» disability

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) October 9, 2014 – Some pediatric cancer patients may qualify for disability benefits under Social Security rules. On August 29, President Obama reminded Americans of the seriousness of childhood cancer in the United States and proclaimed September to be National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  As part of the proclamation, the president remembered those children who have succumbed to pediatric cancer. He offered the administration’s support for those children now fighting the disease, for their loved ones, and for the researchers, healthcare providers and advocacy groups who seek to lessen, and one day eliminate, the burden […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) September 30, 2014 – Personal grooming choices are not considered “protected” characteristics. “It is not against federal employment law for a company to decline to hire someone whose appearance does not appeal to them. Companies may base their hiring and work choices on an individual’s personal characteristics, and they may legally treat them differently according to their attributes,” explained Chicago employment attorney Thomas C. Coffey. Nationwide, an employer may not discriminate against an individual because of disability, race, color, nationality, age, sexual orientation or religion. Those classes are referred to as “protected” classes or groups. […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) September 22, 2014 – Personal grooming choices are not considered “protected” characteristics. “It is not against federal employment law for a company to decline to hire someone whose appearance does not appeal to them. Companies may base their hiring and work choices on an individual’s personal characteristics, and they may legally treat them differently according to their attributes,” explained Chicago employment attorney Thomas C. Coffey. Nationwide, an employer may not discriminate against an individual because of disability, race, color, nationality, age, sexual orientation or religion. Those classes are referred to as “protected” classes or groups. […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 31, 2014 – Unless changes are made, the Social Security disability fund will run out of money by end of 2016. Capitol Hill’s notorious procrastination could soon impact millions of Americans receiving Social Security disability payments. Within the next three years, Congress must come up with a plan to keep the program financially afloat. And given federal lawmakers’ proclivity for adopting short-term fixes at the eleventh hour, disabled workers may have to wait for a significant period before even finding about any stopgap measure that Congress passes. As it stands, the trust fund for […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) July 10, 2014 – In 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) changed the characterization of disability. Workers no longer need to prove they suffer from a physiological disorder and may claim obesity itself as a disability. “Obesity was thought to be a choice at one time and overweight individuals needed to prove they had a thyroid condition, diabetes or an underlying physiological disorder to claim disability. The Act was changed in 2008 by the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) broadening the definition of ‘major life activities’ and substantially limits relating to how obesity affected an […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 23, 2014 – On February 19, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced a new policy to expedite some high-priority disability claims. Hopefully, these changes are already helping former members of the military who are awaiting a determination on benefits eligibility. The new policy went into effect in March. Under it, SSA will accelerate the claims process for veterans who have been classified as fully disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Fully disabled veterans, or those with a 100 percent disability rating, will be prioritized, as will other groups, including service members who were […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 15, 2014 – Lawmakers are desperate to put a dent in the national deficit. On Capitol Hill, both Democrats and Republicans are searching for potential areas to cut spending or increase revenue. One such idea has Social Security disability advocates particularly uneasy.  Under the proposal, those who collect unemployment benefits would become ineligible for disability payments. While the federal budget deficit has narrowed a bit this February (compared to the same month last year), it still stands at $193.5 billion. The suggestion to eliminate disability payments to those who collect unemployment benefits appeared in […]


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White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) April 30, 2014 – The process of applying for Social Security disability benefits is to be expedited for some veterans. Under a new initiative, veterans who have a 100 percent Permanent and Total disability compensation rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will be able to apply for Social Security disability benefits on an expedited basis. Social Security is to handle these claims on a high-priority basis, similar to the way claims from service members wounded in combat are processed. Carolyn Colvin, the Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA), said that […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) April 22, 2014 – The Social Security Administration recently announced an expedited approval process for disability claims filed by disabled veterans. The new process was announced in a statement from Acting Commissioner of Social Security Carolyn W. Colvin. It applies to veterans with a disability compensation rating of 100 percent Permanent & Total (P&T) from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These veterans’ applications for Social Security Disability Insurance will be treated as high-priority and be decided on an expedited basis, similar to those under the Wounded Warriors program. Hampton Roads veterans attorney Andrew […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) April 7, 2014 – Employers are legally obligated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to talk to a disabled worker about reasonable accommodations for them, even if they are on final suspension before being fired. “In Spurling v. C&M Fine Pack, Inc. (No. 13-1708), the court outlined what an employer must do in discussing with them reasonable accommodations for their disability, even if they are about to be let go,” explains well respected Chicago employment lawyer, Timothy Coffey. The facts of this case indicated that plaintiff Spurling had worked for this company since 2004. […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 28, 2014 – In recent weeks, New York social security fraud allegations have overshadowed the struggles of legitimate disability claimants. On January 14, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee turned its attention to allegations that a group of retired firefighters, police officers and other individuals in New York City fraudulently secured almost $400 million in Social Security disability benefits. One hundred and six people, almost all of whom are retired city police officers and firefighters, have been accused of feigning disability. The accused participants were allegedly coached on methods to fake their conditions […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) January 31, 2014 – Beginning January 2014, veterans are covered for five illnesses tied to traumatic brain injury (TBI). Veterans will now find it easier to obtain health care and compensation for five illnesses linked to traumatic brain injury. On December 16, 2013, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) decided to loosen its previously restrictive eligibility policy on providing and covering care for the conditions. The new, more inclusive regulations took effect on January 16. Under previous regulations, veterans who suffer from Parkinson’s disease, dementia, hormone deficiencies related to the hypothalamus, pituitary or adrenal glands, […]


