Social Security Disability Benefits

Disabled Veterans Given Expedited Social Security Disability Claims Processing

by Keith Adkins | March 27th, 2014

Veterans disabled due to an injury or condition related to their military service may not only be entitled to benefits provided by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), but also may be able to receive Social Security Disability Benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). But numerous disconnects between the two organizations have resulted in reports of disabled veterans struggling to receive their benefits.

To correct this problem, officials from the two organizations recently announced a new plan to expedite processing of Social Security Disability claims filed by disabled veterans. According to a press release from the Department of Defense, soldiers and veterans deemed 100 percent disabled by the VA will have their claim for Social Security Disability funneled into a streamlined processing system. Officials add that expedited processing does not guarantee approval, but it will significantly cut the amount of time it takes for decisions to be reached.

The move is expected to benefit tens of thousands of disabled veterans.

The Appleton Personal Injury Lawyers with Sigman, Janssen, Stack, Sewall & Pitz are aware of the complexities of the rules that oversee the processing of Social Security Disability claims and are here to help if you are considering applying for disability benefits.

Some Basic Facts About Social Security Disability Benefits

by Keith Adkins | February 13th, 2014

Estimates show there are currently more than 14 million Americans unable to work due to a mental or physical conditions collecting Social Security Disability benefits. This is only a portion of the individuals who need benefits though, as roughly 60 percent of all initial disability claims are denied.

This statistic leave many citizens wondering what constitutes Social Security Disability Eligibility and how to receive benefits.

An article from CBS News shows disabled workers and their dependents account for roughly 19 percent of all Social Security payments made. The survivors of workers killed while on-the-job make up another 11 percent of payments.

In order to collect benefits, a person must fill out an application with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and must have worked long enough and paid enough into the system to collect benefits. If these criteria have been met, claims adjustors will then work to determine if the individual’s disability is severe enough to collect benefits. This is achieved by examining if a condition meets standards established by the SSA.

The Appleton Personal Injury Lawyers with Sigman, Janssen, Stack, Sewall & Pitz are aware of how confusing the Social Security disability process can be. That is why the firm urges anyone considering applying for such benefits or who has a claim that was denied in the past to discuss their legal options with an attorney immediately.

Social Security Disability: Mental Health Limitations

by sjs | January 30th, 2014

Mental health limitations are difficult to prove in a Social Security Disaiblity hearing; however, Attorney Burkham is committed to helping individuals with mental health problems be successful in their disability claims.  In one recent case, the claimant had been turned down by several other lawyers and his hearing date was fast approaching.  Attorney Burkham saw that this individual needed disability benefits in order to stabilize his life and her team of paralegals got to work fast getting updated medical records and doctors’ reports to prepare for a hearing that was scheduled only two weeks after taking the case.  Attorney Burkham represented the claimant in his hearing and ultimately they were successful in obtaining benefits.  Now the claimant has the financial means through benefits as well as insurance through the government to assist in stabilizing his life and allowing him to meet his obligations.

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.

Many Initially Denied Social Security Disability Claims Now Being Approved

by Keith Adkins | June 27th, 2013

June 27, 2013

With a growing number of American citizens applying for Social Security Disability Benefits each day, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is denying more claims than ever before. Data indicates that as many as 70 percent of all initial Social Security disability claims are denied.

But the SSA’s tightening of the reins is being undermined by many claim denials being overturned by administrative judges. Further complicating the problem is the fact that the agency is not following up on approved claims in a timely manner to ensure the recipient is still unable to work.

An article from CBS News explains that many experts feel an overload of cases heard by administrative judges. The judges are expected to hear a certain number of cases each year, which has led to court officials prematurely handing out approvals.

Numbers show judges are approving more than half of the cases they hear. This is because judges are expected to hear between 500 and 700 cases per year and, often, approvals are given just to keep up with the caseload.

The SSA is also falling behind on follow up procedures to ensure payments are being made correctly. The agency currently has 1.3 million follow-up review cases to handle.

The Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers with Sigman, Janssen, Stack, Sewall & Pitz recognize how complex the Social Security Disability system can be and are here to answer any questions if you are considering applying for benefits.

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.

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