Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

November 2013 Archives

Social Security Administration Changes Wording

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has effectively made a change to the term, "mental retardation". Effective September 3, 2013, the SSA has replaced mental retardation with "intellectual disability" with regard to they way discuss the listing of impairments. The SSA noted, "This change reflects the widespread adoption of the term 'intellectual disability' by Congress, government agencies, and public and private organizations."

Veterans Losing Out on Social Security Benefits

According to a September 2013 Kiplinger Washington Editors survey of 1,000 veterans between the ages of 50 and 70, 7 out of 10 veterans did not know, or underestimated, the impact of filing for Social Security Disability benefits prior to the age of 70. Currently, Social Security benefits can be claimed any time between the ages of 62 and 70. Eighty percent of veteran's currently collecting Social Security benefits reported that they claimed the benefits as soon as they could (age 62), while only 35-40% of the general population claim Social Security benefits at the earliest possible age of 62.

SOCIAL SECURITY COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT FOR 2014

Due to the federal government shutdown, the Social Security Administration has yet to release the official Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2014. The COLA associated with Social Security disability benefits, usually released in mid-October, will become effective on December 1 and will be reflected in January 2014 benefit checks. The yearly COLA is determined based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, or CPI-W, a measure of consumer prices generated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CPI-W measures changes in price for food, housing, clothing, transportation, energy, medical care, recreation, and education from one year to the next. The COLA is calculated by comparing consumer prices in July, August, and September of the current year to prices in the same three month period for the previous year. This year, prices in July and August increased 1.4 percent on average compared to last year.

Whistleblower Claims

Whistleblower Claims, in their simplest form, are claims brought by a person, on behalf of the government, against a person or company that that is defrauding the government. The source of the law stems from the False Claims Act (FCA), enacted in 1863. The common term, "Whistleblower", comes from the idea of the person 'blowing the whistle' on the illegal action by a company against the government.

Why I Practice Disability Law

Many clients ask me why I became a Social Security Disability Lawyer. I think this is a good question as I fear much of the general public gain their understanding of who lawyers are via the news, television shows, and movies wherein lawyers have big egos and represent infamous or glamorous clients in high profile and dramatic cases. My simple answer to the question is that I have always wanted to assist and fight for deserving people who need legal help and do not have the money, resources, or knowledge to take the steps necessary to obtain the help they so desperately need.

Filing For Disability Benefits (SSDI & SSI)

There are plenty of reasons to file for Social Security Benefits. Unfortunately, most people are usually turned away or discouraged after they have been denied. However, do not let that deter you from either appealing or reapplying.

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