Social Security Disability Help

The Evolution of the Social Security Disability Program

by Staff | November 4th, 2015

The U.S. Social Security Disability program was established in 1956 as a way to provide citizens who suffered from a disabling mental or physical condition for longer than one year with a sustainable income. Since that time, some aspects of the program have changed, while others have stayed the same. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently took a closer look at how the program has evolved over the years, as well as which aspects remain in their original form.

While many of the requirements for receiving Social Security Disability benefits have stayed the same, such as suffering from one of many eligible disabling conditions, more workers than ever before are participating in the program. The amount each disabled worker receives has also increased over time.

A few things that have not changed over the years include the fact that most disabled workers have a long work history in our country and a majority of claimants are older.

The SSA report shows as many as 75 percent of Social Security Disability recipients had earned as many as 80 percent of the available credits towards benefits since they were 21-years-old. Also, a total of 72 percent of those participating in the program were age 50 or older.

The success of the Social Security Disability program is important to each staff member at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin. The Social Security Disability lawyers are hopeful to see the program continue to function as it was intended in the future as well.

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.

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.

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.

How to Determine What Social Security Disability Benefits You’ve Earned

by Staff | June 22nd, 2015

Suffering from a disabling injury or illness can leave your finances tight. Luckily, many disabled Americans qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, but determining how much you should receive can be complicated.

Our Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin say one of the best ways to find out how much you could receive from Social Security Disability benefits is to sign up for a My Social Security account. Doing so will allow you to see just how much in benefits you have earned during your working career and will also allow you to track how much you will earn in the future.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) says that’s not all you can do with your account. You can also request a replacement Medicare card if your original is lost or stolen. Having an account also allows you to retrieve extra copies of your tax documents, such as a SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S.

Speaking with a legal representative can also be beneficial in determining the amount of Social Security Disability benefits you can earn. An examination of your case and history can help determine the best way to get you the maximum amount of benefits.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we understand that figuring out how to calculate your Social Security Disability benefits can be complicated, which is why our legal staff hopes these tips help navigating through the process a little simpler for you.

Proposed Changes to Grid Rules Could Affect How the SSA Determines if You’re Disabled

by Staff | June 1st, 2015

Being unable to work would put a serious financial strain on a majority of Americans. Luckily, most employees in the United States pay into the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability program in order to qualify for benefits in the event they are unable to work; however, getting these benefits can be an extremely complicated process.

One of the reasons for this is how the SSA determines if you’re disabled. The agency uses a set of grid rules that examine factors of an applicant’s condition that can affect their quality of life. If the condition is determined to be detrimental to the applicant’s ability to lead a normal work and private life, they may be approved; however, these rules haven’t been updated for decades despite massive advancements in the fields of treatment, technology, and education during that time.

That’s why lawmakers are considering three separate bills that would reform how the SSA determines if you’re disabled. An article from The Ripon Advance outlines the details of each of the bills that have been sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Sen. Orrin Hatch. Hatch states he hopes the changes will create a much more “effective and efficient” process for distributing disability benefits.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we’ve seen many disabled workers struggle to get the benefits they deserve. That’s why our Social Security Disability lawyers are optimistic that these laws will benefit those who have fought for so long to get the help that they need.

Social Security Disability Lawyers Discuss Benefits That May Be Available After Losing a Spouse

by Staff | May 18th, 2015

The financial struggles that accompany the loss of a spouse can be immense, especially if you’re considered disabled. That’s why our Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin want to let you know about options that might be available to offer assistance.

The Social Security Administration funds a program called Supplemental Security Income that provides financial aid to citizens of the United States who are disabled and have limited resources for income. To qualify, one must be a U.S citizen or qualifying alien and be over age 65, blind, or suffer from another disabling condition.

If you’re at least 62-years-old, divorced or widowed from a U.S. citizen who was entitled to Social Security Disability or retirement benefits, and have not remarried, you may be able to receive part of your former spouse’s benefits. It’s important to remember though, that you must have been married to your former spouse for at least a decade in order to be able to collect their benefits. If you’re applying for your ex-spouse’s benefits and they haven’t retired yet, you must has been divorced for at least two years before you are eligible to collect their benefits.

