Monthly Archives: August, 2012

Illinois woman will pay restitution in autism fraud case : Stltoday

 

An Illinois woman has agreed to pay restitution after being accused of a scam in which she allegedly promised to provide specially trained companion animals for children with autism.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan says Lea Kaydus had collected more than $5,000 through her organization, Animals for Autism. Kaydus lives in Glenarm, near Springfield.

In some cases, families got pictures of the puppies that were supposedly being trained to work with their children. In reality, the pictures had been taken years earlier and the dogs had no connection to Animals with Autism.

Madigan called the organization “a heartless scam” Thursday.

To settle a lawsuit filed by the attorney general, Kaydus agreed to repay the money she collected and abide by state fraud laws in the future.

via Illinois woman will pay restitution in autism fraud case : Stltoday.

It is sad when parents trying to help their kids cannot trust that the organizations they turn to are legit.

 

DDN investigation into delayed social security benefits… | www.daytondailynews.com

In a July 30 article, the Daily News reported that the Social Security Administration’s Dayton hearing office in the last two fiscal years was the second slowest in the nation for processing appeals for benefits. Even though the office has improved wait times — this year it has not ranked among the 20 slowest in the country — Brown said more must be done to reduce the delays further. He said wait times may shrink if more hospitals transitioned to electronic medical records and more members of the public were aware of and utilized video-hearing options.“This is important because these are life and death situations for people who have lost jobs and are unable to go to work and need an answer from their government about whether they qualify for Social Security disability,” Brown, D-Ohio, said in an interview. “We want these done as quickly as possible.”

via DDN investigation into delayed social security benefits… | www.daytondailynews.com.

I applaud  Senator Brown’s support for speeding up processing times, but there are a few important points being missed here.

1) most updates done at the hearing level are not done by SSA but rather by representatives and if they are done by SSA they are done post hearing.  Many reps can handle electronic medical records, but getting providers to give them to us that way is still lagging far behind.

2) video hearings have many problems, including equipment failures and freezing.  Further, it can be difficult for the ALJ to see and observe many things with the claimant at video hearing.  They may not see the claimant grimace in pain, squirm in their seat, or  be able to see braces especially on the leg.  The ALJ may not be able to see lesions and such on the face and other physical impairments that are much easier to see in person.  In addition, many times with Video hearings an expert will be testifying by telephone and will be on the other end of one of the parties (usually testifying by telephone at the ALJ’s location).  This makes it extremely difficult to understand or even hear the testimony.  I have had the pleasure of doing a video hearings with an interpreter needed for my client.  At one hearing the interpreter was in person, at another the interpreter was over the phone at the ALJ’s location.  In the first case, the ALJ had difficulty with hearing some of the testimony from our end.  The other case was a nightmare due to the delays from transmission, the difficulty in understanding the accent of the interpreter over the phone and then over the video conference equipment.  This caused the hearing to go very long and be very disjointed.

While everyone wants to speed up the processing times for hearings, it is important that we preserve the claimants right to a fair hearing and to be heard.  At the current time, this is jeopardized by problems with technology that have no easy solutions.  As such, the decision on whether or not to accept a video hearing is one that must be on a case by case basis.

Applying for benefits?  Ready for hearing?  Call me today to discuss your case

How often Social Security disability is reviewed depends – Business – Ohio

How often Social Security disability is reviewed depends – Business – Ohio.

Q: I get Social Security disability. Will my case be reviewed to see if I’m still eligible?

A: How often we review your medical condition depends on how severe it is and the likelihood it will improve. Your award notice tells you when you can expect your first review using the following terminology:

• Medical improvement expected — If your condition is expected to improve within a specific time, your first review will be six to 18 months after you started getting disability benefits.

• Medical improvement possible — If improvement in your medical condition is possible, your case will be reviewed about every three years.

• Medical improvement not expected — If your medical condition is unlikely to improve, your case will be reviewed about once every five to seven years.

Q: What is the difference between SSDI and SSI disability?

A: Social Security administers two major programs that provide benefits based on disability: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

SSDI benefits are based on prior work under Social Security, and are financed with Social Security taxes paid by workers, employers and the self-employed. To be eligible for an SSDI benefit, the worker must earn sufficient credits based on taxable work to be “insured” for Social Security purposes.

SSI payments are made on the basis of financial need and are financed through general tax revenue. Adults or children who are disabled or blind, and have limited income and resources, may be eligible for SSI disability. The monthly payment varies up to the maximum federal benefit rate, which may be supplemented by the state or decreased by income.

Learn more by going online to read publications, Supplemental Security Income,www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/11000.html, and Disability Benefits, atwww.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10029.html.

It is important to remember that your case can be reviewed.  Thus you must keep up medical care, seeing your doctors and taking your prescriptions.

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