“APPLY RIGHT” – To Apply for Social Security Disability – Make it Easy on Yourself!

I am an attorney. I have handled Social Security Disability cases for over 25 years. At times, I encourage potential clients to apply on their own as the case sounds solid – I do this to save them money from paying me, or another lawyer, and sometimes they call back to say “It worked! Thank-you.”

Sadly, many others call back to say “I was denied.” To prevent that, I now provide this link to this reasonably priced book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AX3Q0KI/ref=cm_cr_rev_prod_title . The amount of information, expertise, wisdom and knowledge that has been shared by Tomasz is mind-boggling. The depth of his experience and his willingness to share it in this book provides an excellent tool.  

The color photos are excellent. There are excellent suggestions on how to answer questions that one would have dismissed as unimportant or answered from the wrong angle.

SSA has made it convenient to apply from the comfort of your home, or another’s home. You can save your work if you need more time or don’t have enough information. http://ssa.gov/pgm/disability.htm

This book is a must for anyone that applies – whether there case is rock solid or iffy – there is just no reason not to use this tool.

Social Security Offices to Close to the Public a Half Hour Early Each Day and at Noon on Wednesdays

According to a recent press release from the Social Security Administration:

“Effective November 19, 2012, Social Security field offices nationwide will close to the public 30 minutes early each day.** For example, a field office that is usually open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. will close daily at 3:00 p.m. In addition, beginning January 2, 2013, offices will close to the public at noon every Wednesday.

While agency employees will continue to work their regular hours, this shorter public window will allow them to complete face-to-face interviews and process claims work without incurring the cost of overtime. The significantly reduced funding provided by Congress under the continuing resolution for the first six months of the fiscal year makes it impossible for the agency to provide the overtime needed to handle service to the public as it has done in the past.”

The release went on to say “Most Social Security services do not require a visit to a local office. Many services, including applying for retirement, disability or Medicare benefits, signing up for direct deposit, replacing a Medicare card, obtaining a proof of income letter or informing us of a change of address or telephone number are conveniently available at www.socialsecurity.gov  or by dialing our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call our TTY number, 1-800-325-0778. Many of our online services also are available in Spanish at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/espanol/.”

Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Information For 2013

According to the Social Security Administration, on October 16, 2012:

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 62 million Americans will increase 1.7 percent in 2013.

The 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that more than 56 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2013. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2012.

Congress enacted the COLA provision as part of the 1972 Social Security Amendments, and automatic annual COLAs began in 1975. Before that, benefits were increased only when Congress enacted special legislation.

The purpose of the COLA is to ensure that the purchasing power of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits is not eroded by inflation. It is based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) from the third quarter of the last year a COLA was determined to the third quarter of the current year. If there is no increase, there can be no COLA.

The CPI-W is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Department of Labor. By law, it is the official measure used by the Social Security Administration to calculate COLAs.

Based on the increase in average wages, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $113,700 from $110,100

The earnings limit for workers who are younger than “full” retirement age (age 66 for people born in 1943 through 1954) will be $15,120. (We deduct $1 from benefits for each $2 earned over $15,120.)

The earnings limit for people turning 66 in 2013 will be $40,080. (We deduct $1 from benefits for each $3 earned over $40,080 until the month the worker turns age 66.) There is no limit on earnings for workers who are “full” retirement age or older for the entire year.

Information about Medicare changes for 2013, when announced, will be available at www.Medicare.gov. For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums.