Social Security Recipients Second Amendment Rights preserved Having a Representative Payee No Longer Prevents You From Owning a Firearm

Social Security Recipients Second Amendment Rights preserved Having a Representative Payee No Longer Prevents You From Owning a Firearm

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In February 2017, the House of Representatives voted to “overturn an Obama administration rule” that required the Social Security Administration to “forward the names of all Social Security Disability Insurance . . . benefit recipients who use a representative payee . . . to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System . . ..

Reaction sadly was over-the-top and exaggerated as some gun safety advocates characterized the vote as the House permitting “severely mentally ill” people from getting guns and will make Americans less safe.


The Obama Administration required the Social Security Administration to send the records of Social Security Disability (SSDI) recipients who need a representative payee to the FBI for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.  This meant these particular SSDI or SSI recipients were deprived of their right to purchase a firearm.

What’s a Representative Payee?

Individuals are required to have a representative payee for mental impairments when a beneficiary is “legally incompetent or mentally incapable of managing benefit payments.”  An injured and disabled worker who has difficulties remembering deadlines, properly doing math, or any other significant inability to spend their SSDI benefit properly may be required to have a representative payee even if his or her disability has nothing to do with a mental impairment.

Having a Representative Payee does not mean that your inability to mange finances is because a disabled worker is violent, or poses a risk to themselves or to others.

Because of the myriad of impairments that could require a representative payee, even the American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”) spoke out against the rule, saying “A disability should not constitute grounds for the automatic per se denial of any right or privilege, including gun ownership.”  Republican House Judiciary Chairman, Bob Goodlatte opposed the rule because “it paints all those who suffer from mental disorders with the same broad brush.”

Congress has now revoked that rule.


Because of this vote, if you are awarded Social Security Disability benefits, SSDI or SSI, and have the need for a Representative Payee – the Social Security Administration will no longer automatically report you to the NICS.

Have Questions?

Navigating the Social Security Disability process is not always easy.  Circumstances are always changing, and we are happy to answer questions and help navigate the process.  Email – Tre Eyden, EDPNA, or call 970-356-9898.

Applying for Social Security Disability Colorado Lawyer

Applying for Social Security Disability Colorado Lawyer

Social Security Blog

If you can – apply for social security disability in Colorado online.  This is the best way for you get the application going.  Otherwise you can telephone the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.  When you call, you will be given the option of 1) going to the social security office to apply for benefits or 2) having your application taken over the telephone.  If you choose to go the social security office, the person at the 800 number will schedule an appointment for you and give you directions to the social security office.  If you want to apply by phone, you will be given a date and an approximate time to expect a phone call from someone at the social security office who will take your application over the phone.

Give SSA all the information it asks for in a straightforward way.  Be truthful.  Do not exaggerate or minimize your disability.

As a rule, a person does not need a lawyer’s help to file the application.  SSA makes this part very easy and, in fact, it usually will not let a lawyer (or anyone else) sign the application for you.  After the application is filed, however, a lawyer’s help may make the difference between winning and losing even at this stage.

If you are denied – it is important that your contact us immediately so that we can request a hearing.  This is called an appeal and you must file your appeal within sixty days of the denial.  DO NOT RE-APPLY AGAIN.

Get in Contact with your disability lawyer once you apply in Colorado.

A lawyer’s help at the early stages may make a difference.

We recognize that about one-third of those people who apply will be found disabled even without a lawyer’s help.  We understand that some people may want to go through the earlier stages by themselves.  On the one hand, if you are successful in handling it yourself, you will save having to pay attorney’s fees.  On the other hand, your case might be one in which an attorney’s help would make the difference.  It is up to you whether to contact us when you first apply or to wait until you are denied; but the general rule is that it is better to contact us earlier rather than later.  Regardless we charge a contingent fee – meaning you only pay legal fees if you get benefits.


Let us help you get the benefits you deserve.  Contact our office by clicking HERE or call us at (866) 3356-9898 for your free appointment.

