Social Security Disability

The Role Language and Education Play in Social Security Disability Eligibility

by Staff Blogger | April 10th, 2015

Can the inability to speak and write in English qualify individuals for Social Security Disability benefits? Under the law and many recent rulings by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the answer may be yes.

According to an article released by The Washington Free Beacon, the SSA has approved the Social Security Disability applications of hundreds of Puerto Ricans after they claimed they were unable to work because they did not know how to speak English. Under current law, benefits must be awarded to United States citizens who are working within the country and are considered illiterate or cannot speak English.

There are no exceptions to the rule, which led to the approval of 218 claims between 2011-13 by Puerto Ricans who couldn’t speak English, despite Spanish being the native tongue of the region.

The SSA is currently considering making changes to these rules that would prevent Spanish-speaking citizens to receive benefits strictly because they cannot speak English. Until then, the agency has vowed to review the appropriateness of the cases that were approved.

At Ponce Law, we recognize just how complicated the laws surrounding Social Security Disability benefits can be, and our Nashville personal injury lawyers encourage anyone applying for benefits or appealing a denial to speak with a legal professional.

New Regulations on Savings Considered for SSD Recipients

by Staff Blogger | December 15th, 2014

If you’ve been approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you may think that your financial troubles are behind you. However, a majority of Social Security Disability recipients continue to struggle financially after being approved for benefits.

The Social Security Administration’s archaic laws regarding how much in income and assets a Social Security Disability recipient can acquire. Currently, a disability recipient can have no more than $2,000 at any given time. They must also adhere to strict limits on the amount of income they can earn per month. These laws prevent the disabled from paying off medical bills, buying transportation, and saving for an education or housing.

Federal officials are working to address these issues by proposing a bill that would revamp these laws to meet today’s income standards. The newly proposed law would allow disabled Americans to establish a tax-free savings account with a $100,000 limit. Deposits of up to $14,000 could then be made to the accounts at no penalty to the account holder, thus allowing the disabled to begin saving for the future. The Huffington Post reports a vote to approve the new law is expected to come soon.

At Ponce Law, we understand the struggles disabled Americans face on a daily basis. That’s why our Nashville personal injury attorneys are hopeful this new law is approved and those who are having a hard time getting back on their feet can do so swiftly.

How to Appeal a Social Security Disability Denial

by Staff Blogger | November 24th, 2014

When illnesses or injuries strike, they can leave you permanently disabled. In some cases, Social Security Disability benefits may be available as a resource for income. But it’s important to carefully prepare your case, as an estimated 60 percent of initial claims receive Social Security Disability denials.

This leaves many citizens wondering what steps should be taken after a denial. The Social Security Administration (SSA) explains the first thing you should do is file an appeal. If you wish to appeal your Social Security Disability denial, the necessary paperwork must be submitted within 60 days of the decision being issued.

Once your appeal is filed, the SSA will reconsider your case. They will then either award you benefits or issue another denial. If the latter occurs, an administrative judge will then hear your case.

If the judge rules in your favor you will be awarded benefits. If not, the Appeals Council will then review your case. Having your case heard by the federal courts is the only other option available.

While the process may seem simple enough, the Nashville personal injury attorneys at Ponce Law explain the laws regulating Social Security Disability denial appeals can be complex. That’s why we urge you to speak with an attorney about your claim. They will help answer any questions you may have about getting the benefits you need.

If you’ve been denied Social Security Disability benefits, our legal team is available to speak with you by calling (888) 977- 9912.

Two Benefits That Are Available to Disabled American Workers

by Staff Blogger | November 14th, 2014

While we do our best to prepare for the unexpected, accidents and illness can strike at anytime. That’s why it’s important to be aware of what options are available to offer you assistance in the event you become disabled due to a mishap or disease.

Social Security Disability Benefits

These payments are made available to Americans who are suffering from a long-term or terminal condition. The Social Security Disability attorneys with Ponce Law explain that there are complex regulations that can make it slow and difficult to be approved for the program. Luckily, the Social Security Administration has another type of resource that may be easier for a disabled citizen to receive.

