Toledo Disability Benefits Lawyer Urges Government to Protect Social Security Program

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Recent projections indicate that Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits trust funds could run out by 2016, which raises concern about a cut in benefits for deserving Americans, says attorney Vernos J. Williams of Ohio’s Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A.

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Toledo Social Security disability benefits lawyer Vernos J. Williams

We know the important role that Social Security benefits play in the lives of the disabled. It’s important today. It will be important tomorrow. That’s why our government needs to make sure those funds will be there for them.

Toledo Social Security disability benefits lawyer Vernos J. Williams said today that lawmakers need to find ways to sustain Social Security funds in coming years to ensure that disabled Americans receive the benefits they deserve.

Funds for the Social Security disability program, which provides monthly income to millions of people each year, could be exhausted by 2016, the Wall Street Journal recently reported. Congress has examined ways to support the program but has failed to come up with a plan.

“It is crucial for our government to find ways to maintain the Social Security Disability program,” said Williams, the head of the Social Security Section at the Toledo law firm of Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A.

The firm helps clients in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan with filing for Social Security disability benefits. The firm’s Social Security disability attorneys also help clients with appeals if their initial applications are denied.

“Countless numbers of deserving individuals rely on their disability benefits to make ends meet because they are no longer able to earn sufficient incomes due to their medical conditions,” Williams said. “We need to make sure that they are protected.”

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program pays monthly benefits to people who are under age 65 and can no longer work because of a disability that is expected to last longer than 12 months or which is terminal.

Only people who are “insured,” or who have worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes, are eligible for the monthly cash benefits. People who have never worked and cannot because of a medically determined impairment may qualify for Supplemental Security Income provided they can show need, Williams said.

“Applicants must also have a qualifying medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s set definitions,” Williams said. “Approval depends on the person being able to substantiate a claim that they meet the disability requirements. That’s not always easy to do.”

The Social Security Administration in 2011 completed more than 3 million initial disability claims in 2011. About two-thirds of those claims were denied on the first try, the Washington Post reports.

Claimants who are not approved for benefits have the right to appeal the Social Security Administration’s decision. The appeal often involves collecting more documentation. In some cases, it also requires cross-examination of vocational experts who testify at hearings before administrative law judges.

Around half of denied claimants go through the appeals process, and the approval rate is anywhere between 60 and 75 percent, the Wall Street Journal article said.

Williams said people appealing Social Security Disability benefits can increase their chance of success by working with a skilled Social Security disability benefits lawyer who has experience with appeals.

“Obtaining the necessary records, even for the initial disability benefits application, can be overwhelming and confusing for applicants,” the Toledo attorney said.

“However, a Social Security disability benefits attorney knows what information to collect and who needs to be contacted to build the best application possible – right from the start. The stronger the application, the better the chances are for success.”

Williams said his firm’s disability benefits lawyers are committed to helping people with disabilities obtain the benefits they deserve.

“We know the important role that Social Security benefits play in the lives of the disabled,” he said. “It’s important today. It will be important tomorrow. That’s why our government needs to make sure those funds will be there for them.”

About Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A.

Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A., is a full service Toledo law firm that represents working men and women, individuals with disabilities and labor unions throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, including the communities of Toledo, Findlay, Bowling Green, Northwood, Oregon, Perrysburg, Sylvania, Lima, Defiance, Fremont, Sandusky and Waterville. In addition to a general practice, the firm assists clients in personal injury, workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, labor and bankruptcy cases. For more information, call Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. at (800) 352-1976 or use its online form.

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