social security disability lawyers

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.

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.

Few Low-Income Children With Mental Disorders Get Supplemental Security Income

by Staff | October 5th, 2015

There’s good and bad news when it comes to low-income children with mental disorders in the U.S. getting the benefits they need.

The bad news is many of these children don’t receive benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The good news is the number of children with mental disorders applying for these benefits seems to be on the rise.

A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concludes that in 2013, only 2.09 percent of low-income children in the U.S. who suffer from a mental disorder received SSI or other forms of benefits.

On the other hand, experts point out the number of children with mental disorders applying for these benefits is growing. The 2.09 percent of children who received benefits in 2013 was a significant increase from the 1.88 percent who were considered program beneficiaries in 2004.

An article from Medscape says officials are hopeful the findings used to educate low-income families of children with mental disorders about the benefits they may qualify for. Researchers explain getting this particular message out is especially important because the report showed low-income families are more likely to have children who suffer from serious mental conditions.

Understanding SSI benefits can be a complex process. The Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin can assist you in your quest for the answers you need. Visit our website to learn more about how we can help.

Resources Available to Those With Childhood Cancer

by Staff | September 26th, 2015

September has been declared “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month” in an effort to raise awareness about the struggles thousands of American youths face on a daily basis as they battle some form of this deadly disease. That’s why our Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin are working to educate our communities about certain resources that may be available to help families who have a loved one fighting cancer.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) runs several programs that may provide financial assistance to those who have been diagnosed with cancer and have limited income. First, Supplemental Security Income is offered to children who are disabled and who bring in less than $733 or $1,100 in income per month, depending on whether the eligible applicant is single or married.

For those who are eligible and who have a child who has been diagnosed with cancer, you may also be awarded Social Security Disability benefits for dependents and family members. Getting these benefits can be quite simple if the form of cancer the applicant suffers from is listed as one of the many Compassionate Allowances, which are diseases the SSA has deemed severe enough to warrant streamlined processing.

There are many stipulations to receiving either of these benefits and it would be wise to learn more about what options may be available to you. The Social Security Administration provides a Social Security Child Disability Starter Kit that can help you determine if you should consider applying for benefits for your young one.

Our team at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin understands the difficulties that can accompany a diagnosis of cancer and we’re hopeful this information can help you and your loved ones in your time of need.

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.

Upgrades to Online System Makes Appealing Your Social Security Disability Claim Easier

by Staff | August 27th, 2015

Getting approved to receive Social Security Disability benefits is no easy task. In fact, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reports up to 65 percent of claims are initially turned down.

When a Social Security Disability denial is issued, the claimant has the right to file an appeal of the decision. Doing so has proven to be a long and drawn out process for many in the past. Now, changes have been made to the online filing system in order to make filing an appeal much easier and more efficient.

The system is currently responsible for filing roughly 90,000 appeals per month nationwide. SSA officials are hopeful upgrades that have been made to the system could increase that number; all while providing users with a better experience.

A press release issued in NRToday says the online Social Security Disability appeals filing system now features the ability to submit both an appeals request and medical records at the same time. The need to submit duplicate information has also been eliminated in many areas.

Users outside the United States are also now able to access the system.

Technology can be extremely beneficial in reducing the backlog of claims awaiting decisions. It can cut the wait times for decisions when appealing your Social Security Disability claim as well. Our Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin applaud these improvements and are hopeful more ways to better the process for filing and appealing a Social Security Disability claims can be discovered.

When to File Social Security Disability Appeals

by Staff | August 11th, 2015

If you’ve ever attempted to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you know how daunting the task can be. The wait time for a decision in your case can be lengthy and the likelihood of your claim not being approved is high. In fact, more than 60 percent of initial claims are denied.

Receiving a Social Security Disability denial coupled with these long waits leaves many disabled workers wondering what their choices are. Our legal team at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin explains that you can accept the denial or enter the Social Security Disability appeals process, which allows for your case to be heard by a judge, rather than examined by a Social Security Disability claims processor.

The ability to get your claim approved on appeals may be affected, in part, by what part of the country you’re from and which judge is hearing your case. An article from MY FOX Atlanta News explains some judges tend to approve denials at a higher rate than others.

The location of where the claim is filed may also have an effect on the outcome of a case. For example, two-thirds of Georgia’s Social Security Disability appeals are denied—a much higher rate of denial than in other states throughout our country.

The best way for you to determine what options may work best for you is to discuss your case with a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer. Doing so will help to ensure all of your questions are answered and you have the information necessary to make an informed decision about your case.

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.