Supplemental Security Income

The Social Security Administration (SSA) allows anyone who is 65 years of age or younger, blind, or disabled to qualify for Supplemental Security Income. Recipients must also have limited resources and income.

Getting Help

The processes to receive either of these benefits can be arduous and may require you to seek legal assistance with your claim. In fact, SSA reports show an estimated 60 percent of initial Social Security Disability claims are denied.

At Ponce Law, we’re here to help if you’re disabled and in need of assistance. We can answer any questions you may have regarding your case and can assist you with the paperwork that’s necessary for filing. To speak with a member of our legal team, give us a call at (800) 363-9113.

SSA Announces 2015 COLA for Social Security Recipients

by Staff Blogger | October 22nd, 2014

Making ends meet on Social Security Disability benefits can be difficult, as the costs of goods and services often rise every year. That’s why the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers adjusting the amount of Social Security Disability and retirement benefits people receive on a yearly basis.

What Is The 2015 Social Security Disability COLA?

The SSA recently came to a consensus about how much this Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) should be for next year. According to an article from ABC News, disability recipients should expect to see a 1.7 percent increase in the amount of benefits they receive.

What Does The COLA’s Increase Mean?

While most Social Security Disability recipients welcome any increase in payments, the COLA for 2015 still isn’t much. The small percentage in increase will likely only increase monthly payments by $20, much of which will be taken by the 1.3 percent increase in benefit taxes.

How Is The Social Security Disability COLA Determined?

The COLA is determined through the use of an equation called the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which examines the fluctuation in costs of goods and services—such as food, housing, and transportation—from year to year during a three-month period. The federal government considered changing these rules to a chained CPI—or an equation that considers Americans search for cheaper options when costs rise.

COLA Eases Financial Struggles

At Ponce Law, we know the financial strains that dependence on Social Security Disability benefits can cause. That’s why our team of Nashville personal injury lawyers is hopeful next year’s COLA will help to alleviate some of the financial hurdles many disability recipients face on a daily basis.

How Sleep Disorders Can Affect Your Life Without You Knowing

by Staff Blogger | June 23rd, 2014

People who exercise and eats a balanced diet throughout each day may see themselves as perfectly healthy, but they may suffer from a condition while sleeping that can be detrimental to their health.

It’s estimated that approximately 40 million United States citizens suffer from chronic sleep disorders, each of which can be extremely damaging to the victim’s body overtime. More disturbing is the fact that many cases go undiagnosed, which can cause serious harm.

One of the most common sleep disorders that is identified today is sleep apnea. This is a condition where the afflicted patient stops breathing during the night. Some patients experience hundreds of episodes throughout the night that can last for up to one minute. This can cause the brain to suffer oxygen deprivation that can lead to strokes, diabetes, and even death.

An article from News Channel 5 discusses how another condition—known as REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD)— can lead to patients developing dementia and Parkinson’s disease if left untreated.

The article went on to talk about how another 1 million Americans have a condition called sleep eating that can lead to obesity and diabetes.

These conditions may qualify those affected for either Veterans’ or Social Security Disability benefits. However, applying for these programs can be confusing without the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer.

At Ponce Law, our team of Nashville personal injury lawyers can help guide you through applying to these programs while answering your questions each step of the way. We are available to speak with you anytime, so feel free to call us at (800) 363-9113 to discuss your case.



Social Security Administration Proposes Streamlined Application Process for Veterans

by Staff Blogger | February 21st, 2014

February 21, 2014

The process of applying for Social Security Disability Benefits can be long and drawn out for those unable to work due to debilitating conditions. A lack of strong communication between the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) can make the process especially complex for soldiers and veterans who have been seriously harmed while serving their country.

The VA will often deem a soldier or veteran disabled, but when that individual takes documentation of their disability to the SSA for benefits, the agency denies the claim.

