Processing Timeframes For SSDI/SSI claims
Social Security Disability News
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2d ago
 If you have noticed that it seems to be taking longer to get disability decisions from the Social Security Administration ("SSA"), you are not alone. Depending on where you live, initial applications are still taking about 4 to 9 months to process. The national average waiting time for applications in January of 2024 was 231 day, or about 7.45 months. The fact that I represent claimants primarily in Southern California, one of the more populated areas of the country, means most of my clients are waiting for close to 9 months (if not longer) to get their initial determinations.  This ..read more
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The Media Continues to Investigate SSA's Systemic Struggles
Social Security Disability News
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1M ago
 A news article was published by Ms. Sharon Jayson, at the AARP, on January 17, 2024. It is an excellent piece that realistically discusses the failure of the Social Security Administration ("SSA") and the Department of Social Services (“DSS”) to process disability cases in a timely manner. It is the most recent piece in a slew of articles and television stories that have been circulating about SSA's continued problems processing claims due to staffing and budgetary issues. Here is a link to the full article: https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social-security/info-2024/disabil ..read more
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SSA Rings in the New Year with a New Commissioner
Social Security Disability News
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2M ago
Martin J. O. Malley was sworn in as the Commissioner for the Social Security Administration ("SSA") on December 20, 2023. He will serve a term that will expire on January 19, 2025.  There is no denying that SSA struggling to deliver the critical benefits to the many Americans who are dependent on them for survival. I suspect Commission O' Malley, who previously served as a Governor and Mayor of Maryland, will be surprised to see how technologically rudimentary SSA is considering it is 2023. Commissioner O' Malley is noted to be a technological pioneer when it comes to customer service and ..read more
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Types Of Questions To Expect At Your Social Security Disability Hearing
Social Security Disability News
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3M ago
  Many individuals who attend a Social Security Disability Insurance and/or a Supplemental Security Income hearing are nervous about appearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Nowadays, the lion-share of our hearings are conducted by telephone or video, but we do occasionally have in-person hearings.  Regardless of whether your hearing is in-person or virtual, the types of questions are the same. For many people, this is the first legal proceeding that they have ever attended and it can be very intimidating. To help you prepare for your upcoming hearing, we have made a list of que ..read more
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SSA Announces a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (“COLA”) for 2024
Social Security Disability News
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4M ago
The Social Security Administration has announced this month a 3.2 percent benefit increase for 2024. This cost-of-living adjustment (“COLA”) will begin on December 29, 2023 for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) beneficiaries. Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) and Social Security Retirement recipients will see the effects of the COLA in their January 2024 benefit payments. This COLA will affect the more than 71 million Americans who receive monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits. Additionally, the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security ta ..read more
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The Social Security Administrations Announces 12 New Compassionate Allowances Conditions For 2023
Social Security Disability News
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5M ago
 The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) added 12 new Compassionate Allowances conditions to the Compassionate Allowances program. This brings the total number of conditions on the list to 278. Disabilities that comprise the Compassionate Allowance list represent the most serious disabilities that affect individuals. The purpose of the program is to expedite disability decisions, so individuals suffering from these severe diseases receive their benefit decisions as quick as possible. Nearly 900,000 people with life-threatening disabilities have received their benefits through this expe ..read more
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President Biden Plans To Nominate Martin O’ Malley To Head The Social Security Administration
Social Security Disability News
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6M ago
 President Biden announced last month that he plans to nominate former Maryland Governor, Martin O’ Malley, to head the struggling Social Security Administration (‘SSA”).  As both employee and consumer dissatisfaction plague the SSA, it is frankly amazing that anyone would want to be the Commissioner of the SSA. It someone came to me and said, “We have this impressive ocean liner named the Titanic that is about to set sail from Southampton, England. Would you be interested is piloting the ship?” I would take a hard pass. Luckily for SSA, there is someone who apparently thinks he can ..read more
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Don't Get Scammed!
Social Security Disability News
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7M ago
I have been noticing an increase in calls by scammers claiming to be from the Social Security Administration ("SSA") or Internal Revenue Service ("IRS"), hoping to convince callers to reveal private information that will allow the scammer to access private financial information. This happens every year, but it seems to be ramping up again. SSA has published some tips to help you avoid falling for the shenanigans that these schemers pull: https://www.ssa.gov/scam/ Here are my own personal tips to avoid being scammed: 1. SSA rarely calls people. Have you ever tried to call SSA? You have a l ..read more
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SSA Revamping The Hearing Scheduling System
Social Security Disability News
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10M ago
The Social Security Administration ("SSA") is changing the way that they schedule disability hearings.  Many moons ago, when I started practicing Social Security Disability law in 2004, a scheduler from the local hearing office would call us with available dates for our clients' hearings. Simple, right? A few years ago, SSA made the scheduling process much more complex, by having attorneys submit their "unavailability" to them 5 months in advance of the scheduling month. For instance, I would let SSA know in May which days I was unavailable for hearings in October. SSA could then fill my ..read more
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What is the Best Federal Agency To Work For?: Not the SSA
Social Security Disability News
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10M ago
Anyone who deals with the Social Security Administration ("SSA") on a regular basis gets the sense that their employees aren't exactly "thrilled" to work at SSA. Even when the SSA employee is polite, which is not always the case, the majority of folks who are employed at SSA seem stressed and overwhelmed. When you call your local SSA field office, it often seems like the goal is to get you off the phone as quickly as humanly possible. I am based in Long Beach, California, which admittedly is a highly populated area. I always assumed that my local field offices are likely overburdened due to th ..read more
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