yields more compliance with healthcare providers when requesting the records.
What is the HITECH Act?
HITECH stands for the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, which Congress signed into effect in 2009 to “promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology” by covered entities. According to the regulations implementing the Act, covered entities include:
(1) A health plan
(2) A health care clearinghouse
(3) A health care provider who transmits any health information in electronic form
Why do we use the HITECH Act to order records?
When using the traditional method of requesting hard copies of records, healthcare providers can charge an access fee, a sometimes-hefty “per-page” copying fee, shipping cost, and sales tax on the entire request. For some large medical records, with several hundreds of pages, this can end up costing several hundreds of dollars or more per record request. With medical records more seamlessly now available electronically, the HITECH Act aims to keep to a minimum the cost of accessing records on the patient’s behalf. For records under the HITECH Act, the cost shall not be greater than the entity’s actual costs in responding to the request for the copy.
These fees can only include the cost of supplies for and labor of copying and preparing the information, and postage, keeping the cost of obtaining the records relatively low, typically under ten dollars.
What this means for our clients:
With the adoption of this new method of obtaining records for our clients, a signed HITECH release form is needed when ordering medical records. This new form is similar to our traditional authorization and release forms but updated with the new HITECH stipulations. The same rules apply for healthcare providers in that they must comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) regulations when fulfilling the request. We will likely send out this request when applicable. This allows us the same privileges and expectations that would come with a traditional request, in that it is secure, accurate, and typically requires records be produced within the HIPAA-specified timeframe of 30 days.
- 42 U.S.C. § 17935(e)(2)
- 45 CFR § 160.103; 45 C.F.R. 164.524(c)(4)(i)-(iii)
- S. Department of Health & Human Services, HITECH Act Enforcement Interim Final Rule, accessed November 6, 2018 https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/hitech-act-enforcement-interim-final-rule/index.html
- S. Department of Health & Human Services, Covered Entities and Business Associates, accessed November 6, 2018 https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/covered-entities/index.html
- Individuals’ Right under HIPAA to Access their Health Information, accessed November 30, 2018 https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/privacy/guidance/access/index.html
The FDA just approved a drug that targets cancers based on DNA, rather than where the tumor is in your body
“It’s only the second time the FDA has approved a cancer drug’s use based on a certain mutation rather than a particular tumor type”
“A single season of high school football may be enough to cause microscopic changes in the structure of the brain”
“A DNA vaccine reduces both harmful proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, without the brain swelling caused by earlier antibody treatments. Scientists say the vaccine is getting close to human trials after being safely tested in three mammals”
To receive your annual Social Security earnings statement each year, you must request it. There are three ways to do this.
The easiest way to request your statement is online. To check online, visit www.ssa.gov/myaccount to sign in or create an account. Creating an online account with the Social Security Administration enables you to manage your benefits and information easily and securely.
You can also contact your local Social Security Field Office to request your statement. Visit https://www.ssa.gov/locator for more information about your local Field Office, including phone numbers, addresses, and hours of operation.
Finally, you can call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and use their automated services to request your statement.
There is valuable information on this annual statement, including your current Early Retirement amount, Full Retirement amount, and the amount you would get if you needed Social Security Disability Insurance.
If you need help with, or have questions about Social Security Disability Insurance, call Forbes Disability Group, LLC at (800) 665-1002 ext. 101 and ask for Mark.
If you are unsure as to whether you would qualify as being disabled, use these five steps (as used by the Social Security Administration) to determine your eligibility.
Step 1: Are you engaged in “Substantial Gainful Activity”?
That is, are you currently working enough to disqualify you from benefits? According to the Social Security Administration, “to be eligible for disability benefits, a person must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA)” or, if working, earn less than the specified monthly amount. The specified monthly amount depends on the type and complexity of a person’s disability; for instance, the Social Security Act specifies a higher SGA amount for blind individuals, but a lower SGA amount for non-blind individuals. The projected 2019 earnings for non-blind individuals is $1,220.
