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... 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 »

How Will I Know When I am Approved?

Our blog has been discussing the end process of Social Security, but something we have not mentioned is how the SSA lets you know you are approved. Well, like most things with Social Security, it involves a piece of paper. You will receive an award letter, also called a Notice of Award. This is a letter from the SSA that answers most of the questions you will have, such as when you should expect payment, how much your payments will be, and information about any back pay you may receive. Unlike... Read More »

When Will I Get My Back Pay?

After your long Social Security process you are thrilled to get approved. After that, you are likely going to want your back pay, but when will you get it? Monthly payments are sent by check or by direct deposit into your checking or savings account. If you have a checking or savings account, the SSA prefers making payments by direct deposit and may insist upon doing so.  SSI monthly payments are scheduled to be received on the first day of each month. If the first falls on a weekend or a... Read More »

Do I Have to Report Anything to Social Security After I’m Approved?

So, the day finally came and you were approved for your social security claim. All of that hard work paid off, and you finally rest easy now that you are starting to receive your monthly benefits.  It’s safe to say that you are completely done with Social Security, right? Well that is not necessarily true. If you experience certain life changes you have to report them to Social Security. The following are changes that you must report: If you return to work. If you become incarcerated. If you are... Read More »

What is Form SSA-827, and What Do You Need to Know About it?

I have a confession to make; I am one of those rare people who genuinely enjoy paperwork. Working in a law firm that deals with government agencies like the Social Security Administration is probably a perfect fit for me. The one thing I like more than filling out a form, is making them better. It’s clear that I have established my credibility when it comes to paperwork, so let’s look into Form SSA-827, Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration. I interpret this... Read More »

What I Learned About Earnings Reports

Do you remember those earnings reports you used to get in the mail from time to time from the Social Security Administration? I sure do. I always found them interesting when I was younger, but then I started working for our law firm, and wanted to find out what they really meant. I was curious to learn more, so I spoke to Jenny, one of our Case Managers, and she told me a little more about them. She informed me that while we don’t have access to them, clients often find them very helpful because... Read More »

Can I file my initial application for Disability Benefits with you instead of Social Security?

Online applications can be processed for most potential new client’s right here in our office; however, there are a few exceptions listed below: Why all claims can’t be filed with us directly…. Because these types of claims involve sensitive information such as income, assets and any personal items that may affect the monthly benefits that a claimant will ultimately receive, there are many permissions that have to be granted as well as specific research involved. Most, if not all of this work, can... Read More »

What a Consultative Exam means for your Social Security Claim

If you have a claim pending for Social Security, you may be asked to attend a Consultative Examination. These exams may be ordered by the Social Security Administration, or, in some cases, your attorney may request this type of procedure. Let’s learn a little more about Consultative Exams. You are likely wondering why the SSA or your attorney has ordered this procedure. The reason is actually quite simple. These exams are ordered when a claimant cannot afford treatment at traditional facilities,... Read More »

How will a judge decide my case?

The Social Security Administration has a five step sequential process in place that every ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) must use to evaluate each claim they are assigned. The first step is to determine if the claimant is working at a level above what the SSA deems acceptable to still qualify for benefits.  Substantial gainful activity, or SGA, is work activity for a profit that is defined by a certain gross monthly income level. If a person is working full time, or at a level above SGA, despite... Read More »

Why Did My Friend Get Social Security Benefits Already?

One day a very frantic gentleman called me on the phone screaming, “My friend already got his benefits and why I haven’t gotten mine? Heck, he’s not even disabled and I’ve been waiting over a year for my benefits!” I figured the best way for me to calm him down was to explain how the process works and why (though it may seem unfair) some will get approved more quickly than others. I first explained that getting approved for Social Security Disability benefits was based on a few things like... Read More »

What is an ALJ?

The term ALJ is an abbreviation for Administrative Law Judge. This is the person who decides your case at the hearing level.  The job of the ALJ is to follow a five step sequential process and to apply the law to your claim for the evaluation of disability. It is at this level of appeal with the ALJ that you can tell your story directly to the person assigned to decide your claim. This is a very important level because until this time, your case has been decided solely upon your medical records... Read More »