Why Are Judges Skeptical Of Social Security Claims
While outright fraud is relatively rare, judges are nevertheless trained to be skeptical about every claimant they see. If you expect to win, you must come across to the judge as credible and believable. Moreover, you do not want to display an attitude of entitlement when you appear before your judge.
Appealing Social Security In Federal Court
You have 60 days to appeal from the date of the decision from the Appeals Council. Youll have to visit the U.S. District Court in your region to file your civil complaint, which is a concise statement of the allegations and facts that explain your case to the court.
Since you cant technically sue the SSA, the defendant in your complaint is the acting Social Security commissioner who is in office when you file your complaint. Once you write your complaint, make sure the document is filed with the correct court. You can use the federal district court locator to ensure youre sending your complaint to the right place.
If you decide to appeal your Social Security denial without a lawyer, you still have to follow federal court regulations so your complaint wont be dismissed. You can visit the United States Courts website to learn more about how to make sure your complaint is reviewed.
What Happens After The Briefs Are Filed
Once the Opening Brief is filed, the SSA then has the opportunity to file a Response Brief. A Response Brief is the SSA’s chance to explain why you are wrong and why the ALJ’s decision was correct. After you may file a Reply Brief, which is one last chance to defend your position and point out weaknesses in the SSA’s argument. Sometimes the court will schedule oral arguments, but this is rare.
Once the briefs have been filed and the oral argument has been held, the federal judge who heard your case will make a decision and issue a written opinion. This process can take at least a year.
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What You Must Consider Before Filing A Lawsuit
The obvious advantage of filing a lawsuit is winning the SSDI or SSI benefits you believe you deserve. However, it is critical for you to consider the following disadvantages before moving ahead with your suit:
- This is not typically a do-it-yourself project: You may have handled every aspect of your claim up to this point, but you must understand that the rest of the SSA process is specifically designed to be claimant-friendly. While it is technically possible to file a federal suit on your own, the courts will not grant you special treatment becuase you do not have representation.
- A federal appeal is real litigation: This is no longer simply a disability claimit is a real courtroom trial, with all the legal complexities and expenses associated with any legal trial.
You must file a federal lawsuit within 65 days of the Appeals Councils decision. This is not a lot of time, so do not delay in seeking out help from a Nashville Social Security disability lawyer. Contact Peter T. Skeie & Associates to discuss your options and to make an informed decision on whether to proceed.
How To Tell If Its Legitimate Or A Scam
Scammers are aware that people are catching on to their attempts, so theyre coming up with new ways to convince Social Security beneficiaries that their frauds are legitimate. Heres what to watch for so you can protect yourself and others from Social Security scams.
1. Threatening arrest or legal action: If you receive a threatening phone call claiming that theres an issue with your Social Security number or benefits, its a scam. The Social Security Administration will never threaten you with arrest or other legal action if you dont immediately pay a fine or fee.
2. Emails or texts with personally identifiable information: If theres a legitimate problem with your Social Security number or record, the SSA will mail you a letter to notify you of any issues.
3. Misspellings and grammar mistakes: If the caller follows up with emails containing falsified letters or reports that appear to be from the SSA or SSAs OIG, look closely. The letters may use government “jargon” or letterhead that appears official in order to help convince victims, but they may also contain misspellings and grammar mistakes.
5. Offers to increase benefits in exchange for payment: Similarly, SSA employees will never promise to increase your Social Security benefits, or offer other assistance, in exchange for payment.
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Social Security Number Theft
Because Social Security Numbers have become useful in identity theft and other forms of crime, various schemes have been perpetrated to acquire valid Social Security Numbers and related identity information.
In February 2006, the Social Security Administration received several reports of an email message being circulated addressed to “Dear Social Security Number And Card owner” and purporting to be from the Social Security Administration. The message informs the reader “that someone illegally is using your Social Security number and assuming your identity” and directs the reader to a website designed to look like Social Security’s Internet website.
“I am outraged that someone would target an unsuspecting public in this manner,” said Commissioner Jo Anne B. Barnhart. “I have asked the Inspector General to use all the resources at his command to find and prosecute whoever is perpetrating this fraud.”
