How to get the social security benefits you deserve: Lesson One

Let’s face it, applying for social security can be a pretty daunting process. Some people will put off applying for benefits because they aren’t aware of how the process works. Well, if you have the right people helping you with your claim, the process can be quite simple. This is the first in a series of blogs and videos that will better explain the social security process as a whole. We are simply calling this series “How to get the benefits you deserve.” In our first blog we will examine what... Read More »

How Does Car Ownership Impact SSI Benefits?

I’ll be honest, when it comes to the Social Security process; I have a lot to learn. A recent transition in our firm has me now placed with the individuals who determine eligibility for new Social Security clients. For me it was kind of like what happened on “Lost” when they met “The Others.” In other words I am in unfamiliar territory. For the past three years I have only been around individuals who work in VA Disability. While I still work in the field of VA, I am now a part of the team that... Read More »

Keeping a Disability Tracking Log

We are pleased to have a guest blogger sharing some of his experience with us today. Curtis Kearns has been with our firm for nearly three years. He has recently taken over the leadership position in our leads and intake pod. Before that Curtis worked as a case manager. In his time working with our current clients, Curtis learned a lot of great tips for anyone going through the Social Security Disability process. Today he shares a helpful tip for keeping track of your disabilities.  As a Case... Read More »

New Website Feature to Improve Client Communications

There are nearly 3 billion people using the internet now. The use of smartphones has made logging on even easier. Did you know that 85% of smartphone users keep their phone within an arm’s reach at all times? We live a world that is connected. Jan Dils Attorneys at Law is no different.  We’ve always embraced technology at the firm. This is especially true when it comes to making the Social Security Process better for our clients. We are proud to introduce a new “Case Manager Contact” section of... Read More »

What if I'm "No Longer Disabled" at review?

Once you begin receiving disability benefits, you are not always guaranteed your benefits will continue indefinitely. The Social Security Administration will periodically review your claim to be certain that you still meet the requirements to be found disabled. Some reviews take place when a child turns 18 years of age and other reviews are recommended by an administrative law judge at the time a claim is adjudicated.  So what happens if you come up for review and are found ‘not disabled?’ You... Read More »

What is a trial work period?

If you are receiving disability benefits and want to test your ability to return to work, you are in luck. The Social Security Administration recognizes that returning to work is easier said than done. The trial work period (TWP) allows individuals that already receive benefits a chance to return to work without fear of their benefits ending. The TWP allows you to work for 9 months without benefit interruption within a consecutive 60 month period after you begin receiving benefits. These 9 months... Read More »

How do transferable skills impact social security?

Did you know that the skills you acquired in your past work experience may have an effect on your disability claim? In order to be found disabled, you have to prove that you cannot return to your previous work AND any other type of work. Your ability to do other jobs is directly related to the skills you acquired in your previous job(s). Some skills easily transfer into other professions, whereas many do not. If your work experience is considered to be unskilled or if you do not have a work... Read More »

How did Social Security overpay me?

Unfortunately, many disability beneficiaries experience overpayments. The most common overpayment occurs when the beneficiary does not report earnings to the Social Security Administration. That does not go without saying that the Administration also makes errors in computing monthly payments and processing reported earnings. If you have been overpaid disability benefits, the Administration will notify you in writing. This notice will explain how and when the overpayment occurred. In some... Read More »

Why do I have to fill out a Work History Report?

Have you ever wondered why you have to fill out a form regarding your work history when the government knows where you’ve worked? Well, the answer is quite simple. Though the Social Security Administration has easy access to your earnings and place of employment, they do not receive complete job descriptions for you. One of the factors in determining whether you can be awarded disability benefits is proving that you are unable to perform your past work. Even though the Dictionary of Occupational... Read More »

Is there a difference between Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia

While Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia are two distinct conditions, they share some of the same symptoms, so it can be difficult to distinguish between the two. Social Security may find that a person is disabled due to Fibromyalgia if they meet all three of these criteria: 1.            A history of widespread pain. 2.            Repeated occurrences of six or more Fibromyalgia symptoms, signs, or conditions that occur along with Fibromyalgia.  In particular, fatigue, cognitive or memory problems... Read More »

What happens if I receive a "Notice of Review?"

