The Social Security Administration runs the Supplemental Security Income program to provide financial support people who have limited income and other resources owing to their inability to work as a result of their disability, blindness or advanced age. In addition to these people, some children with qualifying disabilities and blindness may be eligible for SSI. At present, the SSI benefit amount is $750 per month for individuals and $1,125 per month for couples.
The Social Security Administration requires claimant's to have valid photo identification for entrance to all hearings and for any consultative examinations in which they are scheduled to appear.
On January 29, 2019, a 9-2 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned past court opinions and stated that the Department of Veterans Affairs cannot deny disability benefits to Vietnam veterans who claim exposure to cancer-causing chemical defoliants merely because those veterans served in the waters off the coastline of Vietnam and not inland. This is a major victory for "blue water" Navy veterans who have fought for years over these denials.
Veterans here in Alabama are well aware that during the Vietnam War, the U.S. military sprayed Agent Orange, a defoliating agent, to clear vegetation from enemy territory. In addition, it was possible for some veterans to have contacted this dangerous chemical outside of Vietnam and Korea, in particular in bases in Thailand or while working with planes used to transport the chemical. Unfortunately, at that time the military was unaware of the various harmful effects of Agent Orange on all those who were exposed to it.
A lot of our disabled clients have difficulty paying all of their expenses every month. Living is expensive and Supplemental Security Income benefits pay out a maximum of $771 per month for 2019. It can be especially hard when power bills rise right along with the south Alabama heat in the summer. But some good news is that Alabama Power offers some programs to help offset some of those costs.
During the month of February, Gardberg and Kemmerly, P.C. employees collected candy for the women of Home of Grace for Valentine's Day. Home of Grace is a Christ centered alcohol and drug recovery program located in Eight Mile, Alabama. Home of Grace provides a comprehensive alcohol and drug recovery program for females ages 18 and up. The program is a 12-week residential program that combines the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
I rewrite this article every year because it continues to affect clients and the consequences are HUGE! We see cases month after month where Claimants lose all benefits or a large portion of disability because they filed a tax return fraudulently. Many times these returns are filed without the filer having knowledge of how it will affect a claim for disability.
Far too many Alabama residents go through some sort of trauma in their life. These events often leave an indelible mark on their psyches.
Although they are not readily awarded and difficult to obtain, veterans' disability benefits are available for burn pit exposure. However, there must be concrete evidence to show that the issues a veteran is experiencing are the direct result of the exposure to a burn pit that contained toxic substances.
The Minnesota-based 3M Company, a defense contractor, sold its dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2, to the military without disclosing defects that decreased the effectiveness of the hearing protection. 3M violated the False Claims Act by selling or causing to be sold defective 3M ear plugs to the U.S. military. 3M decided to settle in order to avoid a lengthy legal battle. These defective earplugs were standard-issue for U.S. military members from 2003 to 2015. The defective ear plugs may have caused significant hearing loss or tinnitus in military Veterans.
Social Security Disability adjudication hearings contain a great deal of legal jargon that most claimants do not understand. This is why it is never recommended for a claimant to appear before an administrative law judge without legal representation.
From January 1, 2019 through March 31, 2019, Medicare Advantage enrollees can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. Since 2010, those who wished to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan had to do so between October 15 through December 7th during the Annual Election Period. However, beginning in 2019, there is a new Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP). While the Medicare Advantage OEP from January 1, 2019 through March 31, 2019 is more limited than the Fall Open Enrollment period, recipients of Medicare can still sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan, change from one Medicare Advantage plans to a different Medicare Advantage plan, drop an existing Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare Part A and B, or sign up for a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan if you had returned to Original Medicare.