US Department of Education reforms rules to allow for debt foregiveness for disabled

Under federal law, someone who becomes severely disabled after taking out student loans is now eligible to have their debt forgiven. Under the new rules, the Education Department will recognize Social Security award letters as proof of disability, streamlining the process immensely.

Posted in Disability Benefits, divorce, Military Veteran, Social Security Disability, Veteran disability benefits | 2 Comments

How Are Social Security Disability (and SSI) Backpayments Calculated?

“When you are awarded Social Security or SSI disability benefits, Social Security may owe you more than just your awarded monthly disability checks. How much you are owed depends on different factors, including the type of disability benefits you are receiving and how long you were owed past benefits.” Source, by: , Contributing Author,  Read the entire article at

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We Need Your Help To Hire Veterans

If you have ever thought about doing something to reward our US military vets, there is an opportunity right now and all it takes is a click of your computer mouse.   It will not cost you a dime but it could change the lives of vets and their families.
Chase Bank USA and LivingSocial (an internet company that offers deals to restaurants and various entertainment business throughout the country) recently launched Mission Small Business to recognize 12 companies in the US who meet criteria.  In order to get into the running for the grant, readers, customers, supporters of My Senior Portal must simply vote for the company.
In order to be considered a business must receive 250 votes and comply with certain requirements, including  – Show a positive impact on local/relevant community (e.g. job creation, meeting an unfulfilled need, etc.) and demonstrated local support, energy, enthusiasm, creativity and passion.   My Senior Portal is asking you to show your support in helping us get the $250,000 grant to hire vets by clicking on the link and vote for us now. Your vote could insure that a returning vet gets a job he or she so badly needs.
Here is how you can help
The address to support our entry isMission Small Business   Once on the page, click on “Log in and Support” on the lower right side. On the next screen, enter “My Senior Portal” for the company name and click on “Search“.   Directly below you will see our company name and click on “Vote” to cast your vote of support.   That is all you have to do. If you and your friends and family all vote for My Senior Portal, you will be part of an important effort to help this small business help our country’s vets throughout the US.
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Surprising Statistic-Almost half of new military veterans seek disability benefits

Why do you think more and more veterans are seeking disability benefits? According to an article by Marilynn Marchione in The Daily Caller, “America’s newest veterans are filing for disability benefits at a historic rate, claiming to be the most medically and mentally troubled generation of former troops the nation has ever seen.” Read more here.

According to Ms. Marchione, 45% of Iraq/Afghanistan War Veterans are seeking disability.

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Should Family Courts be able to divide a Veteran’s Disability Benefits?

In recent news, a disabled veteran has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider whether individual states should be allowed to consider a veteran’s disability compensation in calculating spousal support; and additionally whether federal law bars state courts from considering Veterans Administration disability benefits communal property to be divided in divorce like other marital assets.

This case involves the divorce of Peter James Barclay, an Air Force veteran, wherein an Oregon district court judge in 2010 considered the value of Peter Barclay’s VA disability payments in awarding spousal pay of $1,000 a month. He was married for nearly 20 years and his only income comes from VA benefits and Social Security Disability Insurance, a tax-free total of just more than $4,400 a month.  Barclay, 42, suffers from post-traumatic stress from his role as a Tinker Air Force Base first-responder to the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, Okla. Subsequent PTSD made him unemployable and eligible to draw VA compensation at the 100 percent disabled rate.

Barclay argued at trial that to include his disability pay in calculating spousal support would violate federal law. The court ignored that argument and the Oregon court of appeals affirmed the decision.  Following an appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to consider whether Title 38 U.S. Code, Section 5301(a), which makes VA disability benefits immune “from taxation, claims of creditors, attachment, levy and seizure,” also doesn’t bar inclusion of disability pay, directly or indirectly, in spousal support calculations.

What is your opinion on this subject?  Do you think that states are ignoring the federal law or do you think disability pay is designed to compensate solely the veteran for loss of income because of a service-connected medical condition?

This situation is further confused by the fact that different states follow different rules regarding veteran disability benefits.

I would love to hear your opinion about this or you can share your personal story.

