October 22, 2018

As you know that you can claim Social Security benefits at the age of 62 – but should you?

Many of my clients will ask a question about retirement planning, and while I am not a financial planner, I do in fact have some things to tell each client as they head into retirement. There is not one single answer for every individual, and there are indeed several different things that seem to go into whether someone should delay claiming their Social Security retirement. However, before you head down to your local Social Security office on the day you turn 62, you should decide how long it will be until you break even on your benefits.

As a lawyer who handles d...

October 9, 2018

Many people applying for Social Security do not realize the importance their medical records have on the outcome of their cases. Someone who wants to qualify for assistance must be treating with at least a primary care physician. However, specialists can be an added bonus in proving that someone is unable to return to work. Medical treatment is not an easy feat for most people, as far too many Americans do not have health insurance and they have limited financial resources.

If this sounds like your situation, then perhaps you can check your local area for county or city indigent health care programs. There are also hospital-run clinics, and private clin...

September 7, 2018

Once a worker becomes disabled and is unable to work, they may file a paper claim with their local Social Security office. Such a claim will be handled by DDS (formally known as Disabilty Determining Services) located your state. DDS processes each claim it makes an initial determination of whether the claimant is disabled. If the initial claim is denied the claim and they feel that they should eventually to a judge. The judge is then in charge of reviewing all the documents that it receives from the lower determination and any additional medical records that the claimant may provide. Finally, the judge will hold a hearing to review test and decide whe...

August 16, 2018

Contact your Congressperson to make sure you let them know that we need to protect the disabled and elderly in your congressional district.

In 2012 the Honorable Randall Frye, the president of the Association of Administrative Law Judges, testified before Congress: “In context of disability adjudication, the government is the trustee billions of taxpayer dollars.” This is a statement that all Texans and residents of Louisiana should reflect upon and consider taking action. Social-Security law Has far reaching and direct impact on the large percentage of the American populace. This is why we should shine a spotlight on Social Security disability. This ar...

August 2, 2018

Most workers in the United States pay into the Social Security program. Each check you receive, you are likely paying into the federally administered program that helps people retire. However, nearly fourteen million Americans are so severely afflicted with mental or physical (and often both) impairments that prevent them from working. In fact this disabilty program is one of the largest programs in the world, and it has stabilized our economy. As a lawyer who has practiced almost exclusively in this are in the last two decades, I have personally seen the need for these programs. However, workers should know that they need to plan for the possibility o...

January 2, 2018

No matter who is in control of Washington DC, we seem to always have the same question looming about Social Security.  Will Social Security Retirement and/or Disability even exist when you retire or if you become medically unable to work?

There was a recent Social Security Trustees Report that says the “Funds” will run out by 2034.

Stories that scare people are all over the internet, and seem to be most rampant on social media.  As a lawyer who has practiced in the area of Social Security Disability for over 15 years, I believe these reports are mostly are overblown. Social Security will not collapse. “Funds” don’t even pay most Social Security benefits....

September 18, 2017

I recently read a Washington Post article on the delay that so many disability applicants around the country face.  I just wanted to share a few quotes from the article:

“More than 1 million Americans await a hearing to see whether they qualify for disability benefits from Social Security, with the average wait nearly two years -- longer than some of them will live.”

“All have been denied benefits at least once, as most applications are initially rejected.”

“Recipients won't get rich as the average benefit is $1,037 a month -- too small to lift a family of two out of poverty.”

“For some, the benefits come too late. Chris Hoffman worked as a mason, laying b...

August 25, 2017

Several of my clients have been asking about the Consultative Examination that Social Security often sends them to.  The question is when Social Security sends you to an independent exam, what is the purpose of this? Why do they do it? And most importantly how do the results of a C.E. have an impact on your claim?

If you apply for social for benefits, there is a good chance you will be scheduled to go to a medical exam. Typically, this happens when an individual who applies for disability has not been seen by a doctor in recent weeks or months.

What is the purpose? While disability examiners need older medical records to determine when a person becam...

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