social security disability benefits

Working While Getting SSD Benefits Made Easy

by Staff | November 25th, 2015

One of the qualifications for receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is that your condition must last longer than a year. Just because you’ve been sick or injured through a full calendar doesn’t mean you can never return to work.

Many SSD recipients fear that if they return to work, they will lose their benefits. The team of attorneys at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin are here to tell you that simply isn’t the case.

Working while getting SSD benefits can actually be quite simple and we can give you the details you need about getting back into the workforce after you recover from a disabling condition.

The Social Security Administration provides several programs, such as Ticket To Work, that aim to provide training and education for disabled Americans looking to rejoin the workforce. Furthermore, SSD recipients can continue to receive their benefits for up to nine months after returning to work. This allows the worker to make sure they are fully capable of performing their duties.

After the nine month period, disabled workers can still receive their benefits for another three years during months where their earnings aren’t considered “substantial.”

Even if you’re earnings are “substantial,” you still have five years to ask for a reinstatement of your benefits if you’re unable to continue performing your job duties due to your disability.

The Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin hope this information helps you in your journey to rejoining the workforce.

How to Appeal a Denied Social Security Disability Claim

by Staff | October 26th, 2015

If your claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits was denied, you’re not alone. As many as 70 percent of all initial claims for SSD benefits are rejected by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

A denial doesn’t mean you can’t file for a reconsideration, and the legal staff at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin is here to explain what you’ll need to know to appeal a denied SSD claim.

First, you’ll need to gather certain documents and evidence that supports your case. The SSA outlines all of the information you’ll need to file an appeal, which includes your name, address, Social Security Number, the date you received your denial, and your medical records.

This information will be submitted with a formal request to have your case reconsidered by the SSA. An examiner will review your case and either uphold or reverse the previous decision. If your case is denied again, you can request a hearing with an administrative judge. If you still don’t receive a decision that’s in your favor, a council of judges will hear the case before it’s heard by the courts.

The policies that govern the SSD appeals process are complex, and having a Social Security Disability lawyer by your side during the claims process can help ensure your rights are protected at all times. Learn more about your options and resources that are available by visiting our website.

A Closer Look at the 2016 Social Security COLA

by Staff | October 19th, 2015

Social Security Disability benefits are a crucial part of millions of American’s incomes. Each year, benefits amounts are examined to ensure they are in line with the cost of living using what is known as a cost of living adjustment (COLA).

The Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin recently looked into whether or not the 2016 Social Security COLA will result in a benefits increase, and the results look bleak.

According to the Los Angeles Times, it looks as though there will be no benefits increase for Social Security recipients in 2016. This will be the third time since 2010 there hasn’t been a rise in Social Security payments.

You may be wondering why benefits aren’t increasing in 2016. Experts explain lower gasoline costs are to blame. Energy and fuel prices are a key factor in the equation used to determine the COLA each year and the steady decrease in those costs over the past several months had a huge impact on the COLA.

With benefit payments likely staying at the same rate for another year, it’s more important than ever before to be aware of how much you’ve earned in Social Security benefits, as well as what your payments should be. Be sure to visit our website to learn more about how to calculate your Social Security Disability benefits. Doing so can help ensure you get the benefits you’re owed.

Can a Medical Condition Automatically Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

by Staff | October 12th, 2015

Millions of Americans suffer from medical conditions that leave them unable to work. Many qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, but the application process can be take time—some wait years for decisions to be reached on their claims. This leaves many wondering if there are any illnesses or medical conditions that receive automatic approval for Social Security Disability.

The Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin explain that while no medical condition can be automatically approved for benefits, some conditions can qualify an individual to have their case expedited through the approval process.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has created a list of conditions, called Compassionate Allowances, which qualifies applicants for expedited claims processing. Veterans deemed 100 percent disabled by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs may also qualify for expedited processing of a Social Security Disability benefit claim.

