Social Security lawyers

What Social Security Benefits Are Available for Same-Sex Couples?

by Staff | November 21st, 2014

Most Americans pay into the Social Security program throughout their entire working careers, but what happens to a person’s benefits if they pass away unexpectedly? The attorneys with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin explain that if the deceased individual was married or had children, their next of kin would receive survivor benefits.

Several recent changes to the law allowing same-sex marriage has created some issues as to who this particular type of benefit should be awarded to. Several states have made it legal for two individuals of the same gender to become bound in matrimony.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has ruled it will recognize same sex marriages when it comes to awarding survivor benefits, but only in states where the practice is legal.

These aren’t the only benefits same-sex couples may qualify for under the same rules. In fact, a story from Investment News states the Social Security Administration is currently processing claims for both spousal and children’s benefits for same sex couples living in states where the practice has been made legal.

Like most processes overseen by the SSA though, applying for any of these benefits can be a long and complex task. Hiring an attorney to help you with your case can help eliminate any questions you may have and make collecting the necessary paperwork and documentation easier.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we’re available to speak with you anytime about questions you have regarding Social Security benefits. Call our team of Social Security Lawyers today at (800) 477-7315.

New Expedited SSD Filing Process for Veterans

by Staff | May 23rd, 2014

One of the most frustrating parts of the Social Security Disability filing process is the waiting. Claims take time to process, court dates have to be set, and if you’re denied, the appeal process can take even longer. According to a recent news communiqué from the Social Security Administration (SSA), that frustration may soon be alleviated for certain veterans.

Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, recently unveiled a new expedited filing process for veterans with a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation rating of 100% Permanent & Total (P&T). Although this new policy promises to fast track such applications, it does not guarantee an approval of the claim. However, it’s still a very exciting announcement for veterans who have sacrificed so much.

“While we can never fully repay them for their sacrifices,” Colvin says. “We can be sure we provide them with the quality of service that they deserve.”

To take advantage of this fast-track initiative, veterans must show proof of their disability rating via a VA Notification Letter. However, to gain benefits, veterans will be required to meet the strict requirements that all applicants face. That’s why it’s important to have an Indiana Social Security Disability attorney on your side.

If you’ve been denied Social Security Disability benefits, call the Indiana injury lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin today.

Obama Says Social Security Payments Could Be Affected If Debt Ceiling Is Not Raised

by Staff | October 7th, 2013

October 4, 2013

A total of 57 million United States citizens currently receive some sort of benefit from the federal government through the Social Security Administration. With the government in the midst of a shutdown though, many recipients are questioning how the event will effect the benefits they receive.

The Social Security Disability Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin point out that while officials have stated the shutdown would not effect payments of benefits, President Barack Obama stated yesterday that payments could be effected if a resolution is not found soon.

According to an article published by The Huffington Post, payments are currently continuing to be made because the budget for those payments was decided upon last year. Obama claimed though, that if a budget is not decided upon by the end of the month, the funds currently being used could dry up. Without a decision on how much is needed for the coming year, payments could be frozen.

A similar crisis was narrowly averted in 2011 when controversy was swirling around raising the debt ceiling. Ultimately, a stoppage of payments was avoided by bumping up the national debt.

The law firm’s team of attorneys recognize how important Social Security Disability Benefits are to millions of Americans and are hopeful a timely resolution can be reached so that those in the most need are not forced to struggle financially.

Social Security Benefits A Lifeline For Millions Of Americans

by Staff | August 30th, 2013

August 30, 2013

While much of the recent media attention surrounding Social Security Benefits has focused on cases of fraud and dwindling program funding, it is important to remember how vital the program is for many Americans.

Without the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the programs it supports, millions of United States citizens would be living in poverty. The SSA estimates the median total income for married couples and non-married individuals ages 65 or older have increased significantly since 1962, when the SSA began tracking such data. Even with inflation adjustments, median incomes have risen between 114 and 122 percent.

This rise in median income can be directly attributed to the Social Security Administration and its programs, considering 87 percent of married couples and 85 percent of non-married individuals in this particular age demographic are Social Security recipients. These benefits make up an average of two-thirds of these individuals total income.

More than 56 million citizens are currently receiving benefits from the SSA, with an increasing number of women collecting payments. This number is only expected to rise in the coming years.

The Social Security Benefits Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin recognize how vital benefits for retirees and the disabled coming from the SSA can be to having income resources that provide everyday necessities. The firm is here to help anyone who is considering applying for such benefits or who has a claim that was denied in the past.

Amount Of Time Worked Significantly Affects Social Security Disability Claims

by Staff | 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.

What Affects People’s Ability To Collect Social Security Disability Benefits?

by Staff | July 29th, 2013

July 29, 2013

While Social Security Disability Benefits can be a lifeline for many who are unable to work due to a mental or physical condition, a majority of individuals applying for such benefits are rejected. In fact, data from the Social Security Administration (SSA) shows that 70 percent of initial claims for benefits are denied.

This can leave many wondering, “What could affect an individual’s eligibility for Social Security Disability?” First, it is important to understand what qualifies a person for such benefits.

The SSA says that an applicant must suffer from a condition that will leave them unable to work for at least a year or potentially facing death. The individual must have also worked long enough to receive benefits and must meet certain citizenship criteria.

