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Social Security Cost-of-Living Benefits Increase


Social Security Cost-of-Living Benefits Increase

July 19th, 2017 by

social security benefits for non citizens

The trustees who oversee the Social Security benefits program projected a 2.2% cost-of-living increase for recipients next year. This is the biggest raise seen for beneficiaries in the past six years.

How does the increase affect recipients?

This increase means about $30 extra a month for recipients. Last year’s increase was only 0.3%, which resulted only $5 extra a month. The average monthly assistance for disabled workers is $1,171 a month.

There are approximately 62 million Americans who receive Social Security. In October, trustees will announce the official cost-of-living increase.


Ohio Disability Financial Assistance Program Ending

July 18th, 2017 by

Ohio was one of the 26 states that offered General Assistance programs for people with low-incomes, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. However, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services announced earlier this month that the Disability Financial Assistance Program (DFA) will end on December 31, 2017. The DFA provided up to $115 a month in cash assistance for those who met the income-based and medical requirements.

Disability Financial Assistance Program

Who uses DFA?

To qualify for DFA, people had to meet the same medical requirements the Social Security Administration requires. DFA paid for a one-time medical consultation to see if they qualified. In addition, individuals must:

• Be disabled, with a physical or mental health problem. This issue must prevent them from working.
• Go 9 months without being able to work. Or they have a serious condition that could cause death and they cannot wait 9 months.
• Have $1,000 or less in resources.
• Be an Ohio resident.
• Not receive Supplement Social Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance or Ohio Works First assistance

Additionally, some people benefitted from the DFA program while they waited for income from other sources, including Social Security. Disabled and low-income persons received DFA and relied on the cash assistance. As a result of the program ending, those individuals will lose that assistance each month.

What does this mean for current DFA recipients?

The Clark County Department of Job & Family Services released the following statement about the program ending:

“The Disability Financial Assistance Program (DFA) is a state and county-funded program, which provides cash assistance to persons who meet DFA program requirements and who are ineligible for any financial assistance program supported in whole or in part by federal funds (e.g., Ohio Works First (OWF), Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)). In accordance with Section 812.40 of the Ohio Revised Code, the DFA program is being repealed; State funding will no longer be available and the program will end effective December 31, 2017.”

As of July 1, 2017 any new applications or reapplications for DFA will be denied. Current recipients of the Disability Financial Assistance Program will be phased out between now and December 31, 2017. Recipients will receive a letter notifying them of the termination of the program.”

The attorneys at Liner Legal have years of experience providing effective and dedicated legal services to disabled persons. If you are applying for Social Security benefits, it is important to pick an attorney who gives you the best chance of receiving what you are entitled to. For a free consultation on your case, call us at 216-282-177.

Disability Benefits for Blindness

June 16th, 2017 by

Disability for Blindness
If you or someone that you know suffers from blindness, they may qualify for social security disability. They will not need to worry about providing for themselves of their family with SSI. There are also disability benefits for those who have low vision, but are not necessarily legally blind.

Disability Benefits for Blindness

Disability for Vision Problems
If you have low vision but are not considered blind by the Social Security Administration, you can still qualify for social security disability. If your lack of vision prevents you from working, you should look into applying for social security disability.

Blindness Disability Guidelines
There is a special set of rules for social security disability blindness. The Social Security administration has vision guidelines they use to determine blindness. You may be able to get around fine, and even read, and still qualify for blind benefits social security. It all determines how it affects your ability to work.

Those who do qualify for social security blind benefits also have the option to work. In addition to collecting the benefits, you can earn up to the limit that the social security administration sets. This will provide a substantial income for those who are limited to work due to their eye sight.

There are many things to consider when you consider applying for social security disability. You will need medical documents and financial documents. There is other evidence that you will need to support your claim. It is recommended that you hire a social security disability lawyer to assist you with this complex process.

A social security disability attorney will assist through your entire application process. They will ensure that you have all of the necessary forms and documents. They will also make sure that all of the evidence that you do provide is favorable to you. Hiring a lawyer will increase your chances of being awarded your disability benefits.

If you have applied for SSI disability and have been denied, a disability attorney will be able to help you with the appeal. Your lawyer will overlook the entire appeal process and help determine what you need to be successful in your claim. They will better your chances of winning the appeal.

Your vision greatly affects every aspect of your life. If your vision is preventing you from working to earn the living you deserve, you should apply for social security blind benefits. Consult with a lawyer, as they will help you to understand the entire process.

