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Opinion analysis: Social Security cap on attorney’s fees applies separately to successful representation before a court

  January 8, 2019 | By Kathryn Moore, SCOTUSBlog

According to a unanimous opinion released today, Social Security law does not impose an aggregate cap of 25 percent on attorney’s fees for successful representation of a Social Security disability claimant before both the Social Security Administration and a court. Instead, a 25 percent cap applies separately to representation before the court. This is a…

Once denied disability benefits, Tennesseans face long waits to appeal

  January 6, 2019 | By Anita Wadhwani and Mike Reicher, Tennessean

Thousands of people denied federal disability payments die each year while they wait for their chance to appeal the decision. Congress in 2018 approved $90 million in additional funding for the Social Security Administration to reduce a backlog of people waiting to make their case to a judge that they were wrongly denied disability benefits.…

Denied: How some Tennessee doctors earn big money denying disability claims

  January 6, 2019 | By Anita Wadhwani and Mike Reicher, Tennessean

By the time Alan Chrisman was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer, he was too sick to work. The cancer had spread to his lungs. His doctors said he may never get better. Chrisman, 59, applied for disability, the federal safety net program he contributed to with every paycheck during his 30 years working as…

How social insurance became “welfare” and “entitlements” — and what we lost in that process

  December 11, 2018 | By Theodore R. Marmor, Salon

Social insurance programs are at the center of American politics. In fiscal terms, Medicare and the Social Security Administration’s programs for retirement, disability, worker’s compensation, and worker’s life insurance amount to roughly 41 percent of the federal budget. This fiscal centrality, however, does not rest on anything like a broader, public understanding of what makes…

Twins sue Social Security over denial of benefits

  December 8, 2018 | By The Guam Daily Post

Two lawsuits have been filed against the U.S. Social Security Administration challenging the U.S. government’s policy of refusing to provide Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits to American citizens living on Guam. The lawsuits were filed on behalf of twin sisters Katrina Schaller of Barrigada, Guam; and Leslie Schaller of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. The two complementary…

Have a Social Security Question? Please Hold

  November 21, 2018 | By Mark Miller, The New York Times

When Brenda Holt learned that the federal government planned to close her local Social Security office, she swung into action. That field office in Quincy, Fla., served Gadsden County in the state’s panhandle, where Ms. Holt is a commissioner; closing the office would force residents who needed help managing their benefits to travel 25 miles…

Former clients of disbarred attorney Eric Conn get reprieve from disability hearings

  November 8, 2018 | By Bill Estep, Lexington Herald Leader

Hundreds of Eastern Kentucky residents will get a reprieve from hearings to determine if they can keep receiving federal disability payments, and may have more evidence to use when the hearings resume. The Social Security Administration this week notified attorneys for the people that it would suspend the hearings for 60 days, until Jan. 7.…

Former clients of disbarred attorney Eric Conn get reprieve from disability hearings

  November 7, 2018 | By Bill Estep, Lexington Herald Leader

Hundreds of Eastern Kentucky residents will get a reprieve from hearings to determine if they can keep receiving federal disability payments, and may have more evidence to use when the hearings resume. The Social Security Administration this week notified attorneys for the people that it would suspend the hearings for 60 days, until Jan. 7.…

Supreme Court grants certiorari in four additional cases

  November 6, 2018 | By Tate Brown, Jurist.org

The US Supreme Court granted certiorari in four cases Friday in addition to the Maryland cross case. In Smith v. Berryhill the court will answer the question of “whether the Appeals Council’s decision to reject a disability claim on the ground that the claimant’s appeal was untimely is a ‘final decision’ subject to judicial review…

Medical files from former Conn clients removed from law complex

  October 26, 2018 | By Shawn Allen, WYMT

In April we were told about thousands of medical files belonging to the former clients of Eric C. Conn found inside his Floyd County law complex in Stanville. In August U.S. Marshals seized the law complex, locking the doors and boarding up the windows, until a receiver of the files could be appointed. That receiver,…

Mitch McConnell says it out loud: Republicans are gunning for Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare next

  October 19, 2018 | By Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

All Washington seems to be buzzing this week over a single question: Is Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) deliberately trying to throw the election to the Democrats? At the root of the debate are interviews the Senate majority leader gave to Bloomberg and Reuters on Tuesday and Wednesday. McConnell identified “entitlements” — that’s Washington code for…

The Social Security myths you should know before the midterms

  September 5, 2018 | By Philip Moeller, PBS Newshour

Understanding how Social Security works is especially important as we approach November’s midterm elections. President Donald Trump said during his campaign that he would protect Social Security and Medicare. But he has done little to fulfill that promise since taking office. A Republican-controlled Congress approved his trillion-dollar tax cut last year, and the predictable increase…

Despite a judge’s disapproval, Trump administration is doubling down on Medicaid restrictions

  August 20, 2018 | By Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

In the real world, it has become clear that placing restrictions such as work and reporting requirements on Medicaid is disastrous. They’re legally dubious, for one thing — as a federal judge stated in late June when he tossed out work requirements imposed in Kentucky. More important, they lead to needy beneficiaries being thrown off…

Supreme Court Ruling to Shake Up Social Security Disability Claim System

  July 26, 2018 | By Allison Bell, ThinkAdvisor

Changes in how the Social Security Administration (SSA) processes claims for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) could soon cause new headaches for group disability plans — and for the financial professionals who sell, service and administer the plans. Witnesses talked about the looming SSDI claim determination changes Wednesday, at a hearing organized by the House…

House Panel Passes Social Security Online Tools Act

  July 19, 2018 | By Melanie Waddell, ThankAdvisor

The House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Social Security and Tax Policy passed on Wednesday the “Social Security Online Tools Innovation Act,” H.R. 3309, which requires the Social Security Administration to provide online tools to help individuals assess their disability benefits. The bill, which was reported to the full House, requires the Social Security…

Social Security recipients could be collateral damage of Trump’s workforce orders

  July 17, 2018 | By Joe Davidson, The Washington Post

President Trump’s recent executive orders are a serious assault on federal labor organizations, but it is taxpayers who could become collateral damage. Consider the Social Security Administration (SSA), which deals more directly with clients than most. It is on the front lines of the Trump-union clash, because officials there are enforcing his commands more aggressively…

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