supplemental security income

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 Helps Prevent Criminals from Receiving Supplemental Security Income or Disability Benefits

by Staff | July 27th, 2015

The law states that anyone who is fleeing to avoid prosecution of a felony is ineligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income; however, loopholes in the law that were uncovered by several recent court cases have allowed some who are fleeing prosecution to continue receiving benefits.

To help address the issue, an Indiana senator has proposed a bill that would change the language of the law in order to prevent many individuals with warrants for their arrest from receiving federal assistance.

The Social Security Act, as it stands today, states that federal benefits cannot be paid to anyone fleeing a felony arrest or conviction. Furthermore, anyone who violates the conditions of their parole or probation for a felony conviction is ineligible for Social Security programs.

Several recent cases have allowed individuals fitting these circumstances to continue receiving payments though. That’s why the bill introduced by Sen. Dan Coats would change the wording of the law to close these loopholes.

According to The Journal Gazette, the bill proposed by Sen. Coats would prevent anyone who is “the subject of an arrest warrant for the purpose of prosecution” to be prohibited from receiving benefits. The only stipulation to the rule is that the arrest warrant or violation must be for a felony.

Coats estimates that, if approved, his bill could save taxpayers as much as $4.8 billion over the course of the next decade.

Protecting the rights and benefits of the disabled is important to our Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, and we know that Social Security regulations can be complex. Our legal staff is curious to see if Sen. Coats bill will be adopted or rejected and what effect it may have on those who receive disability payments.

How The SCOTUS Ruling Will Impact Social Security and Supplemental Security Income

by Staff | June 29th, 2015

Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States reached a historic decision to legalize same-sex marriages. This monumental ruling will impact many different government programs and services. Researchers believe this could be a good thing, as studies have indicated operational costs will be significantly decreased by the decision.

Take Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income as a prime example. In order to qualify for these benefits, an individual must meet certain income standards that are measured through what’s known as a means test. Under previous laws, applicants to Social Security Disability programs who were involved in a long-term same sex relationship would file as single and only have their income considered. Under the new law though, if the individual is legally married, their partner’s income will be taken into consideration. This means an individual who would have previously qualified for benefits may now make too much money to qualify for assistance.

According to an article from FOX Business, the decision could mean an extra $100 million in the government’s pocket just from Supplemental Security Income.

The ruling also means same sex couples may be entitled to receive benefits like spousal or survivor benefits.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we recognize how the SCOTUS ruling will impact hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of lives. If you have questions regarding how the decision could affect your Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income, feel free to call our team of Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin at (800) 477-7315 to get the answers that you need.

Childhood Cancer Increases Chance of Receiving SSD Benefits Later in Life

by Staff | April 27th, 2015

Research from the American Cancer Society shows that 1 in 285 U.S. citizens will be diagnosed with a form of cancer before age 20. While the survival rate for pediatric cancer is more than 80 percent, our Social Security Disability lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin point out the disease may put children at an increased risk of disability and the need for Social Security Disability benefits later in life.

Science Daily released data from a study that was conducted by researchers with the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. The team surveyed 698 individuals who had survived childhood cancer and were now between age 20 – 70. Siblings of the survivors who had not been afflicted with cancer were then surveyed as a control group for the study.

The data that was collected showed an estimated 13.5 percent of childhood cancer survivors surveyed were enrolled to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), while 10 percent were getting Social Security Disability benefits. These rates were significantly higher than those of the control group, which showed a mere 2.6 percent of the cancer survivors’ siblings receiving SSI and 5.4 percent on disability.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we understand the lifelong complications that can accompany a diagnosis of cancer early in life and we are here to help if cancer or its side effects have left you unable to work. Give our team of attorneys a call anytime at (800) 477-7315 if you have questions regarding your legal rights.

How Supplemental Security Income Can Help if Your Loved One Is Disabled

by Staff | March 30th, 2015

There are millions of Americans who are unable to work because of a disabling condition they suffer from, but not all of those individuals are work-age adults who have paid into the Social Security Disability benefits system long enough to collect compensation. In fact, many are children who have been afflicted with their condition all their lives.

Having a disabled family member can provide a unique set of financial hardships, which is why the Social Security Disability lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin believe it’s so important to have a plan in place for how you will cover your loved one’s medical and personal expenses. Today, we’d like to offer several tips on steps you can take to establish such a plan for the future:

  • Apply for Government Assistance- Several federal programs provide assistance to the disabled. If your child suffers from a disability, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). While Social Security Disability benefits are only awarded to United States citizens who have worked and paid into the system, SSI is typically given to any disabled adult or child who has limited income.
  • Start Saving Now– Last year, a bill was approved that changed the amount of money and assets a disability recipient could have at any given time. The Social Security Administration states the ABLE Act allows disability recipients to keep up to $100,000 in a special account with no tax deductions. Previous law only allowed the disabled to have as much as $2,000 in assets at any time.
  • Get Help- The laws that govern disability benefits can be complex and difficult to navigate. Speaking with a legal representative can help clarify the questions and issues you may have regarding your claim.

We hope these suggestions help you on your way to financial freedom for you and your family!

Can My Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Benefits Be Taxed?

by Staff | January 26th, 2015

It’s tax season once again and for many Americans, the process of determining what you owe or should get back can be quite complicated. This is especially true for individuals who receive Social Security Disability benefits.

