social security

4 more Social Security tips to be aware of

by lmallernee | October 1st, 2012

The rules for obtaining Social Security benefits—and the types of benefits you can receive—are confusing, according to Forbes.

For example:

7. If you divorce after 10 years or more and then you marry someone else, you will lose your spousal and survivor benefits from spouse number your first spouse if you remarry before age 60. For divorcees who remarry just short of age 60, losing their divorcee survivor benefits may be unexpected.

8. If you do remarry, but your previous spouse had a higher income, and you later get divorced from your new spouse, you can collect divorcee benefits from the first spouse. For those in this situation who don’t get divorced, it may be considered a catch-22.

9. If you get married and you and your spouse both earn incomes, you only need to be married for one year in order for your spouse to qualify for spousal benefits.

You may have learned that for some people, Social Security has pretty strong incentives to marry, yet for others, it has strong incentives to divorce.

10. If you work for the government or other organization that’s exempt from Social Security, so that it does not send in Social Security tax payments based on your earnings, you will receive lower benefits from Social Security.

If you or someone you know needs help with Social Security Disability, contact the Social Security lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

Three more Social Security ‘catch 22s’ to watch out for

by lmallernee | September 28th, 2012

According to Forbes, over the decades the rules governing Social Security benefits have become increasingly complex and confusing—even to the people working at local Social Security offices.

For example:

(4) You may not get a penny more back in exchange for all the taxes you paid to Social Security, working week after week, year after year, whereas your neighbor who hasn’t worked a day and pays no taxes may end up with higher benefits than you because her/his spouse earned more than your spouse.

(5) You apply for your spousal benefit and suspend your retirement benefit. You do not think about paying the Part B Medicare premium since you are used to Social Security deducting the premium. If you do not pay this check out of your own pocket, your retirement benefit at age 70 will be no larger than when you suspended it.

(6) If you are married right at, or less than, nine years, 11 months, and 31 days when you get divorced, neither you nor your spouse will collect spousal or survivor benefits. But if you wait one more day and are married for a full 10 years, then you and your spouse can qualify for these benefits.

If you or someone you know needs help with Social Security Disability claims, contact the disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

3 Social Security ‘gotchas’ to avoid

by lmallernee | September 26th, 2012

The Social Security Handbook has 2,728 rules and countless interpretations—which can sometimes lead to contradictions in the system, reports Forbes.

For example:

(1) If you take your retirement benefit early and are not able to time things exactly right as to when you and your partner apply for retirement benefits, you will end up having to take your excess spousal benefit early. And if you are unable to time things right, you’ll end up after full retirement age collecting in total, less than half of your partner’s full retirement benefit.

(2) The Social Security rules are encouraging you to get divorced. If you do this at least two years before reaching full retirement age, both you and your spouse can get “free” spousal benefits. With the way the system is set up, you can continue to live together and then get remarried at 70. And if you get divorced after age 60, this will not affect your survivor benefits if one of you dies.

(3) Suppose you started receiving your retirement benefit right before you died. In this case, there is a “gotcha” for your surviving spouse. Her/his widow’s benefit will be permanently reduced because it will equal your retirement benefit with the early retirement benefit reduction applied.

If you or someone you know needs help with disability benefits, contact the disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

Son steals father’s Social Security for almost three decades

by lmallernee | September 24th, 2012

A Fairfield, Connecticut, man was jailed for stealing more than $300,000 in Social Security payments, reports Fairfield Citizen.

He has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for the theft of his dead father’s Social Security payments, which were paid automatically into his father’s account.

He plead guilty to one count of theft of government property in January and was sentenced by a chief  U.S. district judge in Hartford on Thursday.

In addition to prison and supervised release, the man has to make full restitution of the stolen money; he has already restored over 10 percent of the money or $38,000.  He was also ordered to perform 150 hours of community service.

The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration and the Office of the Inspector General,

The man’s father had begun receiving monthly Social Security benefits in 1974. Then he died in August, 1982. From then until August 2011, the son continued to receive and use the monthly payments meant for his father.

In 1997, the son even contacted the Social Security Administration to provide a change of address for his father so that the agency could continue to send his father’s benefits.

During a span of 30 years, the son received $307,925 in Social Security payments intended for this father.

If you or someone you know needs help with disability benefit claims, contact the disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

Seven states awarded more than $20 million for disability employment initiative

by lmallernee | September 21st, 2012

September 21, 2012

The Disability Employment Initiative, which already supports 16 state projects, added seven more state grants yesterday to implement exemplary employment services for individuals with disabilities in the workforce, reports WCTV.

“Everyone should have the opportunity to contribute to today’s workforce,” said the assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy. “Enhancing the workforce system’s ability to provide effective coordinated and collaborative service delivery will help to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the employment training and supports they need to achieve self-sufficiency.”

To improve education, training, and employment opportunities for unemployed youth and adults with disabilities, underemployed and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded $20,654,352 to seven states on September 20.

The new grants have been awarded to Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The states with continuing grants under the initiative are Alaska, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

“This program represents our strong commitment to assisting people with disabilities in securing good jobs and providing career pathways,” said the Secretary of Labor. “These Employment and Training Administration grants will expand the capacity of the public workforce system to provide training and employment services to people with disabilities.”