What does the SSA Consider Countable Income?

June 8th, 2017 by

If you can no longer earn due to a severe illness or injury, a good option for you is to apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). If your application is accepted, you will start receiving monthly payments to replace the money you can no longer earn from working. The information below provides important details you need to know about how much money you can receive every month from the SSA.

What does the SSA Consider Countable Income

How much can I earn every month?
There is not set amount you can receive for your disability benefit. The amount you will receive will be determined by the amount of countable income you have every month. The less countable income you have, the more money you will be entitled to from the SSA.

What is countable income?
To be eligible for SSI benefits, you must not exceed the income threshold set by the SSA, currently that amount is $735 per month for individuals and $1,103 for married couples. To make getting benefits easier for people, not all money you earn is counted as income.

What does the SSA consider countable income?
When determining what your countable income is, it is crucial to know what you should count and what you do not need to. Your countable income consists of all monetary and non-monetary income except the following:

•  The first $20 of income you receive every month from any source.
•  The first $65 of earned income every month.
•  Half of all income over $65 that is earned every month
•  Income tax refunds
•  Cash loans that you do not need to repay
•  Food stamps
•  Medical care
•  Home emergency assistance
•  Shelter or food given to you by a nonprofit agency
•  State or local needs-based financial assistance
•  Work expenses related to your disability
•  Earned income that is less than $1,790 per month
•  Earned income that is less than $7,190 per year if you are a student under the age of 22
•  Money you spend on necessary expenses such as utility bills, phone bills, medical bills, or other expenses

If you would like more information about countable income or have any questions regarding disability benefits, contact Liner Legal today. Our staff is committed to helping you get the benefits you deserve.

The Basics on the Americans With Disabilities Act

June 7th, 2017 by

Most people have heard of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). But it is safe to say that most people do not think about it until they need it. Even then, many people do not truly understand it. Here is a brief overview of what you should know about the ADA.

Americans with Disabilities Act

What is the ADA?
The ADA is a law that was enacted in 1990. The law is meant to prevent any kind of discrimination against people with disabilities. It spans all areas of life, including jobs, school, transportation, and any places that are open to the general public. The law is designed to make sure people with disabilities are granted the same rights and opportunities as people who are not disabled. The Act is separated into five divisions, or Titles, each relating to a specific area of public life.

Title 1- Employment
Since people with disabilities need to work at gainful employment to earn the money that is necessary to live, they must be afforded the same rights to employment that non-disabled people are. Not only does the ADA ensure disabled people are not withheld this right, but it also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities.

Title 2 – State and local government
This portion of the ADA makes it illegal for people with disabilities to be barred from any and all activities, services, or programs of any public entity. It applies to all state and local governments and their subsidiaries. It also covers all public transportation systems.

Title 3 – Public accommodations
This section of the ADA specifies that privately owned places of public accommodation may not discriminate against disabled people in any way. They must also make reasonable modifications to their buildings and property to accommodate the needs of disabled patrons by meeting at least the minimum standards for accessibility. Types of entities that fall into this category include hotels, restaurants, retail stores, private schools, health clubs, and other similar places that are available for use by the public.

Title 4 – Telecommunications
This part of the ADA is specific to telephone and Internet companies. It specifies that these companies must provide a nationwide system that allows both intrastate and interstate communications to be possible for people who have hearing or speech disabilities. This also requires all federally-funded public announcements to be close-captioned. This title is overseen and regulated by the Federal Communication Commission.

Title V – Miscellaneous provisions
This section of the Act pertains to the ADA as a whole. It covers a variety of issues such as other laws, state immunity, the Act’s impact on insurance providers and benefits, prohibition against retaliation and coercion, illegal drug use and attorney’s fees. It also provides a listing of conditions that are not considered disabilities.

If you would like to know more about the ADA and how it may impact your life, contact Liner Legal today. We can answer all of your questions.

Consulting Social Security Disability Law Firms in Ohio

May 31st, 2017 by

If you’re going through the process of applying for Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) then you know how much of a hassle it can be. There are mountains of paperwork to track down and submit, and there’s a lot of deadlines to meet. But did you know that, for all this hard work, there’s a good chance that you’re going to be denied benefits your first time. It’s true — on average, only about 30% of applicants are actually approved the first time. While there are a lot of reasons for this, it really boils down to one thing: if you’re going through this process, it’s not a bad idea to get help from people who know what they’re doing. That’s why you should talk so a Social Security Disability law firm today.

