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August 2018 Archives

The decision makers who deal with SSDI benefits applications

When Californians apply for Social Security disability benefits, they may wonder who is responsible for the outcome. After the necessary documents are filed, a claims representative from the Social Security Administration completes the application by obtaining medical information, dates of treatment and other details from the applicant. The representative will also take information about the work the applicant performed over the last 15 years, including the employers, titles and types of jobs a person had during that time.

Starting the application process for SSD benefits

People in California who are applying for Social Security Disability benefits may wonder how to enhance their filing in order to maximize their chances of being approved earlier in the process. While it can be difficult to predict how an application will move forward, there are some steps that people can take to help the process proceed smoothly. First, making a claim can be lengthy and time-consuming because it can involve appointments, months of waiting, appeals and further actions; for this reason, it is important to move quickly when filing.

Why appealing a disability denial is important

When Californians apply for disability benefits and are denied, they may wonder about their next steps forward. Some may want to file a new claim; however, it's generally better to file an appeal and move forward in the process. Approximately 65 percent of all disability claims are denied at the initial application stage. This means that one of the most important aspects of pursuing an approval is to move ahead with an appeal.

Cyptocurrencies, digital assets and estate planning

Digital assets, such are cryptocurrencies and online accounts, are one of the issues California residents have to consider when they are creating an estate plan. There are legal concerns that have to be addressed regarding financial accounts and other types of digital assets. It is always important for the executor of an estate to be aware of what type of assets the decedent left in the estate and how to gain access to them, which is a crucial step in ensuring that the heirs receive the digital assets as intended.

Good cause could extend deadline for appealing SSD denial

California applicants for Social Security Disability benefits have the right to appeal a denial. The deadline for preparing an appeal is 60 days after the date on the denial letter from the agency plus five days for mailing time. Although this generally provides a person with sufficient time to prepare an appeal, certain events that prevented a timely appeal could provide a good cause for being late.

Planning for estate taxation into the future

People in California with significant estates may want to think about the future of estate taxation even after the major increase in the transfer tax exemption that was included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The law, which went into effect in 2018, doubled the exemption on transfer tax to $11.18 million per individual or $22.36 million per married couple. However, while this exemption allows even very wealthy individuals to avoid federal estate taxes, it has a built-in sunset clause. Without a specific renewal, the increased exemption will expire in 2025 and return to its 2017 level.

SLAT helps some families take advantage of estate tax exemptions

The significant changes to estate tax law that passed through broad tax legislation in 2017 mean that, at least for a while, only a small portion of the wealthiest families in the country would be subject to the estate tax. These changes, which raised the exemption level from $5.6 to $11.18 million per individual, are set to expire in 2025. Families that would benefit from the raised exemption should take advantage of the situation in case the changes are allowed to sunset.

The importance of appealing a disability examiner's ruling

California residents who file Social Security Disability benefit claims ihave the right to appeal the decision to deny their applications. However, some choose to submit a brand new claim, which means that the application goes through the same review process each time. By appealing the initial denial, the case is reviewed by a different person, and a decision is generally made much quicker.

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