» Social Security and Disability Law

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 19, 2016 – On June 13 a Social Security judge pleaded guilty to conspiring to retaliate against a former Social Security Administration (SSA) worker who was an informant to federal agents investigating fraud. The employee blew the whistle on a scheme devised by Kentucky disability lawyer Eric Conn. Conn obtained over $600 million in fraudulent SSA disability payments for thousands of individuals regardless of whether they were eligible for benefits or not. He allegedly falsified medical evidence to make clients appear disabled. The lawyer also paid physicians to approve bogus reports. “Fraudulent claims for […]


Continue reading full article »

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 15, 2016 – The Social Security Administration (SSA) is planning to change how it handles some disability benefits appeals in an effort to reduce the claims backlog. A Senate oversight subcommittee held a hearing on May 12 to discuss SSA adjudication and appeals judges. The agency is transferring the responsibility for thousands of pending cases in certain categories from administrative law judges (ALJs) to federal administrative appeals judges (AAJs) and attorneys from the Social Security’s Appeals Council. They will deal with non-disability related appeals, such as those involving an applicant’s income, age or citizenship […]


Continue reading full article »

Westchester, NY (Law Firm Newswire) June 2, 2016 – The Arc of Westchester’s 2016 Golfing for Kids tournament will be held on June 7th. The golfing outing aims to raise funds for the Arc of Westchester’s Children’s School for Early Development, which provides educational and social support services for children five years old or younger with autism and other special needs, and their families. This year, they are honoring Bernard A. Krooks of Littman Krooks LLP with the Advocate of the Year Award. Mr. Krooks is President of the Board of Directors of the Arc of Westchester, the largest agency […]


Continue reading full article »

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 26, 2016 – The U.S. government announced plans to eliminate $7.7 billion in student loan debt for around 400,000 severely disabled individuals. According to the Department of Education, Americans who are “totally and permanently disabled” have no obligation to repay their federal student loans. In 2012 the government moved toward simplifying the loan forgiveness process by allowing disabled individuals use their Social Security designation to get a discharge. However, student activists claim many Americans are unaware of the benefit or have encountered difficulties with submitting paperwork. As a result, some borrowers’ disability checks have been […]


Continue reading full article »

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 8, 2016 – A U.S. postal worker from Tampa, Florida, has been charged with stealing Social Security benefit checks valued at more than $2 million from the mail. The man was identified on March 18 as 47-year-old Stacy Darnell Mitchell. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mitchell could face a maximum of 15 years in federal prison. He was charged with theft of government property and theft of mail. “Investigators have done well to find the alleged perpetrator of the crime,” said David W. Magann, a prominent attorney in Tampa, Florida, whose firm specializes […]


Continue reading full article »

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 2, 2016 – Several cases of Social Security disability fraud have been reported in Florida in December and January. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, four Miami-Dade residents were charged with Social Security, immigration and health care fraud on January 8. The scheme involved submitting false statements to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Psychiatrist Fernando Mendez Villamil and three other defendants offered to help applicants file claims for Social Security disability benefits in exchange for money. Villamil allegedly provided them with fraudulent diagnoses of mental conditions. “The Social […]


Continue reading full article »

Harrisburg, PA (Law Firm Newswire) January 29, 2016 – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has relaxed its regulations for new accounts that will permit people with disabilities to save money without risking loss of their government benefits. In 2015, the IRS proposed rules governing how accounts created under the Achieve a Better Life Experience (ABLE) would function. However, the agency met with a considerable amount of opposition from disability advocates and state officials who stated that the proposed rules would be unduly onerous. In response, the IRS has issued preliminary guidelines pending release of the final regulations that include less […]


Continue reading full article »

Harrisburg, PA (Law Firm Newswire) January 13, 2016 – Many veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), but some of them are not being properly diagnosed because of the use of a test by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Consider the case of Army Captain Charles Gatlin, who served as a platoon leader in Kirkuk, Iraq, in 2006. A car bomb detonated in close proximity and he was knocked to the ground by the explosion and struck by flying debris. He was evacuated and later diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. […]


Continue reading full article »

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) January 11, 2016 – The Social Security Administration (SSA) is struggling with long wait times for disability benefits hearings. Administrative judges are facing heavy caseloads of pending appeals with a national average wait time of around 16 months. Two Florida cities have the country’s longest delays. It takes 22 months to get a hearing in Miami, while Fort Myers has a 20-month wait time. The SSA announced plans for two new judgeships in Miami to ease the burden of pending cases. “A lot can happen during such lengthy wait periods,” said David W. Magann, a […]


Continue reading full article »

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) December 29, 2015 – President Barack Obama on Nov. 2 signed into law a two-year budget agreement that includes significant fixes to the financially troubled Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI). According to government officials, the SSDI program will receive the necessary funding to allow it to offer full benefits for the next three years at least. More funds will be shifted from the Social Security retirement program into disability by adjusting the way payroll tax revenues are distributed. Acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn Colvin said without the proposed relocation, the program would only be […]


