» Social Security and Disability Law

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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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. […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 20, 2015 – Obama’s call to redirect money from the Social Security retirement fund to its disability fund is facing resistance in Congress. On February 2, President Obama unveiled his budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. The $4 trillion budget includes more than $1 trillion in proposed new tax measures. Prominent among the president’s fiscal proposals is an increase in the Social Security Disability Trust Fund’s share of funding from payroll taxes – an attempt to shore up the finances of an entitlement program that is facing a major shortfall. Under the president’s […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 26, 2015 – Coupled with a presidential hopeful’s remarks, the surprise move elevated Social Security as an issue. Republican lawmakers — fresh from midterm elections that delivered the Senate to GOP control and expanded the party’s majority in the House — returned to Capitol Hill in January, energized and eager to forward conservative legislation. And based on an opening day rules change that House Republicans sprung on their Democratic colleagues, it is clear that Social Security will be a major point of contention for the new session. House Republicans signaled their intent to focus […]


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New York, NY (Law Firm Newswire) February 4, 2015 – The Lower Hudson Valley Special Education Task Force, a regional affiliate of the New York State Special Education Task Force, is pleased to announce its kick-off training and discussion event, “Emotional Disabilities and Anxiety in Youth: Parent and School Partnerships that Work” This event will take place on February 27, 2015 from 9:00AM to 12:00PM in the auditorium of the Westchester Institute for Human Development, 20 Hospital Service Road South, in Valhalla. Discussion will focus on the increasing concern and awareness of children with anxiety and emotional disabilities. According to […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) January 28, 2015 – Law would allow those who qualify under executive action to collect disability, other payments. On November 25, key details about how President Obama’s executive action on immigration reform would translate into policy emerged. In an email, White House spokesman Shawn Turner stated that undocumented immigrants would be eligible to collect Social Security and Medicare benefits: “If they pay in, they can draw.” Federal law states that people who pay taxes and have been determined to be “lawfully present in the United States” are allowed to collect government benefits once they become […]


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