Suicide and Disability

April 27, 2016

More and more attorneys I know have expressed concern about stress that citizens who are waiting for hearings and the determination on their claim for disability benefits feel. Every attorney I know either has personal knowledge of the desperation and powerlessness these individuals feel and many know of a suicide attempt or death by suicide that they relate directly or indirectly to the disability process.  Of course, many of these folks may have underlying mental conditions.  To be fair, SSA has “expedited” procedures in place for people who are actively suicidal, however, even the expedited process can take six months or more depending on the individual facts a case presents.

This conundrum was brought to the forefront of my mind when I recently read about a lawsuit blaming two suicides in Eastern Kentucky on a move to cut disability benefits.

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