July 28th, 2014|
The Social Security Administration has been working to implement a computerized Social Security Disability claim processing system that would improve efficiency. But a new report has been released which states the new program has been a failure while offering several suggestions for improvement.
The Baltimore Sun reports that Lockheed Martin was in charge of designing the $300 million web-based system to eliminate the need for the Social Security Administration to maintain 54 unique processing systems. Since the new system has been implemented, the number of unprocessed Social Security Disability claims has continued to grow. In fact, 660,000 claims had not received initial decisions after more than the 110-day processing goal as of June 2014.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released the findings by management firm McKinsey & Co. and called for a number of recommendations to be followed, including hiring an executive leader to the system up to speed.
Until the system is fixed, many disabled individuals will be left wondering what they can do to help expedite the processing of their claims.
Hiring a Social Security Disability lawyer may prove beneficial to many claimants. At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we’ve helped many disabled citizens get the benefits they’re entitled to and may be able to do the same for you. Call us anytime to discuss your claim.
June 16th, 2014|
Going through the steps to receive Social Security Disability benefits can be difficult for disabled Americans. One of the best ways to make this process easier is to hire an attorney to help you. That’s why the team of Social Security Disability Lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin would like to point out a few of the ways an attorney can help you with your claim.
- Attorneys Have Answers– The laws that regulate the Social Security Disability system are extremely complicated, which is why the Social Security Administration allows each person pursuing a claim to have legal representation. Having a lawyer by your side ensures you have someone who can answer any questions you may have at any time.
- Attorneys Know The Deadlines– When applying for benefits, there are certain time frames for paperwork to be completed. A lawyer will be able to help you keep track of these dates and complete documentation for your case in a timely manner.
- Attorneys Can Navigate The System– As many as 60 percent of all initial claims are denied—but a lawyer can help you file a claim with the best possible chances of getting approved. And if you’re denied, a lawyer can help you appeal the decision.
If you need help with your Social Security Disability claim, we are here to help. Call us anytime at (866) 684-7216 to talk about your needs.
April 25th, 2014|
The Social Security Administration (SSA) estimates there are currently more than 10 million Americans unable to perform their job duties due to a work-related illness or injury. These individuals depend on federal assistance programs through the SSA as their resource for income. This figure leaves many wondering what demographics make up the majority of individuals receiving SSD benefits?
Of those who receive SSD payments, only 9.3 million are between ages 18 and 64, which is traditionally considered the working age in the U.S. This means that roughly 4.7 percent of the American working population is receiving SSD benefits.
According to an article from Workers Compensation, this is just a national average, and the distribution rates of SSD benefits around the country vary by state. West Virginia ranks as having the highest rate of disabled workers, while Hawaii had the lowest.
There are varying opinions on why there is such a spread among disability rates between states, but many experts believe that socioeconomic factors play the greatest role in the differences.
The Social Security Disability Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin understand that every individual SSD claim is different and we know what it takes to help you. Call 866-684-7216 to speak with our staff about your claim, today.
April 4th, 2014|
April 4, 2014
When a person is unable to work because of a mental or physical condition, several options may be available to help assist with his or her lack of income. The Social Security Disability Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin explain that knowing the differences between these different options can be crucial in understanding which benefits will be most beneficial.
The two main options are Social Security Disability benefits or long-term disability insurance benefits. One of the main differences between these two options is the duration of time in which the benefits will be offered. Long-term disability benefits may last only several weeks or months, while Social Security Disability payments continue until the Social Security Administration deems the claimant no longer disabled.
Other differences may include the ancillary benefits that accompany either option. For instance, an individual who receives Social Security Disability may also qualify for medical benefits through Medicare.
Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin know the nuances that differentiate these two programs and encourage anyone considering applying for disability benefits to discuss their legal options with an attorney as soon as possible.
March 3rd, 2014|
March 3, 2014
Studies form the Social Security Administration (SSA) show there is a one-in-four chance that Americans will become disabled prior to reaching age 67. For many, this could require the need to file a Social Security Disability Claim, but the process to receive benefits can be arduous.
First, a Social Security Disability application must be completed. This can be done at a local SSA office or online. The information given on the forms will then be verified before the case is sent to Disability Determination Services to be examined further.
Claims processors will then work to discern if the disability is severe enough to qualify for benefits. This process often takes several months or even years. The case will then be returned to the SSA, where if approved, benefits will be calculated and dispersed.
Many applicants are denied benefits, though. Records indicate that as many as 60 percent of initial claims receive a denial. If this occurs, the claimant has an opportunity to appeal the decision.
The Social Security Disability Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin understand how complicated the Social Security Disability process can be. That is why the firm urges anyone considering applying for benefits or who have had a claim denied in the past to discuss their legal options with an attorney.
January 29th, 2014|
January 29, 2014
There are hundreds of thousands of disabled Americans who are waiting for decisions to be made on their Social Security Disability claims. The stark reality of the situation is that the majority of these individuals, roughly 60 percent, will eventually receive a Social Security Disability Benefit Denial.
