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Disabled veterans will receive cost-of-living increase
Posted August 31, 2015
Veterans will get a cost of living increase for 2016.

Veterans will get a cost of living increase for 2016.

Those who were wounded while serving our country truly deserve the best. It appears Congress may be making a move toward this, as the MilitaryTimes reported that there will likely be a cost-of-living increase for disabled veterans in 2016.

However, this veterans benefits increase will be tied to Social Security Administration disability benefits. The increase her will not be known until October, so veterans and their families will have to wait to hear about the increase in their benefits.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives passed the cost of living adjustment for disabled veterans, calling it a “commonsense adjustment,” according to the MilitaryTimes. The Senate still has to approve this veterans benefits increase, but there is almost no chance that any politician will choose to vote against this increase in payment.

The increase may not be huge, as the adjustment was an increase of 1.7 percent for the SSA and veterans benefits last year.

MilitaryTimes reports that this new legislation also deems it necessary for VA to pay accrued benefits to a decreased veteran’s estate, even if the veteran passes away without family to receive the payout. This change was passed in an effort to make sure VA does not withhold or cancel payments before every eligible beneficiary is identified

In an era where veterans are often caught in a benefits backlog, it is good to see the U.S. government attempting to do the right thing for those who nobly served our country.

Depression, anxiety more heavily affects management, study shows
Posted August 24, 2015

Managers and supervisors at work have a greater chance of suffering from depression and anxiety, according to a recent report from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Those who find themselves suffering from depression and anxiety to the point of not being able to work should get professional medical help and apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.

According to the study, the results of which were printed in the journal Sociology of Health and Illness, approximately twice the number of supervisors and managers suffered from mental health issues than than workers. For example, 18 percent of supervisors and managers suffered from depression, whereas 12 percent of workers said they did.

The study said this may be due to the added stresses of being in a position of power. Katherine Keyes, PhD, assistant professor of Epidemiology, said they chose to focus on these two mental illnesses due to the fact that the age of onset is usually older.

Typically, the stress of having less money and power is thought of as something that causes depression and anxiety. This study shows that may not necessarily be the case; people across all walks of life should be sure they are being attentive to their mental healthcare needs.

Depression and anxiety symptoms are, far and away, the primary reason people are unable to perform in competitive employment. The combination of depression and anxiety symptoms disables them from seeking employment and from performing work activities. The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are experts in securing and presenting evidence to win Social Security benefits for it’s clients.

More than 50 million Americans live with disability
Posted August 10, 2015

In the midst of politicized talk of funding versus de-funding the Social Security Administration, it may become lost that those taking disability benefits are real people with serious problems. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that one in every five people, or 50 million Americans, live with a disability.

50 million Americans live with a disability (photo By Nicolai Berntsen)

50 million Americans live with a disability (photo By Nicolai Berntsen)

“This report is a snapshot of the percent of adults with disabilities in the U.S., so we can get a better understanding of who people with disabilities are,” said researcher Elizabeth Courtney-Long, a health scientist at the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

The most common disabilities include:

  • Mobility limitations which make it hard to climb stairs or walk
  • Trouble thinking or remembering
  • Inability to live independently
  • Sight
  • Self-care

The majority of those with disability tend to be 65 years or older and poor. Approximately 47 percent of people who suffered from disability made less than $15,000 annually. To compare, the median U.S. household income is about $50,500, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

For those who cannot work, it is important that they file for disability benefits as soon as possible. There is a large backlog of cases pending before the SSA and it often takes more than a year to either obtain an approval on the record or set a hearing.

The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates are experts in obtaining disability benefits for clients. We are available to effectively represent clients before the SSA. Initial consultations with our firm are free of charge.

Veterans benefits extended to same-sex married couples
Posted August 06, 2015

Gay veterans who are legally married will now have the ability to apply for and receive veterans benefits, according to The Hill.

In the wake of the ruling from Obergefell v. Hodges, a ruling which gave homosexual couples the right to marry, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced all federal agencies will be required to give benefits to married couples.

Lynch said this will include the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Before July, the SSA and VA were still prohibited by a federal statute from fully adopting rules that would allow SSA and VA benefits to extend to same-sex couples, the Hill reported.

“Today I am proud to announce that the critical programs for veterans and elderly and disabled Americans, which previously could not give effect to the marriages of couples living in states that did not recognize those marriages, will now provide federal recognition for all marriages nationwide,” Lynch said. “The agencies are currently working towards providing guidance to implement this change in law.”

The extra costs are not yet known by either agency, but it is invaluable to be able to extend veterans benefits to those who bravely served our country, no matter their orientation.

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