SSA | Jan Dils Attorneys at Law
Menu

Archive for SSA

What is a Trial Work Period?

It’s safe to say that most people never think that they’re going to have to apply for social security disability. However, accidents happen, injuries occur, and plans eventually must change. But, what if you are granted benefits, but want to return to work? What if you try to go back, but find that you still aren’t physically able to work again? Well, the SSA has a program in place to protect your benefits while you attempt to return to work. This is referred to as a “Trial Work Period.” This time is essentially a nine-month period of grace in which any recipient can attempt to reenter the workforce.

It’s important to note that participation in this program is dependent upon a recipient reporting their work activity to the SSA. The program is a real positive for any recipient whose condition has improved enough for them to return to work. With the trial work period, you don’t risk your benefits. In other words, it’s a safe way to return to work. There is some responsibility associated with this program though. In addition to reporting your work activity, you must also report your income and any impairment related work expenses.

One important aspect of this program that many people don’t realize is that if you return to work, and the nine-month period expires, you may still receive your benefits if you don’t earn more than the Substantial Gainful Activity, or SGA amount. You may recall that to be eligible for disability benefits, a person must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). For 2017, the SGA per month of a non-blind person is $1,170. For instance, if you return to work, and stay after the 9-month period, but only make $1000 per month. You may still receive your benefits. Don’t forget though, on average, the SGA changes from year to year. It generally increases, but it’s always important to be aware of how it changes.

What if your conditions improve, you return to work for more than the 9-month period, but then your conditions get worse after a year? Well, that too may not a major issue. For five years after you return to work, if your conditions return or worsen, you may be eligible for “expedited reinstatement” if your benefits were terminated due to your work activity. In other words, your benefits may be reinstated quickly. Think of this as another safety net if you wish to return to the active work force.

We understand that a lot of people who are granted benefits want to return to work. However, make sure you understand the program, and report everything to the SSA properly. If you fail to report proper earnings, or if you don’t enroll in the program, but return to work, you might owe the SSA money. Also, though these programs are intended to benefit you, you must meet all SSA requirements to continue receiving disability benefits or ask for a reinstatement of benefits. These programs do not guarantee protection or reinstatement.

Several of our clients have consulted with us when returning to work, and we are always happy to help. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a client of ours, give us a call today for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form, and we will call at a more convenient time.

If You’ve Lost Your Social Security Card

Since it’s recommended to keep a Social Security card in a safe place, it’s not uncommon for people to forget where this safe place is. If you’ve misplaced your Social Security card for any reason or believe it may have been stolen, it’s a great idea to check your credit report to be on the safe side. But whether or not you feel it necessary to do this, you can request a replacement from the SSA safely.

In order to maintain privacy since a Social Security Number is such sensitive information, you can only request a new card in person at your local Social Security office or through the mail. Anyone who tries to get this information from you by phone or email may be trying to scam you.

The SSA will ask you for documents such as your driver’s license, state-issued ID card or even your passport to verify your identity. If you don’t have these documents (or are inquiring for a minor), it would be helpful to bring a birth certificate, medical records and/or school ID for additional verification.

The SSA has a list of alternate forms of identification they will accept if you click here.

If you’re facing a Social Security Disability benefits hearing or want to approach your claim with more confidence, the expert team at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, can help.

Contact us toll-free at 1.877.526.3457 or send us an e-mail to schedule your 100% free initial consultation.

SSA Announces Later Office Hours

Beginning March 16, 2015, local Social Security branches across America will be open to the public for an additional hour on weekdays from 9-4 p.m.

This includes Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, as these Social Security offices will continue to close at noon on Wednesdays to allow employees to catch up on their current work projects.

This certainly looks like a positive step for the Social Security Administration in its attempts to reduce backlog and be more available and efficient to current and future Social Security beneficiaries.

They have also stepped up their online and phone efforts recently, so if these hours don’t work for you for an in-person visit – especially if your best day is Wednesday – they can also help you online through the SSA.gov website or by phone at 1-800-772-1213.

If you have a disabling condition and believe you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, the expert team of Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, can help you get the benefits you deserve. Contact us toll-free at 1.877.526.3457 or by e-mail to schedule your free initial consultation today.

SSA Warns of Fraudulent Text Message Scheme

According to an announcement from the Social Security Administration, a phishing scheme has launched via suspicious text messages that appear to be related to individuals’ Social Security claims.

These text messages request that people call a number under the guise that they’ll find out information regarding their benefits or claims. These supposed government officials then try to obtain personal information.

If you are a Social Security Disability applicant or beneficiary and your phone displays something of the effect of, “Disability Alert: Please call 253-xxx-xxxx regarding your recent disability benefits application,” you can report the incident to the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to verify the validity of any communication.

As a general rule, never provide information such as your address, Social Security number or bank account information to an employee who hadn’t been validated by the SSA. Any suspicious activities like this text message can be reported via the Social Security Fraud Hotline (1-800-269-0271, open from 10-4 EST).

If you have questions about benefits, the Social Security Disability attorneys of Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, have years of proven experience for every step of the process. You can schedule a free initial consultation by calling toll-free 1.877.526.3457 or by sending us an e-mail.

SSA Warns of Fraudulent Text Message Schemes

According to an announcement from the Social Security Administration, a phishing scheme has launched via suspicious text messages that appear to be related to individuals’ Social Security claims.

These text messages request that people call a number under the guise that they’ll find out information regarding their benefits or claims. These supposed government officials then try to obtain personal information.

If you are a Social Security Disability applicant or beneficiary and your phone displays something of the effect of, “Disability Alert: Please call 253-xxx-xxxx regarding your recent disability benefits application,” you can report the incident to the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to verify the validity of any communication.

As a general rule, never provide information such as your address, Social Security number or bank account information to an employee who hadn’t been validated by the SSA. Any suspicious activities like this text message can be reported via the Social Security Fraud Hotline (1-800-269-0271, open from 10-4 EST).

If you have questions about benefits, the Social Security Disability attorneys of Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, have years of proven experience for every step of the process. You can schedule a free initial consultation by calling toll-free 1.877.526.3457 or by sending us an e-mail.

Can A Judge Use My Online Profile Against Me?

In today’s culture, it’s easy for people to get information fast—including administrative law judges who are determining the outcome of your Social Security Disability case.

But for the last few years, your information has been safe. The SSA declared that its decision-makers are required to only use approved methods to gather fair and balanced evidence in your claim. Website and social media profiles are off-limits as their accuracy can’t be 100% verified. So professional medical documentation and other forms of evidence have more credibility in a court of law.

However, we still highly recommend that you filter what you post online and check your privacy settings on social media. The SSA’s declaration may not prevent decision-makers from conducting their own unofficial investigations they may be able to support with concrete evidence. Plus, in the unlikely event your claim is investigated for fraud, any online information obtained can be used against you in that case.

If you have questions about your Social Security Disability claim, the experienced team of Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, can help. Call toll free, 1.877.526.3457, or send us an e-mail to schedule a free initial appointment, either by phone or at one of our five West Virginia offices — in Parkersburg, Charleston, Logan, Huntington or Beckley – and in Charlotte, NC.