Recipients are also required to meet standards regarding income, which is one of the most common factors that can have significant effects on the outcome of a Social Security Disability claim.

The way income is figured can be affected in several ways, including:

  • Marriage or Divorce
  • Children
  • Spouses Death
  • Change in Work Status
  • Receiving Pensions
  • Receiving Other Government Benefits

The Social Security Disability Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin suggest anyone considering applying for such benefits or an individual who has a claim that was denied in the past discuss their legal options with an attorney immediately.

Report Shows $7.9 Billion In Fraudulent Social Security Payments

by Staff | May 3rd, 2013

May 3, 2013

While Social Security assists millions of Americans with their income, new data is showing the system is plagued with fraudulent and improper payments. Experts believe that the Social Security Administration (SSA) made more than $7.9 billion in improper payments last year alone.

Records indicate that roughly $4.7 billion in wrongful payments were made last year through Supplemental Security Income, giving this area of the program an improper payment rate of 9.2 percent. Furthermore, another $3.2 billion in illegal payments came from the Old Age, Survivors’ and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program.

CNS News stated the major reason for these improper payments seems to be Social Security Disability fraud. The problem can take many different forms, including beneficiaries who fail to inform the government of changes to income, or living arrangements. Each of these factors can significantly affect the amount an individual recipient is awarded in benefits.

To solve the problem, the new SSA Commissioner, Patrick O’Carroll, Jr., has stated he intends to have the agency conduct more reviews of recipient’s cases to ensure beneficiaries are not working on the side. Also, a computer database will be implemented that allows the agency to cross-reference information on beneficiaries in order to cut back on improper payments.

The Social Security Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin explain the problem of overpayments could make it more difficult for those who are applying for benefits to receive approval. The firm suggests discussing your case with an attorney if considering applying for benefits.

Will The Sequester Affect Social Security Disability Benefit Claims?

by Staff | March 20th, 2013

March 20,2013

With thousands of federal employees facing the requirement of taking furloughed time off due to sequestration, many feel this action may do nothing but harm people. According to the Shelton Herald, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro feels the elderly and disabled may be some of the hardest hit by this sort of shut down.

The sequester will require employees of the Social Security Administration, who typically process claims for Social Security Disability and retirement benefits, to take unpaid time off from work in an effort to meet budgetary constraints. For the past several years, the agency has been operating at roughly 8 percent below budget already. DeLauro says the combination of a lack of both funding and now manpower will only further lengthen wait times for benefit claims processing.

DeLauro goes on to explain the elderly will be most affected by the furlough. She claims the Social Security program is an integral part of keeping the elderly above financial poverty levels. The Congresswoman went on to point out how the program had helped decrease the number of citizens below poverty level from 30 percent in the 1950’s to around 10 percent today.

The Social Security Disability Attorneys with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin recognize how the sequester may affect a person’s ability to have a claim for Social Security benefits processed. The firm urges anyone preparing to file a claim to contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Social Security Disability Benefits

by Staff | February 20th, 2013

February 20, 2013

For the millions of Americans who receive Social Security Disability benefits, the money they receive is supposed to be enough to cover basic living expenses. Yet, many of these individuals still struggle to make ends meet. PBS Newshour recently released an article that offered several tips for maximizing the amount of benefits a person receives from Social Security Disability funds.

The article explains just how important the timing of filing a claim for benefits can be. The law states that a person who is fully disabled can collect full disability benefits until they reach the age of 66 years old, at which point, they are converted to retirement benefits with no reduction in the amount of benefits. This essentially will allow a person to begin receiving benefits up to four years early.

If an individual who is hurt has been married for over a year and their spouse is collecting a retirement benefit or has applied for such benefits, but has suspended the payments, an injured individual can collect an extra spousal benefit between the ages of 62 and 66 years old; however, the payments may be reduced since the benefit is being taken before retirement age.

The Social Security Disability Lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin point out that the process for ensuring you receive the most amount of money possible when applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be complex and add it is just another reason having an attorney by your side through the process is so vital.

Data Shows Record Number Of Social Security Disability Recipients In 2012

by Staff | January 4th, 2013

January 4, 2012

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced that in 2012, the number of individuals who receive Social Security Disability Benefits hit an all-time high. According to NewsMax, an estimated 8.82 million Americans, including disabled workers and their dependent family members, received benefits last year alone. This means that for every 1.67 people who are employed in the private sector, there is one person who is collecting Social Security Disability benefits.

The Social Security program was only able to bring in a total of $725.4 billion in revenue last year, though, and considering the program paid out $773.2 billion in benefits to recipients, the country was left with a $47.8 billion deficit for the last year.

The growth in the number of claimants and those receiving Social Security Disability benefits has been attributed to a poor economy. Experts say that historically, when the economy is bad, the number of individuals who claim they are unable to work rises.

The program’s debt has forced the system to the brink of collapse. The Social Security Disability Lawyers with Fleschner, stark, Tanoos & Newlin recognize that factors such as a high number of claims and the program’s debt could add to the difficulty of having a claim approved. That is why the firm suggests discussing your case with an attorney if you have a claim you are preparing to file or have a claim that has been denied in the past.