Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel is used to feeling like the only person in the country who still cares about COVID-19. He ignores the side-eye he gets for wearing an N95 mask at parties—a self-imposed policy that makes him “look odd” but kept him safe after a recent work dinner turned into a superspreader event. The oncologist, bioethicist, and professor at the University of Pennsylvania provides each of his students with an N95 and runs four HEPA air filters during lectures. He rolls down the windows when he gets in an Uber and goes hungry on planes so he can wear his mask the whole time. He’s given up one of his favorite pastimes—dining at restaurants—even now that many people don’t think twice about eating indoors. Read More

Usually Social Security won’t require you to go to scheduled Government consultative exams. Consultative examinations are normally requested by Social Security only when your own treating physician fails to provide enough information regarding the impairment for which they are treating you.

Should Social Security request for you to attend a scheduled Government consultative exam, an attorney can best advise you on when you can appropriately decline to attend an examination request.

Appeal immediately if Social Security is trying to end your disability benefits and you think you are still disabled! Sending an appeal within 10 days of being notified by Social Security will allow you to request that disability and medical benefits continue throughout the appeal process. It is also recommended that you speak with an attorney about representation.

Once the social security judge awards you disability benefits, it can take anywhere from one to two months for you to start receiving payments for back benefits, sometimes as much as 3 months. Every state has different average waiting times and each judge operates differently. If it takes longer than 3 months, there may have been a mix-up in the payment, so you or your attorney should follow up with the Social Security Administration. When Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is involved it can take more time.  Keep in mind that sometimes a judge will issue a ruling at the conclusion of your social security hearing, but often times the judge will wait weeks or up to 3 months to actually issue the decision.

As your attorney, all we can do is make sure that your claim is processed correctly so that no additional unnecessary delays take place. Because of the slow process, it is important not to needlessly delay getting started.

State Aid Programs while you wait

The waiting time for receiving social security benefits places many Americans unable to work in an extremely difficult situation. Please check with your state to find out what kind of general assistance programs are available.

Local state agencies provide Interim Assistance to social security disability applicants. Through this program, you are basically advanced a modest amount of money by the state to help with your living expenses if it seems likely that you are going to receive social security benefits. The amount of any payments advanced through this program is then withheld when you are approved. In order to be eligible for such benefits, you have to apply for social security disability and meet all of the other public assistance criteria except for the receipt of SSI.