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Budget Deal Shores Up Disability Trust Fund, Allows for More Judges to Hear Appeals


A recent (October 2016) bipartisan budget deal includes important provisions that will shore up the Social Security trust fund and increase the number of Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) hearing cases. Long wait times experienced by claimants waiting to have their cases resolved due to underfunding and understaffing at the Social Security Administration are still a problem, and this deal should improve the situation. It also may help solve the looming funding crisis involving the disability trust fund, which was scheduled to start paying out reduced monthly benefits in 2016 due to funding shortages. Addressing Shortfalls [...]

Budget Deal Shores Up Disability Trust Fund, Allows for More Judges to Hear Appeals2019-04-11T00:46:35+00:00

Change in Workmen’s Compensation Benefits


A series of well-researched articles and radio broadcasts by National Public Radio and Pro Publica have detailed a concerted effort in many states across the country to deny or curtail workmen’s compensation benefits to those who have been injured on the job. What Happened to Workers Comp? Since 2003, state legislators in 33 states have made it harder for workers to qualify for compensation, have decreased benefits, or have moved to cut off benefits after an arbitrary time limit. Florida was cited as a particularly extreme example, having slashed benefits to injured workers by 65% [...]

Change in Workmen’s Compensation Benefits2019-04-11T00:47:00+00:00

Changes in Social Security Evidence Rules and How They Impact Your Claim


Social Security has recently amended its regulations to require that claimants and their representatives in a Social Security disability claim must submit all evidence, whether helpful or not, that relates to whether a person may or may not be disabled. This rule is an attempt to clarify Agency regulations on the submission of evidence regarding disability claims. The Changes, Explained Prior to this change, regulations presiding over the administrative review process for SSDI and SSI claims, including 20 CFR § 404.900 and 416.1400 stated “you may present any information you feel is helpful to your case.” The ambiguous wording [...]

Changes in Social Security Evidence Rules and How They Impact Your Claim2019-04-11T00:48:13+00:00

The Truth about Disability Fraud (Or Lack Thereof)


It is not an uncommon belief amongst Americans today that many disability recipients are awarded benefits through fraud. Just how rampant is Social Security disability fraud? The facts may surprise you. Myth: It is easy to qualify for disability. Fact: The opportunity to qualify for disability benefits is not open to everyone. In order to qualify an applicant must have worked for five of the last ten years or for at least one fourth of his or her adult life. Out of those individuals who do qualify only approximately forty percent of Social Security disability [...]

The Truth about Disability Fraud (Or Lack Thereof)2019-04-11T00:48:50+00:00

Unemployment Has Little Effect on the Number of Disability Claims


After the financial crash of 2008, the unemployment rate in the United States spiked to levels not seen since the Great Depression. Around the same time, the numbers of individuals who were applying for Social Security Disability benefits also began climbing, with an increase in the number of individuals approved rising by 25%. These two trends - increasing unemployment and increasing disability applicants – led to speculation that people struggling to find work were simply going on disability and dropping out of the workforce. Don't Believe Everything You Hear The problem with this theory is [...]

Unemployment Has Little Effect on the Number of Disability Claims2019-04-02T20:59:17+00:00

Veteran’s Choice Program


Veterans have long struggled to receive timely and quality care from the VA health care system. Many veterans lack a facility that is within easy driving distance from their homes, and even those who live near a VA facility are forced to deal with long, frustrating wait times to receive even basic care. Because proper medical care - and medical documentation - is one of the foundations of any successful claim for disability benefits, this could really cause some difficulty for our nation's veterans. The Choice Program for Veterans These issues became widely publicized in [...]

Veteran’s Choice Program2019-04-02T21:47:55+00:00

Disability Judges Lose Lawsuit to Reduce Caseloads


A Federal Court of Appeals has ruled against the Association of Administrative Law Judges in a lawsuit over disability case ‘quotas.’ The Social Security Administration expects the Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) overseeing disability hearings to decide between 500 to 700 disability cases per year. The union representing the ALJ’s argued in its lawsuit that this number of cases represents an illegal quota that violated the Judge’s independence and the due process rights of applicants. More specifically, they claimed the high caseload resulted in ALJs paying more cases as a way to quickly reduce their workload. [...]

Disability Judges Lose Lawsuit to Reduce Caseloads2019-04-03T18:18:21+00:00