Once directed to the phony website, the individual is reportedly asked to confirm his or her identity with “Social Security and bank information”. Specific information about the individual’s credit card number, expiration date and is then requested. “Whether on our online website or by phone, Social Security will never ask you for your credit card information or your PIN,” Commissioner Jo Anne B. Barnhart reported.
Information Needed To File For Benefits:
Your Social Security Number and Name as it appears on your Social Security card
Your Driver License / State ID
If claiming your spouse or child as a dependent, the Social Security Number, date of birth and name of dependent
Name, mailing address, phone number, employment dates, and separation reason for all the employers you worked for in the last 18 months
Wage records from these employers may be necessary.
If you worked since Sunday of this week, the gross wages earned this week
You must report all gross wages for any work performed, full or part-time
Gross means the total amount earned before deductions, not take home pay, including wages in the form of lodging, meals, merchandise or any other form
Gross wages must be reported the week in which they are earned, not the week in which you receive the wages
If your gross wages earned in any week are less than your weekly benefit amount, you still may be eligible to receive a full or partial benefit payment)
Records of any pension payments you are receiving
If you are not a United States citizen, your Alien Registration Information
If you are a recently separated veteran, the Member 4 Copy of the DD form 214 / 215
Other copies of the DD Form 214 / 215 are acceptable, but the Member 4 copy is the most commonly available.
If you are separated from work as a civilian employee of the federal government, copies of your Standard Form 8 and Personnel Action Form 50.
Diabled And Havent Applied For Ssdi
Once youve met the basic requirements, you need to file an SSDI claim. More than 60% of those that apply for SSDI are denied when they first file an application. Having a Social Security Disability Insurance lawyer review your application before submitting it could help ensure your application is completed accurately and avoid any delays or SSA requests for additional information.
What Is Difference Between Social Security And Ssi
But, the programs are different. The Social Security benefit programs are entitlement programs. This means that workers, employers and the self-employed pay for the benefits with their Social Security taxes. SSI is a needs-based program for people with limited income and resources.
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Can You Sue Social Security Disability
When youre waiting to see if your request for Social Security disability payments is approved or if you havent received the amount you were expecting, you may be wondering if you can sue. Unfortunately, the short answer is no.
According to federal law, you cant directly sue the Social Security Administration . The SSA is also unable to assist you with a brief if youre filing a federal appeal. You can, however, file the complaint on your own or hire a lawyer who has experience in bringing disability denials to federal court.
Claim Of Discrimination Against The Poor And The Middle Class
Workers must pay 12.4 percent, including a 6.2 percent employer contribution, on their wages below the Social Security Wage Base , but no tax on income in excess of this amount. Therefore, high earners pay a lower percentage of their total income because of the income caps because of this, and the fact there is no tax on unearned income, social security taxes are often viewed as being regressive. However, benefits are adjusted to be significantly more progressive, even when accounting for differences in life expectancy. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, for people in the bottom fifth of the earnings distribution, the ratio of benefits to taxes is almost three times as high as it is for those in the top fifth.
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Getting Your Denied Disability Claim Appealed Through Social Security’s System
By David A. Morton III, M.D.
To appeal a denial of Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits, you’ll need to follow the instructions included in your notice of denial from the Social Security Administration . The first step is to file a request for reconsideration. If that fails, you may want to take your case to the next level of appeal. This article covers the various levels of appeal after denial of Social Security disability benefits.
Rob Levine Ssdi Lawyer
NEED A SOCIAL SERCURITY LAWYER? GET AN ATTORNEY
If the Appeals Council upholds the Administrative Law Judges unfavorable decision, your case may warrant an appeal to Federal Court. You would need to file a civil suit in a federal district court. This is the last level of the appeals process. You have 60 days from the date of the Appeals Council decision to file the civil action. Although, Rob Levine and Associates does not handle Federal Court appeals this information may be helpful to you in understanding this part of the process. If you have additional questions or think you are ready to speak to a lawyer about your disability matter, call now.
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Can You Sue Social Security For Swindling You Out Of Lifetime Benefits
After talking with one of out nation’s top attorneys, who recently filed a class action suit against Social Security, it appears to be both legal and practicable to pursue class action suits against the Social Security Administration if it has scammed a class of beneficiaries out of their full, rightful, and hard-earned lifetime benefits.