Consulting Social Security Disability Law Firms in Ohio

Disability attorneys are experts when it comes to applying for benefits. They understand that the Social Security Administration (SSA) demands much in the way of evidence before awarding benefits. They know that there’s no such thing as too much medical evidence, they know how to gather the information, and they know which medical evidence is necessary to help win your case. In addition, Social Security disability law firms know how and when to file to make sure that nothing is missed, left out, or put in the wrong place.

Even more, should you be denied benefits, disability attorneys are experts when it comes to the appeals process. They know how to write the required legal briefs, and when it comes time to plead your case before a judge, who better to have on your side than a trained disability expert?

If you’re worried about cost, that’s actually the best part: it doesn’t cost you a thing up front. Hiring a disability attorney is free, and should your case ultimately be denied, you don’t have to a pay a penny. If you win your case, your attorney is paid through a small percentage of your monthly benefits (as well as any awarded back pay) for a set amount of time. So, while you will see your benefits check reduced for those months, you will not have to pay anything extra or out of pocket. So, you really have nothing to lose.

If you’ve been wondering whether or not consulting with a Social Security disability law firm is right for you, hopefully this will have convinced you. If you live in Ohio, we would love to help you win your case. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Information About the Social Security Disability Review Process

May 26th, 2017 by

If you submitted an application for disability benefits that was accepted, it means that you will shortly begin receiving monthly payments from the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, the process does not stop there. Once you begin receiving your benefit checks, you can expect to have periodic reviews of your case, known as a Continuing Disability Review or CDR. These reviews are conducted by the SSA to make sure you are still medically eligible to receive benefits. Below is some information about the review process that you need to know.

Social Security Disability Review Process

The frequency of case reviews
Generally, your reviews will be set for every three or seven years. The exact time frame will be determined by your claim representative as soon as your case is approved.

Medical improvement possible
One of the distinctions your case can be given is “medical improvement possible”, or MIP. If you are placed in this category, your case will be reviewed every three years. Conditions that fall in this category include mental illnesses or chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.

Medical improvement expected
Another distinction your case can be given is “medical improvement expected”, or MIE. If you fall into this category, your case may be up for review more often than every three years. Reviews can be as frequent as every six months for some people. This category is often used for people who are recovering from surgeries and are expected to make a full recovery. For example, someone who had a double knee replacement might be considered MIE.

Medical improvement not expected
Those who are categorized as “medical improvement not expected” or MINE are usually given a seven-year time span between reviews. People who are placed in this category have severe conditions from which they are not expected to recover. Some conditions that fall into this category include, but are not limited to cancer, autism, multiple sclerosis, and blindness. Also, people over the age of 55 are generally put into this category whatever their condition may be.

Child recipients
Children who receive SSI benefits will have their cases reviewed at least once before their 18th birthday regardless of their conditions.

Not only are SSI recipients required to have periodic CDRs, they are also subject to redeterminations as well. Redeterminations can occur any time between every one and six years. These reviews are done to ensure the benefit recipient still falls within the income and work guidelines that must be met to remain eligible to receive benefits.

If you have any questions regarding CDRs or redeterminations, contact Liner Legal today. We are here to help you.

The Qualities That Make a Top Disability

May 24th, 2017 by

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to apply for disability benefits, hiring a top-rated disability lawyer can be the best decision you can make. Although that may seem like a daunting task, it does not need to be difficult or stressful. All you need to do to find the best possible lawyer is to look for the qualities that are outlined below.

Good listener
Although this quality may seem rather basic, it is truly essential for a good disability lawyer. A disability lawyer must be able to listen to a lot of detailed information from a variety of sources to put together a solid case for you. Lost of the information they hear will come from you and your medical care providers. So, listening to it carefully and being able to analyze and use it are vital qualities that should not be overlooked.

When you must deal with a debilitating condition every day of your life and in every aspect of it, it can be frustrating and aggravating. The last thing you need to deal with is an impatient lawyer. The situation with which you are dealing demands a lawyer who is patient and takes the time that is necessary to truly understand that this experience is new to you and should be willing to explain every step of the process calmly and patiently.

