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.

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.

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.

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