Determining the best course of action with Social Security Disability benefits can be complicated, which is why our attorneys at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin suggest using the Social Security Administration’s Benefits Planner to help determine you maximum benefit under different scenarios. If you still have questions, you may want to seek the guidance of legal counsel.

We hope this information helps you get the benefits you deserve!

The Judge Could Be a Factor in Your Social Security Disability Appeal

by Staff | March 9th, 2015

If you’ve applied for Social Security Disability benefits, in all likelihood, your claim has been denied. That’s because the Social Security Administration says that up to 65 percent of initial disability claims are denied. This leaves many citizens wondering what factors come into play in deciding whether a disabled individual should receive Social Security payments.

Some experts believe the judge hearing your Social Security Disability appeal could make all the difference. Data indicates that some judges tend to approve disability applicants at a higher rate than others.

An article posted by The Wall Street Journal found judges hearing disability appeals approved 70 percent of the cases that came before them over the past decade. Approximately nine percent of judges approved more than 90 percent of cases that came across their bench. Trends also indicate that many judges approved more claims over time.

Laws were reformed over the last several years, aiming to ensure judges remain impartial. This includes limiting the number of cases each judge hears per year. This allows judges to fully focus on each new case they hear.

There are plenty of other factors that can affect whether or not your Social Security Disability appeal will be approved. Seeking legal counsel may be the best way to determine how to handle your case. The Social Security Disability lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin are here to answer any legal questions you may have if your claim for Social Security Disability benefits has been denied. Call us to discuss your case at (800) 477-7315.

Waiting for a Social Security Disability Appeal

by Staff | March 2nd, 2015

If you’ve applied for Social Security Disability benefits, there’s a good chance your claim was denied. In fact, the Social Security Administration reports as many as 65 percent of initial claims are not approved.

There’s no need to fret if this is the case though. You have an opportunity to file a Social Security Disability appeal of the decision at several different levels; however, it’s important to know this can be a time consuming process. Data shows the wait time for a Social Security Disability hearing can be as long as a year and a half.

The Social Security Administration is working to address this issue by holding more hearings via video conferencing. The applicant simply logs in online and a hearing can be streamed between the applicant’s computer and the judge. This prevents hearings from being delayed due to problems such as transportation issues or weather.

Video conferencing is gaining popularity as well, with records from many offices showing a significantly higher number of hearings be held via this technologically advanced method as opposed to hearings that are held in person. The SSA hopes that as many as 30 percent of all appeal hearings will be held via video conferencing in the coming year.

With so much riding on the decision that is reached in each Social Security Disability hearing, having legal representation by your side during this process can be beneficial. That’s why the Social Security Disability attorneys with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin are here to help you better understand your rights if your claim for benefits has been denied. We are available to speak with you anytime regarding your case by calling (800) 477-7315.

Struggling to Fight a Social Security Disability Denial

by Staff | February 2nd, 2015

The Social Security Administration has strict rules governing their policies for distributing Social Security Disability benefits. But as the old saying goes, there’s an exception to every rule.

Consider the case of a woman who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) seven years ago. Her condition left her unable to work and she applied for benefits. She received a Social Security Disability denial though, because she hadn’t received enough work credits to be approved for benefits.

The Social Security Administration requires most workers to have 40 work credits before they can be approved for benefits. One credit is accrued for every $1,220 a worker earns in a year and 20 of your credits must have been earned in the decade prior to applying for benefits.

According to Alive 11 News, the woman who was diagnosed with ALS was denied benefits because she had stopped working when she was 15 credits shy of Social Security Disability eligibility.

She and her family have appealed the decision, and recently, officials from the SSA have reached out to discuss what options may be available to help the woman get benefits.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we’ve seen how complicated the policies and procedures overseeing Social Security Disability benefits can be. That’s why our Social Security Disability lawyers are hopeful the woman in this particular case can get the assistance she needs.