Budget Cuts Hinder SSA Operations

Congress has passed a Continuing Resolution effectively freezing funding for the Social Security Administration for the first half of fiscal year 2013 at the fiscal year-2012 level. To accommodate these budget reductions in the face of growing demand for Social Security services, the Social Security Administration has modified the business hours of field offices.

New SSA Ruling Addresses ALJ Bias

A new Social Security Ruling, SSR 13-1p issued on January 29, 2013 has provided new direction on how the Social Security Administration will address allegations of unfairness, prejudice, partiality, bias, misconduct, or discrimination by Administrative Law Judges [78 Fed.

Proving Disability for Clients with Fybromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that is challenging for any attorney to prove under the strict standards of Social Security Disability rules. Under a new Social Security ruling, fibromyalgia symptoms are evaluated similarly to a chronic pain condition and can be a Medically Determinable Impairment (MDI) under the criteria set forth in SSR 12-2p with evaluation of symptoms including diffuse pain, fatigue, depression and difficulty with memory.

Audio Recordings Can Now Be Electronically Downloaded Within Days of Your Hearing

In recent years, the SSA has implemented a number of online services for claimants’ representatives, including access to our clients' electronic folders. At LaPorte Law Firm, we have conducted online business for our clients with the SSA since the Appointed Representative Services (ARS) initiative began in 2009. These online services have allowed us to electronically file disability applications and appeals, and in addition we’ve been able to more efficiently file new medical evidence, written legal arguments, and even submit proposed Favorable Decisions for approval by SSA on behalf of our clients.

Unemployment Insurance

“I can’t work, but I’ve been receiving unemployment because I need a roof over my head. Will getting unemployment cause my SSA disability appeal to be denied?”

The Answer: Perhaps…or maybe not.

At our office, we receive inquiries often on this issue, particularly since 2009 when layoffs and extensions of unemployment benefits have been common.

Multiple Sclerosis and Social Security Disability

Claims for Social Security Disability benefits are often difficult to prove under the very strict Social Security rules. A diagnosis alone does not necessarily mean that the disorder as manifested in any particular individual will meet or equal Section 11.09 of the Listings of Impairments and will result in an award of benefits.

Public Benefits Offset to Social Security Disability Benefits

An award of benefits by Social Security for a claimant’s disability may be subject to offset because of payments received from Workers’ Compensation and/or State disability benefits. Because Workers’ Compensation, State disability benefits, and Social Security are all public benefits, the general intent of the offset is to reimburse the state for public benefits paid to an injured worker if that individual also qualifies for Social Security disability.