While a condition may qualify a case for expedited processing, a five-month waiting period before benefits can be paid may apply.

Learning more about how the SSA determines if you’re disabled can help you to better understand if your ailment will qualify for expedited processing of your Social Security Disability benefits claim.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we believe in helping citizens get access to the benefits they have worked to receive. If you have questions about the benefits you may qualify for, we’re here to help.

Bill Proposes Immediate Social Security Disability Payments for the Terminally Ill

by Staff | September 17th, 2015

It’s no secret that getting approved for Social Security Disability benefits can be a long, drawn-out process. The Social Security Administration has conceded that it takes the agency more than a year to process some claims. Even once a claim is approved, the recipient has to wait five months before receiving their first payment. So, what happens if the applicant is terminally ill and can’t wait months or years to receive benefits? A new bill proposed by lawmakers will hopefully address this question.

A new law proposed by U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and John Barrasso aims to allow those who are deemed terminally ill by two independent certified physicians to immediately begin receiving Social Security Disability benefits. The bill would also require annual reporting on the number of individuals who receive expedited payments.

As part of the plan outlined in the bill, those who receive the expedited payments would only receive 50 percent of their total monthly payment in the first month after being approved. According to the Portsmouth Daily Times, the individual would then receive 75 percent of their monthly payment in the second month, followed by full payments in the third through the twelfth month of approval.

If the claimant is still living in the second year following their approval, they will receive a prorated amount of the benefits that were paid during the first five months of approval. By the third year, the recipient would get 95 percent of their total monthly benefit amount.

Our legal staff at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin recognize the hardships many terminally ill Social Security Disability applicants face while waiting for their claim to be processed. That’s why our Social Security Disability lawyers are hopeful this new bill will be approved during upcoming legislative sessions.

Social Security Disability Benefits System Faces Financial Strain

by Staff | August 30th, 2015

In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion regarding the depletion of the trust fund that provides the financing for the Social Security Disability program in the United States. Our Social Security lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin point out that a recent report may shed more light on the subject for those who are concerned about the issue.

In July, the Social Security Board of Trustees issued their annual report about the financial status of the trust funds for the Social Security programs. A press release from the Social Security Administration stated that while the combined depletion date for the Old Age and Survivors Benefits and Disability benefits programs had been bumped to 2034—a year later than previously expected—the Social Security Disability trust fund would no longer have enough funding to be sustainable beginning next year.

At that time, those who receive Social Security Disability benefits will only receive 81 percent of their total benefits.

While this may seem like a dire situation, there’s still hope. Lawmakers are currently working to address the financial sustainability of the programs. Legislators are currently considering several different budget options.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we understand the important role Social Security Disability benefits play in the lives of many Americans. That’s why we’re hopeful our nation’s representatives can agree upon a resolution to the problem soon.

Social Security Act Celebrates 80th Anniversary

by Staff | August 18th, 2015

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law on August 14, 1935. In the eighty years that have passed since the bill’s inception, it has undergone many changes and it will likely undergo many more as time goes on.

Our Social Security Disability Lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin explain the Act was originally created to offer financial assistance to American workers who had become too old to continue performing the daily duties of their jobs. Experts credit the act with helping cut poverty rates amongst seniors from around 50 percent during the Great Depression to around 10 percent today.

These successes prompted an expansion of the program to include those who aren’t able to work due to a disabling condition or illness; however, the program is continuing to evolve and an article from U.S. News & World Report outlines a few of the latest policies governing the program.

The Social Security Administration is considering including more qualifying conditions for Social Security Disability benefits and changing the standards of eligibility for certain qualifying conditions. Furthermore, the Social Security Administration—the federal agency charged with overseeing the Social Security programs—deliberates whether or not an increase in benefit payments should be implemented due to inflation rates.

Our legal staff at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin understands the need for change in order to keep Social Security Disability laws relevant to the times and we are hopeful any reforms that are made are successful in improving the longevity of this very important program.

