Trump’s Employment Freeze Causes Wait Times to Grow
If you’re waiting for a social security disability claim settlement, then you know there are few things more frustrating than biding time until your hearing — especially when the benefits you will receive are essential to your day-to-day living. As of last spring, the average wait time for a hearing was just under a year and a half, which means more than a year has gone by since those employees were unable to work. This is a serious problem within the system.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like things will be improving anytime soon. With Trump’s federal hiring freeze, there’s a good chance that these wait times will only get longer. One way to alleviate long wait times would be to hire more judges who could hear these cases. However, with this freeze, that’s no longer an option.
Despite the federal hiring freeze, people will continue to have a need for social security disability. Even though this freeze is temporary – it should lift when Trump’s administration can work out a new budget that supposedly accounts for the best use of Americans’ tax dollars – that doesn’t mean that will be the end of this problem.
Cases will continue to pile up until the freeze is lifted, and when the freeze is lifted it could take ages for the court system to catch up. Sorting through the backlog is going to take time. And unfortunately, most people who are waiting for a hearing, can’t afford to wait.
If you need help navigating your social security disability claim, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney at Oxner + Permar. Our free consultation can help you take the next step in getting the benefits you deserve.
What Are My Chances of Winning an Appeal?
If you’ve filed for Social Security Disability, it can be devastating to find out your claim has been denied. Especially if you believe your claim has been denied unfairly. But denial is not necessarily the end of the road. There are steps you can take to appeal this decision. At this point, however, you might be wondering: Is it really worth the effort? What are my chances of winning an appeal?
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to say for certain. Every situation is different, and therefore, there will be factors and variables that affect everyone’s chances differently. I’ll give you a few statistics. When an appeal claim is at the reconsideration level, there’s an 85% chance it will be rejected. At the hearing level, there’s a 50/50 chance a claim will be rejected. However, there are things you can do to increase your chances. For one, hiring an attorney will increase the chance of your appeal succeeding.
There are many factors that are taken into consideration when reviewing your case — such as whether or not your condition has worsened over time. They will also likely look at whether or not you’ve been following the proper procedures. For instance, did you let Social Security know of any changes to your condition when you filed your appeal? Have you been keeping your files up-to-date, making notes of appointments and procedures? Have you complied with all requests made by the Disability Determination Services?
It is important to make sure that you are keeping your records up-to-date, and an attorney can help make sure that you’re staying on the right track. The presence of an attorney can increase your chances of your appeal succeeding, but it’s also a good idea to work with an attorney because we can help you navigate your claim and make sure that you’re doing everything to receive the benefits that you deserve.
At Oxner + Permar, we’re dedicated to making sure that you receive the care and compensation you need — and with more than $275 million in awards and settlements, we have the experience to protect your rights.
How Do I Prove Credibility of My Symptoms?
In order to keep your Social Security benefits, you’re going to need to prove to the Social Security Administration that your disabilities and symptoms are as severe as you claim. This can be difficult to prove when symptoms such as exhaustion, memory loss, and difficulties with communicating or your senses are based on your word. However, there are things you can do to prove that you are being adversely affected by your symptoms.
If you show that you are visiting a doctor and following their advice, it demonstrates that your symptoms are bad enough to require medical intervention. It also demonstrates the need for the advice in the first place. For instance, if your doctor prescribes that you wear a knee brace, wearing the brace will prove that your knee pain is bad enough to warrant one. On the other hand, if you are not seeking treatment or following advice, Social Security will assume that your injuries are not as bad as you say.
However, there are a few reasons that you might not follow your doctor’s advice, and Social Security does take these into consideration.
- You are uninsured or unable to afford treatment.
- Treatment worsens your condition (e.g. because of side effects).
- Your doctor believes that treatment will not help you.
- You find alternative treatments (e.g. changing routines to alleviate pain, exercising, etc.)
- The prescribed treatment is against your religion.
Mental illness is considered a special case when dealing with Social Security Disability benefits. It is fairly common for those with mental illnesses to miss appointments or neglect treatment. In many cases, these are symptoms of their mental illness. Therefore, Social Security is likely to make exceptions for those with mental illnesses.
Seeking medical treatment and following your doctor’s advice is the best thing you can do to make sure you maintain your social security benefits. If you have any questions, be sure to contact an attorney for a free consultation.
Donald Trump’s Stance on Social Security
There have been a lot of strong emotions regarding this year’s presidential election. Whether or not you’re happy about it, there’s no refuting the fact that Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. So regardless of your personal politics, it’s a good idea to know how the president stands on issues that are relevant to your life. For instance, what exactly is Mr. Trump’s plan for Social Security?
Donald Trump’s plan at this point is basically two-fold:
- Create jobs to pay into Social Security.
- Eliminate the “waste” from Social Security.
He believes that in order to save the Social Security program, the economy needs to be reinvigorated first. He says, “the key to preserving social security is to have an economy that is robust and growing.” This is where creating jobs comes into play. The idea is that if there are more jobs, then more people will be paying into social security. If there is more money in social security, then more people can receive the benefits they need.
When Trump talks about eliminating waste from Social Security, this refers to eliminating fraudulent claims from the system. For instance, people who have passed away, but whose families are still collecting their social security benefits. If there are fewer people pulling money from the system, then there is more money to go around to those who need it.
During one of the Republican Primary debates, Trump had mentioned being okay with the idea of limits being placed on social security based on income. Therefore, billionaires, and those who make so much money they do not need social security benefits, would not be pulling money from the system. However, Trump has not mentioned this idea again since the Primary.
If you have any legal questions about your Social Security benefits, be sure to contact an experienced attorney who can help.
What to Expect When Attending a Social Security Disability Hearing
When dealing with a Social Security Disability hearing, many people aren’t actually sure what to expect out of the proceedings. You might be expecting the type of courtroom proceeding you see on television: big wood-paneled rooms, the judge sitting on an elevated platform, a jury, and an opposing lawyer. It’s an intimidating image to say the least.
In reality, a Social Security hearing is much more akin to a conference room meeting than an episode of Law and Order. Usually there are only a handful of people in the room. Other than yourself and your attorney there is also likely to be a court reporter—who is responsible for keeping a written transcript of the proceedings—and a judge. There may also be a vocational expert whose job is to be a resource for the judge. However, more often than not, they will be on speakerphone rather than in the hearing.
Compared to the courtroom you might see on TV, a social security hearing is likely going to feel very informal. The judge will likely ask you questions directly. They could be about anything ranging from your daily life to the nature of your injury to the type of work you were doing before the onset of your disability. There are very few limits to the kinds of questions the judge can ask you, so it’s best to be prepared for anything. You may be surprised about what kinds of evidence are allowed in a Social Security Disability hearing as the rules are very different than they are for other court proceedings.
The most important thing you can do when undergoing a Social Security Disability hearing is to find an experienced attorney who can help you through the process. The mish-mash of regulations surrounding a Social Security Disability hearing are complex and don’t follow a logical structure. Having an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process will ensure that you fully understand the proceedings. Don’t go into a hearing alone, make sure that you have an attorney who’s fighting for you and your rights.
Oxner + Permar’s experienced attorneys are passionate about fighting for their clients. Don’t go into a Social Security Disability hearing alone: go with an attorney who will fight for you and make sure that you are well informed every step of the way.