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In this podcast we will discuss current affairs centered around national security, politics, religion, and social justice issues. Our goal is not to give our listeners the answers but rather to encourage them to discover their own authentic truth. My goal is to encourage people to think beyond their comfort zones. I want to encourage people to recognize their biases and challenge themselves to extend their thinking to consider different points of view. Incidentally, I do not see "bias" autom ...
 
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Why do some Social Security disability claims get approved within two to three months, whereas others are denied twice before you end up a year and a half later in front of a Social Security judge? More importantly, what can you do to improve your chances at an early approval? In this episode, I talk to Nashville disability attorney Pete Harris. Pe…
 
How can you improve your chances at winning Social Security disability benefits if you are struggling with a mental health condition like severe depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, PTSD or other issue that prevents you from working? In part 2 of my interview with Phoenix, Arizona attorney Jeffrey Herman, we dive deeper into questions about what…
 
What are proven strategies you or a loved one can use to win a mental health disability claim? This is part one of a two part episode in which I interview Scottsdale, Arizona attorney Jeffrey Herman about how he approaches the challenges of representing deserving claimants who are struggling with mental health issues. In part one, Jeffrey and I go …
 
Earlier this year I published part one of my interview with Cameron Connah, a former staff attorney with Social Security responsible for drafting approvals and denials to be released by Social Security judges. As a decision writer Cameron had the unique opportunity to listen to literally hundreds of hearing audio recordings and to interact with doz…
 
What should you expect from your lawyer during the long delays typical of most Social Security disability claims? As you may know, Social Security moves at a snail's pace when deciding claims - it is not at all unusual for a case to take two years or longer from start to finish. What is your lawyer doing during these long delays and how do you know…
 
Would you be surprised to learn that the judge who hears your disability case is not the person who actually writes the approval or denial in your case? In the strange universe that is Social Security disability, a "decision writer" working in a cubicle hundreds of miles from the judge and weeks after your actual hearing will sit down with the exhi…
 
After waiting as long as two years or more for your hearing, you are finally scheduled to appear before a Social Security disability judge to present your case for disability benefits. Your hearing will last around 45 minutes so every minute counts. Should you assume that the judge has read through every page of your medical record? Will the judge …
 
The one constant in the Social Security disability program is delay. You'll wait months for a decision after you apply, months for a decision on your appeal, and months for a hearing date. After your hearing, you may wait weeks or months for a decision and if you win, you may wait months before you are paid. Nothing is more frustrating knowing that…
 
The federal government administers two huge disability programs - one for workers who can longer reliably perform a full time job (Social Security disability), and the second a program that pays cash benefits to soldiers injured while serving in the armed forces. You would think that the standards and procedures for obtaining disability benefits wo…
 
What are the trends that we are seeing in the Social Security disability world and what can you expect in 2020 and beyond. If you have an active application for benefits, or if you have already been approved but are concerned about a possible "continuing disability review" you need to educate yourself about the big picture as seen by a Social Secur…
 
Even though Social Security disability hearings are considered "informal" you will no doubt be stressed when you appear before the administrative law judge. Judges are very busy - often understaffed and under pressure to close cases quickly. Experienced lawyers know that thorough and complete case preparation will make your judge's life easier and …
 
I get a lot of questions about Social Security disability hearings. Disability hearings are unlike other court proceedings you may be familiar with because there is no attorney on the other side representing the Social Security Administration and the judge in your case serves as both a finder of fact, and SSA's representative. Another bizarre eleme…
 
If you are 50 years old or older you have an advantage when applying for Social Security disability. In the last episode of this podcast I talked about the grid rules - a shortcut to winning for those over age 50. But not everyone fits into a grid rule, so what can you do? In this episode of the podcast I reveal other proven strategies for winning …
 
Did you know that Social Security has a built in bias in favor of disability claimants over the age of 50? In addition to claiming disability based on SSA's listings, or presenting evidence of diminished capacity for work, the grid rules allow many claimants over 50 to win disability benefits even if they still have the ability to work full time. S…
 
What makes your Social Security disability claim stand out from the 20 or 30 other cases that your judge hears during the week your hearing is scheduled. Every other person your judge hears from that week, that month and that year sincerely believes that he or she is disabled and deserving of disability benefits. Statistically, Social Security judg…
 
Back pain is perhaps the most common ailment for adults in the United States, so it is no surprise that Social Security disability judges see more back pain claims than any other medical complaint. Because back pain cases are so common, yours must stand out if you hope to win. In this podcast episode I discuss what I consider to be the five element…
 
