Wednesday, September 28, 2016
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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
- “Are You Engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity?”
- “How Severe Are Your Impairments?”
- “Do You Meet the Listing of Impairments?”
- “Can You Do Your Prior Job?”
- “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 . . .
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Can a person disabled in childhood be covered by his or her parent's Social Security in adulthood?
There is often discussion of the benefits of individuals who become disabled and are then entitled to SSDI benefits, and also of benefits due to the family members who depend on their income. We rarely hear, however, about individuals who were disabled as children and are therefore eligible to receive their parents' benefits during their own adulthoods.
Circumstances under which Children Receive Social Security Benefits
When a parent becomes disabled, his or her child may also qualify for benefits on the parent's record of employment. This applies not only to a parent's biological child, but to an adopted child, a stepchild, or a dependent grandchild. The child receives up to one-half of the parent's full disability benefit, but in order to receive benefits in this situation the child must be:
- Under the age of 18 or
- 18-19 years of age and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12) or
- 18 or older and have a disability that started before the age of 22
When it is the child, not the parent who is disabled, however, the rules change.Read more . . .
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 29 million people in the United States suffer from diabetes -- or 9.3 percent of the total population. For many, the symptoms of diabetes -- whether Type 1 or Type 2 -- can be debilitating, often related to difficulty managing blood-glucose levels. Oftentimes, severe cases of diabetes can prevent a sufferer from maintaining employment, quickly creating a dire financial need in the family.
Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has expanded its understanding of this disease, and offers disability benefits to those whose symptoms meet the established criteria.Read more . . .
Sunday, May 29, 2016
What can happen when Social Security Disability Insurance payments aren't processed promptly?
People usually assume that, if they are unfortunate enough to become disabled as a result of illness or injury, and are no longer able to work, they will be able to fall back on Social Security Disability Insurance, a cushion they have been paying into for all their working years. Nonetheless, as with other bureaucratic government agencies, the Social Security Disability system doesn't always work.
Six years ago, a man in Port Washington, New York, the breadwinner of his family, suffered a severe heart attack. Mitch Cohen, a successful electrical engineer working at the One World Trade Center building until his cardiac event, recovered, but remained quite debilitated. His doctor told him he would only be able to work part-time.Read more . . .
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
In a historic move by the federal government, student loan forgiveness may be available for hundreds of thousands of disabled Americans -- to the tune of nearly $7.7 billion. At the center of the decision was the recognition that many disabled individuals were being unfairly forced to accept lower monthly disability benefits due to garnishments and deductions imposed under the Treasury Offset Program. Specifically, the Department of Education was relying on the program to garnish the disability benefits of those who had defaulted on their student loans -- which was by and large caused by the borrower’s disability in the first place. In response to this non-sensical system, the Department of Education has vowed to proactively alert borrowers if they are eligible for a Total and Permanent Disability discharge (TPD), which will help ensure greater financial security for an estimated 387,000 Americans.Read more . . .
Peña & Bromberg, a Professional Law Corporation serves clients throughout Central Valley CA including San Francisco Bay, Oakland, Bakersfield, Madera, Stockton, Fresno, Sacramento, & Modesto.
The office assists Social Security Disability & Veterans Disability clients nationwide.