In an effort to address this problem, the SSA is changing its policies to streamline the application process for veterans deemed disabled by the VA. The proposed changes state anyone with a VA-approved 100 percent disability will be placed on a fast-track process to receive Social Security Disability benefits when they apply.

Experts believe that as many as 360,000 veterans could be affected by the change. Read more about the proposed changes here.

The Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers with Ponce Law are aware of how complex the laws surrounding filing Social Security claims can be. That is why the firm encourages those considering applying for the benefits or who have had their claim denied in the past to discuss their case with an attorney.

Social Security Recipients Will See Increased Payments Next Year

by Staff Blogger | October 30th, 2013

October 30, 2013

For the roughly 58 million people who depend on Social Security Disability benefits as their main source of income, increases in the costs of products and services can cause making ends meet extremely difficult. The Nashville Social Security Disability Lawyers with Ponce Law explain relief may be coming for many of these individuals next year.

The federal government announced earlier today that payments to Social Security recipients would go up by 1.5 percent in 2014. An article from News Channel 5 states the increase is being made as part of the Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA program and will work out to a roughly $19 per month increase in benefits.

Each year, the federal government examines the fluctuations in costs of certain items deemed necessary for everyday life, such as food, water, electricity, and fuel. Experts then use the rates of inflation to determine an annual COLA to offset the increased prices.

Next year’s increase is listed as one of the smallest COLAs in the history of the Social Security program. COLAs have averaged around 4.1 percent over the past decade.

Michael D. Ponce & Associates and their team of Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers recognize how complex the process for determining how much an individual will receive in Social Security benefits can be. That’s why the firm suggests discussing your case with an attorney if you are considering applying for Social Security benefits.

Tennessee Working to Improve Services for Disabled Residents

by Staff Blogger | October 14th, 2013

October 14, 2013

When a person is unable to work due to a mental or physical condition, he or she may be eligible for programs like Social Security disability as a source of income. However, the Nashville Social Security Lawyers with Ponce Law explain that the goal of programs like Social Security is to get the injured back on their feet and back to work.

To promote getting the disabled reengaged with the workforce, Tennessee recently opened several programs aimed at assisting those with disabilities stable and meaningful work. According to an article published by The Tennessean, Tennessee’s Vocational Rehabilitation program previously only assisted those suffering with severe disabilities. Now though, the organization is offering its services to a wider array of individuals suffering from conditions preventing them from performing job duties.

Experts contend that the program’s expansion will allow another 3,000 disabled Tennesseans to receive assistance in areas such as job placement, rides to and from work, and education. Officials contend that investing into the program will ultimately help the cash-strapped state cut costs.

The Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers with Michael D. Ponce & Associates applaud the efforts made by the state to offer assistance to those in need. The firm is hopeful the expansion of assistance programs will be a success!

Nashville Social Security Disability Lawyers Discuss Benefit Claims Process

by Staff Blogger | October 7th, 2013

October 7, 2013

When a person is unable to work due to a physical or mental disability, his or her ability to earn income may be limited. The Nashville Social Security Disability Lawyers with Ponce Law explain that assistance may be available to these individuals through Social Security disability benefits.

Social Security Disability is a program managed through the Social Security Administration that issues billions of dollars in aid to citizens unable to work due to medical conditions. These benefits are offered to those who have worked long enough to pay into the Social Security system.

If a claimant meets the work requirements for receiving benefits, it must be proved that his or her medical condition inhibits gainful employment. This can be achieved with medical records and testimony from treating physicians.

Once these steps are completed, the claim is processed and receives approval or gets denied. Data indicates that nearly 70 percent of all initial Social Security Disability claims are denied.

If a claim is denied, the claimant can appeal the decision and the case will eventually be heard in a court of law.

Michael D. Ponce & Associates team of Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers urge anyone considering applying for Social Security Disability benefits to discuss their claim with an attorney to ensure their rights to receive benefits are protected.