applying for Social Security Disability

New Contingency Plan Protects Social Security Disability Operations

by Staff | September 28th, 2015

The Social Security Administration is responsible for handling all processes of the Social Security Disability (SSD) program. These operations are handled by thousands of government employees on a daily basis, but what happens when a government shutdown occurs and how could SSD applicants and recipients be affected? Our Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin explain questions like these are addressed in the SSA’s new contingency plan for the coming year.

A press release from the agency outlines a strategy to continue operation of the SSA in the event a government shutdown was to occur. Such an event could be prompted if planned annual funding was to run dry before financial decisions for the coming year could be finalized. The new plan simply creates a few minor updates and changes to the plan that was established in 2013.

The SSA says that as many as 11,197 employees would be furloughed in the event of a shutdown; however, an estimated 56,000 employees with certain titles would continue to perform their duties. These workers include executive officials and management, along with Human Resources employees and key members of each department.

This would allow the agency to continue to perform basic duties and meet its obligations to the public, regardless of funding issues.

It’s comforting to know that financial constraints caused by budgetary issues wouldn’t prevent you from receiving SSD benefits or hamper you from applying for SSD benefits. Our legal staff at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin are hopeful the new plan never needs to be put into action, but applaud federal officials for proactively determining what the course of action would be in the event the government ceased operations.

Number of Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Has Doubled Since 1980

by Staff | July 6th, 2015

Almost eighty years ago, our nation created the Social Security program to provide income for citizens who were no longer able to work. Since that time, the program has been expanded to not only include the elderly, but also the disabled. Our Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin explain that now, the number of individuals receiving assistance from the program continues to steadily increase.

Forbes released an article stating that between 1980 and 2011, the rate of individuals who are approved for Social Security Disability benefits doubled from 2.3 percent to 4.7 percent. By 2013, more than 9 million Americans were covered under the Social Security system.

Some of the most well known reasons for the increase in beneficiaries is the rising age of the baby boomer generation, as well as an increase in the number of women in the workforce. Some of the less recognized reasons include fewer disabled citizens receiving state-funded welfare and an ever-expanding list of conditions that can qualify a worker for benefits.

Similar increases in beneficiary totals have been reported in the Supplemental Security Income program as well.

These increases just go to show that if you’re unable to work due to a mental or physical condition, you may want to consider applying for Social Security Disability benefits. It’s no secret that the process can be complicated though, so having legal representation by your side during the process is highly recommended.

If you have questions regarding your rights to benefits, our legal staff is standing by to assist you. Feel free to reach out to us anytime by calling (800) 477-7315.

When Applying for Social Security Disability, You May Face Long Waits

by Staff | June 15th, 2015

One of the most difficult aspects of applying for Social Security Disability benefits is the amount of time the process can take. In fact, it could take years for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to reach a determination about your case and issue a decision. Here’s a breakdown on the wait times you may face during the Social Security Disability application process.

When you initially submit your application, the SSA has a goal of issuing a decision on claims within three to four months. However, a massive backlog of applications has caused the wait time in many cases to be as long as a year.

If your claim is initially denied, more waiting may be in your future. SSA reports show the average wait time from the date a hearing request is submitted to the day that request is held is around 15 months.

Even after you’re approved for Social Security Disability benefits, you can expect to wait even longer before you actually begin receiving benefits. Joanne Crane, a district manager for the Social Security Administration explains to the Asbury Park Press that a disabled worker can expect to receive benefits only after the sixth full month of their case being approved for benefits by the agency.

So what does this mean for disabled workers? Our attorneys at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin believe it shows the need to begin the application process as soon as possible if you’re unable to work due to an injury or medical condition. One of the best ways to start your benefits claim is by speaking with a qualified attorney. This can help you to better understand the processes you will face in the near future, as well as ensure all of your questions regarding those processes are answered.

Our team is available to speak with you anytime about applying for Social Security Disability. Just call (800) 477-7315 to get started.

Getting the Benefits You Need When Applying for Social Security Disability

by Staff | June 8th, 2015

The process of applying for and being approved to receive Social Security Disability benefits can be complicated. But it seems as though many disabled Americans continue to struggle to get the benefits they truly deserve even after jumping through the numerous administrative and judicial hoops of the Social Security Administration (SSA). In fact, there are hundreds of thousands of disability recipients who receive too much or not enough benefits each year.

