Appleton Social Security Lawyer

Social Security Lawyers Discuss 3 Major Changes to Disability Benefits in 2014

by Keith Adkins | December 26th, 2013

December 26, 2013

There are millions of Americans who depend on Social Security Disability Benefits as a resource for income; however, recipients can expect to see several major changes in the way benefits are processed and figured in the coming year.

One of the greatest changes is the increase in benefits that each recipient will see. According to an article released by the Senior Journal, Oscar Garcia, an Informational Specialist with the Social Security Administration, states there will be a 1.5 percent increase applied to all approved benefits claims in 2014. This will raise the amount the average recipient gets by an estimated $19 per month, while recipients of Supplemental Security Income will see an average increase of around $17 per month.

Other changes that will take effect next month include increases in the amount of earnings that are subject to Social Security payroll taxes. Previous law required only an individual’s first $113,700 of income was taxable, while beginning in January, the total will rise to $117,000.

Furthermore, the amount of earnings needed to receive Social Security coverage credit will increase. An individual will now have to make $1,200 in order to receive a credit, while previous law offered the credits for every $1,160 in earnings.

The Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers with Sigman, Janssen, Stack, Sewall & Pitz recognize how complex laws surrounding Social Security Benefits can be. That’s why the firm suggests speaking with an attorney if you are considering applying for such benefits.

Social Security Benefit Payments Going Electronic Beginning in March

by Keith Adkins | February 28th, 2013

Feb. 28, 2013

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that beginning on March 1, they will be switching to only issuing Social Security Disability and retirement benefits through electronic payments. Yet, estimates issued in a press release last week show there are still roughly 52,000 residents of Wisconsin who have yet to make the switch from receiving paper checks.

The department explained it is easy to either have the funds loaded into a bank or credit union account held by the recipient. If a recipient of benefits does not have an account, there is an option of having their benefits put onto a Direct Express® debit card issued by the government. The card will allow the beneficiary free transactions at an extended network of ATM machines.

Experts say the cost saving associated with eliminating the mailing of the check could be more than $1 billion over the next decade.

In order to make the switch to electronic payments, a beneficiary needs to contact their local Social Security office with their Social Security number, 12-digit federal benefit number, and their bank’s routing number.

The Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers with Sigman, Janssen, Stack, Sewall & Pitz encourage any Social Security recipient who has hesitated to make the switch to electronic payments to do so soon so there is no disruption in their benefit payment schedule.

Social Security Benefits to Increase Next Year

by Keith Adkins | October 25th, 2012

Oct. 25, 2012

To many citizens struggling to get by on the small amount they receive from Social Security Disability benefits, news of a small increase in payments set to begin in January was a relief. However, experts say that rising living expenses will cancel out any gain the raise presents.

News Channel 5 reports that each of the 56 million Americans receiving Social Security benefits will see a 1.7 percent increase in their benefits. This amounts to a roughly $20 increase in payments per month. The approximately 8 million individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income will also see a boost in payments.

These increases are based off of figures collected by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. The numbers look at fluctuations in cost on food, clothing, housing, fuel, utilities, medical care, and transportation.

One problem with such a low increase is that Medicare premiums are set to rise by as much as $7, which eats up approximately one-third of the increase. With gas, housing, and food prices skyrocketing as well, many social security benefit recipients will continue to struggle to get by.

The Appleton Personal Injury Lawyers with Sigman, Janssen, Stack, Sewall & Pitz understand how complicated the Social Security system can be. That is why the firm is here to answer any questions you may have about a claim, whether you’re preparing to file or have been denied in the past.

Study Finds Increased Number of Americans Receiving Social Security Disability

by Keith Adkins | August 9th, 2012

Aug. 9, 2012

A new study that was recently conducted by the Congressional Budget Office found that there has been a surge in the number of applicants for Social Security Disability benefits in recent years. According to the Huffington Post, from 1996 to 2009, the rate for disabled workers rose from 67 percent to 76 percent; there are now roughly 8.3 million Americans who are unable to work due to physical and mental disabilities.

Experts cite a number of factors behind the increase. While the majority of the growth can be blamed on a poor economy and an aging population, changes to the law in the 1980s also played a large role. The Reagan Administration created a set of rules allowing more individuals with mental and musculoskeletal disabilities to qualify for benefits.

While many believe the increase shows that it may be easier than ever to qualify for benefits, many who are in need beg to differ. Many applicants fail to receive benefits after first applying, and continue to appeal years after initially applying.

The Appleton Personal Injury Lawyers with Sigman, Janssen, Stack, Sewall & Pitz understand just how difficult and confusing the process of applying for social security benefits can be. That is why the firm suggests taking your case to an experienced attorney if you are unable to work and you believe you may qualify for benefits.

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