I’ve written about three such scams here. Today, I’ll tell you about a fourth Social Security scam. Actually, I’ll have Social Security whistle blower, John McAdams, a Social Security benefit claims authorizers tell you about this scam. Here’s his email from a couple days back.
My guess is there is upwards of a quarter billion dollars that Social Security has scammed from the public. Let me list the four scams about which I’ve written about in prior columns and above and add a couple more.
A Pesticide The Epa Wont Ban Is Sickening Low
As a child growing up in Arvin, California, Gabriel Duarte played with his brothers in an orchard 15 feet from his familys front door. Today he plays in a prison yard. Duarte believes these two points on his 20-year timeline are related.
Earlier this year, Duarte contacted me after reading an op-ed Id written about the widely used pesticide chlorpyrifos. Id discovered that the likely reason for each of my three childrens brain malformations was due to my acute exposure, in 1989, to a flea bomb containing chlorpyrifos. Duarte believes his ADHD and impulsivity issues are the result of his chronic exposure to chlorpyrifos in his home, school and work environments.
Human and animal studies link chlorpyrifos exposure to structural damage to the brain, neurobehavioral deficits, asthma, diminished IQ, and a wide range of developmental disabilities in children. It has also been linked to heart disease, lung cancer, Parkinsons disease, and the lowering of sperm counts in adults. Based on my investigative research, and interviews with Duarte along with dozens of other residents in the San Joaquin Valley, Im left to draw the all-too-obvious conclusion that communities with a higher percentage of residents who are low income are at greater risk of being exposed to harmful pesticides and other environmental toxins. And the issue of race is an inextricable co-factor.
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Who Qualifies For Unemployment Insurance
1. To qualify, you must have earned at least $1,600 during a recent 12-month period and you must have earned at least $440 outside of the base period quarter in which your earnings were the highest. If you do not qualify under the standard base period, IDES may use the most recent four completed quarters as an alternate base period.
|If Your Benefit Year Begins:||Your Base Period Will Be:||Your Alternate Base Period will be:|
|This Year Between:Jan. 1 and March 31||Last Year Between: Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 and the year before between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31||Last year between:|
|This Year Between:Oct. 1 and Dec. 31||Last Year Between: July 1 and Dec. 31 and this year between Jan. 1 and June 30||Last year between:Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 and this year between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30|
*If you have been awarded temporary total disability benefits under a workers compensation act or other similar acts, or if you only have worked within the last few months, your base period may be determined differently.
2. Your employer must be subject to the State’s unemployment insurance law. Among the types of work not covered are certain agricultural, domestic, railroad and government work, and certain work done for one’s family and on commission.
3. You must either be entirely out of work or be working less than full-time because full time work is not available. Your earnings must fall below a certain threshold determined at the time you file your claim.
How Can A Beneficiary Recognize A Rep Payees Misuse Of Funds
Rep payees may not:
- Use a beneficiarys funds for the rep payees own personal expenses or spend funds in a way that would leave the beneficiary without necessary items or services
- Put a beneficiarys SSA funds in the rep payees or another persons account
- Keep conserved funds once they are no longer a rep payee for the beneficiary
- Charge the beneficiary for services unless authorized by SSA to do so.
If a beneficiary believes that their rep payee has acted in any of these ways, the beneficiary can report an allegation of misuse.
What Is An Opening Brief
Briefs are legal documents that clearly state your viewpoint concerning the details of your case. For an SSA appeal, the first brief filed is yours, which is known as the opening brief. This brief investigates your claim denial as it pertains to testimony and medical proof.
Opening briefs are designed to convince the federal judge that the evidence of your case was not thoroughly considered and you need a new ruling that is in keeping with SSA laws. Your opening brief is important since it can determine whether you win or lose your federal appeal.
After You File Your Complaint
When the court receives your complaint, youll be issued a summons. You have to submit a copy of your complaint and your summons to the SSA. There are SSA locations, known as the Office of the General Counsel , where your complaint and summons is served. You can find your nearest OGC address online so youll know where to submit your paperwork.
An SSA attorney will file a response after you turn in your summons and complaint. The answer is basically a written explanation of why your claim was denied. When you receive a response, you should file your opening brief.