Monday, February 23, 2015

What is an MQGE Claim?

Some government employees only make payroll contributions towards the Medicare portion of the Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA).  These employee earn quarters of coverage and are insured for medicare purposes only but are not insured for Title II Social Security Disability benefits.  
Former public employees who are disabled and did not pay regular FICA taxes might still be able to make a claim for Medicare benefits if they paid their contributions towards the medicare portion. These types of claims are generally called MQGE Claims or "Medicare Qualified Employment Claims".  However, since these public employees did not contribute towards Social Security, they will not be eligible for retirement, widow(er) or disability benefits. 

Like regular SSDI claims, these claims also have a date of last insured, an equivalent five month waiting period and a 24 month Medicare eligibility period.  Beneficiaries are entitled to a retroactive pay of 12 months.  If the disabled former public employee meets the income and resource guidelines, he or she might also be eligible for SSI benefits.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Senate Social Security Hearings this Wednesday, Feb. 11th

The Senate Budget Committee is holding a hearing on "Social Security Disability Trust Fund Insolvency" on Wednesday, February 11 at 10 AM.  I encourage everyone with time to watch it online at:

The future of the Disability Insurance trust fund is of out most importance.  It is predicted that by the end of 2016, the Social Security Administration will be short on the funds needed to pay 100% of the benefits dedicated to individuals with disabilities.  Unless Congress acts, nearly 10 million disabled persons will see a cut in benefits.

This shortfall is no surprise.  For decades, analysts of the Social Security system have been aware that this would happen.  See  This situation arises out of demographic changes in the U.S. population,  See

Please stay well informed and urge your legislators to support the Social Security Disability program. There are many ways for Congress to protect the SSDI program.  Readers of this blog will soon see future postings about how to contact their Senators to express support for SSDI.

Monday, February 2, 2015

What does "In Forma Pauperis" Mean?

As many of you imagine, many disability claimants do not have the funds necessary to be able to file a case in the U.S. District Court.  In order to challenge the decision of a long term disability insurance company or of a Social Security Administrative Law Judge, a claimant must file an action in the District Court.  Although the filing fee in these types of cases is $400.00, there is a way that a claimant who does have these funds can ask the Court to waive these fees.  This petition process is commonly known as a "Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis". 
In Forma Pauperis is a Latin term that literally means "in the form of a pauper".  These motions are generally granted by the court without the need of a hearing.  However, it is important to submit to the court and affidavit signed by the plaintiff explaining their dire financial situation.
In addition, in Federal Court a plaintiff who is allowed to proceed can obtain free service of process through the U.S. Marshall's Office.