Social Security Disability

Expedite the Processing of Your Social Security Disability Benefits Claim

by Staff Blogger | December 7th, 2015

The process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be long and drawn-out. These long wait times are highlighted in an article from U.S. News and World Report that discusses how one woman had to wait more than two years to receive benefits, while others die waiting for a decision on their case. The California Social Security Disability lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers explain that luckily, there are programs the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses to expedite the processing of certain types of claims. One of those programs is the Compassionate Allowances. Compassionate Allowances is a list of certain diseases and medical conditions the SSA has determined are serious enough to warrant a streamlined application process. Utilizing the Compassionate Allowances program can slash an applicant’s wait time on a decision from several years to just a few weeks. Another option for expedited processing of a Social Security Disability claim is available to veterans of the armed forces. Anyone who has served our country and is deemed 100 percent disabled by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs automatically qualifies for expedited processing of their Social Security Disability benefits claim as well. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know that time is of the essence when a medical condition leaves you severely disabled. That’s why our California personal injury lawyers are hopeful this information will be useful in helping you determine if you qualify for expedited processing of your Social Security Disability claim.

The Process of Getting Approved for Social Security Disability in California

by Staff Blogger | August 4th, 2015

Suffering from a debilitating injury or illness can be a financial strain due to the overwhelming medical bills that can accompany such a condition combined with an inability to work and earn income. Fortunately, many who are facing these types of circumstances may be capable of qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits; however, our California Social Security Disability attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers say the process to receive such compensation can be long and arduous. First, you must have worked long enough to qualify for benefits. This is determined using a credit system. American workers are awarded credits for the income they earn. In 2015, one credit is awarded for every $1,220 that is earned. Workers can only earn up to four credits per year, and many of the credits must have been earned in the past ten years. If you’ve worked long enough to receive benefits, then the Social Security Administration will begin determining if your condition is severe enough to warrant assistance. This determination can be complicated due to inconsistencies in decisions among caseworkers or judges and the fact that each condition must meet specific and different criteria. Many claims are initially denied because of factors like these, but a majority of applicants who enter the appeal process get the benefits they deserve. The director of the Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research, Mark Duggan, explains in an article published by Stanford News that more than half of individuals who apply for Social Security Disability benefits are initially denied and enter the appeals process. Of those individuals, an estimated 60 percent of claims are later approved. Our California personal injury lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers understand how complicated the Social Security Disability approval and appeals processes can be. That’s why we’re here to help if you’re struggling to get the Social Security Disability benefits you need and deserve. We’re here to answer your questions anytime—day or night. Just call (800) 400-2374.

Why You Should Avoid Pension “Cash Out” Agreements if You’re a Disabled Vet

by Staff Blogger | December 22nd, 2014

Soldiers who have been left permanently disabled as a result of injuries they sustained during their service to our nation are often entitled to veterans disability benefits; however, these payments may not be enough for many to make ends meet—especially in the San Francisco area where the costs of living are some of the highest in the nation. These financial struggles may force many disabled veterans to consider using a service that would allow them to “cash out” their pensions or other disability payments. It’s important for veterans to know this may not be wise though, as the contracts that are used to bind these agreements are often not designed in favor of the veteran. According to an article from the Sacramento Bee, the contracts may contain stipulations that require veterans to pay multiple fees and commissions that, in the end, result in a disabled individual receiving far less money than their pension or payments were worth. If you’re a disabled veteran and have found yourself struggling financially, the team of California personal injury attorneys with Berg Injury Lawyers wants you to know that there are other options available. Some of the resources you may have in your area include nonprofit organizations that can offer work or financial assistance. You may qualify for grants and other benefits, such as Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income as well. We hope these tips help to get you the financial assistance you deserve.

Veterans Will Receive Expedited Processing When They Apply for Disability

by Staff Blogger | August 4th, 2014

As American combat campaigns continue to wind down in the Middle East, soldiers are returning home from service every day suffering from injuries and health conditions that prevent them from working. Many of these individuals should have access to both Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits and Veterans Disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), but a lack of communication and collaboration between government organizations often prevents service members from receiving both. To help address this problem, there have been changes made to the Social Security Disability eligibility policies for soldiers who receive a total and permanent disability (TPD) discharge or are deemed totally (100 percent) disabled by the VA. These individuals now qualify for expedited processing of their disability claim, but certain steps must be followed. The Social Security Administration explains 100 percent disabled veterans must have an onset date—or the date they were classified as totally disabled— of on or after October 1, 2001. Furthermore, these individuals should identify themselves as a “100 percent totally and permanently disabled veteran” in the remarks section of their paperwork when they apply for disability. Officials add that being a “100 percent totally and permanently disabled veteran” doesn’t necessarily guarantee an approved claim, but it will ensure a decision is reached faster. At Berg Injury Law, we know the difference that can be made by receiving a Social Security Disability decision even a day sooner. Hiring a personal injury attorney to assist with your case can help ensure the decision that is reached is accurate and fair. So if you have questions or you need help applying for disability or appealing a decision, call us at (800) 400-2374.