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October 16, 2009

Are My Social Security Disability Benefits Taxable?

Indiana Social Security disability benefit recipients often ask if their benefit is taxable.  If you are approved for Social Security disability benefits, your benefits may be taxable. You may have tax obligations if you have other sources of income besides your disability payment, or if your spouse earns a substantial income, and there also may be other factors that may affect your tax situation.  Taxable Social Security benefits may include monthly Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Although, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are not considered taxable income. If you have income in addition to your benefits, you may have to file a return even if none of your benefits are taxable.  Each personal financial situation with regard to Social Security disability benefits can be unique. It is always important when working with income taxes to either consult a tax professional or do your own extensive research when preparing your taxes.  The IRS website can be helpful when determining whether your benefits are taxable or not.  The above information concerning taxes and social security benefits should not be construed as tax advice, but rather a brief summary of information gathered from various sources. If you would like a free consultation regarding Social Security disability benefits, please contact Indianapolis Attorney Scott D. Lewis at (317) 423-888 for a free consultation.

Filed under: Social Security Disability Benefits
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October 1, 2009

Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Website

Applying for Social Security disability benefits is not the only thing you can do on the Social Security Administration’s website. Do you get frustrated with the long wait while visiting the Social Security Administration (SSA) or get annoyed by being placed on hold before a real person answers your call?  In our fast paced technology rich world in many cases you do not have to stand in a long line at a social security office or be placed on hold trying to contact the SSA through a toll free number.  For those that have internet access, you can simply go to www.ssa.gov and see if what you need is at your fingertips. You may be surprised by some of your options available at SSA’s website.   Some items available to you are: you can find out if you qualify for benefits; you can apply for benefits; or see what your benefits might be in the future If you are already receiving benefits, you can: file a change of address or phone number ask for a letter proving your income If you have misplaced your Medicare card, you can get a replacement just by applying online.  You can even get information of on requesting a Social Security card.  The SSA’s website is very informative and many resources are available such as forms and publications.  You may find the easiest way to locate your local Social Security Administration office is by visiting the SSA’s website.   These are just some of the topics that may be of value to Indiana residents who need to interact with SSA or perhaps apply for Social Security disability benefits.  If you didn’t know, there is even a tutorial video about the website. So if you do not want to waste any more of your valuable time by waiting in lines or have your phone glued to your ear, … Continued

Filed under: Social Security Disability Benefits
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August 26, 2009

Social Security to Repay Denied Disability or Retirement Benefits Due to Recent Settlement

A class action lawsuit, Martinez vs. Astrue, was settled in California paving the way for the monies owed to Social Security benefits claimants or recipients.  This settlement may effect over 200,000 people.  In this lawsuit, 120,000 people refused assistance may request back payments or reapply for benefits and 80,000 people wrongfully denied may receive restitution.  Over $500 million is the price tag Social Security will come up with to pay those wrongly denied disability or retirement benefits.   It appears that if your birth date or name matched an arrest warrant in error or even for a minor traffic infraction, your benefits could have been denied or withheld.  Indianapolis Attorney Scott D. Lewis believes these wrongful denials and withholding of funds, to those most in need of assistance, could have a devastating effect on these individuals and their families.  Indiana residents that were denied due to this should contact their local Social Security Administration (SSA) or consult a qualified Social Security Disabiltiy Attorney or Representative to see if they may qualify for retirement or disability benefits. Scott D. Lewis, Attorney at Law, LLC offers a free consultation regarding your Social Security disability claim.  Call (317) 423-8888 immediately to get the representation you deserve. 

Filed under: Social Security Disability Benefits
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August 25, 2009

Social Security Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA)

Indiana Social Security benefits recipients look forward to the annual Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) they receive each year.  COLA is the annual increases that recipients receive in their benefits to offset inflation in the economy.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) began these automatic increases in 1975.  Many disability benefits recipients rely on these increases each year to keep up with inflation. In 2009, Social Security recipients received a 5.8% increase in their monthly payments.  This is the largest increase since 1982.  As of this week, the SSA’s trustees are predicting that Social Security recipients may not receive a COLA increase for the next two years.  This is being justified mainly because 2009 energy prices are below 2008 energy prices.  The SSA is predicting that there will not be an increased inflation this upcoming year, therefore there will be no need for a cost of living adjustment.  Many people argue that while inflation may be down next year, the medical and healthcare cost will continue to rise.  Ultimately, this will affect those with high medical & prescription expenses or Medicare recipients.  Approximately 50 million disabled and retired Americans receive Social Security benefits.  While some of these Americans may need to just watch their spending in the next two years, others may be highly affected.  Although it is law that Social Security COLA can not be negative causing a decrease in benefits, recipients who get Medicare deducted from their payments may be impacted because Medicare costs will continue to increase which ultimately causes a decrease in the monthly benefits payment. Be aware that SSA’s consideration of eliminating the COLA in 2010 & 2011 is to protect the system from depleting and drying out.  As a result, all Social Security recipients will benefit by continuing to receive their monthly payment. Indiana Attorney Scott Lewis represents Social Security disability claimants fight for what they deserve.  Contact Scott at (317) 423-8888 for a free consultation … Continued

Filed under: Social Security Disability Benefits
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