In an article published by Town Hall magazine, experts explain how the SSA overpaid almost half of our nation’s disability recipients over a ten-year period, resulting in $17 billion in extra expenditures. Recipients of the wrongful payments included those who were no longer considered disabled, the deceased, prison inmates, and others.

While some beneficiaries were receiving overpayments, other disabled Americans were struggling to make ends meet on the benefits they’re receiving. Many only receive a portion of their previous earnings, which results in a large number of disabled individuals living below poverty lines.

This may leave you wondering, “What can I do to help ensure I get the benefits I deserve when applying for Social Security Disability benefits?” Many believe the best answer to this question is to seek guidance from a qualified legal representative.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we’ve helped many disabled workers get the answers they need to their questions about Social Security Disability benefits and we’re here to do the same for you. Call us anytime at (800) 477-7315 to discuss your injury and how Social Security Disability can help you.

Previous Projections of Social Security Disability Benefits Trust Fund Depletion May Be Flawed

by Staff | May 12th, 2015

Studies Show Projection Data Is Flawed

New research indicates projections about the financial status of our nation’s retirement and disability trust funds may not be accurate. Currently, estimates show the funds for retirement and Social Security Disability benefits will be depleted by the year 2033; however, studies conducted by Harvard and Dartmouth universities found the funds could be depleted sooner.

There seem to be two reasons for the discrepancy. An article from Forbes explains that workers in the United States are living longer than they did in past decades. The other contributing factor is a miscalculation of birth rates that inflated the estimated number of future workers who will contribute to the program.

What This Means for U.S. Workers

Disabled Americans have many concerns in response to these findings. Considering the financial shortfalls Social Security programs are facing, many people worry that applying for Social Security Disability benefits could become more and more difficult as funds deplete, and that it could become much more difficult to get approved.

Those considering applying for Social Security Disability are also concerned about getting the maximum amount of benefits possible. There are worries that trust fund depletion could lead to cuts in benefit payments, making it difficult to receive every penny for which a disabled worker is currently eligible.

Get Help

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our team of Social Security Disability lawyers is standing by to answer any questions you may have regarding your legal rights to Social Security Disability benefits. Feel free to give us a call anytime at (800) 477-7315 to get the answers you need.

Resources to Use While Applying for Social Security Disability

by Staff | October 27th, 2014

Finding all the resources you need when applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be a painstaking task. That’s why the team of attorneys at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin would like to help by providing you with links to information and documents that may be beneficial during the disability application process. They include:

  • Adult Disability Starter KitThis packet from the Social Security Administration will provide you with basic information about disability benefits and will also give you a checklist to use when completing your disability benefits application.
  • Social Security Disability 2014 Red Book– Provides the latest information on both Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income and answers many frequently asked questions.
  • National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives– A non-profit organization consisting of attorneys and others who advocate on behalf of the disabled. They can provide information on the latest Social Security Disability news and updates.
  • Departmento De Hacienda– This Spanish webpage can be used by non-English speaking filers to report their income and wages.
  • Free Online Consultation– Our firm’s Social Security Disability lawyers will answer any questions you may have regarding your case and the regulations that govern Social Security Disability benefits.

For more help with your Social Security Disability claim, call the Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin’s legal team at (800) 477-7315 today.

Don’t Hesitate if You’re Considering Applying for Social Security Disability

by Staff | August 11th, 2014

If you’ve been considering applying for Social Security Disability benefits, there’s no better time than now. Not only are there limits on the amount of time that can pass between the diagnosis of your disability and seeking benefits, but funding for benefits is beginning to run out as well.

In most instances, there is a five-year statute of limitations on applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Having this time can be beneficial because it may take time for a condition to manifest itself, especially if it’s work-related. However, it’s best to file your claim as soon as possible so you have time to gather the necessary documents and evidence needed to support your claim.

It’s also important to remember the 60 day time limit to file appeals after a denial.

NBC News is reporting that the trust that supplies funding for disabled Americans could run dry within the next two years. This could mean that the sooner a decision is reached on your disability claim, the more likely you are to receive full benefits.

If you’ve been considering applying for Social Security Disability benefits, don’t hesitate. At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our team of Social Security Disability attorneys are here to answer your questions and help you navigate the processes to receive the benefits you deserve. Call us today at (800) 477-7315 to speak with our legal staff.