Cuts to Social Security Disability Could Be Coming

57f94-social-security-disability-attorneyIf Congress does not act, people already struggling on Social Security Disability (SSD) could see their checks reduced by as much as 20%.  At this point, by then end of fourth quarter 2016, the Social Security Administration would have just enough funds to fund slightly over 80% of current recipient costs.

The cuts would most immediately affect the 10.9 million people receiving disability benefits as of 2014, but other beneficiaries could see benefit cuts down the line. If Congress doesn’t act to reform the program, the trust fund used for retirement benefits would be depleted by 2035, a year later than previously expected.

Some policy experts say Congress could act to reform the program just in time to avoid the cuts to disability benefits, but any fix may be short term. Lawmakers could decide to redirect some of the payroll taxes going to the retirement trust fund to fill the gap in disability benefits, says Shai Akabas, associate director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Many people have a false impression of SSD.  They believe that it is a widely abused and wasteful program.  Is there abuse?  Yes.  There is any government program, including programs that provide small business loans, that provide credit and subsidies to business and agricultural entities, tax loop holes that provide Corporate executives a lower tax impact than an average middle class taxpayer, etc…

What many of those people do not see are the people that I have represented over the years in SSD.  These are people who are struggling physically, emotionally, and financially.  These are people who worked all their lives, and then suddenly, they have an onset of a very debilitating physical condition that wrecks financial havoc on their household and their future.   For many of these folks, despite our law firm winning them SSD benefits, the income on SSD is substantially lower than their previous earned incomes they were accustomed to when able to work.  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard . . . “I never thought this would happen to me …” or “All my plans for retirement are now gone …” So for those out there that just think people get on SSD because they are lazy and don’t want to contribute to a productive society, well, you are just plain ignorant to the facts.  You’ve bought into the media and political driven stigma of SSD recipients, without doing a big of due diligence in your own investigation of the facts.  Unfortunately, I see it everyday.  Additionally, many people are also ignorant to the facts of the difficulty of obtaining SSD benefits.  It’s not simply apply, then receive.   It’s waiting fifteen months for a hearing and then facing, often times, a skeptical SSD Judge.  It’s not as simple as the stigma suggests.

Call your Congressman and Senator and ask them to show some courage and fix the Social Security and Medicare funds once and for all.

If you, a family member, or friend, have applied for Social Security Disability benefits and have been denied, call Mooney & Associates today for a .   The denial letter you may have received is deadline sensitive, so call us right away.  We have office all over South Central Pennsylvania to meet your needs.  Call us at 1-877-632-4656.

 

OSHA to crack down on Hospitals and Nursing Homes on work injuries

nursinghomeeeWhen you think of back and arm injuries at work, your first thought is probably heavy industry, foundries, or warehouse/distribution centers being the main source.  The real facts though show health care employees at hospitals and nursing homes as the number one source for work related back and arm injuries.  The Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plans to do something about it.   They plan to launch a new program to address these frequent injuries and possibly implement enforcement, including fines.

It really isn’t surprising to me.  I currently represent and have represented in the past, many nurses, certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) for numerous injuries.  Frequently I see back, neck, and shoulder injuries, mostly occurring due to lifting patients or stopping patients from falling.  I also see slip and fall on wet floors.  Many of these injuries, initially described by the workers compensation carrier as strains/sprains, are realistically more serious injuries, including neck and back disc herniations, rotator cuff tears, elbow nerve injuries, and more.   Often times, these injuries occur despite proper lifting techniques and compliance with company protocols.

If that is not enough, often times, at least in the areas we service, nursing and personal care facilities react very negatively to injured employees.   Some do not comply with work restrictions.  Some treat injured workers in a more hostile manner.  Hopefully new enforcement procedures will go along way in helping protect these dedicated injured workers and also move companies toward more respectful approaches to injured workers.  The focus of this new program will be the rising risks of musculoskeletal disorders.

Many times work injuries at health care facilities are denied.  Other times, injured workers who have accepted injuries, are pressured or forced to return to work before they are recovered.  You don’t need to put up with it.  If you work in a nursing home or hospital and have been hurt on the job, CALL Mooney & Associates today.  Protect yourself and your workers compensation rights.  Mooney & Associates has offices scattered throughout South Central Pennsylvania.  We can meet you in the closest location to you.  I can assure you that your employer’s insurance carrier has adjusters and counsel looking over your workers compensation file, medical records, restrictions, etc…  You should have your own attorney ready to help you.  Call today for a FREE consultation.  Let’s talk.  1-877-632-4656.