Why Calculating SSDI Benefits on a Regular Basis Is Important

by Staff | August 4th, 2015

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are calculated using the number of credits you earned while working and the amount of income you received during that time. But don’t be confused; calculating SSDI benefits can be complicated and mistakes are often made.

Take the case of a 65-year-old California woman who received the incorrect amount of benefits for 15 years. The mistake resulted her missing out on a total of $56,000 in benefits.

An article from ABC 7 News explains the woman suffered a disabling injury in a forklift accident in 1995. Her husband died of cancer five years later, which allowed her to receive survivor’s benefits in addition to her SSDI benefits; however, a mistake was made when calculating her benefits, which resulted in her not receiving an additional $450 per month.

The error was corrected, but it serves as a reminder of the importance of regularly checking your earned benefits so that you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. The Social Security Administration’s website provides a calculator that can help you determine your exact benefit total. Determining this total can help ensure you’re prepared in the event an accident or illness leaves you unable to work.

Even if you are tracking your earned annual benefits, mistakes still happen. That’s why our Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin believe it’s so important to have a legal representative by your side throughout the SSDI application or appeals process.

Let our legal staff give you the assistance with your case that you deserve. Call us at (800) 477-7315 anytime to get answers to your questions.

Some Some Social Security Disability Recipients with Mental Health Conditions Banned From Owning Guns

by Staff | July 21st, 2015

There are currently millions of Americans who receive Social Security Disability benefits because they suffer from a mental health condition, such as depression or schizophrenia. Many of these individuals aren’t capable of managing their finances though, and may require a family member to make decisions about money.

But could an inability to manage money indicate a threat to the safety of the beneficiary or others around them? While the answer to that question is still up for debate, President Obama is pushing for Social Security recipients who require assistance managing finances to be banned from owning firearms.

An article from The Seattle Times explains the Department of Veterans Affairs is submitting the names of anyone who has been declared incompetent to manage their pension of disability payments on their own to the national background check system.

The national background check system checks requests for gun registration permits against a list of names of anyone who is prohibited from purchasing a gun. These individuals include felons, illegal immigrants, dishonorably discharged veterans, fugitives, and even convicted drug addicts. Law requires anyone wishing to purchase a firearm to have his or her personal information submitted to the system to ensure the purchaser is legally allowed to own a firearm.

While those in favor of submitting the names of disability recipients say the rule keeps guns out of the hands of volatile individuals, others say the system is flawed and prevents stable individuals from exercising their right to bear arms.

Social Security Disability recipients whose names have been added to the list can appeal the action, but the pace of hearing these cases can be slow. Of the almost 300 appeals that have been filed, only nine have been granted.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our Social Security Disability lawyers believe in protecting the rights of those who cannot work. That’s why we encourage anyone who receives Social Security Disability benefits and believes their rights are being infringed upon to discuss legal options with an attorney as soon as possible.

Social Security Disability Benefits for Dependents

by Staff | July 13th, 2015

We know that Social Security Disability benefits are typically awarded to workers who are unable to perform their job duties due to a physical or mental illness; however, it’s important to remember that disabled workers aren’t the only ones who can receive these benefits.

Our Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin explain that children with disabilities or the offspring of a disabled worker can also receive federal assistance from the Social Security Administration. In fact, data indicate 4.4 million children receive monthly benefits from the agency.

A press release in the Washington Times Herald explains that in order for a child to qualify for the Social Security Disability program, they must be the child of an eligible parent. If the child is an adult under age 22, they must suffer from one or more health conditions that will prevent them for working for longer than one year.

Children who are blind or disabled may also qualify for benefits from the Supplemental Security Income program, depending on their family’s income.

Our attorneys at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin realize just how complicated the laws governing benefits for the disabled can be. That’s why we encourage you to contact our legal staff if you have questions regarding Social Security Disability benefits for dependents. We can be reached by calling (800) 477-7315 anytime.