Posts in:September, 2020

Mourning the Passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Posted September 25, 2020 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Premier Disability Services, LLC joins the rest of the country in mourning the loss late last week of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a trailblazer for gender equality.

During Ginsburg’s early years as a lawyer, the Social Security Act contained several sections applicable only to one gender. In Weinberger vs Wiesenfeld, 420 U.S. 636 (1975) Ginsburg successfully argued that the gender-based distinction under 42 U.S.C. § 402(g) of the Social Security Act of 1935—which permitted widows but not widowers to collect benefits while caring for minor children—violated the right to equal protection secured by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Throughout her lifetime, Justice Ginsburg remained friendly with Stephen Wisenfeld, who spoke at her confirmation hearing after her nomination to the Supreme Court. In 2014 she officiated at his second marriage. In Califano v. Goldfarb, 430 U.S. 199 (1977) Ginsburg convinced the Court that 42 USC Section 402, which required a widower to have been receiving half his support from his wife at the time of her death but did not impose this requirement on widows was also an unconstitutional violation of the Due Process clause.

While serving on the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg wrote the unanimous or majority opinion for several Social Security cases including Gisbrecht v. Barnhart, 535 U.S. 789, (2002) which held that the reasonableness of the parties contract, and not the lodestar method is the appropriate method for calculating a reasonable attorney’s fee under 42 USC §406(b); Black & Decker Disability Plan v. Nord, 538 U.S. 822 (2003) which held that the Social Security’s treating physician rule is not applicable in ERISA cases; and Astrue v. Capato, 566 U.S. 541132 S.Ct. 2021, 182 L.Ed 887 (2012) which held that posthumously conceived children who can inherit under the laws of intestacy of the state where their deceased father was domiciled at the time of death can meet the Social Security Act’s definition of “child” under 42 U.S.C. § 416(h)(2)(A) and be eligible to receive survivor’s benefits.

Our best wishes go out to Justice Ginsburg’s family and all of those who’s lives she has touched.

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Much More Than Checks: How Social Security Depends on the Mail

Posted September 18, 2020 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Top officials are warning that the problems afflicting the United States Postal Service pose a threat to more than voting rights — a slowdown in services, they say, will also hurt seniors who rely on letter carriers for Social Security checks, medications and other critical mail. Already, concerns about prescription drug deliveries are surfacing — but how about Social Security payments? Should beneficiaries be concerned?

Accounts of mail slowdowns and curtailed service emerged after Louis DeJoy became postmaster general in May. Mr. DeJoy has pushed changes he says will help the Postal Service grow and “embark on a path of sustainability.”

Over the past two decades, the Social Security Administration has shifted to electronic payment for most beneficiaries, but that doesn’t mean the agency’s operations are not vulnerable to delays in mail service. The agency currently pays 99 percent of Social Security beneficiaries via direct deposit to a checking or savings account, or a government-issued debit card. But nearly 850,000 paper checks still are mailed each month to recipients of retirement, disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits. Social Security also sends and receives millions of pieces of mail every year, including notifications, requests for information, Medicare enrollment forms and replacement Social Security cards. More isolated, rural parts of the country are particularly vulnerable to problems within the postal system. Moreover, the shutdown since March of Social Security’s national network of field offices because of the pandemic means that more business is being transacted through the Postal Service that normally would be handled through in-person visits.

The pandemic makes the U.S.P.S. more important than ever to Social Security’s operations, says Stacy Braverman Cloyd, director of policy and administrative advocacy for the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives, a specialized bar association for lawyers and advocates who represent people claiming Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income.

“To the extent the Postal Service becomes less reliable, or people have less confidence in it, those are real problems, and they couldn’t happen at a worse time.”

Full article:

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Preventing Social Security Benefit Cuts is a Top Priority for Americans in 2020 Election

Posted September 11, 2020 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

When Americans go to the polls this November, preventing Social Security benefit cuts will be one of the top issues on their minds. That’s according to a poll conducted by Data for Progress, a progressive think tank, and released with Social Security Works, an advocacy organization.

The results show that protecting Social Security ranked among the top answers, with 54% of respondents, when they were asked to pick their top three priorities for the 2020 election. Other top issues also affect Americans’ wallets. That included universal health care, with 29%; raising the minimum wage, 26%; and reducing the wealth gap, 25%.

Those who were more likely to rank preventing Social Security cuts as a top concern include women, with 67%, compared to just 39% of men.

Those ages 45 and up were also more likely to give Social Security a high priority, with 68%, versus 23% of those under 45.

Full article:

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®