Video Transcript for the Hearing Impaired:
Other Speaker: If it could happen to anybody, so what do you do if you become disabled and are unable to work? Among many federal programs, the largest is, of course, Social Security disability and attorney Karl Truman is here with us today to –
Other Speaker: – talk more about that. Hello.
Karl Truman: Good morning. Yes, Social Security is one of those things, you know, you can get your paycheck stub and there's a deduction for Social Security; a lot of people just, all, all they think about is Social Security retirement. Well, when I turn 65 or 67 or whatever, but, uh, that also includes a disability benefit if you are unable to work.
Speaker 1: Unable under, under what window are we talking about, uh, physically only, emotionally? What are we talking about?
Karl Truman: Well, it could be a combination of things, you know. If you're physically, you become injured and we, we see a lot of people who come to us for workers' compensation, get hurt on the job, and then they become totally disabled and then we help them apply for, dis, uh, Social Security disability benefits. So it can be physical, could be, uh, psychological, uh, different type of psychological injuries. So, uh, you know, if you're medically unable to work – and it has to be unable to work because sometimes clients will come and say, well, I can't do my old job and I can't find a job so I wanna be, you know, on disability and it just doesn't, unfortunately it doesn't work that way. You have to be able to show you can't do any type of gainful employment.
Other Speaker: Yeah, there are certain stipulations to it –
Karl Truman: Right.
Other Speaker: – and you help people apply for it so do you care to walk us through the steps, the process –
Karl Truman: Sure.
Other Speaker: – to apply for Social Security –
Karl Truman: Well, the first –
Other Speaker: – disability.
Karl Truman: – the first thing is, you have to apply and a lot of people can apply on line. We do help, like, people with initial applications also and, you know, they're gonna, Social Security's gonna wanna know your past 15 years of work history and all of your medical providers, all of your doctors and hospitals, all the medicine you take. So the more you can get that information together before you apply, the easier the process is gonna be to actually fill out the forms because that, you know, they want all that information.
Speaker 1: And on your paychecks you can also have withdrawal for, um, long-term disability, short-term disability. Is that insurance and that's not government? Is that – those are payments in case –
Karl Truman: Right, the, for short-term disability, long, those are typically private plans or company-sponsored plans; that's not through the government.
Speaker 1: Okay.
Karl Truman: Uh, the Social Security doesn't have a distinction between short-term and long-term. Actually, to be eligible you have to show that you cannot work for at least 12 months. So, if you're off work for six months and then can go back to some type of job, then you're not eligible.
Other Speaker: It's interesting because with Social Security disability you say 80 percent of people that apply for it are denied.
Karl Truman: Yes.
Other Speaker: 8 out of 10 people, that's a lot.
Karl Truman: That is a lot.
Other Speaker: What do, where do you go from there? What do you do if you're denied?
Karl Truman: After the initial application, then we file for what's called a request for reconsideration. And most of those get denied too, I mean, because you're going back and asking the same person to –
Other Speaker: Same info again…
Karl Truman: – change their mind and so sometimes, you know, sometimes they do get approved at that level but still, most of them do get a, uh, denied on the request for reconsideration level and then after that, if it's denied again, then we request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge and that's where we actually go before a judge in a hearing room and the client testifies and then, you know, all along, of course, you know, one of our jobs is to make sure that we present the best medical evidence and medical proof to support the claim.
Speaker 1: And you also have to illustrate again that you can't have worked for 12 months.
Karl Truman: It's a minimum. You have to show that you cannot do any type of uh, it's called, the, the term they use is 'substantial gainful activity'. So basically you can't work any type of job even if it's a sit-down, sedentary job.
Speaker 1: All right, Karl, I appreciate your time again. As –
Karl Truman: Great.
Speaker 1: always, great to see you.
Karl Truman: All right, thank you.
Speaker 1: Karl Truman talks law every Wednesday here on Great Day Live.
Other Speaker: You can reach attorney Karl Truman at 232 2222 or online at trumanlaw.com.