What type of evidence does a Social Security disability judge need to approve your claim? Social Security defines disability in terms of how your medical problems impact your capacity for work. But your judge won't approve your claim unless your file contains compelling evidence supporting your claim. In this episode, I discuss the strongest eviden…
 
After two years the Special Counsel's report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election is complete. The report contains almost 400 pages therefore having the ability to search for specific names or subjects is very helpful. See the link to the left to download the report.…
 
What are the common mistakes that you need to avoid when filing your Social Security disability claim and appealing a denial. What do you need to watch out for at your disability hearing? In this episode, I interview Chicago Social Security disability lawyer Jonathan Pearson. Jonathan lives and works in Chicago, where he represents disability claim…
 
What happens if you lose at your hearing, file an appeal to the Appeals Council and lose there as well? Do you have any remaining options? My guest today is Karl Osterhout, a lawyer based in Pittsburgh who has built a substantial national practice representing claimants before the Appeals Council and in Federal Court. As we will discover, federal c…
 
What happens if you lose at your hearing? What are your options? Social Security disability law says that if you lose you can either start over with a new application, or you can appeal the hearing judge's denial by filing Form HA-520. How do you know which way to proceed? My guest today is Karl Osterhout, a lawyer based in Pittsburgh who has built…
 
Since the average Social Security disability case can take two to three years from the date you file until the date of your hearing, you can expect the judge who hears your case to ask you about your activities during this long delay. In this episode I discuss seven types of activities that you should avoid while you wait for your court date. While…
 
How do you know if you are sick or injured enough to win Social Security disability benefits? While every case is different, certain patterns do emerge, and after 25+ years of trying cases, I want to share with you my opinions about what it takes to win SSDI benefits now. If your impairment is physical or involves a damaged body part or system, Soc…
 
How does the Social Security Administration decide your case? As I discuss in this podcast, Social Security about 1/3 of claims are approved when a claimant first applies. Those denied must appeal - first by filing a "Request for Reconsideration" and when that is denied (as it usually is) by filing a "Request for Hearing." In this podcast I will wa…
 
What is the difference between SSDI and SSI? As I discuss in this episode, SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance. It is an insurance program and the payroll taxes you paid while you were working are the premiums. You earn insurance "credits" based on your gross earnings. In 2018, you earn one credit for every $1,320 of gross earnings…
 
If you decide to apply for Social Security disability, you have to prove to the Social Security Administration that you are disabled. In the last episode, I explained how SSA defines the term "disabled." In this episode, I discuss the three arguments, or theories of disability, you must use to convince SSA that you meet the definition. The three ar…
 
How does Social Security define the term "disability?" Under the law, you are disabled if you are unable to engage in substantial gainful activity because of a medically determinable condition or conditions that has lasted or is expected to last 12 consecutive months, or result in death. What does this mean? In this episode, I unpack this definitio…
 
This is a continuation of an interview with Paul Greenberg conducted on August 22, 2018 Paul Greenberg's partial transcript. "If you turn on your TV at night and you go to a cable station, you’re probably going to see somebody who is white more than you’ll see somebody who is black, or Latino, or Hispanic, or Asian, or whatever. We have a lot of di…
 
Here is a sample of the transcript from Paul Greenberg's interview about ethics and bias in the media. "Starting about 1980, that's when CNN went on the air, we had a 24-hour news cycle. When you have a 24-hour news cycle—if you can sort of fast-forward all these years later and you have all these different platforms in which the information can re…
 
Retired Colonel, Ann Wright, is one of three persons in the U.S. State Department to resign in protest against the Iraq War. At the time, opposing the invasion of Iraq was considered to be anti-American. Today, experts widely recognize that the 2003 Iraq invasion contributed to the instability in the Middle East and fueled the rise of the Islamic S…
 
The American people are very resilient, and strong people. We got kicked, but we weren't knocked down. We were woken up. And I’ll tell you right now. If you don’t understand the difference between politics and national security, you’re going to be Putin’s best customer. Pull yourself out of your Republican mindset, pull yourself out of the Democrat…
 
What President Putin is doing right now is administering a very effective Active Measure. An Active Measure basically is a dirty trick used by the intelligence community. And the Active Measure is based upon mistruths and misrepresentation designed to fracture the societal community of the United States and it’s working. Why is it called active mea…
 
Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage. Part D covers prescription drugs, and is provided by private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare. You must have Medicare Part A or Part B to join a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan.For more information on Medicare Part D & what it entails, download our New to Medicare Guide: https:/…
 
Medicare Part C, known as Medicare Advantage, is a type of plan offered by private insurance carriers who have a contract with Medicare and are required to offer the same benefits as Original Medicare, however, you don’t lose Original Medicare by enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan.For more information on Medicare Part C & what it entails, downl…
 
