Over the past week, two changes to Social Security, including about monthly checks being issued and for Compassionate Allowances, were announced.
The Treasury Department revealed that as of March 1, 2013, paper social security checks will no longer be issued, and those receiving checks are advised to switch to electronic payments. Specifically, recipients have the option of using a Direct Express debit card or having the funds directly sent to a bank account.
Currently, 93 percent of all payments for Social Security, Supplemental Security Income Disability, Veterans Affairs, and government pension plans are electronic, but with 5 million checks still sent out each month, the Treasury Department spends $4.6 million. Continuing to print and mail checks would cost this government office $1 billion over the next 10 years.
Aside from less spent to mail social security checks, the electronic system is additionally safer for recipients. Specifically, the electronic payments are less easy to steal, and fraud has a lesser chance of occurring.
Aside from the checks, the process for applying to social security disability changed. Specifically, 35 Compassionate Allowances were added, making a total of 200. The list of such conditions, including cancers and brain disorders, speeds up the disability process, letting Americans receive their benefit decision in days or weeks. Typically, the process can take months or years.
Although social security disability lawyers are helpful in the appeals process after an initial claim was denied, legal assistance is helpful even if individuals are applying the first time. Specifically, a lawyer can advise an applicant whether he or she should apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), can assist in putting together the application, and provide in-depth knowledge of the rules and regulations for the claims process.