Social Security Disability Benefits

New Bill Would Allow Terminally Ill Patients to Get Social Security Disability Benefits Immediately

by Staff Blogger | September 11th, 2015

If an illness leaves you unable to work for longer than a year, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. However, the law currently states that there is a five-month waiting period that must pass after an approval before benefits can be paid. So what happens if a disabled person is terminally ill and not expected to live beyond the five-month waiting period?

Under the current laws, there is still the same waiting period, regardless of the severity of an illness. The Social Security Disability lawyers at Ponce Law explain this may soon change though.

Several lawmakers have proposed a bill that would allow terminally ill Social Security Disability recipients to begin receiving payments immediately. According to, the proposed changes would allow those deemed to live six months or less by two independent certified physicians to immediately receive their Social Security Disability payments. They would only receive 50 percent of their total benefits the first month, followed by 75 percent of the total the second month. Then, beginning in the third month, the recipient would receive their full amount of benefits.

If a terminally ill recipient were to live longer than a year, their benefits in the second year would be reduced to what they received within the first five months of receiving payments. Those who live longer than the second year they get benefits would end up receiving 95 percent of their total payments.

Terminally ill patients should focus on living life to the fullest without having to worry about their finances. The legal staff at Ponce Law is hopeful lawmakers will approve the proposed changes to the laws regulating Social Security Disability benefits.

Will There Be a 2016 Social Security Disability COLA?

by Staff Blogger | June 5th, 2015

Social Security Disability COLA

Millions of Americans depend on Social Security Disability benefits as their main source of income, but many of these individuals continue to struggle to make ends meet. That’s why the Social Security Disability Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is so important.

What Is The COLA?

The Social Security Disability COLA is an adjustment to the amount of Social Security Disability benefits that disabled workers and their families receive. The adjustment is based on rates of inflation on certain products. When the costs of these products rise, Social Security Disability benefits tend to also rise.

What Will Next Year’s COLA Look Like?

Based on current rates of inflation, many experts believe there may not be a COLA in 2016. According to The Dallas Morning News, inflation rates were low in the first quarter of 2015 and may not be high enough to support a COLA. However, things may change if inflation rates tend to rise during the third quarter of the year. Experts say that during that time, inflation rates must rise 2 percent to justify a COLA in 2016.

Only Time Will Tell

At Ponce Law, we understand the uncertainty that comes with relying upon Social Security Disability benefits payments, and our Nashville Social Security Disability lawyers are following developments closely so we can share new information with you as it becomes available.

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.

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 615-244-4325.

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 615-244-4325 to discuss your case.

Tennessee Working to Address Construction Industry Employment Fraud

by Staff Blogger | June 9th, 2014

The construction industry can be one of the most dangerous lines of work for workers. These risks can be complicated further when employers cut corners on safety and following proper legal procedures to save money.

Some of the most common cases of employer fraud include:

  • Paying workers untaxed with cash
  • Underreporting wages that are paid
  • Misclassifying workers to avoid insurance payments

Working under these conditions can be extremely detrimental to a worker because it can exclude them from coverage under benefits such as Tennessee workers’ compensation or Social Security Disability when accidents occur.

The state’s Department of Labor is working to end these types of employment disputes though by investigating a number of the area’s construction firms and cracking down on offenses. The campaign is being called a success with the program recently getting its first settlement.

News Channel 5 explains a drywall business based in Nashville will pay $300,000 to settle claims they lied about the number of employees on their payroll to save money on insurance.

If you’re hurt while working under suspected illegal conditions, speaking with a qualified Nashville personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. At Ponce Law, we’re here to help. Call us to speak with a member of our legal staff today.

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.