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.

Rand Paul discusses Social Security plan in recent speech

Republican presidential candidate Senator “Rand” Paul (Kentucky) said he would institute changes to the Social Security program in a speech given during a recent event in Concord, New Hampshire last Tuesday, January 5. The senator noted that he has no intention of doing away with the program entirely, instead assuring his audience that he hopes “to change how it’s funded.”

The Social Security programs easily remain a beacon of hope and promise to elder Americans who rely on financial assistance from the government in the event of a disability or for stability during retirement. However, funding for these programs is in danger of being depleted as fewer workers’ taxes are supporting the funding for older Americans’ monthly benefits.

Paul’s plan is to extend the retirement age so that Americans will be required to work longer before taking retirement benefits. In addition, wealthier Americans would be eligible for fewer government disability and retirement benefits.

If you wish to gain legal assistance when it comes to filing for Social Security disability benefits in Indianapolis, get in touch with our attorneys at The Hankey Law Firm by calling our offices today at (317) 634-8565 or (800) 520-3633. Our legal team can help you understand the complex rules associated with Social Security programs.

Social Security worker arrested for accepting bribes

Fifty-year-old Florida resident and Social Security Administration claims representative Maria Sanchez was sentenced to four months in prison followed by four months of house arrest on Wednesday, November 25 by United States District Judge William Dimitrouleas for allegedly accepting bribes from select Social Security benefit applicants to speed up their application process.

Earlier this year, Sanchez confessed that she took between $13,000 and $15,000 in illegal payments during the years 2008 to 2011 in exchange for illegally moving the applicants who paid her to the top of the application process list.

Investigators said Sanchez usually received a green folder that contained five to six Social Security benefit applications and a separate white envelope that contained $500 in $100 bills, and that this folder was dropped off at her office or handed over in a Hollywood parking lot.

At the Hankey Law Office, our legal team of Social Security disability attorneys can help you through the complex processes of applying for or appealing SSD benefits. To speak to a member of our team, call us today at (800) 520-3633.

SSD applicants experience long waiting times for claim approvals

Many Americans who file for Social Security disability benefit claims have complained that they have to endure long waiting times before they can be approved for much needed disability benefits, and applicants waiting for appeals have an even longer line to wait through.

Such has been the case of applicant Sherice Bennett, who was forced to stop working due to difficulties associated with diabetes, arthritis, and an open-heart surgery. Bennett became homeless after having to wait two years before even being given the opportunity to convince a judge that she qualified for federal disability benefits.

Another Miami man died two months before his case even made it in front of Judge Thomas Snook, who approved the man’s claim to benefits that his widow will now collect.

These discouraging wait times are a very real problem faced by millions of Social Security Disability applicants across the country, and the attorney at the Hankey Law Office in Indianapolis understand that your needs must be met as soon as possible. To speak to our legal team about your options, call (800) 520-3633 today.

Senator notes backlogs in Social Security negatively affect disabled taxpayers

Senate joint economic committee chairman Dan Coats (Republican of Indiana) told the committee on Wednesday, November 4 that the average waiting time of 114 days for an initial decision regarding the disability benefit claims brought forward by Social Security Disability Insurance applicants to the Social Security Administration and the 480 days for the appeal heightens the risk of fraud and “slows awards of benefits to individuals who need them.”

According to Coats, the General Accountability Office, an investigative branch of Congress, has found that $11 billion in over-payments had been made during the last decade, while the SSA said 44.5% of participants have been given more than they were entitled to receive in benefits.

Our attorneys at The Hankey Law Office focus on handling Social Security and disability cases for our clients in the Indianapolis area. If you are struggling to file a claim or work through an appeal process, our attorneys can help you. Call our offices at (317) 634-8565 today to discuss your claim.

A Guide to Social Security Disability Benefits

Some aspects of Social Security disability benefits are not that easy to understand, and getting the government to include you in its list of monthly recipients can be a bit difficult – after all, around 65% of Social Security disability claims get denied, although many of those denied claims are awarded after they are re-considered via appeal.

