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July 2016 Archives

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN PROPOSES ENDING CHILDHOOD SSI BENEFITS

A Congressional proposal could drastically affect benefits for children receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  On June 7, 2016, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, released an outline of proposals to supposedly address poverty titled "Poverty, Opportunity and Upward Mobility." One of the more concerning proposals is to end childhood SSI monetary benefits. Childhood SSI benefits are very difficult to qualify medically and financially.  The child must meet strict medical requirements ground in medical evidence and the family income must fall below certain limits. 

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - SSA Proposes New Rule Governing Evidence Submission

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently proposed regulations that would affect all claimants trying to qualify for social security disability insurance (SSDI) or supplemental security income (SSI) benefits. Currently, despite a regulation that allows individual ALJs to have a policy or rule requiring all evidence be submitted five days prior to a hearing, only Region 1 has a blanket regulation requiring all evidence, statements about the case, or objections to the issues be submitted to the SSA within five days prior to a scheduled hearing with only several good cause exceptions. Under the proposed regulation, the procedures currently in place in Region 1 would apply to the entire country. Late filing of evidence can cause delays in decisions in hearings so I can understand the motivation for the rule. However, it is very important that the good cause exceptions exist and that the rule does not stand in the way of valid claims. As discussed recently, claimants wait a long time for their day in court and it would be a shame if the case is lost due some piece of evidence not being considered only due to a technicality.

5-year-old thought to be killed in car wreck, then revived

What was at first an absolute tragedy turned into hope for a Tennessee family. Their son, just 5 years old, was pronounced dead at the scene of a car wreck. Fortunately, someone decided not to give up on the boy and continued trying to save him. The resuscitation efforts were rewarded and he was revived.

Help is at hand after car accidents due to distracted driver

We live in a society dominated by electronic gadgets. Tennessee residents, like many others around the world, find themselves immersed in an environment in which many people seem so involved with their newest electronic toy that they forget about everything and everybody around them. News reports  on the many car accidents resulting from the new Pokémon-go craze have left many stunned.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - Hearing Wait Times and Approval Rates

An important and devastating issue for people seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is the time it takes to get their case decided once they reach the hearing level. I have been a bit late on providing an update on this issue. My last entry was in April of 2016. The following is the most current statistics on the processing times and approval rates for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims for some hearing offices in Tennessee and Eastern Kentucky. Please remember that these statistics are only for claims pending at the hearing level or Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. The claims at a hearing office have already been through the Application and Reconsideration steps (typically 6-12 months of waiting already).

Fatal Tennessee car wreck leads to closed highway lanes

An accident which led to the closure of several lanes on Interstate 75 on a recent Tuesday in July led to one fatality, while three more people were injured. The accident, involving only one vehicle, happened just before midday. Tennessee authorities suspect that drugs may be involved in the car wreck.  

Semi-truck accident leads to criminal and civil charges

A civil claim was filed against an incarcerated truck driver approximately one year after a horrible accident. The June 2015 truck accident led to the death of six people, while many others were seriously injured. The plaintiff is allegedly the fiancé of the trucker, who is currently in a Tennessee jail.

The Challenges Of Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits

Mental illness does not discriminate and affects individuals of all ages, income brackets and education levels. National statistics indicate that as many as one quarter of U.S. adults suffer with a mental illness. Despite the prevalance of mental health conditions like depression, anxiety and attention deficit disorder; those who suffer with these invisible disabilities often do so in silence.

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