» disability

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 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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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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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) January 20, 2015 – Veterans who need assistance performing activities of daily living (ADLs) may qualify for a Veterans Administration (VA) pension benefit called Aid and Attendance, which can cover the cost of in-home care or residence in a nursing home. Aid and Attendance is available to veterans who served for a minimum of 90 days, at least one of which occurred during wartime. Veterans or surviving spouses may be eligible if they require the aid of another person to perform ADLs such as using the restroom, eating or bathing. Individuals who are blind or […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) December 17, 2014 – A handful of judges have been found to have approved large numbers of dubious cases and benefits. The Social Security Administration’s inspector general issued a report on November 17 finding a significant number of disability cases approved by certain judges did not have “a well-supported rationale” for awarding benefits. According to the report, 44 judges over seven years were deemed to have decided an unusually large number of disability cases and awarded an unusually high number of benefits. More specifically, the report examined 275 cases and found 216 of them to […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 20, 2014 – While claimants wait for a judge to make decision on their case, the already-long Social Security application process can stretch on for more than a year. Some agencies of the federal government have acquired unflattering reputations for big backlogs to process applications or resolve appeals. One agency in particular, the Social Security Administration, has reached an unenviable milestone and is fast approaching another one. As of the third quarter of this year, the Social Security office of judges who hear appeals for for disability benefits ranks as the leading federal agency for […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) October 28, 2014 – Thousands of Vietnam veterans may become eligible for benefits, thanks to new rules that help veterans appeal less-than-honorable discharges that were caused by conduct related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to a Department of Defense memorandum from United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, PTSD should now be considered a mitigating factor in the review of discharge status. The memorandum also instructs that time limits be liberally waived in these cases so that Vietnam veterans can apply. PTSD did not become an official diagnosis until after 1980. As such, Vietnam […]


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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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