The reason for this stringent deniability system is because the Social Security Administration has a strict definition of what a “disability” is. The main criteria one must meet before he or she can be classified as disabled are a) you cannot do the work you did before, b) you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition, and c) you are expected to be affected by your disability for at least a year, if not for the rest of your life.

It is essential that you apply for benefits as soon as you become disabled, as the application and appeal processes can take several months, or even years, to get approved.

Our attorneys at the Hankey Law Office proudly serve Indianapolis clients in need of legal advice in all matters related to filing and appealing Social Security disability benefit claims. If you are in need of our legal assistance, call our offices today at (800) 520-3633.

Low gas prices to blame for lack of Social Security increase in 2016

Low gas prices are likely the reason why there won’t be any increases to Social Security benefits for both disabled people and retirees next year, economists say.

This is because the annual cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, which is based on the government’s measure of inflation, has been kept at a minimum by lower gas prices, actually causing prices to drop below 2014 levels.

American Institute for Economic Research economist Polina Vlasenko said that there’s a “very high probability” that Social Security benefit increases in 2016 “will be zero”.

Congress passed a law for automatic increases for Social Security beneficiaries in 1975, a time when inflation had been at a high and there was pressure to enact automatic increases for benefits.

Our attorneys at the Hankey Law Office in Indianapolis help individuals file and appeal for Social Security disability benefits. If you need legal assistance regarding these matters, you may speak with a member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (800) 520-3633.

The top five states for Social Security beneficiaries

With the depletion of the Social Security disability fund looming, Social Security disability recipients in these five states may want to discover other means of getting by.

According to a recent study, the five states with the highest percentage of their population receiving Social Security benefits are Maine, Alabama, Arkansas, Vermont, and West Virginia – states where more residents older than the national average reside.

To specify, 25.1% of West Virginians depend on Social Security benefits while over 22% of Alabama’s and Arkansas’s population live on Social Security benefits. Around 24.5% of Maine residents are Social Security recipients while 22.4% Vermont locals are beneficiaries of Social Security.

The number of Social Security beneficiaries in these states is significantly higher than the national average of 18.5%.

Our attorneys at The Hankey Law Office serve Indianapolis clients who have legal issues concerning filing for or appealing their Social Security disability benefits. To consult with a member of our legal team, call our offices today at (800) 520-3633 or (317) 634-9818 and find out more about the legal services we offer.

Social Security Turns 80, What Now?

The Social Security Administration marked its 80th birthday on Aug. 14, 2015. However, the agency is besieged by its own problems. With the disability benefits fund scheduled to be depleted by 2016, people in power and legislation are thinking of ways to stop this event from happening.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has suggested privatizing the Social Security Administration to solve the problems that the Social Security Disability Insurance program is currently facing. Senator Rand Paul (Republican of Kentucky) is more for raising the eligibility age and changing premiums, which would equate to a decrease in monthly benefit payouts for recipients.

It should be remembered that former President Ronald Reagan immortalized “our nation’s ironclad commitment to Social Security” when he signed a bill that sought to preserve the agency and its programs on April 20, 1983.

The process of applying for and receiving Social Security disability benefits can be problematic and tedious at times. If you are encountering such difficulties and you reside in Indianapolis, get in touch with our attorneys at The Hankey Law Office by calling our offices today at (317) 634-8565 or (800) 520-3633.

Some facts about disability and retirement benefits

One thing to remember about Social Security disability benefits and retirement benefits is that when a recipient reaches full retirement age, his or her disability benefits merge with his or her retirement benefits, thereby making them one. Any recipient cannot receive both retirement and disability benefits at the same time in one earnings record.

Sometimes, a person may contract an illness so debilitating or suffer from injuries that are so life-altering that the Social Security Administration will expedite the disability applications of these people. This program is called Compassionate Allowances.

This program makes it possible for the administration to single out people with the most severe illnesses or medical conditions to facilitate a much faster disability benefit process for them, provided the administration is given the proper and complete medical documents required.

If you have been working in the United States for a certain length of time, you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits. If you have questions regarding how to obtain your benefits or if you need legal representation for issues or concerns regarding your benefits, get in touch with our attorneys at The Hankey Law Office in Indianapolis by calling our offices today at (317) 634-8565 or (800) 520-3633.

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