According to Social Security blogger Charles Hall, the Social Security Administration recently posted a contacting notice which states in part:

 

SSA is developing an Internet-based Social Security Number (SSN) Replacement Card (iSSNRC) application to improve service to the public.

 iSSNRC will allow U.S. citizens who meet certain criteria to request replacement SSN cards online by completing an application and providing data from their U.S. State-issued drivers’ licenses (DL) or U.S. State-issued identification (ID) cards as evidence of identity. SSA then needs to electronically verify that the DL or State ID card information entered matches the data on the issuing State’s database for the document being verified

 

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Facts About Disability

April 23, 2014

One in four of today’s 20 year olds will become disabled before reaching retirement.

The average amount of disability income a disabled individual receives from SSA is $13,752, which is less than 20% above the poverty line of $11,490.

90% of workers are covered by Social Security; disability benefits is a coverage that individuals earn.

Upcoming Conference

April 16, 2014

I am pleased to announce that I am speaking at a State wide conference in August 2014.  The program looks exciting and not just because I found out Styx is performing!  I’m flattered to be included on a panel with two well known Florida attorneys, Carol Avard and Luis Garcia.  We will be presenting two sessions together:  one on preparing a case for hearing and one on presenting a case at the hearing.  I’m especially excited that Carol is as Type A as I am and contacted me weeks ago about how we were going to proceed, developing our materials, etc.

 

Appeals Council Update

April 9, 2014

If an individual loses a disability claim after appearing before an Administrative Law Judge, the next step is an appeal to the Appeals Council.  An individual can fill out a form and write the reasons or you can submit a written brief with more discussion about why the decision is erroneous.

Success at the Appeals Council is difficult.  In the Fiscal Year 2013, review was denied is over 75% of the appeals.  The Appeals Council remanded just over 17% of the appeals, and issued fully or partially favorable decision in just 1.45% of the claims.  That is not a typ0–less than 1 and a half percent of the claims received a fully or partially favorable decision.

These numbers are discouraging and even more frustrating when compared with the prior year’s numbers, which included a remand rate of 18% and a fully/partially favorable combined rate of 1.91%.  It’s not a large difference, but it shows that nothing is improving for people who are seriously disabled and didn’t have a good outcome at their hearing.

 

Lawrence Schacht married Russell Frink Jr. as soon as he was permitted.  Five months later Mr. Frink died. The New York Times reports that even though Social Security recognizes the marriage, it won’t allow Mr. Schacht to collect benefits on Frink’s account because the marriage lasted less than the required 9 months.  The durational requirement is strict and I do not personally know a way around the 9-month rule.

 

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