November 4th, 2013
November 4, 2013
Making ends meet can be difficult for those unable to work due to mental or physical conditions. The Little Rock Personal Injury Lawyers with Rainwater, Holt, & Sexton explain that help is available to these individuals through Social Security Disability benefits. But over time, rising inflation rates can cause benefits to become insufficient.
This problem prompted the Social Security Administration to implement a program that allows a yearly cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to be made to every beneficiary’s payments. The COLA is figured by examining rates of inflation for certain products and goods deemed vital to everyday life.
The federal government recently announced that in 2014, Social Security recipients could expect to see a COLA of 1.5 percent. This figures out to be approximately $19 extra dollars per month for each recipient, one of the lowest COLAs in the history of the program.
This year’s low number has prompted many to call for changes to be made to the way the program calculates the COLAs. However, no plans for changes have been finalized.
Rainwater, Holt & Sexton and their team of Arkansas Social Security Disability Lawyers recognize how difficult it can be to receive benefits from the Social Security Administration. That’s why the firm suggests discussing your case with an attorney if you are considering applying for Social Security benefits.
August 12th, 2013
August 12, 2013
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is currently facing a growing number of applicants for Social Security Disability Benefits, leading a large backlog of unprocessed claims. Estimates show there are thousands of claims for benefits that have taken longer than 125 days to process.
To help reduce the size of this backlog, the SSA and lawmakers have taken several steps to improve the efficiency of the application process for benefits. One of the first changes made was to expand the number of conditions that qualify for compassionate allowances. These allowances are given to those who are in the most dire need for benefits due to the life-threatening nature or severity of their conditions.
Now lawmakers are looking to further speed up the processing of claims. The County Press reports that Mike Green, a U.S. Senator from Michigan, has introduced a bill calling for benefits to be expedited to patients suffering from conditions that leave them terminally ill.
Those who receive benefits under the program will receive half of their monthly benefit the first month, with the amount increasing to a 75 percent share in the second month. By the third month, the claimant receives full benefits.
The Arkansas Personal Injury Lawyers with Rainwater, Holt & Sexton applaud the efforts being made to get disabled people the assistance they need.
March 4th, 2013
March 4, 2013
The Social Security Administration recently announced that beginning on March 1, the agency would stop sending paper checks to Social Security Disability and retirement beneficiaries. The announcement explained the agency would be switching to only issuing electronic deposits to bank accounts held by recipients.
Despite the announcement, a press release from the U.S. Department of Treasure claimed there were still roughly 56,000 Arkansas residents who were scheduled to receive a paper check. Experts believe the failure of many to make the switch comes from a hesitation to change from what has become a normal routine for many recipients.
The agency explains there are several benefits to having Social Security benefits processed electronically. The biggest reason for the switch seems to be cost cutting. Electronic deposits are touted as a way for the country to potentially save $1 billion over the next decade by eliminating printing and mailing costs associated with paper checks.
Another major benefit for recipients is a more secure way of receiving payments. Since benefits are being directly routed to an individual’s bank account, there is less risk of stolen or lost checks.
The Little Rock Personal Injury Lawyers with Rainwater, Holt & Sexton Injury Lawyers applaud the efforts to improve the Social Security system. The firm would also encourage any Arkansas residents who have not made the necessary changes to do so immediately.
February 4th, 2013
Feb. 4, 2013
In an attempt to improve speed with which claims for Social Security Disability Benefits are approved, the United States government recently expanded a program that puts claims made by those suffering from certain conditions on a fast track for approval. According to a statement from the Social Security Administration (SSA), the decision to expand the Compassionate Allowances program will hopefully help eliminate millions of backlogged claims for benefits.
The SSA indicates that last year, a total of 3.2 million Americans applied for Social Security Disability benefits. That was a dramatic spike from the 2.6 million in 2008. Even more concerning than the growing number of claims is the amount of time it has taken to process each claim. A single claim for benefits can sometimes be held up for years, and as many as two-thirds of claims are initially rejected.
The Compassionate Allowances program hopes to change this by eliminating much of the burden placed on claimants to prove their condition. This allows those suffering from conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or certain cancers to receive approval for their claim in as little as several weeks. The program has assisted more than 200,000 Americans so far.
The Little Rock Personal Injury Lawyers with Rainwater, Holt, and Sexton are hopeful the program will help those in need get the benefits and assistance they need.
December 10th, 2012
December 10, 2012
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced this past week that a worker was responsible for causing a chlorine gas leak at a Little Rock, Arkansas, Tyson Food Plant last year. An article from News 9 discussed the incident in detail, as well as what the agency is doing to ensure similar accidents do not happen in the future.
In June of 2011, a worker, whose primary language was Spanish, was responsible for pouring a batch of sodium hyperchlorite, or bleach, into a 55-gallon drum that contained a small amount acidic antimicrobial agent still. When the two chemicals combined, a noxious gas was created that exposed nearly 600 workers to health hazards of the gas. The fumes are known to induce asthma, and can potentially lead to death from the closing of a person’s airway.
An investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) determined a total of 195 workers required medical attention following the incident, while 152 of those individuals were hospitalized.
Investigators were also able to determine that a worker who failed to read the labeling on the barrel before dumping the chemicals caused the accident. Tyson was later fined a meager $2,500 for their negligence in allowing the accident.
To prevent accidents like this in the future, the CDC has proposed changes in the way training is conducted including having materials and courses presented in a worker’s native language.
The Arkansas Personal Injury Lawyers with Rainwater, Holt & Sexton explain injuries from breathing chemicals can sometimes qualify a worker for Social Security Disability Benefits. Call us today if you or a loved one has been injured and are unable to work.
August 22nd, 2011
August 22, 2011
A rising number of Social Security Disability and retirement claims are adding stress to the already strained Social Security system and could exhaust funds as early as 2017. In an article posted by Today’s THV, new congressional estimates showed a rise in claims by more than 50 percent over the last ten years–an increase leaving many new applicants waiting up to two years before receiving benefits.
According to the studies findings, trust funds supporting the disability program will run dry in 2017, and the retirement program’s fund follows two years later. The government would then rely on taxed funds to support the program, leaving them only able to pay fractions of benefits to recipients.
With the social security system in the terrible shape it is in, with waits as long as two years for benefits, and findings showing most recipients are denied claims several times before finally getting the help they need, what is the best way to handle a claim for Social Security Disability benefits? Arkansas Social Security Disability Attorney, Jeremy McNabb, with the firm, Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, says calling a lawyer is the first step.
He stated in an interview, an attorney may help cut the red tape of the claim and look at the case from the judge’s perspective.
The Arkansas Social Security Disability Attorneys with Rainwater, Holt & Sexton are available to speak with clients confidentially anytime. They can be contacted toll free at (800) 434-4800 or you can request a free online consultation.
June 13th, 2011
June 13, 2011
Tyson Foods, Inc. has been fined $70,000 following a grain silo collapse in Texarkana, Arkansas, which left one worker dead. The Texarkana Gazette reported the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that the silo was “structurally unsound” when it collapsed on December 9, 2010, killing a 48-year old worker and spilling tons of grain in the process.
Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman responded by saying, “Workplace safety is an important part of our companies culture.” He says the company has not decided whether to pay or contest the fine. They have a June 22 deadline in order to make that decision.
OSHA’s own documents have shown that a federal inspector had not visited the site in more than two decades. They were last visited in 1991, when Tyson paid a $750 fine for minor infractions. The agency will only inspect a site following an accident or if an employee makes a complaint. Planned inspections only occur on a limited basis each year depending on injury and illness rates within a given industry.
The Arkansas Wrongful Death Lawyers with Rainwater, Holt &Sexton may be able to help clarify who is responsible for the loss of your loved one, and they may be able to help you recover the bills, lost wages, and other damages you need to get by.