Unfortunately, if an administrative law judge issues a favorable decision in your claim, it does not mean that you are “in the clear.” The appeals council has the authority of issuing a review of any decision within 60 days. Some cases are reviewed after they have been referred to the appeals council, while others are randomly selected. Once the appeals council has decided to review a claim, both the claimant and the representative will be informed by written letter. This letter is referred to as... Read More »

Jan Dils (literally) Wrote The Book on Social Security

When it comes to cars, I can tell you almost anything about any make or model. For instance, did you know that even though the first generation Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan were essentially the same car, the back door openings on the Milan were actually wider than that of the Fusion? Probably not...and why would anyone need to know that? I know when different models had engine changes, which model year is the worst for the Ford Explorer, and even how to tell the difference between a Dodge Neon,... Read More »

Does receiving SSDI and SSI benefits qualify you to receive Food Stamps?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, helps low-income individuals and families afford to buy food.  As a general rule, if you receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI), your household can’t have more than $3,000 in resources to qualify for SNAP.  “Resources” include cash, bank accounts, and other property that you own, but your home and the property it is on are not counted as resources for SNAP consideration.  If you receive... Read More »

Good News for those Applying for SSD and VA Disability Benefits

While working in case management, I had the privilege of working directly with our wonderful clients.  I enjoyed being able to talk one-on-one about their claims, answer questions and concerns regarding the process, or offer a “listening ear,” so-to-speak, when things became frustrating or discouraging. While all my clients were very dear to me, our Veteran clients held a very special place in my heart. Many of our Vets are actively pursuing disability claims through the VA, as well as through... Read More »

Working Together To Get the Benefits You Deserve

It is a pleasure to come into work Monday - Friday to a place where “Client Centered Focus” is our #1 Core Value! When I first started with the firm two years ago, I couldn't wait to start helping our clients and was assured that was our main goal here at Jan Dils—HELPING OUR CLIENTS. In my opinion, our mission statement sums this up perfectly:                 “We are a client-centered team with an unparalleled work ethic that passionately dedicates our lives to providing a voice for the disabled... Read More »

Jan Dils to Celebrate 20th Anniversary This Year

Parkersburg, WV – January 17, 2014- Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, is ringing in the New Year by kicking off a year-long celebration to mark the firm’s 20th anniversary.  “It’s hard to believe that it’s been twenty years,” said founder Jan Dils.  “It is so rewarding to know that every day holds new opportunities to help make a real difference in someone’s life.  It keeps our team focused on what really matters, and we are ready to tackle the next twenty years!”  Jan Dils and team started in 1994... Read More »

60 Minutes Fails to Report the Truth Regarding Social Security

In our modern time, the access to information is greater than any other period in history. When an individual wants access to a subject, within a few clicks they can have more information than they would ever need. With this ease of access we also have to remember that not every article is accurate. Often time’s individuals or corporations can post something that seems factual, but is actually promoting a hidden agenda. “60 Minutes” is a television news magazine that many of us have trusted for... Read More »

Great Tools for Social Security Applicants

Most of the work I do for our firm is with Veterans, so when it comes to news about Social Security, it is all new to me. It’s kind of refreshing to learn something new, and different than what I am used to. Earlier this month the Social Security Administration turned 78! I personally had no idea it had been around since the 30’s. I decided to go the Social Security website to see what other information I could find. It turns out that the SSA has a lot of neat stuff on their website. For... Read More »

A Simple Guide to the Social Security Timeline

I was just interacting with one of our Social Security clients who received a favorable decision after two and a half years. He was happy and relieved to finally get his get this good news. This made me think about a question that we receive from a lot of our clients. They often ask me: “How long does a Social Security Claim take?” Most often the answer to the question above is simply “a long time.” While that short answer is true, it is not very helpful. It is also important to remember that no... Read More »

6 Tips to Get Your Social Security Claim Approved!

Getting your Social Security claim approved is not simple or quick. A lot of people think that we can speed up claims simply because we are attorneys, but unfo rtunately we can’t. While we can’t make a claim move faster, we can offer these 9 tips on how to get your claim approved. Try your best to keep appointments with the SSA or DDS. Missing these dates will likely cause your claim to be delayed because of the amount of time it takes to get appointments rescheduled. There are a lot of people... Read More »