Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

In The Community Archives

Cost-of-Living Adjustment for 2020

On October 22, 2019, Social Security Administration announced a 1.6% increase in benefits for 2020. This cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will be effective for Social Security disability beneficiaries for their December 2019 benefits that are payable in January of 2020. For SSI beneficiaries, the cost-of-living adjustment will be made for January 2020 but paid on December 31, 2019.

Stop the Wait ACT

In September it was announced that U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35) authored a bill to eliminate the waiting period for Social Security Disability benefits. Currently, if someone is approved for Disability Insurance Benefits, which are the benefits you paid into when you were working, there is a 5-month waiting period before any payment can be received and a 24 month waiting period for Medicare benefits. This act would eliminate those wait times. This is especially important because both financial support and health insurance is critical to those who are disabled.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

This year, I am the Co-Chair for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Event. The Making Strides for Breast Cancer Board is comprised of people from all over Mobile, Alabama.  Each of us have different jobs, different interests and different lifestyles.  But what we do have in common is the drive to help in any way to find a cure for breast cancer.  Many of us on the board have been personally touched by breast cancer - some of the board members are survivors, some of the board members are family members of a survivor, and some of the board members have lost loved ones to breast cancer.  A huge part of finding a cure, is raising money for research and resources. 

Lifelines Counseling Services

I have been privileged to serve on the Board of Directors of Lifelines Counseling Services since 2018.  Lifelines is an amazing local organization that provides family counseling, credit counseling, and crisis services.  The staff and volunteers at Lifelines help people in their darkest hours and are a beacon of light in our community.  From marital counseling to suicide prevention programs to the Rape Crisis Center to housing and debt counseling, Lifelines provides a holistic approach to managing life's challenges to help families and individuals live more productive lives.  Lifelines is integral to sustaining our community.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE ONE STEP AT A TIME

I am the Chair for the 2nd year for the Making Strides walk here in my hometown of Mobile, Alabama. The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk of South Alabama is a walk to raise funds to end the fight against breast cancer. The American Cancer Society and our committee consists of men and women in all avenues of life who have come together to make this walk successful. We have so many people who have been touched by breast cancer, both survivors and fighters, friends and family right here in our city that this walk is vital to the future of those who face this disease.

My Role as the Volunteer Lead for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

This year, I have had the privilege of being the Volunteer Lead for the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. The walk this year will be held on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. in Bienville Square in Mobile, Alabama. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is a 3.5 mile walk throughout downtown Mobile, Alabama where thousands of people will walk to celebrate and honor breast cancer survivors and caregivers. The walk not only celebrates survivors but also serves to educate the community about prevention and detection so as to help reduce the risk of breast cancer and to raise funds to help end breast cancer. Money raised at the event will fund research to help find a cure for breast cancer as well as provides information and help to those who are currently battling breast cancer.

SNAP -that was easy!

One of the biggest struggles for those filing for disability and without income is how do I feed myself and my family and how do I pay my bills. There is help for food services if you meet the income requirements. The food stamp program is now called SNAP which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. SNAP's purpose is to help with nutrition by providing monthly benefits to eligible low income households with the means to buy the food they need for good health.

Consultative Examinations

Our office has been advised that due to low funds, no consultative examinations will be scheduled by the Disability Determination Services of Alabama through September 15, 2019 through September 30, 2019. A consultative examination (CE) is an examination by a physician that is ordered by Social Security for Claimants to help decide whether they meet the criteria for Social Security disability. CEs are usually ordered by either the Disability Determination Services or an Administrative Law Judge at the hearing level when the Claimant's own medical sources are inadequate to determine if the Claimant is disabled. A CE is not conducted in order to provide the Claimant with medical advice or treatment. Rather, it is an examination that is supposed to assess the severity of a Claimant's medical impairments as well as any limitations that are a result of these impairments. The examination can either be a physical examination or psychological examination. It can also be blood work, x-rays, or a nerve conduction study.

Function Reports for Social Security Disability

When you apply for Social Security disability, one of the first things you receive in the mail from the Social Security Administration (SSA) is a function report. A function report will ask you various questions regarding your activities of daily living. For example, what do you do from the time that you wake up until you go to bed? Other questions ask how your medical impairments affect your ability to dress and bathe yourself, prepare your own meals, perform household chores, shop, travel, and perform any other activities of daily living.

Lawsuit Filed Against VA Secretary Over Blue Water Benefits Delays

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.

Email Us For A Response

Tell Us About Your Case

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Firm Contact Information:

1015 Montlimar Drive, Suite B4
Mobile, AL 36609

Map & Directions

Phone: 251-243-7872
Toll Free: 877-539-1739
Fax: 251-342-3747

Mississippi: 228-435-4000
Florida: 850-458-1226