Articles Posted in Social Security Administration (SSA)

Published on:

https://www.georgiadisabilitylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/188/2020/09/9.15.2020.Blog_-300x205.jpg
Navigating the complex labyrinth of health and disability programs that you may qualify for can be confusing. You may be eligible for more than one program that can help you pay for your medical needs and other expenses.

If you have suffered a disability that makes it difficult or impossible for you to go to work and earn a living, you may qualify for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program. If you qualify for disability benefits under this program, then you will receive a monthly check to meet your expenses. These benefits depend on the amount of taxes that you have previously paid into the Social Security system.

The Social Security Disability Insurance program, however, is completely different from the Supplemental Security Income program. This program provides benefits to people who are disabled and have a very limited income. In certain cases, individuals may qualify for benefits under both the Social Security Disability Insurance program as well as the Supplemental Security Income program. To understand what kind of benefits you should apply for, talk to a disability attorney.

Published on:

https://www.georgiadisabilitylawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/188/2020/08/8.14.2020.Blog-Post-300x200.jpg
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the financial health of the Social Security Administration may not be as bad as previously feared.

The Social Security Administration Chief Actuary recently testified at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing, that the outlook for the agency is much more optimistic than was earlier believed. In April, the agency forecasted that there would be a 15 percent reduction in the earnings of the Social Security Administration as a result of deductions in payroll taxes and other earnings. Now, the agency believes that the actual reduction is likely to be much closer to 10%.

According to the Actuary, the effect on Social Security earnings is not likely to be as great, because of the number of deaths that have already occurred, and are expected to occur as a result of the pandemic. The current economic crisis has something in common with earlier recessions in that there is likely to be more unemployment, leading to lower earnings in the form of payroll taxes into the Social Security Administration. However, unlike other recessions, there are likely to be a large numbers of deaths caused by Covid-19, resulting in fewer benefit payouts for the agency.

Published on:

dreamstime_xxl_6731022-300x201
The coronavirus has devastated many individual’s health and economic security. There have been 36 million new claims for unemployment benefits since the beginning of the pandemic. It is critical to address how this economic downturn has impacted Social Security’s finances. First, many Americans have lost jobs over the last few months, which has decreased the payroll tax revenues. The payroll tax is critical in funding Social Security; in 2018, the $885 billion of the $1 trillion collected for Social Security came from payroll taxes. The longer the recession lasts, the greater impact it will have.

Second, lower interest rates decrease the income in the Trust Fund, financial accounts in the U.S. Treasury. Lastly, a recession leads to a low inflation rate, which reduces salaries for all workers. This also decreases the Trust Fund’s tax revenues.

A likely impact of this financial situation is a reduced cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), annual increases in Social Security to compensate for inflation. The depletion date of Social Security funds is currently 2036. If the COVID-19 related unemployment rate increases, that date is expected to be brought forward to 2034. A slower recovery could move the depletion date back to 2032.

Published on:

dreamstime_xxl_176961832-300x192
The Social Security Administration is taking social distancing measures seriously, and making arrangements for hearings to be conducted via phone.

If you have an appointment for a hearing on your Social Security disability case, you may soon receive a call from the agency, rescheduling your appointment or scheduling a phone call instead.  This is being done to ensure that Georgian Social Security disability beneficiaries do not have to make unnecessarily risky trips to a physical hearing when a hearing can be conducted on the telephone.

For the time being, administrative law judges are conducting telephone hearings, and this will continue at least until the offices are opened.  If you are scheduled for a hearing, please note that the Social Security Administration will call from a private telephone number and not from the Social Security number.

Published on:

dreamstime_l_115364415-300x199
Spinal stenosis is a condition that occurs when there is a narrowing of the gaps in your spine, resulting in pressure on the spinal nerves. Symptoms can include pain, tingling sensations, and numbness in the extremities. Spinal stenosis and the symptoms that accompany it can be serious enough to severely impact a person’s ability to earn a sustainable income. For instance, problems with walking, standing for long periods of times, difficulties in lifting or carrying heavy objects are all some of the challenges that sufferers face daily.

Unfortunately, there is no complete cure for spinal stenosis. However, your physician may prescribe a schedule for the management of your symptoms. Painkillers are often prescribed. Your doctor may also prescribe anti-depressants and opioids to relieve severe pain. Symptoms may not be eased through the use of medication alone. Steroid injections are sometimes used to help relieve pain. However, there are complications associated with the regular use of steroid injections, including weakness in the muscles. Therefore, these are not generally prescribed more than a few times a year.

Physical therapy can help reduce the severity of muscular weakness as a result of the lack of exercise that follows the symptoms of spinal stenosis. In severe cases, a doctor may recommend surgery to treat the pain. There are surgical treatments that may be used for the treatment of cervical spinal stenosis including a laminectomy and laminoplasty.

Published on:

dreamstime_l_147744614-300x200
Unfortunately, scammers targeting your Social Security numbers are on the rise, according to a BeenVerified report. Last year, this fraud cost Americans $19 million, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Scammers are using new tactics to get hold of your personal information; in order to make sure your valuable information is not compromised, it is important to be prepared.

