My SSA Week

August 27, 2014

In honor of the 79th Anniversary of the Social Security Act, Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, invites everyone to celebrate the first National my Social Security Week. From August 17 through 23, 2014, Social Security will host numerous events to highlight the many benefits of a my Social Security account, a personalized online account people can establish at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount beginning in their working years and continuing throughout the time they receive Social Security benefits.

“I am excited about the first National my Social Security Week. A my Social Security account is a convenient, cost-effective and secure way for the public to do business with us from the comfort of their home, office or library,” Acting Commissioner Colvin said.

After setting up and accessing the Social Security Statement, individuals can verify the accuracy of their earnings each year. This is important since earnings are the basis for determining future retirement benefits. Individuals who currently receive benefits can sign up for a my Social Security account to get an instant benefit verification letter, change their address and phone number, and start or change direct deposit of their benefit payment.

To date, over 13 million people have established an account.  I am one of them.  I check my account yearly to confirm my earnings have been reported correct.  So far, my account has only been wrong once, but SSA corrected it promptly.

For more information, please go to http://www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

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Back from Orlando

August 20, 2014

I greatly enjoyed being in Orlando yesterday among friends and colleagues who also pursue Social Security Disability claims on behalf of individuals who are unable to work.  Presenting seminars to new practitioners is always a joy, despite the time and effort that goes into developing a presentation.  I was lucky enough to get to talk to several other Board Certified Social Security attorneys who helped me brainstorm a few ideas on a new client and I’m back, ready to put a plan into action.  So much of what I do to help people is based on what has been successful in the past, but I love to have new ideas and new ways to show Social Security the extent of a person’s problem.  I feel recharged and ready to get back to work!

WCI Conference

August 13, 2014

I’m excitedly preparing to speak at a Workers’ Compensation Conference in Orlando, Florida next week.  I’m honored to be speaking with two phenomenal attorneys, Carol Avard, who practices in Southwest Florida and Luis Gracia, who is out of the Daytona area.  We are presenting twice as the panel of board certified experts.  Not only will I be speaking with them about current Social Security Disability issues, but I will be lucky enough, I hope to bring them some of my tough problems!  Sometimes it takes a village to solve an interesting issue, so when I attend conferences, I like to bring my toughest problems for some input.  I hope they bring me some of their current problems too so that I can offer up solutions that have worked for my clients in the past.  More on the conference in next week’s blog post.

Interesting research out of England recently:

Oxford researchers say their figures on life expectancy should galvanize governments and health and social services to put a much higher priority on how mental health services can prevent early deaths.
The average reduction in life expectancy in people with bipolar disorder is between nine and 20 years, while it is 10 to 20 years for schizophrenia, between nine and 24 years for drug and alcohol abuse, and around seven to 11 years for recurrent depression.
The loss of years among heavy smokers is eight to 10 years.

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