Continue reading full article »

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 12, 2015 – A new survey shows that a majority of U.S. citizens need help when it comes to Social Security decisions. Many people believe they are reasonably knowledgeable on the numerous options available for claiming benefits. Only one in five people rely on experts. The findings were released on Sept. 28 by AARP and the Financial Planning Association. They jointly surveyed 1,215 future Social Security beneficiaries aged between 45 and 64, as well as 1,279 certified financial planners. The results revealed almost half of individuals are only somewhat knowledgeable about issues such as […]


Continue reading full article »

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 3, 2015 – Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, has introduced a bill to expedite the payment of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits to people who are terminally ill by eliminating the five-month waiting period. The legislation was proposed on Sept. 9 with the aim to reduce delays in processing payments for individuals who would not live long enough to receive benefits under the current law. With the new legislation, eligible individuals diagnosed to be terminally ill would begin receiving benefits in the first month of their diagnosis. “The revision to the law ensures that terminally ill […]


Continue reading full article »

Phoenix, AZ (Law Firm Newswire) October 27, 2015 – Fortunately for those struggling with Social Security Disability claims in Arizona and the Southwest, there is a noteworthy new law firm in town. Disability Attorneys of Arizona: Roeschke Law, LLC, under the leadership of its founder and president, Kiel Roeschke, brings a personalized approach to a complex field. Dedicated to serving his clients with respect as well as skill, Kiel has personally represented over 2,000 claimants during his career as a disability attorney. Well aware that, whatever the similarities, each case is unique, Kiel is committed to providing specialized representation to […]


Continue reading full article »

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) September 29, 2015 – Recipients of Social Security disability could experience an automatic 19 percent cut in benefits as the disability trust fund is projected to run out of money by the end of next year. Eleven million Americans rely on disability benefits from Social Security, which turned 80 on Aug. 14. Disabled workers and their families receive an average monthly payment of $1,019, which adds up to $12,228 a year. A 19 percent cut would decrease average annual benefits to under $10,000. “A cut to benefits would be detrimental to the millions of disabled […]


Continue reading full article »

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 31, 2015 – An audit report released on July 1 reveals that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has overpaid almost $17 billion in disability benefits over the past decade, with some individuals still receiving payments despite being ineligible. The audit, issued by the Office of the Inspector General, examined a sample group of 1,532 Americans receiving disability benefits from October 2003 to February 2014. The results indicate that around 50 percent of the people were overpaid. The SSA estimates only $8.1 billion of the $17 billion in overpayments has been recovered, and that it […]


Continue reading full article »

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 23, 2015 – Measures would update Social Security Administration’s (SSA) “grid rules” for calculating applicant eligibility. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, introduced a trio of bills on May 6 that would change the SSA’s “grid rules,” which are the standards the agency employs to determine an applicant’s eligibility for benefits from the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. Hatch’s measures would also simplify the benefit process and establish standards for medical evaluation that would be similar to those that Medicare uses. Hatch, who is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said that the SSDI […]


Continue reading full article »

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 22, 2015 – Sen. Paul, former Gov. Huckabee comment on entitlement program’s funding problems. As the 2016 presidential election season approaches and more candidates have joined the race for the White House, the would-be chief executives have been staking out positions on some high-profile issues. And in early May, no less than two announced Republican candidates for president, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, espoused their views on the sensitive issue of funding the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund. Paul had already made some eyebrow-raising remarks on the […]


Continue reading full article »

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 12, 2015 – The Social Security Administration (SSA) is seeking information from insurance companies and local and state government to ensure an appropriate offset of disability benefits. In April, the SSA forwarded a proposal that, if enacted, will require states, local governments and private insurers to report workers’ compensation benefits to the agency when those benefits affect the offset of the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) benefits that the SSA pays to disability insurance recipients. The proposal was included as part of the SSA’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Overview. Under current law, the SSA […]


Continue reading full article »

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 10, 2015 – In an interview on March 12, David Walker, former comptroller general of the United States, warned that rising costs for Social Security, public pensions and healthcare could jeopardize the nation’s safety net for workers. Walker was the comptroller general of the United States from 1998 to 2008. He served as head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) during the same period. Now, his comments support a recent Social Security Administration (SSA) warning that the Disability Insurance Trust Fund, in particular, could run out of money as early as next year. Walker […]


Continue reading full article »

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 21, 2015 – A computer system hack at the University of Central Florida has exposed the names and Social Security numbers of 63,000 current and former students and staff. Two former university student leaders filed a class action lawsuit against UCF in the U.S. District Court’s Orlando division on February 5 after finding out their private information was stolen in the security breach. Former student body president Logan Berkowitz alleged UCF did not publicly announce the breach or notify victims until February 4 despite having been aware of it since December 2015. According to […]


Continue reading full article »