If your monthly earnings are more than these projected amounts, you are presumed to be engaged in substantial gainful activity and are likely to be determined not-disabled.
Step 2: How Severe are Your Impairments?
While the law defines disability as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA), the reasons for such inability must meet the criteria of medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) “which can be expected to result in death, or which have lasted (or can be expected to last) for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” If your impairments cannot be expected to result in death, and/or they have not (or will not) last continuously for one year, you are likely to be determined not-disabled.
A medically determinable physical or mental impairment, per the SSA, is an “impairment that results from anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities that can be shown by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques. The medical evidence must establish that an individual has a physical or mental impairment; a statement about the individual’s symptoms is not enough.” If a medically acceptable clinical/laboratory diagnostic technique cannot establish your physical or mental impairment, you are likely to be determined as not-disabled.
To be severe, your conditions must significantly limit your ability to do basic work, such as lifting, standing, walking, sitting, and/or remembering—for a continuous period not less than 12 months.
Step 3: Do I Meet the Listing of Impairments?
As the SSA states regarding its Listing of Impairments:
“The criteria in the Listing of Impairments apply only to one step of the multi-step sequential evaluation process. At that step, the presence of an impairment that meets the criteria in the Listing of Impairments (or that is of equal severity) is usually sufficient to establish that an individual who is not working is disabled. However, the absence of a listing-level impairment does not mean the individual is not disabled. Rather, it merely requires the adjudicator to move on to the next step of the process and apply other rules in order to resolve the issue of disability.
For a comprehensive Listing of Impairments for both Children and Adults, follow the links at the end of the post.
Step 4: Can You Do Your Prior Job?
If you are unable to engage in substantial gainful activities and have a severe enough impairment(s) that also meets the criteria of the Listing of Impairments, the next step will be to decide if your medical impairment(s) prevents you from performing any of your past work.
First, at step 4, the Social Security Administration will determine your Residual Function Capacity (RFC), your ability to do physical and mental work activities on a sustained basis despite limitations from your impairment(s).
If your impairment(s) do not prevent you from performing any of your past work, you will likely be determined to be not-disabled.
Step 5: Can You Do Any Other Job?
If you are unable to work, and you cannot do the work you did in the past, the SSA will look to see if there is other work you could do despite your impairment(s).
The SSA will consider your medical conditions, your age, education, past work experience, and any transferable skills you may have. If they find that you are unable to do any other work, you may be determined to be disabled; however, if they find that you can do other work, or are able to perform a job elsewhere in the workforce, you are likely to be determined not-disabled.
If you are unsure as to whether you qualify as being disabled, how these five steps may apply in your case, or whether other special considerations may apply, consult a top-level Social Security Representative; do not assume that you are not disabled without consulting a top-level Social Security Representative!
Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 216(i)
Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 223(d)
Social Security Act, 42 U.S.S. § 1614(a)(3)(A)
20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)
20 C.F.R. § 416.920(a)
Substantial Gainful Activity Amounts
Benefits Planner: Disability – How You Qualify
Disability Evaluation Under Social Security
Listing of Impairments (Adults)
Listing of Impairments (Children)
A disability case can be won if liver disease, cirrhosis, and/or liver cancer are impairments. However, a disabled person’s chances of winning such a case go up considerably if one stops drinking alcohol completely. See a Doctor–stop drinking–save your life. No matter what–come see us for an evaluation of your disability case. We can help.
“Over the past decade, people ages 25 to 34 had the highest increase in cirrhosis deaths – an average of 10.5 percent per year – of the demographic groups examined, researchers reported.”
Read the full article by following the link below:
“In separate studies published online in Nature on Aug. 1, two independent research teams report the discovery of a new, rare type of cell in the human airway. These cells appear to be the primary source of activity of the CFTR gene, mutations to which cause cystic fibrosis, a multiorgan disease that affects more than 70,000 people worldwide.” -KEVIN JIANG
Read the Full Report of the Findings Here!