When you're first eligible for Medicare, you have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B.- The three months before the month you turn 65- The month of your 65th birthday- The three months after the month you turn 65For more Medicare enrollment tips and advice, visit:3 Ways to Prepare for Medicare Enrollment:https://…
 
Medicare Part B is often referred to as medical insurance. Part B covers your doctor and specialists visits, outpatient care, home health services, preventative services, as well as medical procedures when admitted to the hospital. It covers: Clinical ResearchOne-Time “Welcome to Medicare” Wellness ExamAnnual “Wellness” visit every 12 monthsLaborat…
 
Medicare Part A is most commonly referred to as hospital insurance. Part A will cover semi-private rooms, meals, general nursing, drugs as part of your inpatient treatment in addition to hospital services and supplies. It covers:Hospital Services & Emergency CareHospital CareSkilled Nursing Facility CareInpatient Rehabilitation FacilitiesHome Healt…
 
The Federal government maintains a program called the Low Income Subsidy Program (LIS). It is often times also referred to as Extra Help. This program helps those with a limited income and resources pay for their prescription drug costs associated with Medicare. For more information on the LIS Program, visit:7 Facts Medicare Eligibles Should Know A…
 
The amount of information that a Medicare eligible starts to receive before their 65th birthday is no joke! It is easy to want to toss it all aside (or in the trash) and wait before making any decisions. The problem in choosing to wait is that once you make that decision you leave yourself with limited time frame in which to make your decisions. Wi…
 
Medicare will not be available to many of us until we are age 65, but for those with long term disabilities or those who have been diagnosed with specific diseases, Medicare is available much sooner. We explore what you can do if you're currently receiving disability in regards to Medicare. For more information on how Medicare and Disability work t…
 
Health insurance provided to an employee, and often times their family members, is called Group Health Insurance Coverage. Having group coverage through an employer can be an integral part of any employee benefit package. Employees that have group health coverage may be used to several different benefits. We list a few here.For the pros and cons of…
 
If you're retiring soon and you're currently receiving SS benefits, should you enroll in Medicare? We answer this question and more in this podcast. For more information pertaining Medicare and Retirement, download our New to Medicare guide and go to the 12 Medicare Scenarios section: https://www.trustedseniorspecialists.com/updated-2017-new-to-med…
 
If you are a Veteran receiving VA benefits you can also be enrolled in Medicare once you become eligible, in fact it is encouraged. The VA provides many services for those who have served our country and their dependents such as financial assistance, education, home loans and healthcare. However, there can be limitations to the services you receive…
 
If you have received Retirement Insurance from your employer to hold you over as you transition from the work field into retirement, should you enroll in Medicare? Here are some options that might pique your interest.For more information on what you should do in this situation, visit:https://www.trustedseniorspecialists.com/updated-2017-new-to-medi…
 
If you are age 65 or older and are losing or leaving your group health insurance, you will need to plan meticulously if you are considering COBRA as your insurance option. The role that COBRA plays in the transition from group health insurance to Medicare is often misunderstood. We're here to clear a few things up. For more information on how Medic…
 
If you're waiting on your Social Security benefits to kick in and you're unsure if you should delay enrolling in Medicare, think again. Here are some things you should consider.For more information on Social Security and Medicare, visit:https://www.trustedseniorspecialists.com/apply-for-social-securityFor immediate Medicare questions or concerns, f…
 
Working past traditional retirement age used to be uncommon. The Department of Labor Statistics estimated that about 15 percent of people over 65 still worked in 2006. Today, the number of people who wait to retire until between 66 and 74 years of age is expected to top one in four. At over the age of 74, almost 10 percent of the population may be …
 
Are you new to Medicare and not sure where to start? If you need help understanding the basics of Medicare and what it all entails, here are four things you'll need to know before committing to any health care plan. As complicated as it all may sound, once you make yourself familiar with all the parts of Medicare, deciding what is best for you and …
 
It is not just income that might impact Medicare premiums: social security could also raise premiums for some higher income beneficiaries. Here are some ways in which your Social Security plays into your benefits.For more information on how Medicare and Social Security impact each other, read the blogs below:Important Social Security Changes Medica…
 
Knowing when to enroll in Medicare Part B and Part D is very important. Often times beneficiaries are unaware as to when to enroll leading to much confusion, and that can end up being costly. You see, if you do not get enrolled when you are first eligible, or when you lose Creditable Coverage, you may get stuck with a hefty lifetime penalty.For mor…
 
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