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A New Year

Last year brought a lot of new and interesting discussions to our blogs (here and here). We offered a plethora of information to help our clients through the Social Security Disability process, and we plan to continue to do so! But, before we get a jump start on this New Year-let's look back on some of the important topics from last year.

Electronic Social Security Disability Checks-Last May, we blogged about the end of an era. At that time, we mentioned that (in less than two years!) the Social Security Administration was no longer going to be issuing disability payments in the form of paper checks. In an attempt to cut costs, the SSA will soon be switching over to fully-electronic direct deposits for disability payments. The upside to electronic payments still remains...Electronic payments will almost guarantee that one's payment cannot be misplaced, sent to the wrong address, ruined in the rain, or eaten by the dog!

The threat of a possible Governmental Shutdown lead to a discussion about Governmental Budget Woes...Again-These types of blogs are never our favorite to write; there is nothing appealing about being the bearer of bad news! But, we were happy to report that they government did not, in fact, shut down. The 'budget woes,' on the other hand, are still an issue. We want to reassure our clients that, regardless of any outside factors-governmental, or otherwise, we will continue to operate as normal. At Binder & Binder®, it's business as usual, and we're going to continue working hard for our clients regardless of what happens.

Social Security Disability Case Stages-We know how long and difficult the Social Security Disability process can be. We took the time to break down the process, explain each stage in the game, and provide estimated time frames for the stages according to information from the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Disability Process, when broken down into the individual stages, consists of the Initial Application, Reconsideration, Hearing, and Appeals Council. Using the highest averaged amount of time per stage, the SSA averaged that some claims can take over 3 years before a final decision is rendered.

Most recently, we blogged about future changes to the Social Security Administration that were In The News-Due to recent controversy over a number of speculated flaws with the system, the SSA indicated they were going to commission an independent review of the system. With any luck, the review of the system would take a deeper look at the extreme inconsistency in benefit award rates that exist from one Administrative Law Judge to the next. Recommendations for improvement as a result of the review are expect to be available sometime this year.

The New Year is bound to bring new updates, new blogs, and new stories from us-be sure to check in often to stay up-to-date!

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