Stan Holden

Contributing Author

Stan Holden is a graduate of Northwestern University and an award-winning researcher, copywriter, editor, and photographer.  Stan began his professional writing career in the newspaper business at the Chicago Tribune. He has an outstanding ability to transform complicated issues into easier to understand “reader-friendly” information. He has researched, written and published numerous nationally distributed articles and reports on Social Security Disability, Veterans benefits, legal and health-related matters.

The Process of Applying for Social Security Disability

By / February 18, 2018 / Social Security Disability Benefits / 6 Comments

The process of receiving disability benefits starts with the application. The information you provide enables the Social Security Administration (SSA) to assess whether or not you meet their disability requirements. It also helps them evaluate any current work capabilities and activities you may have. You’ll also need to fill out a Social Security Disability Report in which you identify your disability and provide proof you are disabled. If you meet their requirements, the SSA forwards your application and disability report to your state's Department of Disability Services (DDS) for local processing. Before you start to fill out the forms, be sure...Read more

Veterans Disability Benefits: How to Apply and Submit Your Claim

By / February 18, 2018 / Veterans Disability / No Comments

This article includes a summary of the federal government's program—administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)—that was set up to provide cash and other benefits to veterans who suffered disabilities or serious, continuing illnesses as a result of their military service. The program has a massive staff of over 340,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $182 billion. But, unfortunately, the system is far from perfect—for several reasons... It's too complex for many veterans to understand and deal with successfully by themselves. It's difficult or impossible for many veterans to prove, to the VA's satisfaction, that their...Read more

SSI Qualifications: Eligibility for Supplemental Security Income

By / February 18, 2018 / Supplemental Security Income / 18 Comments

What You Should Know About Supplementary Security Income — SSI — The Program That Pays Benefits to Aged, Blind or Disabled Persons with Low Income and Modest Resources Who Need Financial Assistance What SSI is and Whom It’s Designed to Help Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays benefits to aged, blind or disabled persons with low income and modest resources who need financial assistance. Supplementary Security Income is designed to help YOU, if you are... Age 65 or older (whether disabled or not) OR Under age 65 and blind or disabled AND you have a low income and few financial resources and are in financial need. If...Read more

Social Security Disability Payment Guide Once You’re Approved

By / February 18, 2018 / After You’re Social Security Disability Benefits are Approved / 94 Comments

The first question most people ask once they're approved for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) or SSI benefits is when will I start receiving benefits? That depends on when your state's Disability Determination Services (DDS) decides your disability actually began. For example, If—based on information you or your doctor provided—the DDS decides your disability "officially" began on, say, January 15, then your first monthly SSDI disability benefit would be paid for the month of July in the month of August. Why so much later? Because, initially, there's a five-month delay, during which time the benefits accumulate as "back pay." Then benefits...Read more

How to Apply for SSI and Determining Your Eligibility

By / February 18, 2018 / Supplemental Security Income / 22 Comments

Ready to begin your application for benefits? Let's get started! When you apply for SSI, you will need to provide proof that you are eligible, including the following: • Your Social Security card or, at least, your Social Security number. • Your birth certificate or other proof of age (e.g., driver’s license). • Proof of U.S. citizenship or SSI-eligible non-citizen status. • Information about your residence: address and phone number; mortgage document or rental lease with landlord’s contact information; proof of living arrangements with names, birth dates, and medical assistance or Social Security numbers for all household members; property tax...Read more

The 5 Step Disability Evaluation Under Social Security

By / February 18, 2018 / The Claims Process / 20 Comments

The Social Security Administration uses a basic 5-step process to determine eligibility for disability benefits: Step 1: Are you working? If your disability allows you to work, and you're able to earn more than a certain amount per month then (usually) the SSA does not consider you to be disabled. The earnings limit in 2020 for non-blind persons is $1,260/month; for the blind, $2,100. This amount is adjusted each year. Your countable earnings for evaluating your work activity as related to whether or not you are disabled can be reduced by Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWE's) including but not limited to medications...Read more

A Guide to the Social Security Disability Appeal Process

By / February 18, 2018 / Appealing If Your Application for Disability Is Denied / 16 Comments

No matter how much thought, time and effort you've put into preparing your initial application for Social Security Disability benefits, don't be surprised if it's denied by the Social Security Administration. Over 70% of them are. To help you decide what to do next, we’ll explain why most initial applications are denied, how you might deal with the denial, and the sequence of options the SSA offers to applicants who wish to contest their denial.   Social Security Disability (SSD)Appeal Process for a Denied Application The SSA wants to provide Social Security Disability (SSD) financial aid to every deserving applicant....Read more

Compassionate Allowances—the “Fast Track” for Those with Certain Disabilities

By / August 28, 2018 / Social Security Disability Benefits / 4 Comments

Some disabilities qualify for a "compassionate allowance," which will help you cut the red tape and jump to the head of the line, in regard to the medical evidence requirements. (However, non-medical requirements must still be met, too.) Ordinarily, if you or those you're helping apply for benefits suffer from a severe disability, it may be very difficult or impossible to wait months for a decision and then another one or two months to receive the first benefit payment. That's why, in 2008, the Social Security Administration (SSA) launched the Compassionate Allowances program. Initially it listed 50 diseases and other...Read more

Social Security Disability Insurance: A Brief Overview

By / February 18, 2018 / Facts / 14 Comments

SSDI Has Been Helping the Disabled for More than Sixty Years The Social Security Administration (SSA) was established in 1935, to pay retired workers age 65 or older (if they paid into the system via modest payroll deductions) a continuing income. But it wasn't until 1954, some two decades later, that the SSA initiated a disability insurance program — Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI or SSD) — to prevent a severe disability from reducing or wiping out a person's retirement and survivor benefits. In 1956, the Social Security Act was amended again to provide cash benefits to disabled workers aged...Read more

More Frequently-Asked Questions about Social Security Disability Benefits

By / February 18, 2018 / Facts / No Comments

What do all the abbreviations and initials mean? ALJ is an Administrative Law Judge. When you file a hearing appeal, the ALJ decides whether or not you are disabled. CE is a Consultative Examination. You may be asked to take one to confirm the extent of your disability. CSRS is the Civil Service Retirement System, which covered federal government workers up until 1983. It was replaced with the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) in 1984. DDS is Disability Determination Services. After the SSA accepts your application, they send it to your state's DDS office to review your disability report, to...Read more

Send this to a friend