Resources for the Disabled in Las Vegas
The Blind Center of Nevada and Blind Connect both serve people who have vision impairments. The Blind Center also hosts special activities from time to time, and transportation can even be arranged. Brainstormers Inc. offers help to those with a mental illness or disability. One of their goals is to raise awareness of mental illnesses so that people who suffer from them can be treated more fairly.
The Economic Opportunity Board of Clark County provides transportation for disabled people of all ages. Family TIES of Nevada is an advocacy group that helps families of the disabled receive the help they need to care for them on a regular basis. The Nevada Association for the Handicapped also provides a variety of services to disabled individuals with no restriction on age or type of disability.
In addition to these non-profit organizations, those who have a physical or mental impairment can sometimes receive help from local churches, the Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries. Those who need help with filing a disability claim can find assistance by visiting Ed Bernstein and Associates.
Nevada residents who are applying for disability benefits can visit one of three field offices including one located here in Las Vegas. Those going through one of these offices can expect approval rates and wait times that are similar to the nationwide average.
Approximately 32.6% of Nevada applicants are approved for benefits upon submission of their initial application. That’s just slightly more than the 32.2% average nationwide. Reconsideration is the next step after an initial application, and Nevada residents fare somewhat better here than those in other states. Around 15.5% of applicants are approved at this stage, compared to only 11.5% across the country.
After reconsideration, petitions can be reviewed by an administrative law judge, and this is known as an ALJ hearing. At this stage, Nevada citizens fare much worse than others across the country. The approval rate at this stage is only 41.5%, but the nationwide average is 58.1%.
Blind Nevada residents are entitled to an additional stipend, which varies based upon their living situation. Individuals living alone are entitled to an additional $109.30, while couples can receive $374.60. Single persons living with another can receive $213.96, while couples would receive $531.94.
Nevada citizens face a wait time of nearly one year before they can obtain a disability hearing. During that time, it can be beneficial to speak with an attorney such as Ed Bernstein.
Social Security Administration takes steps to Approve Claims Faster
The number of disability claims has risen sharply since 2008. Many people who were working before the recession hit have found it difficult to find employment, and have thus resorted to filing disability claims. The rise in applications has caused the Social Security Administration to rethink the way they handle claims, resulting in some of them being streamlined in the process.
The Social Security Administration lists certain diseases and conditions that are so severe that people who are diagnosed with them are automatically deemed to be disabled. Known as the Compassionate Allowances Program, it has recently been expanded to include an additional 35 conditions. In doing so, the administration hopes to make the claims process smoother, thereby reducing the backlog this agency now faces.
Many conditions listed under the Compassionate Allowances Program are terminal in nature. In the past, applicants would petition the administration for benefits, but would often pass away before they were granted to them. By streamlining the process for these individuals, those who are terminally ill stand a better chance of receiving benefits while they are still alive, thereby reducing the burden on their families.
A complete list of conditions can be found by visiting the official website of the Social Security Administration. Help with filing an application for benefits can be obtained by visiting a law firm such as that of Ed Bernstein and Associates.
If you’re injured and can no longer work, you need to apply for Social Security Disability as soon as possible. Many people who call my office have been permanently disabled by a work injury, a car accident, or a disease. Many have stopped working and are living off their savings. It’s not until their savings are almost exhausted that they begin the SSD application process. The process can take months, and in some cases years, so it is wise to start as soon as you know you can no longer work.