Monthly Archives: October, 2012

Fox Obscures Important Facts To Attack Disability Benefits | Research | Media Matters for America

PAYNE: It’s a scandal. When it’s truly ever uncovered what’s going on here, a lot of men, 25, 26 years old sitting on a porch all day long because every two weeks they get a crazy check and they’re on disability.

via Fox Obscures Important Facts To Attack Disability Benefits | Research | Media Matters for America.

 

Not that his assertions on how easy it is to get disability show how little he knows of the Social Security programs, but he even screwed up the most basic of facts that a simple search on SSA.GOV would show.  People getting any type of Social Security benefits, whether disability, retirement, survivor, or SSI, get paid once a month.

 

You receive SSI benefits on the 1st of the month and your DIB benefits once a month based on the day you were born.

 

Is it Time to Seek Support From an SSI Attorney or Advocate Firm? | Featured | JusticeNewsFlash Release

The following are key considerations in determining whether it may be time to seek support from an SSI attorney or advocate firm:

• Have you filed a claim that was initially denied? Many claims are at first denied for various reasons. Those who meet the eligibility requirements should not be dissuaded from re-filing for benefits. With professional support, they may be able to obtain approval.

• Do you understand the requirements and filing guidelines outlined by the Social Security Administration? Social Security has strict guidelines for filing and eligibility requirements. With professional support, one may be better able to understand the process and navigate the required steps with someone advocating on their behalf.

• Are you able to keep track of important dates and deadlines pertaining to your filing? A professional in this area can offer support in keeping track of important dates and deadlines a claimant may be unable to stay abreast of.

• Are you afraid of making mistakes on your application that could be maintained on record? Mistakes on one’s application may stay on record; therefore, it is important to take steps to ensure that one’s application is as error free and complete as possible and an experienced professional can provide the needed support.

• Are you familiar with Social Security law? Not understanding certain elements of Social Security law can lead to costly mistakes for applicants that could contribute to the denial of their claim. An experienced professional can help one better understand the law with regard to how it pertains to their claim.

via Is it Time to Seek Support From an SSI Attorney or Advocate Firm? | Featured | JusticeNewsFlash Release.

Why your loved ones wait in the waiting room at your Social Security Hearing

A question I get asked repeatedly is why the loved ones of the claimant are asked to wait in the waiting room.  Why can’t we sit in the hearing with the person?

There really are a couple of reasons why

First, the hearing rooms are generally small.  There usually are not a lot of extra chairs.  In some rooms there would be nowhere for any observers to sit.

Next, the claimant may act, react, or answer differently with someone else in the room than they would without you there.  The judge needs to see how the person would react with the support of a loved one around.  You won’t be going to work with the person and they would not have the effect your presences causes there.  Further, there may be things the claimant has not told you or does not want to say in front of you but that the judge does need to hear.  Your presence may stop the claimant from full disclosure and harm the case.

Third, many times it is hard enough for the claimant to sit and listen to some parts of the discussion and not verbally react.  It will be even more difficult for you to sit and listen to the claimant say something, the attorney say something, the judge or one of the other witnesses and not try to jump in your self.  Many times this is to correct something you feel was not stated right.  The problem is your not a witness, you are not sworn in, and you cannot do this.  I have seen observers distract the claimants and even confuse the claimants by trying to get their attention during the hearing because the observer thought the claimant gave the wrong information.

Finally, you may be called as a witness in the case.  If so, you cannot observe the hearing prior to your testimony.  I do not like to use other witnesses in most of my cases because there is very little they can add to the record at that point and many times their testimony could end up harming the case when a tricky judge cuts them off, asks a question in a particular manner, or twists their testimony.  If I feel that other witness testimony is needed, I prefer to have that person write a letter to the judge which I can submit to the file.  It gets in what is needed to be said and keeps the judge from having the chance to question the person themselves.  Further, if the judge does not believe the claimant, the judge is not likely to change their mind by your testimony.  I do tend to use other witness testimony when I am doing disabled adult child cases or 12.05(c) cases  (these are usually young adults with intellectual disabilities).  Many times the parent(s) caring for the child is a valuable witness, just as they are in typical SSI child cases.

So, when you attend a Social Security Hearing with a loved one, do not be surprised to find yourself waiting in the waiting room.

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