Here are some examples of notorious Social Security scams. Someone calls you and says “your Social Security number has been suspended.” This is a scam, because the Social Security Administration (SSA) says so. The SSA never suspends, revokes, blocks, or freezes Social Security numbers. The SSA also will never ask you to confirm your Social Security number over the phone.  Another common scam is when the caller says that “a federal case has been brought against your Social Security number.” Or, they may say that  a “legal procedure” will be taken if you don’t call back. This is also a scam, because the government never threatens anyone for crimes associated with their Social Security numbers. Lastly, the SSA will never ask you to send money to a dismiss a case against you. If someone requests money claiming to be the SSA, it’s a scam.

There are some important red flags to alert you to a scam. If it looks too good or too bad to be true, it’s probably a scam. In general, if your gut says that what being offered can’t possibly be right, breathe and consider whether it may be a scam. Also, if the caller is aggressive or makes threats of arrest or police involvement, it is probably a scam. Lastly, if the caller demands you act right now, it is likely a scam. In all these instances, hang up immediately and do not press any buttons or call back this number. You can then report this call to the SSA by dialing 800-772-1213.

Published on:

dreamstime_l_88381031-300x200
Several speech disorders, including stuttering, qualify for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance Program. However, not all speech disorders are treated alike when it comes to processing or approval of your claim. Stuttering is a speech disability that causes elongation, blocking or repetition of sounds, syllables or words. This can mean impaired speech that can often be humiliating for sufferers. Stuttering can impact a person’s ability to communicate his thoughts and feelings effectively.

As many as 3 million Americans suffer from stuttering. This problem commonly manifests itself between the age of 2 and 5. While many children overcome their stuttering through therapy, the stuttering continues into adulthood in about 25% of cases. Stuttering can severely impact your ability to perform your job well if it involves interpersonal contact or communication with others.

To recover disability benefits under the Social Security disability benefits program, your disability must meet the criteria set out by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in its Blue Book listing. Stuttering is not a separate listing, but that does not mean that it does not qualify for benefits. This is where your Residual Functional Capacity will come into consideration. The SSA will take into consideration the extent to which your speech disability or stuttering impacts your ability to work and earn a sustainable income. The agency will also consider if you can perform other jobs that can earn you an income before considering you eligible for benefits.

Published on:

dreamstime_l_79135332-300x219
Three former heads of the Social Security Administration (SSA) have called on lawmakers to make budgeting fixes to help resolve the worsening customer service issues plaguing the agency since budgeting cuts went into effect. The letter by the three former Commissioners – Ken Apfel, Jo Anne Barnhart, and Carolyn Colvin – was recently delivered to Congressional delegates. The letter calls on lawmakers to remove the SSA from caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act. This law has required the SSA to compete with other federal agencies for funding.

The cap has worsened the deteriorating backlog crisis at the agency. The letter emphasizes that in 2018 as many as 858,000 Americans were waiting for their appeals hearings. The backlog at the agency’s processing centers is expected to cross 2.9 million cases this year.

Also, the cap has increased wait times for persons who call the agency’s toll-free number. In 2018, the average Social Security applicant spent 24 minutes waiting to speak with an SSA employee.  Applying for and receiving Social Security disability benefits is not an easy or simple task, by any means. Wait times can be very lengthy, and most claims are denied the first time around. It’s always best to work with an attorney to maximize your chances of filing a claim that will help you recover the benefits you are eligible for.

Published on:

dreamstime_l_122539507-300x200

On June 17, 2019, the Social Security Administration (SSA) swore in Andrew Saul as Commissioner of Social Security, beginning a six-year term. He is the first Commissioner since Michael Astrue resigned in February 2013. The Senate confirmed his appointment in a vote on June 4 by a 77-16 vote, with 7 Senators not voting. All the votes against his appointment were from Democrats. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (MD) opposed his appointment, citing his unwillingness to committing to making meaningful changes to labor practices at the SSA. Following his confirmation, Saul said, “I am humbled by the opportunity to help the agency to deliver critical services to the American people.”

From 2002 to 2011, Commissioner Saul was Chair of the Federal Thrift Investment Board (FTIB). In addition to federal service, he has experience in state and local government. He worked as Vice President and Chairman of the Finance Committee of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. He also operated Brooks Fashion Stores and Cache, clothing retailers that declared bankruptcy after he left the companies.

If you have been denied disability benefits, there is still hope; contact this law firm to discuss possible next steps.

Published on:

dreamstime_l_95647239-300x200
The percentage of women receiving disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program has increased significantly over the past few decades. While the gap between the genders in terms of eligibility for Social Security disability benefits has narrowed, the gap in the amount of benefits received has remained consistently wide.

First of all, it is important to remember that the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not consider your gender when it determines your eligibility for benefits. It only requires the following two conditions to have been met:

  • You must have paid into the Social Security system during your employment.
Contact Information