Pawtucket residents receiving aid under Social Security have received mixed news regarding their benefits. According to an article by the Providence Journal, benefits will increase by 1.5 percent in 2014. This increase is good news for the 58 million Americans who currently receive aid but the bad news is that this one of the smallest increases since automatic adjustments were first adopted. Cost-of-living adjustments, like the 1.5 percent increase, are determined by the rate of inflation. According to the article, the wage threshold will also increase to $117,000. This means that wages that exceed $117,000 will not be subject to the 12.4 percent Social Security tax. AARP vice president Nancy LeaMond stated that this cost-of-living adjustment “helps beneficiaries of all ages maintain their standard of living” but the increase “will quickly be consumed by the rising costs of basic needs like food, utilities, and health care (i).”
Reduction in Food Stamps Could be a Financial Challenge for Some.
According to an article from the Huffington Post, another financial challenge that many who receive government benefits will face is a reduction in food stamps. For people who rely on both Social Security and food stamps, the 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment may be negated by the reduction in food stamps. According to the article, one such individual saw a $15 increase in Social Security and $20 decrease in food stamps resulting in a net decrease of $5 (ii).
Some People Have Been Taking Advantage of Benefits Intended for the Disabled.
Many people feel helpless as their benefits fluctuate based on changes in government policy and still many other people who qualify for benefits feel helpless when their application is denied entirely. Statistics have shown that up to 75% of first time applicants are denied but these people need to know that the process does not stop after the denial of the initial application. Upon receiving this denial, applicants should look into appealing the Social Security Administration’s decision. The law firm of d’Oliveira & Associates provides help to applicants who have been denied and we offer a free no obligation case evaluation to everyone. If we are successful after a reconsideration or hearing, you may even receive past due benefits.
Living with a disability is a serious matter that often limits day-to-day activities. Unfortunately, some people have been taking advantage of benefits intended for the disabled. According to an article by Time Magazine, “an increasing number of ethically challenged human beings are faking disabilities in order to snag good parking spots, cut lines at theme parks, or just bring their dogs into restaurants.” The article reported that Rhode Island has seen an increase in the number of cars fraudulently displaying handicapped parking placards near the state’s bus and train stops. A RI police officer said this fraud is “an affront to the persons who have a disability and need the space.” People using a handicap placard registered to someone else were fined $500 by law enforcement (iii). There is no way to fully measure the negative effect of this type of fraud but it certainly harms people who do in fact have a disability. Our law firm works has been fighting to protect disabled Rhode Island residents for more than twenty-four years.
If you or a loved one needs help appealing a denial of Social Security Disability benefits, then you should contact the lawyers at our Pawtucket office. Our legal staff is ready to answer your questions about your denial and the legal services we can provide to you. There are no legal fees for our services unless we are successful in appealing your case. Feel free to call us at 1-800-992-6878, or fill out an online contact form for a free legal consultation.d’Oliveira & Associates
Pawtucket, RI 02860
Phone: (401) 365-6001
- (i) Social Security Benefit to go up by 1.5 Percent, October 30, 2013.
- (ii) Huffington Post, November 11, 2013.
- (iii) Time, National Epidemic of Horrible People Pretending to be Disabled, October 12, 2013.