There are many aspects that are involved in disability law. A top-rated disability lawyer knows them all. It is also important that your lawyer knows about all the problems that can be encountered and how to combat them. Another important factor involved with a disability case is knowing how to put all the pieces of the case together to present the best possible scenario to the judge and get the best possible outcome. Only a truly knowledgeable disability lawyer can do that effectively.

Sound judgment
At the end of the day, a disability hearing is a legal matter. It requires a lawyer who uses sound and rational judgment. Many decisions need to be made throughout a disability hearing, some of them quite quickly. You need to have a lawyer who can clearly and logically look at the facts and make a decision that is best for you.

If you are in need of a top-rated disability lawyer, contact Liner Legal today to see how we can help you.

Appealing your SSDI decision

May 23rd, 2017 by

Getting denied for benefits is never a good thing. The process is long and difficult enough without being denied the money you deserve at the end of it. Thankfully, though, a denial isn’t really the end. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has set up a social security disability appeal process, so if you have been denied disability benefits, it isn’t automatically the end of the road. However, before you begin your appeal, keep in mind that it doesn’t get any easier from here! So, if you are considering appealing the SSA’s decision, here’s what you need to do next:

Appealing your SSDI decision

1) Hire an attorney. Seriously, if you haven’t hired legal representation, now is the time to do it. While the initial application for benefits is rather straight-forward and full of paperwork, the appeal is where it starts to get a little sticky, and having an experienced representative on your side can only benefit your case.

2) File for Reconsideration. In some states, this step has been eliminated. However, in Ohio, the social security disability appeal process starts with the reconsideration step, which basically means someone else looks through your paperwork. Honestly, the verdict at this stage typically mirrors the original decision, since no new information has been submitted yet. If that is the case, then the next step is to …

3) File for an Appeal Hearing. The next stage is an in-person hearing before a judge, who will review your case. Concise and clearly written documents and briefings are a help here, as it will be up to the judge to review a lot of information in a short amount of time. Often, this is where people who were initially denied might start to finally be approved, since they are now afforded the opportunity to state their case in person. If not, however, the next step is …

4) File for a Review. If you are denied by the judge, you can request that an Appeals Council review the judge’s decision. Sometimes, the council will overturn the judge for a number of reasons. However, if that doesn’t work in your favor, you have one final option in the social security disability appeal process, and that is to …

5) File a Lawsuit. That’s right: you can file an official lawsuit in federal district court. This suit takes the form of a regular trial, with attorneys, witnesses, calls for expert testimony, etc.

Hopefully, you will not have to take your case that far. If you do, however, it’s important to have representation on your side. Please contact us today. Our team of experts is ready to work with you to get the benefits you are entitled to.

Ohio Social Security Disability Claim

May 17th, 2017 by

If you are hurt, suffering, and unable to work, you may have thought about applying for social security disability. Maybe you have already applied, or you have started the process with filing an Ohio Social Security Disability claim. Applying for social security disability is not an easy process. In fact, it can be quite stressful. You are unfamiliar with the process and unaware of the documents you need. There is plenty of help out there, but the stress can be unbearable when you are in pain.

Ohio Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you have applied for Ohio Social Security disability and have been denied, do not give up. Many Ohio social security disability claims are initially denied. You should definitely file for an appeal for your denied disability claim. It is understandable that you may not want to fight for your rights during this vulnerable time in your life that you are in need of disability, but you have a good chance of winning your case when you file an appeal. If you hire a disability attorney, your chances of winning your case are better than not having representation.

Whether you have applied for social security disability and have been denied, or you are just thinking about applying, hiring a representative will be beneficial to you and your claim. Hiring a disability lawyer will take a lot of stress off of you, while ensuring that your claim is being accurately handled. Seeking a disability lawyer is the first step toward getting the help that you need.

You do not have to go through the process of applying for social security disability alone. When you choose to hire a disability attorney to represent your claim, they will ensure your case is getting the proper attention it needs. Disability attorneys obtain important knowledge and experience regarding social security disability claims. They are aware that every detail is important and do not overlook anything. Your social security disability claim is in great hands when you choose to hire a disability lawyer.

Allowing a disability lawyer to represent you will give you peace-of-mind. Your claim will be handled knowledgeably and effectively. Your attorney will oversee the entire process of your social security application or appeal. They will ensure that you receive the benefits that you are in need of. Hiring a social security disability lawyer is in your best interest when filing for social security disability or filing an appeal.