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Social Security Law Archives

Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income eligibility

When you apply for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income in Pennsylvania, you might also be eligible for Medicaid coverage. Pennsylvania is one of the states that has an agreement known as the 1634 agreement regarding Medicaid eligibility when a person qualifies for federally administered state supplementary payments.

How can I make applying for disability less stressful?

Applying for Social Security programs can be a very stressful experience. While there isn't a way to completely remove the stress from the process, it might be possible to reduce the stress some by ensuring you are prepared for the process when you apply.

Internal controls fail to prevent Social Security overpayments

Recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance have probably been following the news closely since it was announced that the SSDI trust fund will likely go broke by late 2016. In a recent development, brought on by the government attempting to keep SSD benefits funded, it has come to light that $371.5 million in overpayments have been made by the Social Security Administration between 2009 and 2013.

SSD and SSI Payments to Increase in 2015

At the end of October 2014 the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced a cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment for recipients of Social Security Disability benefits for 2015. The increase, which also applies to recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Monthly benefits will increase by 1.7 percent beginning on December 31, 2014.

What is a Continuing Disability Review?

If you currently receive Social Security disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you need to understand that there is no such thing as permanent disability guaranteeing future payment of benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will periodically review your case to see if your disabling medical impairments ended or improved, and if you can return to work. This review process is called a Continuing Disability Review, or CDR.

Bermudez-Harris Named Co-Chair of SSD Committee

Martin law attorney Maria Bermudez-Harris was appointed as Co-Chair of the 2014 Social Security Disability Committee for the Philadelphia Bar Association by the 2014 Chancellor, William Fedulo, Esq. The committee is already off to a strong start as they host their first committee meeting. Maria and her co-chair, David Chermol will honor outgoing co-chairs, Sanjuanita Gonzalez and Jeffrey Lichtman. Area Director, James Riley, III will discuss the consolidation of initial claim online with disability report and attorney Joe Huttemann will be speaking about workers' comp and impact social security has in workers' comp cases, Medicare set aside and a Q&A regarding any potential liability issues for SSD practitioners. Also speaking are Joe Capitan and Marc Vernet on evaluating workers' comp issues, including offset when getting new SSD clients, what the social security administration is looking for in the 546/comp documents that must be submitted to calculate the offset and how to confirm the Social Security Administration considered workers' comp in the NOA.

Attorney Harris "Writing" Article Published

maria_web_216.jpgAttorney Maria E. Harris, recently had an article published
in The Legal Intelligencer. The article, "The Significance of Writing in the Legal Setting" was published in the "Young Lawyers Supplement" to The Legal Intelligencer on Tuesday, January 22.

Removal from the Workforce by Means of Retirement

In the case Keene v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Ogden Corp.), the Commonwealth Court held that a claimant, who was receiving Social Security Disability, did not remove herself from the work force, because she testified that she stopped looking for employment for a two-year period after a work-related knee replacement. Judge Friedman wrote that before the employer could suspend her benefits, they had the burden of showing that the claimant voluntarily retired. According to previous case law the employer meets this burden of proof by providing: (1) there is no dispute that the claimant retired, (2) the claimant has accepted a retirement pension, or (3) the claimant has accepted a pension and refused suitable employment. Since, the claimant did not accept the retirement pension and could not find suitable employment, there was no basis for voluntary retirement.

Medicare Part B Premiums lower than projected for 2012

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that Medicare Part B Premiums will be lower than projected. The Part B premiums will have a 3.6% increase to coincide with the COLA increase previously decided earlier in the year. For 2012 the Medicare Part B Premium will be $99.90 and the Part B deductible will decrease by $22, however the premiums paid for Medicare's prescription drug plan will remain virtually unchanged.

Social Security Opens National Hearing Center

In an effort to control the amount of backlogged cases and reduce the waiting time for a disability decision, the Social Security Administration has opened numerous National Hearing Centers. These National Hearing Centers allow for Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) to hold hearings through video conference. The hope for these new Hearing Centers is to decrease the amount of backlogged cases in various urban areas, as well as making it easier for people living in rural areas of the country.


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