Social Security Disability Help and Information

Getting social security disability benefits isn't easy. Whether you are just starting out in your application process, or you have already faced your first denial, the process takes time and energy. You are entitled to social security disability benefits if you are no longer able to work because of a disability, but proving this disability to the social security administration often takes perseverance. Many people get denied during their initial claim and have to file an appeal in order to get the benefits they deserve.

If you have applied for social security disability benefits and you need to file an appeal, working closely with an attorney to help you get all of the right paperwork in on time is essential. A lawyer experienced in social security disability law will help you get your claim and appeal done in a way that is acceptable to social security.

This past Wednesday former Social Security Administration (SSA) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Paul Stribling Conger Jr. was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison for trading sex for disability benefits. In legal terms, he had pled guilty last October to theft of government property, obstructing justice and accepting a gratuity. ALJ Conger had operated out of the Birmingham Office of Adjudication and Review (ODAR) for a number of years up until 2014, and had occupied a bench in family court for an even longer period. He was also disbarred last week for good measure. According to the news…Read   More

As I predicted in my in my January 25, 2017 blog entry, President Donald Trump signed off on the repeal of former President Barack Obama’s gun control initiative last February 28, 2017. The House of Representatives was first to act, voting 235-180 earlier in the month on the measure, with the Senate following suit a short time later 57-43. Both votes were largely along party lines. Mental Defectives Allowed to Purchase Firearms What this means is that no longer will the order’s unfortunately-termed “mental defectives,” among other groups cited, be subjected to scrutiny when they attempt to purchase firearms by…Read   More

In my June 8, 2016 blog, I talked a bit about the connection between Social Security (SSA) disability benefits and gun control, essentially that if a person is drawing SSA disability benefits for a mental health issue, among other things, it will pop up on the background check and those individuals may be legally prohibited from purchasing a firearm. Mental Defectives The initiative described these people as “mental defectives” in the program’s final rules published this past December. The program came about as the result of an executive action by former President Barack Obama, and is set to become active…Read   More

I have mentioned the “listings” several times in my past blog entries as they relate to Social Security disability. If you recall, when evaluating disability applications, the Social Security Administration employs a five-step sequential process to determine if an individual meets several required benchmarks to be awarded benefits. Social Security Act “Listings” The first two, whether an individual is working and has he or she been diagnosed with a severe impairment, are usually easily enough determined. The third step is where the process gets tricky: Does an individual have a severe impairment that meets or equals a “listing?” 1.04 Disorders…Read   More

Social Security benefits are exempt from just about all creditor collection efforts but, unfortunately not the U.S. Department of Education. In fact, current law provides that student loan borrowers who are 50 years old or older and have defaulted on their student loan debt are required to repay the student loan debt with a portion of their social security benefits. A report issued earlier this month by the United States Government Accountability Office regarding social security offsets shows that thousands of older Americans Social Security benefits are being garnished to pay on defaulted student loans. Many have owed these loans…Read   More

Simply put, the “grids” are a short-hand way to refer to Appendix 2 to Subpart P of Part 404-Medical-Vocational Guidelines of the Social Security Act. As I have discussed in past blog entries, the application and appeals process when pursuing disability benefits can be a long one, often including hearings and other trying events. However, on the rare occasion that a claimant grades out by way of the “grids,” they may be awarded benefits without having to go through that lengthy process. That means no hearings! What Are The “Grids”? The “grids” are just that, a sort of flow chart…Read   More

The short answer is yes, no and maybe. As I have discussed in my previous blog posts, our bankruptcy practice often syncs neatly with our Social Security disability practice. Another aspect I have touched on as well is Social Security retirement itself, what is it, what numbers and figures we are talking about and so on. I often see individuals during the lengthy process between applying for and actually being awarded disability benefits reach the age where they can file for retirement benefits “early” while still waiting on the outcome of their appeal, just as eligible non-disabled individuals can. While…Read   More

Social Security Fraud Does Not Pay

Posted on November 1st, 2016 by James Ezzell

In my Sep 29, 2015 blog post, What Happens to Your SSA Disability Benefits When You Die?, I detailed the consequences the unfortunate event has on your SSA benefits.  I also warned the survivors or significant others that they would need to report their loved one’s passing to the SSA immediately, or else. Well, in today’s blog I thought I would provide some real world examples of what happens to those people who don’t report the death and instead continue to receive the SSA benefits meant for the deceased. Social Security Collection Fraud Recently, a case made headlines about an…Read   More

In earlier blog posts, I went over some pretty broad figures while examining the scope of the SSA’s monthly monetary benefits available to individuals who qualify for various programs. In this blog post, I’d like to go into a little more detail on what the average individual actually receives each month. SSA Average Monthly Benefits According to the SSA’s 2015 Fact Sheet, almost 60 million individuals received some $883 billion in monthly monetary benefits. Those who received SSA retirement got, on average, $1,342.00 per month, while qualified disabled workers drew $1,166 per month. The article includes a few additional breakdowns…Read   More

In past blog entries, I have talked about the unbearably long time it takes to get a hearing scheduled during the appeals process in Alabama. As it turns out, we have it relatively good compared to some Social Security Administration (SSA) disability claimants in some other states, for example, Wisconsin. So egregious were the delays in claimants getting a hearing date set at the Milwaukee Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) that Ronald Klym, a sixteen-year senior technician in the office, blew the whistle last spring. Apparently, according to a statistical report produced by, the time it took…Read   More