If you or someone you know needs help with disability claims, contact a Social Security Disability attorney at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

Nebraska brothers convicted in Social Security Disability fraud case

by lmallernee | August 8th, 2012

August 8, 2012

Two Nebraska brothers have been convicted in a federal court of conspiracy and theft in a case of Social Security fraud, reports WOWT News.

Following a six-day trial, the 51-year-old and 48-year-old brothers were convicted of one count of conspiracy, one count of theft of government property, and one count of Social Security fraud.

Prosecutors say that from 2004 until 2010, the 48-year-old brother managed and operated a family owned trucking business in Nebraska City. During that same period, he employed his 51-year-old brother although he knew that his brother was drawing Social Security disability insurance benefits.

According to authorities, the 51 year old man got about $135,000 in Social Security disability insurance benefits that he was not entitled to receive.

Authorities predict that the brothers will spend time behind bars. They will be officially sentenced on October 19.

The Social Security Disability system exists to help when you are in legitimate need. Convincing the government that you need benefits can be confusing and frustrating without the help of an experienced attorney on your side.

Let our Social Security Disability lawyers take care of getting the benefits that you deserve. We offer a free initial consultation for all cases.

If you or someone you know needs help with Social Security benefits, contact the disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

Social Security historical shift

by lmallernee | August 6th, 2012

August 6, 2012

When Social Security was enacted in the 1930s, it was a better deal than it is today, reports CBS News.

If you retired in the 1960s, you could expect to get back seven times more benefits than you paid in Social Security taxes if you lived to be 80 years old.

Even in the 1980s, you could expect to get more benefits than you paid into Social Security taxes, though you would not do quite as well as your parents or grandparents.

But all of this has changed in the 21st century. People retiring today are the first generation of workers who have paid more into Social Security taxes during their careers than they will receive in benefits.

How can you get a better return on your Social Security taxes? Simply put, live longer. Benefits are based on life expectancy.

But returns alone do not fully explain the value of Social Security, said David Certner, legislative policy director for AARP. Social Security has features that are not available in typical private sector retirement plans.

Spouses and children can get benefits even if they have never earned wages. People who are too disabled to work can get benefits for life.

“It protects your spouse, protects your family, and protects you from disability,” Certner said.

If you or someone you know needs help with disability claims, contact the disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

NOSSCR launches campaign to defend SSDI

by lmallernee | August 3rd, 2012

August 3, 2012

Wednesday was the 56th anniversary of the Social Security Act Disability Amendment.  With that act, the United States government made a commitment to provide every working American with monetary assistance if a disabling accident or health issue rendered then unable to work.

Because of recent negative media coverage and political attacks, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is being attacked and targeted for budget cuts, according to Market Watch.

To fight back against misleading allegations that are being made about the program, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) is launching a campaign this week.

As part of this campaign, a redesigned website, www.nosscr.org, will be up and running on August 1. Serving as the ultimate SSDI information site, the enhanced website will bring both advocacy and educational information about SSDI issues.

Continuing to keep the voice of the disabled community front and center in this debate over SSDI benefits, the NOSSCR website will publish member opinion pieces and push back on fallacious media reports.

“No one expects to become disabled,” said NOSSCR’s current vice president. “SSDI benefits are essential for many who, without them, would end up on the street. We must continue to honor the commitment to the hard-working Americans who have earned these disability benefits.”

If you or someone you know needs help with a SSD claim, contact the Social Security lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

Disabled people’s unemployment rate reaches three-year low, SSDI applications stabilize

by lmallernee | July 16th, 2012

July 16, 2012

During the second quarter of 2012, the unemployment rate among people with disabilities dropped to its lowest in more than three years while applications for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits continue to stabilize, reports Market Watch.

Approximately three million individuals were unable to continue to work in 2011 because of a disability and applied for SSDI. With a wait time of more than 800 days, nearly 1.8 million SSDI claims are pending.

If you or someone you know needs help with Social Security Disability, contact the disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

Social Security disability plot revealed

by lmallernee | June 29th, 2012

In Adrian, Michigan, three people were jailed after they lied and told police their friend’s gunshot wound was from a robbery, reports lenconnect.com.

After the men dropped the robbery story, they admitted to police that the victim had asked to be shot in the leg in order to collect Social Security Disability benefits.

Adrian police are looking for the 18-year-old who was shot. The 21-year-old man who shot him was jailed on June 21, hours after the incident. On June 22, the two others involved were arrested.

The three men were arraigned on felony charges of conspiracy to make a false report. Police put together a story that began as a spur of the moment plan for the men to rob someone that they believed had a large amount of marijuana. When they could not find their robbery target, the 18-year-old asked them to shoot him in the leg.

The men tried to treat his wound, but at about 3 a.m. the next day, they drove him to the hospital, where they told police that they were robbed. When confronted with evidence that proved that they were lying, they changed their story. The .22 caliber revolver used in the shooting was recovered.

The three men are schedule for a hearing on July 2.

If you or someone you know needs help with SSD benefits, contact the disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.