Fresno, CA Attorney Blog

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Social Security Benefits Raise You Up

Q: How can the government assist me when I’m unable to work?

Some people plan for their retirement while others either don’t think of it or can’t find the extra funds to do so. But even with the best planning, sometimes life intervenes with an unexpected curveball and de-rails those well-intentioned plans.

If you don't have private or employer-sponsored short- or long- term disability insurance, what can you do if you find yourself physically or mentally disabled and unable to work? Or with an income so low and little to no resources to cover your most basic survival needs?

Fortunately, the government is there to help many qualified individuals and families whose disabilities prevent them from working or who are unable to meet their basic needs.

If you suffer from a physical or mental disability that prevents you from working, you may be eligible to obtain

Read more . . .

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Impact of Private Disability Policies on Social Security Disability Insurance

Q: Can I collect both Social Security Disability Insurance and private or employer-based disability insurance at the same time?

Social Security Disability Insurance “SSDI” is government-funded insurance available to those who are considered “disabled”, under the age of 65, and who have worked for a certain period of time (depending on their particular case) and have contributed to the Social Security System.

The definition of “disabled” for purposes of qualifying for SSDI is “the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months”.

Most people don’t realize that you can qualify for SSDI even if you aren’t bed-ridden and even if your initial application is denied.

Read more . . .

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Differences Between SSI and SSDI

Q: Do you know the difference between Supplemental Security Income “SSI” and Social Security Disability Insurance “DDSI”?

Although both programs are designed to assist disabled individuals, you need to know the differences between the benefits and eligibility requirements for SSI and SSDI, in order to know whether you qualify to receive either. An attorney experienced in Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance law can help you at any phase of the application or appeal process.

Read more . . .

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Impact of Retirement on Existing SSDI Benefits

Q: What happens to my Social Security Disability benefits when I hit retirement age?

Social Security Disability Insurance, or “SSDI”, is a federal government program that protects those whose ability to work becomes impaired by a physical or mental condition that is expected to either last for a year or more or result in death.

The eligibility for and the amount of benefits is based on the applicant’s being determined to be “disabled” and on their work history. Because the amount of benefits is determined by a complex formula that factors in the age and time worked at the time of disability, the monthly benefits paid differ based on each person’s personal situation.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

VA Disability Claims Remain Backlogged

What is the Veterans Administration doing to expedite disability claims?

The Veteran's Administration continues to face a backlog of disability claims. While the department had set goals to eliminate the gridlock, it has been reported that more than 70,000 disability claims remain  trapped in Veterans Affairs processing centers across the country. The VA missed its goal of reducing the number of delayed claims to zero seven months ago, even though officials contend a number of claims have been left open intentionally so that veterans receive full payouts. That being said, the agency is not satisfied with the delays in what it described as a "continuous improvement process."

The Extent of the Problem

Many benefit claims submitted to the VA, about one in five,  can take longer than the promised four months to process, excluding appeals which are on an even slower track and can years to be resolved.
Read more . . .

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

joHave You Heard that Hearing Loss is the Most Common Workplace Injury?

Q: Can I collect Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) for a Hearing Impairment?

Sadly, while you could shout the news from the rooftop-- that America’s most common on-the-job injury is hearing loss—many of those affected may not be able to hear it.

Between mining, manufacturing, construction and other sectors of the work force, approximately 22 million workers are exposed to “hazardous levels of occupational noise”, resulting in Worker’s Compensation claims estimated by the Department of Labor of about $242 million annually.

Hearing impairments can take many different forms; some conditions are permanent, while others are temporary.
Read more . . .

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Fighting for the Rights of California Caregivers

Why are in-home supportive services family caregiver benefits necessary?

This past February, Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) introduced an assembly bill designed to help in-home family caregivers. Such caregivers, like Cathyleen Williams, who nursed her son Caleb from early infancy until his premature death at 9 ½, was left unemployed and unable to cope after her son's death. For all of his short life, he had functioned with "half a heart" because of a condition known as hypoplastic heart syndrome. Although during Caleb's lifetime Cathyleen had been paid minimum wage as an in-home supportive services caregiver, a loophole in California law means she, and all the parents and spouses in parallel situations, can't collect unemployment after their child or spouse dies. She is now joining with Assemblyman Lackey to ensure that the loophole responsible for her misery is closed for others.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Social Security Disability Insurance for Cancer Sufferers

Does having cancer qualify you to receive disability benefits?

Each year, over 1,660,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.  Being diagnosed with cancer is a terrifying experience, and while new medicine offers hope for many to beat a cancer diagnose, treatment can be emotionally and financially difficult for the entire family.  Cancer is an expensive illness to diagnose and treat.  Even for those with quality health insurance, co-payments and other out-of-pocket expenses can quickly eat into savings.  For some, continuing to work while fighting cancer is simply not possible.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Effect of Marriage on Social Security Disability Benefits

What is the impact of marriage on Social Security Disability Benefits?

For those who become disabled and are unable to work, Social Security Disability (SSD) payments can be a lifesaver. Government benefits can help them to survive in the face of catastrophic injury or disease.  Nonetheless, the process of satisfying eligibility requirements for SSD can be a daunting one, particularly for individuals who are suffering physical and/or psychological distress. This is why it is so important to have a knowledgeable attorney who specializes in Social Security Disability at your side.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

SSDI And Other Benefits—What You Qualify For

If you cannot work due to a mental or physical hindrance or incapacity, you should consult your attorney to evaluate whether “Social Security Disability Insurance” (SSDI) is an option for you.  There is a certain legal description that you must fit under in order to collect SSDI.  Likewise, you are only eligible if you have been employed for a certain amount of time and have paid taxes into Social Security.  An attorney can help determine whether you qualify.

Read more . . .

Monday, June 27, 2016

Social Security Disability Insurance—Do You Qualify?

There are generally five questions that are used to determine whether you are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.  The Disability Determination Service (DDS) for your particular state will evaluate these issues when the Social Security Administration (SSA) forwards your case to DDS. The inquiries may consist of the following:

  1. “Are You Engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity?”
  2. “How Severe Are Your Impairments?”
  3. “Do You Meet the Listing of Impairments?”
  4. “Can You Do Your Prior Job?”
  5. “Can You Do Any Other Job?”

Even if you would otherwise qualify for a disability, there are specific monetary cut-offs that may still disqualify you from obtaining SSDI.  Generally, the monthly monetary amount that may be classified as “substantial gainful activity” is a minimum of $1,130, as reported in 2016.

Read more . . .

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