Obtaining disability benefits through Social Security is hardly a walk in the park. Many times, initial claims are denied. Appeals are available, but they can take a long time and increase frustration. Working with an attorney who has experience in navigating the Social Security system from the outset is one way to ensure that your claim meets the requirements laid out by law. If a denial has already been received, an attorney's help could be crucial in resolving matters effectively.
Of course, even after you reach the goal of obtaining benefits, there are further complicated rules and regulations that can make it difficult to make the most of what you receive. For example, If you are an Ohio resident receiving workers' compensation benefits for permanent disability and you are also collecting Social Security Disability, the state benefits will be reduced – at least until you reach retirement age.
Then there are the regulations that limit how much you can have in savings. If you go over that amount, you run the risk of seeing your benefits cut some more. Considering that saving is difficult for people under normal circumstances, you can appreciate that it becomes even harder for those who depend on disability payments just to survive.
There is good news on that front of which many readers may not be aware. A law enacted two years ago now allows people receiving disability and their families to save up to $14,000 a year. That's for this year. It might change for 2017. They're called Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts. And Ohio is one of only 16 states that offer a plan right now.
If you have one, you or a loved one can contribute up to the annual amount allowed per year. The funds can earn interest and appreciate in value up to $100,000. The only caveat is that the money in an ABLE account can only be used to pay for qualified goods and services. However, those can include such basics as housing and transportation. Education costs, assistive technologies and health and wellness also qualify. It can even be invested.
ABLE accounts are just one of the rights now available to those on disability. Do you know the full scope of what you are entitled to?