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Blog

  • As regular readers of SS&Y are aware, the Social Security Administration administers 2 trust funds. The Old Age Survivors Insurance (OAS’) fund pays retirement benefits. The Disability Insurance fund (DI) pays disability benefits. When Congress passed and President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act in November of 2015 to reallocate current contributions between the OASI…

    7+ months ago
  • The Social Security Administration has announced there will be no Cost of Living Adjustment in 2016 for the nearly 65 million Americans drawing Social Security disability, retirement or SSI benefits.  This is because there was no inflation between the third quarter of 2014 and 2015 as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage…

    2+ years ago

News

  • Spring-Summer 2015 Newsletter SSDI Insolvency Looms We’ve known it’s been coming for some time and now it’s on our doorstep. Unless Congress acts the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund (DI Trust Fund) will become insolvent late next year and unable to pay full benefits any longer. Millions of Americans who rely on their disability checks for most, if not all,…

    2+ years ago
  • Fall 2014 Newsletter OBAMACARE UPDATE On October 1st it will have been a year since enrollment began in the Affordable Care Act national health insurance program known as Obamacare. The difficulties in the early weeks and months have been well documented. But where are we a year later… Read the Newsletter in PDF format.   Read the Newsletter in PDF…

    2+ years ago

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN AVERTED. SS & MEDICARE BENEFITS ARE SAFE FOR NOW.

Well, recipients of Social Security & Medicare benefits can rest easy. The threatened government shutdown was averted as President Obama & Republicans in Congress agreed on 38 billion dollars in budget cuts through October 1 and agreed to leave social & political issues, such as abortion, out of the process.

I heard various analyses of what would have happened to Social Security benefits. NOSSCR, the National Organization of Social Security Claimant’s Representatives, of which I’m a member, provided me with a copy of a letter dated April 7, 2011 addressed to Danieal Werful, Controller of the Office of Federal Financial Management from Michael G. Gallagher, Deputy Commissioner. The letter contained a contingency plan in case of a federal shutdown.

The letter harkens back to the 1996 shutdown when Bill Clinton was president. During those weeks checks continued and new claims were processed. However, other “non-essential” services such as updating earnings records and issuing replacement cards were not provided. Hours were reduced, as well.

Administrative Law Judges would have continued to hear appeals and decide cases but other ODAR employees would have been furloughed. Not sure how that would have worked. I don’t know that the ALJs would have been working the front desk, answering the phone or scheduling hearings. And decision writing was not an activity that would have continued.

Next up is raising the federal debt ceiling.

In the meantime, House Budget Committee Chairman, Paul Ryan, (R) WI, proposed sweeping changes to Medicare & Medicaid. Medicare would essentially be privatized under Rep. Ryan’s plan. Neither program would resemble the current plan. Medicare would become a program where recipients would redeem vouchers with private sector providers. Medicaid would become state block grant program where the federal government would give money to the states to do with what they wish.

And the study spotlight shines this time on a study by the National Cancer Institute on how we metabolize caffeine. Naturally, there is a genetic marker that predisposes humans to crave and handle caffeine or not. Those with one gene function well and presumably are the ones that drink coffee all day and those with the other gene get the jitters (like me) and stay away.

Call today if you have questions about the Michigan Social Security Disability Attorney and Lawyer Services provided by William Crawforth.

To schedule an appointment call 800-864-1244 or fill out the contact form at the top of this page.

  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Washtenaw County Bar Association
  • National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives

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