Wow it has been a long time since I have posted to my blog. Life and work, just kept seemingly to get in the way.
And now so many things have changed. With Social Security we know have 75 day notice prior to the hearing. This means that you and, if you have one, your attorney, will now get a hearing date at least 75 days away, instead of 20. This change makes it much easier to have a complete file, especially with those hospitals that take 60 or more days to get their records out.
Other changes include a requirement that SSA be notified or provided records at least 5 business days prior to hearing. With the 75 day notice, this rule has minimal effect on the way most SSA cases are run.
The atmosphere with SSA is still stacked against someone applying for disability. Rhetoric of fraud has only increased with the Conn case in Kentucky, despite multiple reports by SSA that fraud is actually very tiny in the system.
Approval rate for all cases, nationwide, runs just under 50%, which means over half of everyone that applies is ultimately denied benefits. This makes having assistance even more important.
Finally, for those folks in Northeast Ohio, I am expanded my practice beyond just SSA disability and will now also be taken family law, probate (guardians, wills, health directives, power of attorneys), and traffic cases. Let me help you change your child support, avoid points on your license, or tell people your wishes if you are sick or when you pass away.
list of SSA items that will and won’t continue if the government shuts down
Things that will not continue:
Scheduling cases for hearings, review for OTRs, quality reviews, CDRs, exhibiting case files
Applications and reconsideration will continue to be processed.
SSA is encouraging all potential recipients to apply for benefits now, in order establish a protective filing date. SSA employees have been instructed to accept all claims, including those from couples who not only have been married but are in civil unions or registered domestic partnerships. The SSA instructions encourage individuals to apply if they believe they may be eligible.
Currently, SSA is processing claims for spouses of retired workers if the couple is married and currently domiciled in a state that recognizes same sex marriages. For all other claims, potential recipients are encouraged to apply to preserve a filing date, but their claims will be held and not processed until SSA issues further instructions on processing and paying these claims. All instructions from SSA must first be approved by the Department of Justice.
SSA intends to take an incremental approach to processing and paying claims for same sex spouses, and their children, beginning with retirement benefits, and moving to survivor and lump sum death payments.
SSA’s website has a link to information for same sex couples: http://www.ssa.gov/doma.