How Your Medication Can Affect Your Ability to Collect Social-Security Disability Benefits

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

A disabled woman in Knoxville, Tennessee, is dealing with a frustrating situation common to those receiving social-security benefits: she has recently been told that her benefits will stop because her medical condition is now controlled by medication. While she feels that she’s in a somewhat impossible situation, since her disability benefits include the medical coverage she uses to obtain the medications, it’s important to understand the rules that social-security benefits follow in order to anticipate any similar problems with your own claim, whether you are just now filing or have been receiving benefits for a while. When Your Condition Is Controlled by Medication Simply having a medical condition that requires you to take medication doesn’t qualify you for social-security disability benefits—there are many people who are working full-time jobs despite their medical problems. For example, many of the 29.1 million diabetics in the U.S. are still able to work despite their condition.  Instead, the Social Security Administration evaluates your overall capacity to function and hold down a job despite your impairment and any medications you may take. If your medications are able to effectively control your medical condition, you won’t qualify for benefits. Similarly, if you began receiving benefits at a time when medications weren’t able to control your condition but new medication becomes available that does control it, your benefits will eventually be stopped once the SSA conducts a medical review of your case. (You can generally expect your case to have a medical review every three or seven years, depending on the severity of your condition and the likelihood that you’ll improve.) When You Don’t Take Medication That Could Control Your Condition The woman in Tennessee’s situation is understandably frustrating because she relies on Medicare, the medical benefit she’s entitled to as a result of being on social-security disability, to pay for her medication. Unfortunately, from the government’s perspective, that doesn’t mean she’s still entitled to disability benefits. Essentially, the government’s position is that she should return to the workforce and obtain health insurance through other means in order to afford her medication since the medication has restored her capacity to work. Similarly, you may have a hard time getting approved for benefits in the first place if you’ve never tried medication for your condition, aren’t taking medication that’s prescribed to you that could control your condition, or don’t have the money to pay for your medication. The SSA will sometimes find the inability to afford your medication compelling, but only if you can show that you’ve exhausted all the possibilities for financial and medical assistance available, including Medicaid and medical subsidy programs. When Your Medications Actually Contribute to Your Impairment In some cases, the medication  you...

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3 Ways You Can Avoid Paying Alimony Permanently

Posted by on Sep 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Not everyone ends up paying alimony after a divorce, but your chances of having to make payments to your ex increase if you were responsible for the majority of their financial support during your marriage. If you’re ordered to pay alimony, however, that doesn’t mean that you will make payments indefinitely. Many orders are only good until your ex gets on their feet financially. Furthermore, there are steps you can take to avoid paying alimony permanently. Following are a few ways you can avoid making payments for life. Lump Sum Payment If you owe alimony, you may be able to make a lump sum payment at the time of the divorce to avoid making any future payments. The lump sum payment is usually equal to what the court thinks you would pay over the course of an alimony agreement. However, there is room for negotiation. If both of you and the court agree with the settlement amount, you may be able to pay off your alimony debt as part of the divorce settlement. Rehabilitative Alimony Clause You can petition the court to make your alimony rehabilitative. What this means is that your payments will only continue for a set amount of time, usually enough time for your ex to go back to school, find a job, or otherwise improve their financial situation. In rehabilitative agreements, the payment end date is stipulated in the divorce decree. This type of alimony is not meant to be permanent support. It is merely a cushion or starting point for your ex to build their own financial future. Alimony Modification and Termination If you’re ordered to make traditional alimony payments, meaning there is no end date to your obligation, you can still shorten your obligation through a modification or termination. A modification or termination usually occurs when your ex has a change that affects their finances. For example, if your ex were to get remarried, they would benefit from the income of their new spouse, which would get you off the hook for alimony. Similarly, pay raises, promotions, inheritances, etc. are often grounds for modification or termination.  If you suspect that you will have to pay alimony, you can take steps to litigate your payment agreement during your divorce. If you have to pay, you can also take steps after the fact to shorten your obligation as well. More and more today, alimony is becoming a temporary arrangement rather than a permanent one. For more inforamtion about the process, contact a company like Law Office of Jared T....

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