7th Circuit Court of Appeals reverses ALJ ruling denying Social Security disability benefits

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the ruling of an Administrative Law Judge that Social Security disability benefits claimant Debbie Stage was not eligible for said benefits because she can still work despite her handicap.

Stage is claiming that ever since she slipped two discs while performing work-related duties at a factory in 1985, she had been experiencing debilitating back and hip pain, which caused her to be unable to work starting in 2009.

However, the claims judge said that Stage can perform a minimum amount of work, which specifically entails standing and walking for six hours a day, which is a job description of someone who works as a small-parts assembler, a production assembler, or an electronics worker. The district court affirmed the decision.

This decision was opposed by the appeals court. In Debbie A. Stage v. Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Judge David Hamilton said that the disorders affecting the claimant show that she cannot perform work, noting, “It strains credulity to find that a claimant who needed a hip replacement and had to sit while showering and shopping for groceries was capable of standing for six hours a day in the workplace.”

 


Social Security judges easily approved benefits

Four administrative law judges in charge of approving Social Security claims are scheduled to testify on June 10 before the House Oversight Committee over allegations that they rubber-stamped disability benefit claims, effectively approving millions of dollars in benefits for claims that were not properly evaluated, the Indiana Gazette reported.

According to the report, the high approval rates are indicative of the judges’ failure to follow proper protocol when it comes to reviewing claims or conducting insightful and unbiased hearings.

Those who will be evaluated are Judge Gerald Krafsur of Kingsport, Tennessee, whose cases lead to almost $1.8 million in benefits; Judge Harry Taylor of Charleston, West Virginia, who approved 94% of the cases he decided; Judge Charles Bridges of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Judge James Burke of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Our attorneys at the Hankey Law Office are dedicated to helping our clients in Indianapolis obtain Social Security disability benefits. If you need legal representation or assistance filing for benefits, call our offices today at (800) 520-3633.


‘Compassionate allowances’ speed up Social Security disability application process

An SSA program called “compassionate allowances” puts those who suffer from certain conditions on the application fast track for benefits, the Chicago Tribune reported on May 14.

The SSA’s program will ensure that people suffering from certain disabilities, including various cancers and heart diseases, will gain priority status when it comes to the review of their application. As of December 2013, the average monthly benefit was $1,146. The program apparently began in 2008 to serve as a way for those who needed it most to receive benefits from the government, but it remains unknown to a lot of people. The list of eligible conditions numbers 225, but this number will only increase.

If you have become unable to earn your daily living due to contracting a disease or becoming impaired due to an accident, Social Security disability benefits can go a long way towards supplementing you and your family’s income. Receive assistance from our attorneys at the Hankey Law Office regarding this matter by dialing (317) 634-8565 today.


Mississippi man pleads guilty to Social Security fraud charges

On November 13, Mississippi resident, Alan Paul Blache was charged for fraudulent activity concerning the collection of Social Security disability benefits.

According to court records, Blache has been unnecessarily gaining access to disability benefits between the years 2005 and 2011.

Facing federal charges, Blache is scheduled for a change of plea hearing on Friday, November 22 in the U.S. District Court in Gulfport.

Disability benefits are essential for people who are unable to financially provide for themselves. People that take advantage of the Social Security system illegally obtain funds that some people require to live. If you need assistance filing or appealing a disability claim in the Indianapolis area, contact Hankey Law Office at (800) 520-3633.