Indiana appeals court upholds denial of benefits

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed the ruling of a Northern District of Indiana Court to deny Kevin Loveless long-term Social Security disability benefits. Loveless was seeking Social Security disability benefits for a shoulder impairment, diabetes, pancreatitis, and other health conditions that he deemed the cause of his inability to work and earn his daily wages.

In a ruling penned by Judge Michael Kanne, he stated, “Loveless insists that the ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) made a mistake by minimizing the opinion of his personal physician and disbelieving his own testimony about the limiting effects of his impairments…We reject those contentions.”

We at the Hankey Law Firm, unlike other Social Security disability firms in Indianapolis, strive to develop strong, open, personal, and friendly relationships with our clients so as to better understand them and their unique situation on an individual level. We believe that a real relationship with our clients helps us better serve them. Call our offices today at (800) 520-3633 to learn more.


Important things to know about Social Security Disability

Knowing about Social Security disability benefits is important because you never knows when you may need them due to an unexpected illness or disability. Understanding the basics of this insurance program can be a great way to get started.

There are key things you should know about Social Security disability benefits. One is how you can qualify  for such benefits. Essentially, you have to work a minimum length of time to do so; every $1,200 in annual wages earns you one credit, up to a maximum of four credits per calendar year.

People who are 62 years or older need at least 40 credits; 10 of those credits should have been earned within the 10-year period before they became disabled.

Also, it’s important to know that the Social Security Administration excludes short-term and partial disabilities from insurance coverage.

Our attorneys at the Hankey Law Office work with those who have Social Security disability cases in the Indianapolis area. Call a member of our legal team today at (317) 634-8565 to find out how we can help you.


New project helps disabled veterans receive benefits

A new project created by the Social Security Administration and the Department of Defense is in the process of expanding nationwide to help wounded veterans and servicemen receive Social Security disability benefits sooner.

The federal organizations’ plan involves creating a centralized Department of Defense website that can access military medical records from several other department websites so that Social Security can more quickly process disability applications. Officials say this process will improve the speed, efficiency, and accuracy of the disability program.

A pilot program launched in five states yielded promising results. States received military medical records within 72 hours compared to an average of five weeks with paper records.

If you are a wounded veteran waiting to receive disability benefits, contact the Social Security disability insurance lawyers of the Hankey Law Office at (317) 634-8565 today.


Social Security launches new website

Earlier this week the Social Security Administration introduced a new part of their website that allows workers 18 and older to view their Social Security statements online. The new site allows workers view their expected Social Security payout and earnings history.

The Commissioner of Social Security explained that the site will, for the first time, allow people to view expected disability and survivors benefits in order to help people plan for their retirement. One can also compare their retirement benefits they would receive at age 62, which is full retirement age, and at age 70.

To access your personal Social Security statement, you will have to verify your identity before being able to log in at www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement.

If you need help regarding Social Security disability, please contact the Social Security Disability lawyers of the Hankey Law Office by calling 317-634-8565 today.


Social Security lifespan cut by three years, says trustees

According to an annual report by the Social Security trustees, Social Security’s financial lifespan has been shortened by three years to 2033 due to a slow economy and rising energy prices. Similarly, Medicare is expected to run out in 2024.

Since 2008, a record 5.4 million people have received Social Security disability benefits. A draining Social Security fund could also be trouble for Medicare since disability recipients can apply for Medicare after two years.

In just the first four months of 2012, more than 539,000 people have begun collecting disability benefits. An additional 725,000 have submitted applications. Many people apply for SSDI after their unemployment benefits expire.

If you interested in learning more about Social Security disability, contact the Social Security Disability Insurance lawyers of the Hankey Law Office at (317) 634-8565 today.


Unemployment rises for people with disabilities

According to a new study by Allsup, unemployment rates have increased by 14.6 percent compared to last quarter for people who suffer from disabilities. This is 74 percent higher than the 8.4 percent unemployment rate for people without disabilities.

In the last quarter of 2011, unemployment among the disabled dropped to 13.2 percent, and likewise, unemployment for the non-disabled dropped to 8.1 percent. The rise of unemployment is believed to correlate to the increase of Social Security Disability filings.

SSDI filings have increased from 660,712 to 724,746 between the last two quarters. In last year alone, 2.9 million people filed for disability assistance. Less than half of those claims have been approved due to an average wait time of 800 days.

If you or someone you love needs help applying for SSDI, contact the Social Security disability lawyers of the Hankey Law Office by calling (317) 634-8565.


New conditions added to the Compassionate Allowances Program

The Social Security Administration announced earlier this week that 52 new conditions will be added to its Compassionate Allowances Program. The conditions will go into effect this August and mainly concern neurological disorders, cancers, and rare diseases.

The Compassionate Allowances Program was designed in 2008 to quicken the Social Security Disability Insurance approval process by fast-tracking the applications of people whose conditions  clearly qualify them for assistance. The 52 new conditions will increase the list to a total of 165 conditions.

Since its creation, the Compassionate Allowances Program has quickly approved 173,000 people for SSDI. Nearly 61,000 people with debilitating conditions were approved by the program in the last fiscal year alone. For a full list of the new conditions, click here.

If you or your loved ones have become disabled and unable to work, contact the Social Security disability attorneys of the Hankey Law Office at (317) 634-8565.


Social Security Administration to cut 5,000 jobs

Due to significant budget cuts, the Social Security Administration will have to cut 5,000 jobs nationwide over the next two years. The reduction of workers will increase the need for people seeking Social Security Disability Insurance to consider hiring a lawyer to file their claim.

Last fiscal year, the agency lost 4,000 employees. This year an additional 3,000 jobs are expected to be cut and 2,000 in 2013. The federal agency is currently having to operate with $400 million less than it had two years ago.

Claimants are expected to be affected by the job cuts because the Social Security Administration will not have time to help people clear up errors on their applications, leading to a claim denial.

Having an expert, such as a lawyer, file your disability claim is the easiest way to make sure your application is approved. It only takes one missing document or error for the administration to deny your claim. Contact the Social Security Disability Insurance lawyers of the Hankey Law Office at (317) 634-8565 if you would like help filing your claim.


Social Security to stop issuing paper checks

Starting on March 1, 2013, beneficiaries will stop receiving paper checks from the Social Security Administration and start receiving their benefits electronically. The U.S. Treasury Department started phasing out paper checks last year to new recipients, but all recipients will make the shift in 2013.

To make the electronic switch, beneficiaries can visit their bank or credit union. There are two options to receive your payments electronically: the money can be directly deposited into a traditional bank or credit union account or it can be deposited onto a payment card.

The switch is estimated to save Social Security about $1 billion over the next decade.

If you or someone you love needs help filing for Social Security Disability Insurance, contact the Social Security Disability lawyers of the Hankey Law Office at (317) 634-8565 right away.


NC man convicted of Social Security fraud

A Greenville, North Carolina man has been convicted and sentenced to one year and one day in prison for defrauding the Social Security Administration. The 61 year-old man pleaded guilty to converting more than $300,000 worth of Social Security Disability benefits for his own personal use.

The man failed to notify the administration that he was self-employed and managed two businesses while he was still collecting government benefits. He has owned his own trucking company since 1985 and started receiving benefits in 1990. During his 2001 disability review, he again failed to mention he owned a janitorial company since 1991.

People who receive benefits from the Social Security Administration are required to report any changes in disability and ability to work.

If you or someone you love has been injured and can no longer work, contact the Social Security Disability attorneys of the Hankey Law Office at 317-634-8565.


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