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White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) January 13, 2014 – Flying may become easier for people with disabilities, thanks to new federal rules. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued new rules that will require airlines to make their automated airport kiosks and their websites accessible to people with disabilities. In addition, airlines can now choose between two options for handling wheelchairs on flights: they may either stow them in the cabin compartment or strap them to a seat row, which ensures that two wheelchairs of a manual, folding design can be transported at once. The rules are part […]


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Moorestown, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) January 10, 2014 – Begley Law Group attorneys Ethan Ordog and Kristen Behrens have both been named partners at the Moorestown elder and disability law firm, effective immediately. Joining senior partner Thomas Begley, Jr. on the leadership team, both Ordog and Behrens will continue to serve their existing Begley Law Group clients, providing expert legal services in their respective practice areas. “We are fortunate to have these two respected attorneys already on our team, able to step into leadership roles,” Begley said. “We help our clients prepare for the future, and this change is a […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) December 27, 2013 – The United States House Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements has opened hearings with testimony on the SSA’s struggles with its disability program. A subcommittee of the House Oversight and Oversight Reform Committee launched hearings November 19 on the Social Security Administration. The Republican-controlled body headlined its mission on the committee website as one of overseeing the SSA’s “mismanagement of federal disability programs.” The SSA officials who offered opening statements did acknowledge some of their agency’s ongoing problems. Inspector General Patrick P. O’Carroll Jr. shed some light on the […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 27, 2013 – Though the recent government shutdown concerned veterans’ rights advocates, the VA stated that it had plans to cover vet benefits at least until late October. The government shutdown threatened to disrupt the flow of disability and education benefits, but the Veterans Affairs Department had other ideas. The Veterans Benefits Administration had the 19,000 processors slated to continue to handle claims of disability and education even during the shutdown. VA spokeswoman Victoria Dillion announced that the VA was excepting the VBA claims processors from any furloughs in order to keep claims processing […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 20, 2013 – More than $128 billion flows through the country’s Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) system. Incidences of fraud are inevitable, so the SSDI has hired a cadre of private investigators to catch the perpetrators. “The increase in fraud and the ensuing investigations of any questionable claims has slowed the entire process down,” commented Tampa Social Security disability attorney David W. Magann. “For anyone going through the Social Security Disability Insurance system, it’s best to work with someone who can help guide them through that legal maze.” The number of people receiving disability […]


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White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) October 16, 2013 – The Down Syndrome Association of Hampton Roads has asked Jenny Hatch to be its grand marshal for its annual awareness 5K run and walk this October. Ms. Hatch, they say, has become a symbol of hope. Ms. Hatch has also received numerous speaking invitations from different organizations. Why all of the attention? Ms. Hatch, a 29-year-old Virginia woman who has Down syndrome, was part of a landmark rights case for people with disabilities. Ms. Hatch found resolution after an unusually long guardianship case while a judge weighed a request from […]


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Jacksonville, FL (Law Firm Newswire) September 30, 2013 – A bill has been introduced in the Senate that would expedite disability benefits for the terminally ill. The bill was introduced by two Republican Senators of Wyoming, John Barrasso and Mike Enzi, and Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio. The bill would eliminate the five-month wait time for terminally ill patients who are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Terminally ill patients are defined as those who have been diagnosed with a medical condition that is expected to result in a life expectancy of six months or less. “This […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) September 26, 2013 – The U.S. government is considering a number of options to bolster the Social Security coffers for the long-term. Two of the options currently being considered are shifting the retirement age of seniors, either increasing the age which defines “early retirement,” or changing the age at which an individual can fully retire. But, either of those solutions would likely dramatically increase the number of disability benefit applications, states a new report by the Government Accountability Office. “The early retirement age for Social Security is currently 62; the full retirement age is currently […]


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