The last couple of years have taught us how uncertain life is and how these uncertainties can set us back and undo a chunk of the work that we’ve managed to do, to straighten out our finances. This has greatly impacted our ability to sustain our regular lifestyle.
Likewise, it has impacted our elderly family members, especially those who have conditions that substantially limit them from doing daily work and activities. Unfortunately, many of our elderly family members are left to navigate the ins and outs of disability claims applications. This prevents them from being able to take advantage of these claims to alleviate the weight of therapy and medical expenses.
Today, we’re going to take a look at the fundamentals of claims and tax deductions, so we can take advantage of these benefits and help us get back on track with our finances and help our elders with their bills as well.
Social Security Disability Claims
Before filing a claim, you or your elders must understand that the definition of the term “disability” differs in Law and in Medicine. In the American Disabilities Act (ADA), the said term is used as a legal term, and its meaning and scope are different from its use and description in Social Security Disability Claims.
The Social Security Administration has its own definition of the term “disabilities”, and it is what they use in the qualification and approval process of claims. There are two phases that a claimant goes through when filing a disability claim: the application phase and the initial phase.
During the initial phase, the decision to release the funds to the claimant is made. However, this phase can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months. During this time, the claimant can only wait to hear if they’ve been approved or denied of their claim.
In some cases, the claimant will need to go through two additional phases when their first claim gets denied. In this case, they will need to file for reconsideration and attend a hearing session to facilitate their second appeal.
This typically happens when there are changes to the claimant’s record: changes to current conditions, new conditions the claimant has been diagnosed with, and recent visits to the doctor.
Once the records have been verified and the missing files have been supplied, the deciding body evaluates the qualification and makes a decision to either release the funds or otherwise. This can take another 3 to 4 months, so it’s best to make sure that all your records and documents are accurate and complete, before setting out to file a claim.
In the event that a second appeal is denied, the claimant will need to have their claim reviewed once more or check if they need to file a new claim altogether.
When you have an elderly family member filing for a disability claim, don’t let them do it alone. It’s best that they work with a disability attorney who is well-versed with the industry jargon and has mastered the ropes of making a claim. An attorney can keep them abreast with the status of their claim and provide them the assistance that they need, from start to finish
As an employee, we pay taxes on a regular basis. The tax amounts we pay can put a dent in our salary, but it’s our duty as citizens to pay our dues. However, not all households operate with the same amount for monthly and annual expenses.
This is especially true for households with children who are attending school or adults who wish to pursue higher education later in life.
But getting your finances on track is easier said than done. And will all the fees we pay for everything that we need, it can be overwhelming at times. Fortunately, for parents with children who are still attending school, there is a way to reduce the amount that you owe on your tax return: education credits.
You can get a maximum annual credit of $2500 per eligible student. This claim is called The American Opportunity Tax Credit. This helps cover a portion of the expenses incurred during the first four years of higher education.
Likewise, for those who wish to pursue their undergraduate studies or take up graduate and professional degree courses, they can take advantage of the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC).
To use the credit, the applicant must attend an educational institution that is eligible to participate in the LLC program. The credits can be used to cover tuition and incidental expenses and you can get up to $2000 credit per tax return. If you are unsure where to start and have not filed a claim previously, it’s best to consult a professional who is knowledgeable about taxes and claims and can guide you through the whole process.
These benefits are available to you and your other family members. Having a basic understanding of these claims can help you with your education plans for your children and even yourself. It also gives your elders the opportunity to trim down their medical expenses and be able to get coverage through Social Security Disability Claims.