Story source, Tom Philpott, Military Update


Posted in Disability Benefits, divorce, Military Veteran, Social Security Disability, Veteran disability benefits | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Unseen Affects of Delayed Disability Benefits

I ran across an article entitled “Veterans Face Ruin Awaiting Benefits as Wounded Swamp VA”.  The article discussing the many years that some veterans fight to get their disability benefits.  On average, my social security disability cases that go to a hearing take approximately 2 years, give or take some months.  That time frame can be a drop in the bucket for some veterans.  This article discusses on particular veteran who fought for 7 years to get her benefits.  While she eventually got her benefits, by the time she was approved, she was financially ruined and facing severe debt problems.  You can’t help but feel for those who are going through this progress, as many of us don’t take into consideration how disabled individuals support themselves and their families while applying for benefits.  Check out this article and tell me what you think or provide your own personal experience.

Posted in Disability Benefits, Military Veteran, Social Security Disability, Veteran disability benefits | 1 Comment

Do Attorney help improve Sucess with Veteran Disability Claims?

The following is from an article published in the Marine Corps Times.  The entire article can be found here.

“Veterans who get help generally fare better in claims decisions, according to Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the veterans’ committee chairman. “Being represented throughout the disability claims process is effective,” Miller said. “Study after study shows that veterans with representation have a greater chance of recovering their earned benefits than if they are not represented.”

“VA acknowledges as much. On average, compensation for a veteran represented by an agent, lawyer or veterans service officer was 144 percent higher than for a veteran who did not have representation, according to a 2005 report by the VA inspector general.”

I would like to hear your thoughts on the subject, particularly from those who have used attorneys to apply for Veteran Disability benefits or those who have applied on their own.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

SSA’s Compassionate Allowances Program for Faster Processing for Disabled and Veterans

The Social Security Administration’s Compassionate Allowances program list specific medical condition which allows to individuals whose conditions clearly meet the qualifications required to receive Social Security disability benefits to have their claims processes within weeks rather than months or years. As a result, many of these disability claimants can receive their benefits in just a couple of weeks. Earlier this month, the SSA announced 52 new Compassionate Allowances conditions that would be added to the list. The new conditions primarily involve neurological disorders, cancers and rare diseases.

Commissioner Astrue said that “Social Security will continue to work with the medical community and patient organizations to add more conditions. With our Compassionate Allowances program, we quickly approved disability benefits for nearly 61,000 people with severe disabilities in the past fiscal year, and nearly 173,000 applications since the program began.”

Launched in 2008 with a list of 50 diseases and conditions, the program is aimed at identifying medical diagnoses that clearly meet the statutory standard for disability. When individuals with those diagnoses apply for disability assistance, they receive a streamlined review so that they are notified of the final decision within days or weeks.

The 52 new Compassionate Allowances conditions, which will become effective in August 13, bring the total to 165. The new conditions qualifying under Compassionate Allowances are listed on their website.

Beginning on April 21, adults who file for benefits online will have the option to electronically sign and submit their medical records authorization forms, so that they may complete their disability application in a single online session rather than printing, signing and mailing some paper forms.

More than 60,000 Social Security disability claimants received fast-track assistance through the Compassionate Allowances program in FY 2011, according to the SSA. Each year, between 5 and 6 percent of all initial disability claims qualify for fast-track assistance through the Compassionate Allowances and Quick Disability Determinations programs.

Find more information about Compassionate Allowances by contacting Metts Law Firm, LLC. Our SSDI representative can help with the initial application forms, assist with collecting medical records and contacting doctor’s offices, provide expertise in building a claims file that will meet the SSA requirements for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, and follow-up on requests for information with SSA.

For more information about fast-tracking a claim or eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits, contact Metts Law Firm, LLC at (803) 929-0577.

Posted in Disability Benefits, Military Veteran, Social Security Disability, Veteran disability benefits | 1 Comment

Qualifying for spousal disability benefits after divorce?

If you are the divorced spouse of a worker who dies, you may qualify could get benefits just the same as a widow or widower, provided that your marriage lasted 10 years or more. Contact the SSA to find out if you qualify.

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How will the end of the war affect employment for Veterans?

Feds Are Gearing Up for Veterans’ Return to the Workforce, and
Employers Must Prepare as We Welcome Our Veterans Home.  Read more about it here.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments