The Social Security Administration launched a press release on October 30th that stated that benefits would increase by 1.5% for the year 2014. This will affect nearly 63 million Americans who are receiving benefits. These beneficiaries will receive approximately $19 extra dollars a month.
Keep in mind that due to this change the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax will be $117,000 instead of the $113,700 it has been. This is determined by wage statistics. This means statistically means millions of workers will end up paying more taxes in 2014 because of the increase in this maximum. According to an article written by Kelly Phillips in Forbes, social security benefits won’t keep pace with tax contributions in the year 2014. In regards to the increase of social security benefits it is actually lower than the past two years since it rose 1.7% in 2013 and a whopping 3.6% back in 2012. Since 1975 when when these cost of living adjustments were first implemented the average is about 4%. Many people have been complaining about the low percentage increases and say that the Consumer Price Index or CPI on which these increases are based aren’t completely reflective of some of the cost increases that seniors face.
Medical and housing, two big costs that seniors face have increased. Medical costs by 2.4% and housing costs of 2.3%. Keep in mind that if you are still working 6.2% of your earnings are paid towards social security. Along the same lines 1.45% of your earning are paid towards medicare tax. In order to compensate for the increase in cost of living, people tend to alter their spending to compensate. Let’s say for instance you are an avid coffee drinker but the price for coffee increases and the cost of tea remains the same. Perhaps you consider switching to tea in order to save money. So keep in mind these changes as we are about to begin a new year and plan accordingly.
Myler Disability wants to wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween 2013! Now that you have officially been Ghosted, pass this along to your friends to Ghost them and protect them from bigger Ghouls! We mean it when we say we want everyone to be safe!
Here are some Safety Tips for Trick or Treaters & parents this Halloween!
Parents & Trick or Treaters
- All children should be accompanied by a responsible adult
- Costumes should hinder the vision of the child
- Avoid homemade treats from strangers
- Parents, inspect your childrens candy
- Only Trick or Treat well lit homes & communities
- Adults and children should carry flashlights
Guidelines for those who pass out treats
- Homemade treats will often be thrown out unless the parents know the provider
- Ensure that your home is well lit
The next step after receiving an SSI & SSDI application denial is to put in an appeal. Do not make the error of reapplying, as winning an appeal is not that uncommon. While appealing is as simple as filling in an online form, using an attorney greatly increases the chances of success, as they are better able to gather and present evidence in support of the claim.
Social Security denies disability claims for either medical or technical reasons. Denials on technical grounds are less common, and in some cases, such an insufficient amount of earned social security credits, appeals are not an option, otherwise it is worthwhile contacting Social Security in order to appeal the decision. Putting in an appeal is always an option for a medical denial. See http://ssdisabilityapplication.com/ for a comprehensive list of Social Security’s medical requirements for many common medical conditions.
While not required, representation by a disability attorney during the appeals process increases the chances of winning a case. Attorneys are knowledgeable about what evidence a case needs to win and are able to request additional medical tests, as needed. Experienced attorneys and law firms, especially, are even more beneficial as most are familiar with the social security administrative law judges through hearings, giving them an advantage in playing up strengths in a case.
Applicants must place an appeal within 60 days of receiving a SSI & SSDI application denial letter. There are four successive appeal levels starting with reconsideration, hearing by an administrative law judge, review by the appeals council and, finally, a federal court review.
Chances of success at the reconsideration level are historically low and Social Security denies more than three-quarters of all applications. During a reconsideration review, a different disability claims examiner along with a medical consultant assesses the application and any new supporting medical evidence.
Upon failing a reconsideration review, a hearing by an administrative law judge is the next step in the appeals process, and is where most successful appeals occur. Using legal representation at a hearing improves the chances of winning. Disability attorneys are more knowledgeable about what evidence can properly support an application and are better able to highlight the strengths in a case.
Hearings by an administrative law judge take a considerable amount of time to schedule. Applicants need to be prepared to wait roughly nine to twelve months, or longer. Although, hearings can be scheduled earlier if the applicant is under severe financial strain and is unable to pay for medications or medical care or is in danger of loosing their home. The hearing office will sometimes expedite a case and grant an on-the-record review in which the hearing office reviews the case before the hearing date. The hearing office only grants these in exceptional circumstances such as a worsening of the claimant’s medical condition.
The next step up on the appeals ladder is going in front of the Disability Appeals Council Review. The Appeals Council Review will recommend another hearing with an administrative law judge, award disability benefits, or deny the appeal.
The final stage in the appeals process is to file a civil complaint with the United States District Court.
After all four levels of the appeals process are exhausted, the only other available course of action is to put in a new claim.
Due to local demographic and cultural factors, California hosts a remarkably large population of social activists. These activists work tirelessly to benefit members of minorities and other disadvantaged groups. California often leads the nation in protecting the rights of the disabled. For example, California was the first U.S state to feature widespread accessibility ramps for wheel-chair bound citizens. Also, California’s lawmakers provide supplemental incomes for individuals as they wait for Social Security disability hearings.
Despite these promising developments, disabled residents of California still face many unique challenges. Many with disabilities face difficulties receiving help for legitimate economic and medical problems. Commentators have applauded the skillful protectors of disability rights California residents work with. Whether employed by government agencies or private entities, case workers and social workers do their part to protect the rights of the disabled.
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In the United States, the Social Security Administration authorizes payments to eligible applicants who become disabled, to certain survivors of deceased workers, and to retired workers. An applicant who is disabled, blind or has reached the age of 65 also may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income, or “SSI.” Read the rest of this entry »