Archive | December, 2008

Social Security Site Allows You to Calculate Benefits

The official Social Security website gives valuable information that allows you to estimate your retirement benefit — this figure will also be approximately what you would draw as a disabled person. Your retiremnet entitlement stays in the fund until you retire, unless you become disabled before retirement age. If you can prove you meet disability […]

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Staffing Shortages Cause Hearing Waits, Say Oregonian Investigative Reporters

In this week’s (Portland) Oregonian, investigative reporters search out the causes of the enormous backlogs in waits for hearings. Rare interviews with sitting judges reveal the staffing shortages that keep them from being fully productive: The slow pace of a few judges and an overwhelmed staff at Portland’s Social Security hearing office are key reasons […]

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The Invisible World of Brain Injuries

Here’s a window into the invisible world of those with brain injuries, a touching story from the Ventura County Star in California: …”It really just has to do with the degree of brain injury, said Dr. James Herman, a neurosurgeon at Ventura County Medical Center. There are certain areas of the brain, if you have […]

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With 401K’s Disappearing, Social Security Retirement’s Solid Value Becomes Clear

From Today’s New York Times, here’s an interesting reminder about the core value of the Social Security system, in an era of disappearing private retirement programs: The availability, stability and value of traditional defined benefit pensions are diminished. Americans are experiencing dramatic losses in 401(k) and I.R.A. retirement savings accounts. Home equity is shrinking. Employers […]

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Vets Still Wait for Expedited Disability Claims

There was nothing dramatic about how Spc. Cristapher Zuetlau’s career in the Army came to an end: he stepped in a hole. But the damage to the tank crewman’s wrenched back was so brutal he can barely walk. The Army agreed he was no longer fit to serve, but in doing so determined his disability […]

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New York Times: The Year in New Ideas for Retirement

Teresa Ghilarducci, an economist at the New School for Social Research, has emerged as the primary exponent of “Guaranteed Retirement Accounts,” or G.R.A.’s. The way they work is simple: workers who don’t have access to a conventional defined-benefit plan would contribute 2.5 percent of their income (with the government seeding the first $600 of that […]

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Wait Two Years for Medicare if You’re Disabled

Newsweek reports: (WASHINGTON) Master toolmaker John McClain built machine parts with details so small they couldn’t be seen with the naked eye. Then a lump on his neck turned out to be cancer. Shalonda Frederick managed a bakery, and decorated cakes for special occasions. One day her face and hands, and her arms and legs, […]

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Social Security Will Use Electronic Screening for Disability Cases

The Social Security Administration will begin using the Nationwide Health Information Network in early 2009 to evaluate disability claims, according to an agency announcement released Dec. 16. NHIN is designed to connect providers, consumers and others involved in health care. SSA will use the network to receive medical records for some disability applicants. The records […]

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