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Social Security News and Updates

Social Security Benefits Increase in 2020

Posted by Peter Bohan | Oct 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

Cost of living adjustment (COLA) will result in an increase in the amount of Social Security benefits starting in 2020 according to the Social Security Administration's blog. More information and details can be found here as well as information regarding how to create a  My SSA account here to se...

Stealth Attack on SSA Proposed by Republican Senator?

Posted by Peter Bohan | Sep 07, 2019 | 0 Comments

Republican Senator Joni Ernst has called for a session "behind closed doors" outside of public scrutiny, hidden from the sun (in the dark caves of hell?) with a proposal to "fix" Social Security. This stealthy and sneaky action can only be for more looting and more swamp creatures to benefit - wh...

Functional Assessment Importance

Posted by Peter Bohan | May 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

A recent report and study again emphasizes a well known term "functional capacity" to Social Security Disability. This term is relevant in that it is an attempt to assess how a person's physical limitations are specified across physical demands such as standing, walking, pushing/pulling, lifting/...

Social Security Not in Peril

Posted by Peter Bohan | Apr 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

 Social Security is alive and kicking, despite some rhetoric that is aimed at making the public have doubts on that point. A recent LA Times article confirms that the program has become financially stronger in the past year. To put it another way, Social Security is solvent, fiscally healthy an...

Semantics, Politics and Benefits

Posted by Peter Bohan | Apr 03, 2019 | 0 Comments

In this political climate where there are proposed budget cuts and discussion of "deficits" and the need to cut Social Security funding, it is important always to refresh our memory with facts and a dose of reality. Benefits from Social Security are what working Americans have earned over the cou...

Trump's Proposed Buzzsaw to Social Safety Nets in 2020

Posted by Peter Bohan | Mar 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

A recent LA Times article highlighted the proposed 2020 budget of Trump - it is nothing short of breathtaking in its scope in its objective to  gut social safety nets that most Americans rely on and including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. Fallout from the cuts to Social Security Administ...

Social Media Posts Viewed by SSA?

Posted by Peter Bohan | Mar 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

Efforts and investigation into having SSA keep an eye on those who utilize social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter are apparently happening and there are some stepped up efforts by the Trump administration in this regard according to a recent article. The bottom line is that there is...

Talking to Your Doctor

Posted by Peter Bohan | Feb 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

Describe How Your Condition Impacts Your Daily Life When speaking to your doctor, describe the factual basis of your disability, rather than simply stating that you are disabled. You must give specific reasons to your doctor that explain why you should be awarded disability benefits. For example...

SSA News and Updates

Posted by Peter Bohan | Feb 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

SSA is proposing to eliminate a category "inability to communicate in English" as a potential factor that would reduce a claimant's ability to be employable. This is potentially a very significant development that could negatively impact claimants who are unable to communicate in English.

Is Pain Adequately Assessed by SSA?

Posted by Peter Bohan | Feb 08, 2019 | 0 Comments

Interesting article and action by SSA asking for feedback regarding whether claimants seeking disability benefits feel that level of pain was adequately taken into consideration regarding their claim for benefits. Pain is subjective and therefore potentially difficult to have a clear cut applic...

Social Security Expansion News

Posted by Peter Bohan | Feb 08, 2019 | 0 Comments

Despite the rhetoric that aims to attack and chip away at Social Security, there is momentum towards protecting and expanding Social Security that will hopefully lead to a "re-awakening" among the public and politicians to the importance of this cornerstone of our society.

Can I bring my doctor to the hearing?

Posted by Peter Bohan | Jul 09, 2018 | 0 Comments

Claimants can bring their own medical expert to a hearing, and we have seen this on certain occasions. There are some points to take into consideration if and when this is a decision a claimant wants to make. Perhaps the fundamental question is: what benefit does bringing a medical expert to an A...

Disability judges: will my judge be fair?

Posted by Peter Bohan | May 03, 2018 | 0 Comments

You have a hearing date upcoming and there is a judge assigned. Who is the judge and how do I find out any information that I can about him or her? There is a website that compiles reviews of judges and you can look up the location of the hearing office to see what comments are written there abou...

Disability Benefits: Right or "Entitlement"?

Posted by Peter Bohan | Mar 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

Social Security Disability is not “Welfare”​Social Security Disability (SSD) is not a federal “welfare” program. SSD works like any other insurance program that you pay into while you are working (by paying FICA taxes), which then pays you disability benefits (“Social Security Disability Income...

Social Security Disability: Reality vs. Myth

Posted by Peter Bohan | Mar 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied (reality) In 2017, the Star Telegram in Fort Worth, Texas, reported that nearly 6,000 disability cases were waiting to be decided by a staff of only 10 Administrative Law Judges (ALJ). Across the United States, the average wait for an ALJ decision is more tha...

Chronic back pain and Disability

Posted by Peter Bohan | May 11, 2017 | 0 Comments

Some of the most common conditions which cause back pain include arthritis and DDD (degenerative disc disease). If you suffer from chronic debilitating back pain then it is likely there are resulting physical limitations from your condition. Although this point seems obvious, the SSA will be lo...

ALJ denial and options

Posted by Peter Bohan | Mar 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

Claimant has lost at the ALJ hearing. Filing an appeal of the ALJ decision is an option if an error of law or fact was made by the Judge. See a discussion oftop 10 issues for appealing an ALJ decision here. Perhaps most common is that the ALJ did not give the treating physician the sufficient w...

Amending Onset Date

Posted by Peter Bohan | Nov 05, 2016 | 0 Comments

The "AOD" (alleged onset date) is the date from which the claimant represents that he/she became unable to continue working because of disabling conditions. This becomes an important point in time from which to establish the point from which benefits begin (+5 months if SSDI). At the ALJ hearin...

Vocational Expert Testimony

Posted by Peter Bohan | Oct 04, 2016 | 0 Comments

"The Vocational Expert is out to get me!" (anonymous claimant)...Although the VE (Vocational Expert) may present some hurdles for a claimant seeking benefits, he/she is not "out to get" claimants. The role of the VE is to identify jobs from the "DOT" that a claimant could potentially still do g...

Appeal Deadline

Posted by Peter Bohan | Sep 09, 2016 | 0 Comments

Upon receiving a denial of an initial claim or reconsideration, there are 60 days (+5) to appeal (for reconsideration or hearing). Claimants miss the deadline for various reasons. All is not necessarily lost if there is a valid reason for having missed the deadline. If a valid reason is accompa...

Late/Missed Hearing!

Posted by Peter Bohan | Aug 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

Sometimes, after all the wait..the claimant arrives late or even misses the hearing..outta luck? If the attorney representative is hired, and a 1696 is filed, it's not the end of the day. The attorney can offer evidence, provide argument, cross examine the experts (medical expert ((ME)) and voc...

"RFC": a key SSA term

Posted by Peter Bohan | Aug 04, 2016 | 0 Comments

"RFC" stands for residual functional capacity. It is an important term to understand that the SSA uses in the analysis towards whether or not a person is disabled under their definition. Essentially, they are trying to define what the limitations are and resulting type of work they can perform ...

The Long Wait to a Hearing

Posted by Peter Bohan | Jul 12, 2016 | 0 Comments

The time that elapses from the point of requesting a hearing to the actual hearing is approximately 16 months. Is there any relief from this agonizing wait? 1) Not objecting to a VTC "video teleconferencing" hearing typically reduces the wait time before compared to a face to face hearing. Cla...

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