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July 2018 Archives

How disability benefit cases are decided

California residents should understand that there are three possible stages to a disability benefits case. The first stage is the initial application, and more than 35 percent of cases are won at this level. If the initial application is denied, the next step is the reconsideration application followed by a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.

Long-term care planning helps you in later life

Long-term care planning might be something you're starting to look into as you're getting older. You know that there is a need to have insurance and plans in place for when you can't take care of yourself any longer or for when you need assistance in your day-to-day life.

Disability claims and arthritis

California residents who have arthritis may qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI. Their arthritis may be considered a disabling impairment if it prevents them from being able to work at a substantial gainful activity level. The SGA level is the limit for monthly earnings that the Social Security Administration considers to be self-supporting. Individuals who were earning over the SGA level would not be considered disabled.

How to get disability benefits for back pain

California residents and others who have back pain could be entitled to disability benefits. To determine whether or not an individual should be approved for benefits, an examiner must find that the applicant has experienced a loss of functional ability. Common reasons for back pain include a ruptured disc, arachnoiditis and spinal stenosis among others. An individual will receive benefits only if they meet the criteria in the impairment listing.

How medical records and work history affect SSD claims

For anyone in California seeking disability payments, the first step is to file an application. This is followed by a disability interview. After an application is on file, it's sent to an agency referred to as disability determination services, or DDS. The next step in the SSD application process involves a review of medical records and work history by a disability examiner at a California Disability Determination Services Office.

How to fund a trust and ensure that assets are transferred

Creating a trust can be a smart move for anyone in California who has assets they want to protect and pass on to designated beneficiaries in a way that offers protections against probate and certain taxes. After a trust is set up, the next step is to ensure it's sufficiently funded. Real estate can be handled with a deed or deed in trust that transfers a property to the established trust. It's often advisable for trust holders to determine if it's necessary to re-file with the county auditor's office to benefit from tax exemptions.

The importance of detailed information on SSD applications

California residents are entitled to Social Security Disability benefits based on the extent to which they are limited by a mental or physical condition. Therefore, it is important to be as specific as possible when talking to a doctor about such a condition. For instance, it may be a good idea to mention trouble with reaching or standing because of a bad back or other physical ailment during a checkup.

Supreme Court to rule on disability case testimony

People applying for Social Security Disability benefits in California may be concerned about the role of expert witnesses in their cases, especially when an expert is providing testimony about an individual's abilities to work. This can be problematic when the experts in question have had little direct involvement or observation of the applicant's life and work experiences. In one case, an ongoing legal battle over this issue will head to the U.S. Supreme Court to determine the value of expert testimony that is not backed up by supporting data in a disability case.

Applying for disability benefits

Applying for disability benefits in California, or anywhere else in the country, can be a stressful experience. By the time somebody applies for Social Security Disability Insurance, they may have spent years attempting to manage their condition. Since the application process can be slow, it's important to present the Social Security Administration with the most comprehensive documentation of the disability available.

Understanding the Pension Protection Act and your retirement

In 2006, the Pension Protection Act was created. The goal was to provide economic security and set minimum funding standards and funding rules for employers using pension plans with their employees. This act, which was signed into law by former President George W. Bush, required companies that underfunded pension plans to pay higher premiums. Those premiums were sent to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which then pays those entitled to pensions up to the maximum guaranteed by law when they retire at 65 years of age or older.

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