While some citizens who are considered disabled may not have to pay taxes on their benefits or income, others may. Experts say it depends on how much money the taxpayer brought in over the past year.

If you’re receiving Supplemental Security Income, it’s likely you will not have to pay taxes on your benefits. This is because in order to qualify for the program, you must have limited income. If you’re approved for these benefits, it’s highly likely you aren’t making enough to be required to pay taxes on them.

According to the Social Security Administration, disabled individuals who make less than $25,000 per year will not owe taxes on their income; however, those who made between $25,000 and $34,000 will have to pay taxes on up to 50 percent of the benefits they received. Disabled Americans who made more than $34,000 will owe taxes on as much as 85 percent of their income.

The numbers change if a disabled individual files their taxes jointly with a spouse. Families making between $32,000 and $44,000 must pay taxes on no more than 50 percent of their benefits, while those bringing in more than $44,000 must pay income taxes on as much as 85 percent of their benefits.

If you’re considering applying for Social Security Disability benefits, the questions you have about taxes are likely only scratching the surface of the concerns that are on your mind. At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we know that speaking with a qualified legal representative is often the best way to get the answers you’re looking for and we’re here to help. Call our team of Social Security Disability lawyers anytime at (800) 477-7315 to discuss your case.

Common Mistakes Made by Social Security Disability Applicants

by Staff | December 29th, 2014

Millions of Americans depend on Social Security Disability benefits as their main resource for income, yet a large number of claimants leave a portion of their benefits on the table due to mistakes that are made during the application and approval processes. That’s why the Social Security Disability lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin would like to point out some of the most common errors disability applicants make.

  • Not Checking Earned Benefits Often Enough– Workers in the United States earn their disability benefits based on the length of time they worked and the amount of income they earned during that time; however, the Social Security Administration has been known to make mistakes while recording earnings. That’s why it’s crucial to regularly check your earned benefits statements to ensure you’re getting everything you’re owed.
  • Not Claiming All Earned Benefits– An individual who is approved for Social Security Disability payments may also be eligible for other benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income, yet many applicants fail to apply for other benefit programs they’re entitled to.
  • Not Applying Soon Enough– There are statutes of limitations on when an individual can make a disability claim. Furthermore, there is a decrease in the chances of your claim being approved the longer you wait to apply.

In order to avoid these and other common mistakes, you may want to speak with a legal representative regarding the options that are available to you for your disability. Our team of attorneys is available to speak with you any time by calling (800) 477-7315.

“I’m In To Hire” Creates Jobs For Those With An Intellectual Disability

by Staff | October 27th, 2014

Life With An Intellectual Disability

Living with an intellectual disability can be a struggle due to an inability to learn or meet established criteria for advancement in a school setting. This is just one reason why many of the individuals who make up the two percent of Americans who are afflicted with an intellectual disability depend on Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income to make ends meet.

These benefits are often meager though and many of those with an intellectual disability have a desire to works; however, this type of disability often keeps employers from considering hiring someone who has been diagnosed with such a condition. That may soon change though if one organization has anything to do with it.

“I’m In To Hire” Program

The Best Buddies “I’m In To Hire” program challenges employers and companies across the United States to find work for and hire local citizens who are afflicted with an intellectual disability. The organization adds that it is a win-win for those involved, considering the disabled are able to earn a living wage—as much as $40,000 a year—while companies get dedicated, hard working employees. Th program also significantly reduces the amount of money needed to fund disability programs.

So far, more than 100,000 employers have pledged to participate in the program. Best Buddies hopes to reach a goal of getting one million disabled individuals employed within the next decade.

Get Involved

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our Social Security Disability lawyers recognize the sense of pride and accomplishment that can go into a hard days work. That’s why we encourage you, if you’re an employer, to consider hiring one of the 85 percent of individuals with an intellectual disability who are unemployed for a job. Even if you aren’t an employer, we encourage you to pledge your support to the cause by signing up to raise awareness about the issue.

“I’m In To Hire” Creates Jobs for People With Intellectual Disabilities

by Staff | October 22nd, 2014

Life With An Intellectual Disability

Living with an intellectual disability can be a struggle due to an inability to learn or meet criteria for advancement in school settings. This is just one reason why many of the the two percent of Americans afflicted with intellectual disabilities depend on Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income to make ends meet.

Many people with intellectual disabilities have a desire to enter the workforce, but it can be hard to find jobs. However, this may soon change if one organization has anything to do with it.

“I’m In To Hire” Program

The Best Buddies “I’m In To Hire” program challenges employers across the United States to  hire local citizens with intellectual disabilities. The organization adds that it is a win-win for those involved, considering the disabled are able to earn living wages—as much as $40,000 a year—while companies get dedicated, hard working employees. Th program also significantly reduces the amount of money needed to fund disability programs.

So far, more than 100,000 employers have pledged to participate in the program. Best Buddies hopes to reach a goal of getting one million disabled individuals employed within the next decade.

Get Involved

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our Social Security Disability lawyers recognize the sense of pride and accomplishment that can go into a hard day’s work. That’s why we encourage employers to consider hiring one of the 85 percent of individuals with an intellectual disability who are without a job. If you aren’t an employer, we encourage you to pledge your support to the cause by signing up to raise awareness about the program.