There remains hope for claimants who receive such a decision though, through a process of appeals. The Social Security Administration (SSA) lays out four general steps the appeals process will take. They include:
▪ Filing- A claimant has 60 days from receiving a denial letter to file an appeal of the decision. The appeal must be made in writing. The only exception to this rule is if the denial was made for medical reasons, in which case, the appeal can be made online.
▪ Reevaluation- Upon receiving the appeal, the SSA will reexamine the case in order to ensure all needed information and documentation is present. They will then consider either overturning the denial or upholding the decision.
▪ Hearing- If the decision is upheld, a hearing will be scheduled where a judge will examine the evidence and issue a decision.
▪ Higher Court Appeals- If denied again, the case is heard before an appeals council before making its ways to the courts for a final decision.
The Social Security Disability Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin recognize how confusing the appeals process can be and encourage anyone who has a denied Social Security Disability claim to discuss their case with an attorney immediately.
January 20th, 2014|
January 20, 2014
Several weeks ago, hundreds of former New York police officers and firefighters were indicted on charges of Social Security Disability Fraud. Estimates show these individuals may have collected more than $400 million in improper Social Security Disability payments over the past 13 years, making the case one of the largest scams in the program’s history.
The case leaves many citizens wondering what can be done to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future. An administrative law judge who oversees Social Security Disability cases recently offered several suggestions on how to address the problems of fraud within the Social Security system in an article published by The New York Times.
The suggestions the judge is offering include:
- Create More Transparency– The indicted individuals were caught after posting pictures of themselves engaging in numerous activities a person who is unable to work should not be participating in. Yet, the law prohibits judges from examining social media during a case.
- Allow The Social Security Administration An Attorney– While those filing claims have a right to legal representation, the government does not have attorneys to defend their position in Social Security Disability claims that go to court.
- Change Leadership Strategies– The SSA is currently overseen by an acting commissioner. Hiring someone who has been involved in the system would drastically improve processes.
The Social Security Disability Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin are curious if the public believes these changes would be effective in preventing fraud.
August 26th, 2013|
August 26, 2013
Last week, a total of 75 people were arrested in connection to fraudulent claims for Social Security Disability Benefits being made in Puerto Rico. Experts say that these fraudulent claims only make the process more difficult for those with legitimate claims to get the assistance they need.
According to The Washington Times, the fraudulent claims would be made by a Social Security Administration (SSA) employee after the individual received a payment of up to $6,000. Then, for a cost of up to $500, a doctor would declare an individual unable to work due to a mental health condition.
These fraudulent claims can keep those who are most in need of help from getting the assistance they need in several ways. These claims take time away from processors focusing on legitimate claims, which has helped lead to the massive backlog of unprocessed applications that are still awaiting a decision. Also, fraudulent claims typically lead to lawmakers enacting stiffer regulations on how benefits should be dispersed, creating more red tape for those with legitimate claims to have to cut.
The Social Security Disability Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin recognize the complexities that can accompany filing a claim for benefits. That is why the firm suggests discussing your legal rights with an attorney if you are considering applying for benefits or have a claim that was denied in the past.
August 22nd, 2013|
August 19, 2013
For those who are unable to work because of a mental or physical condition, Social Security Disability Benefits may be an only option as a source of income; however, many citizens do not understand the complexities associated with qualifying for the program.
One of the greatest misconceptions about Social Security Disability is that if an individual is working, they automatically will qualify for benefits if they are injured on-the-job. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth though.
The Social Security Administration requires that an individual work long enough to pay into the system before pulling benefits from it. An individual’s eligibility for Social Security is actually based off the number of credits they earn for time worked.
For instance, if a worker is hurt in the quarter before they turn 24-years-old, they typically must work for a year and a half during the three-year-period prior to becoming disabled. After the age of 24, the individual must typically have worked at least half of the time.
If an injured worker believes they may qualify for benefits, they should immediately begin the application process because of the amount of time it takes to process a claim.
The Social Security Disability Lawyers at the law firm of Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin recognize how difficult the application process for Social Security Disability benefits can be to understand. The firm is here to help anyone who is unable to work get the compensation they need.
August 21st, 2013|
August 21, 2013
In recent years, there have been a growing number of Americans applying for Social Security Disability Benefits. The swelling number of recipients of benefits has also caused a shortage of funding that could leave the program broke within as little as three years. These two factors have led to more difficulty in getting new claims approved.
An article from The Free Beacon explains there are more than 11 million Americans currently enrolled for Social Security Disability benefits, costing taxpayers as much as $144 billion this year alone. The number of claimants is only expected to rise in coming years. With fewer Americans paying into the program and more pulling from it than ever before, experts say the program could be depleted by as soon as 2016.
These figures, combined with a lack of action by lawmakers, have forced the Social Security Administration to adopt the practice of denying most new claims. Figures from the agency show roughly 70 percent of initial claims for benefits being rejected.
The Social Security Disability Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin are aware of the complexities of the Social Security Administration’s approval process. That is why the firm is here to help those who are considering applying for benefits or who have a claim that has been denied in the past.