Although there is some good information on Social Security Administration disability on their website, PBS blogger Larry Kotlikoff made a good point on a recent blog post that it may be a bad idea to trust everything that is said to be the full-disclosure truth.
“I don’t believe they are intentionally trying to trap people,” he said. “But I believe their ‘advice’ traps people into making the wrong decisions.”
The example he gives is a spouse benefit from the SSA. One sentence on the website says “this reduction factor is applied to the base spousal benefit, which is 50 percent of the worker’s primary insurance amount,” which is completely wrong, according to Kotlikoff. It applies to the excess spousal benefit he said, which is the base benefit minuses the spouses insurance amount.
This point should not be taken lightly. As well as some at-home research can go for someone applying for SSA disability benefits occasionally, it will help to have a legal representative to assist on filing paperwork, obtaining medical records and generally give good advice to the client.
While the employees of the SSA who prepare articles and brochures intended to advise the general public about disability and retirement benefits mean well, claimants should take such advice with a grain of salt and seek the professional services of their own counsel. This will help advise them about the law and regulations applicable to their situation.
The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates are available to advise clients concerning the Social Security regulations and the impact on a client’s particular situation. This will help the client achieve maximum benefits from the Social Security system.