Social Security Now Provides Online Version Of The Social Security Statement

Social Security Now Provides Online Version Of The Social Security Statement

Social Security Blog

As of May 1, 2012, eligible workers can get their Social Security Statement information online.  People can find information about their earnings and potential Social Security retirement, disability and survivor benefits.

Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue explains,  “Our new online Social Security Statement is simple,  easy-to-use and provides people with estimates they can use for their retirement.  People should get in the habit of checking their online Statement each year,  around their birthday, for example.”

People can – and should – check that their earnings are correctly posted to their record.  Since all Social Security benefits are determined by a person’s earnings,  it is very important to make sure that all their earnings are correct on their Social Security record.

It is much easier to correct an earnings record error that is a year or two old and the correct records are still readily available than to try to correct an earnings record error from years back where the records may not even exist any more.

To get access your online Social Security Statement go to:   You will be prompted to provide information that matches the information that  Social Security already has for you.  You can then set up your own online account to access your statement.    Once there, you can save or print out your statement if you wish.  If you  are unable to get your Social Security Statement online, you can request a paper copy by mail.

For additional information on the online Statement see:

Getting Social Security Disability Disability can be a long and complicated process.  Having an experienced knowledgeable attorney helping you can make the difference between getting benefits or losing your claim.  Call us at (866) 356-9898 or click HERE to arrange for your FREE CONSULTATION.  We help disabled individuals all over the United States obtain the benefits you deserve.

Social Security Disability Denial = Homelessness

Social Security Disability Denial = Homelessness

Social Security Blog

A recent study done by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) showed that some Americans are homeless as a result of being denied the Social Security disability benefits to which they’re entitled. According to the NLCHP, approximately 40% of homeless people who apply for Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) nationwide qualify for these benefits, yet only 14% of these claimants are actually approved for disability. Those who are unable to work due to a disability, yet aren’t approved for Social Security disability, often face severe financial difficulties that  result in continued homelessness for some unfortunate individuals.

Eligible Claimants Denied Disability Benefits

To be approved for disability, you must demonstrate through objective evidence (such as medical records) that you are unable to work in any job for at least a year, due to illness or injury. Some disability applications are denied because the claimant legitimately doesn’t meet these qualifications for disability benefits. However, there are many others whose disability applications are wrongly denied. There are many reasons that this can happen, including:

  • Claimant errors due to the complexity of the Social Security disability application process
  • Disabled workers who are unable to afford or obtain the medical treatment required to appropriately document their illness or injury
  • Disability applicants who only treat with a Nurse Practitioner, Physician’s Assistant, or other healthcare worker. Although these practitioners are highly trained and regulated, the SSA does not consider them qualified to render a medical opinion regarding a disability applicant.
  • Mistakes made on the part of SSA employees. SSA’s claims adjudicators are human, and they do make errors. Someone who isn’t intimately familiar with the complex disability claims process and the qualifications for disability likely wouldn’t notice these errors.

Getting Approved for Social Security Disability

Although there’s never a guarantee, there are things you can do to increase the chances that your disability claim will be approved. For instance, you should make every effort to obtain regular medical treatment and develop a consistent relationship with a licensed doctor. However, one of the very best steps you can take if you’re considering applying for disability, or are already in the process, is to consult an experienced Denver area social security disability lawyer.


Disability Lawyers at Kaplan Morrell Help Disability Applicants Across Colorado

The highly qualified Social Security lawyers at Kaplan Morrell have extensive knowledge regarding every aspect of disability law. Whether you’re just now considering applying for disability, want to appeal a disability denial, or are preparing for your disability hearing, our compassionate disability lawyers can help. Contact the Social Security law firm of Kaplan Morrell for a confidential consultation regarding your disability claim. The consultation is completely free and without further obligation – in fact, the Social Security disability attorneys at Kaplan Morrell work on a contingent fee basis – this means that you don’t pay us a dime unless your Social Security disability claim is approved.

Don’t delay – the Social Security application process takes long enough as is – obtain assistance from a helpful Colorado disability lawyer at Kaplan Morrell today. Click here or call 866-356-9898 to contact us today.