Fresno, CA Attorney Blog

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Assessing the Future of Social Security and Medicare

Q: Should I worry about Social Security Disability benefits funds running out?

Applying for Social Security disability benefits is a complicated process made worse by the stress the disability itself puts on the applicant and their family.

In the face of serious financial burdens and needing to put forth the strongest application possible, many families wisely turn to experienced Social Security benefits attorneys to handle the initial application and/or appealing any denial of benefits.

But the application and appeals process is not the only thing causing disabled people stress.
Read more . . .

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Should Veterans Have a Right to Access Classified Military Records Regarding Chemical Weapons Exposure During the Vietnam Era?

It's patently unfair that after fighting for or serving your country you have to fight for the benefits you're entitled to. That's particularly frustrating when your service has resulted in a life-altering and/or life-shortening disability.

A skilled California Veterans disability and benefits attorney can help eligible veterans file a claim or appeal an unfair denial of benefits…especially when government roadblocks impede access to necessary records.
Read more . . .

Monday, June 26, 2017

Your SSDI Hearing Wait Time May Be 583 Days

Q: Can hiring a Social Security disability attorney expedite my receipt of benefits?

If you are applying for Social Security disability benefits (“SSDI”), it's more important than ever to get you our initial application right. If it is denied, the appeals process is a complicated and extremely time-consuming nightmare that could literally cost you years of time.

"The national average wait time is just 17 days shy of 600 days, and all-time high for claimants waiting in the immense Social Security disability hearing backlog.
Read more . . .

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The ABC's of SSDI

Q: How do I qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) benefits?

The fast answer: You apply for them. The more thorough and thoughtful answer: You consider consulting a Social Security Disability Law attorney for expert advice and help with the process which, contrary to the headline, is not literally as easy as A-B-C.

Although you can apply for SSDI benefits on your own, the application process is rigorous, time-consuming, and the rejection rate is high. According to the Social Security Administration (“SSA”), only 33% or about 1/3 of all SSDI applicants are approved. If the process was easy, there wouldn't be attorneys who devote their entire practice to helping disabled people obtain these benefits, right off the bat or upon appeal.
Read more . . .

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Judgment Day for Former Fresno Pastor in SSDI Benefits Theft Case

Q: What are the penalties for failing to report income while collecting Social Security disability benefits?

When a person is or becomes disabled and is unable to work, they may be entitled to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (“SSDI”) and/ or Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”). Both programs differ in their requirements for qualification, but are similar in that they require the recipient to qualify under the government’s definition of "disabled".

Read more . . .

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Persons with Disabilities and Caregivers May Be Eligible for Tax Breaks

Q: Are there any special tax benefits for disabled people or their caregivers?

Being a person with a mental or physical disability or the caregiver of a child or adult with a disability can be tiring and difficult. Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) or Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) can be complicated and riddled with red tape, denials, and appeals.

In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, a person must meet the government’s definition of “disabled”, must have paid into the Social Security system and have acquired the minimum number of work credits prior to becoming disabled; and must be younger than 65 years of age.
Read more . . .

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Weighing the Financial Impact of Returning to Work When Collecting SSDI Benefits

Q: What should I consider when determining whether to attempt a return to work if I am collecting Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”)?

Under the most straightforward and simplest fact patterns, navigating the application process to obtain SSDI benefits—including denials and appeals—can be time-consuming and overwhelming for a layperson without the help of an experienced Social Security Disability Attorney.

But once you have those SSDI benefits and if you are fortunate enough to have healed significantly, how do—and should—you return to the workforce? What will happen to your benefits if you do? Such a decision should not be made without the input of an experienced SSDI attorney.

While most people have a vague notion that if they earn too much income their Social Security benefits will be reduced or eliminated, it's really far more complicated than that.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Does History Hold the Answer to the Future of Social Security?

Q: Should Americans count on Social Security benefits being available in the future?

That really is a two-pronged question. Will Social Security exist at all? And if so, will it be sufficient to support Americans who are retired or become disabled?

In order to know what the future holds, it may help to look back on the history of the Social Security retirement benefits system as well as Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) programs. While Social Security retirement benefits are paid to workers upon their retirement, the latter two federal government programs pay work-based or need-based benefits to people with different qualifying disabilities as further detailed

Read more . . .

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What Veterans Need to Know About Social Security Disability and Other Benefits

Q: What benefits are available to disabled or non-disabled vets?

They navigated minefields or launched missiles by air or sea.  They performed daring rescues and survived ambush attacks. In many cases, they paid dearly for their sacrifice and service to our country and many didn't make it home with all the parts they left with—if they made it home alive at all.

Read more . . .

Monday, January 2, 2017

Most Americans Don’t Understand How Social Security Benefits Work

Q: How well do you understand how Social Security benefits work?

Studies show that most Americans know very little about how Social Security benefits work and are fearful that it won’t be available when they need it. In light of that, here are some interesting facts you may not know.

Most Americans work to support themselves over the course of their lifetimes and pay into the Social Security system through their payroll taxes during those working years. When they retire, if they’ve satisfied the work credit minimum requirements, they can collect monthly checks from Social Security. Even people who stop working for a few years or permanently--either to raise a family, due to job loss, or for any other reason-- may have accumulated enough prior work credits to collect their own Social Security retirement benefits when they become eligible at age 62.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Converting SSI to Social Security Retirement Benefits

Q: Can the federal government force me to file for Social Security retirement benefits when I turn 62 if I'm currently receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?

It's not uncommon for people to be confused by the differences among Social Security disability benefit programs, the Social Security retirement benefits program, and the eligibility requirements for same.

When  people think about Social Security benefits, most think about retirement benefits, which are payable to those who paid Social Security taxes and worked for a total of 10 or more years at any point in their lifetime. There are age requirements to collect Social Security retirement benefits, with the earliest age you can access benefits being 62. Many people defer applying for early retirement benefits and continue working because the monthly benefits stipend grows the longer you wait to apply.

Completely different from the retirement benefits program, the federal government offers two different benefits programs with different eligibility criteria for people who are or become disabled: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Read more . . .

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