Social Security Benefits

News & Analysis as of

Application of FDCPA to Social Security benefits at issue in CFPB Second Circuit amicus brief

The CFPB has filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff in Arias v. Gutman, Mintz, Baker & Sonnenfeldt, PC and 1700 Development Co., a FDCPA case on appeal to the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In its...more

Typical Social Security Recipient Will Get $4 Benefit Increase in 2017

Social Security benefits will rise only slightly in 2017. This follows no increase in benefits in 2016 and small increases for many of the previous years. The small bump in 2017 will likely be eaten up by higher Medicare Part...more

Maine Workers’ Comp Alert: Appellate Division Rulings Update

Maine Appellate Division Affirms Award for Injury Resulting from Employer-Provided Hepatitis B Vaccination - In Torrey v. Island Nursing Home, Me. WCB App. Div. No. 16-34 (October 28, 2016) the Appellate Division...more

A Question of Timing – Social Security Disability Determinations and the Administrative Record

Seyfarth Synopsis: Court excludes evidence of Social Security disability award issued after the final decision issued on plaintiff’s claim for plan disability benefits. The decision accentuates the importance of fighting to...more

Social Security Increases for 2017

The Social Security Administration has announced changes for 2017. Social Security benefit payments will increase by .3% (3/10s of 1%) next year. The Social Security Wage Base, the amount of income subject to Social Security...more

The Administrative Procedure Act - Challenging FBAR Penalties

Over the past 10 years, thousands of U.S. taxpayers with a wide variety of circumstances have been forced to pay extraordinarily high penalties for failure to disclose foreign bank accounts. For years, tax experts said that...more

In the Line at Social Security, I Wonder, Have We Made It Too Easy to Quit?

One of the smartest, most perceptive persons I have ever had the good fortune to know, a gentleman from Worcester who has had a long and highly successful career in accounting and insurance, once said to me, “I’m willing to...more

Also In The News - Health Headlines - June 2016 #4

House Republicans Reveal Plan for Alternative to ACA – On June 22, 2016, House Republicans released a health plan in the form of a 37-page white paper outlining a series of proposals that would replace a repealed Affordable...more

ERISA: Is It Wrong to Take an Offset for Social Security Benefits Received by the Children of a Long Term Disability Claimant?

Is it wrong to take an offset for Social Security benefits received by the children of a long term disability claimant? No, says a new decision. And… just because you reinstate benefits does not mean you have to provide...more

Social Security loopholes close, but options remain open

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA) closed two popular loopholes for future Social Security benefits. As a result, certain retirees may now realize less in the way of benefits during their lifetime and leave a smaller...more

Spouses May Qualify for Early Social Security Benefits If They Care for a Child with Disabilities

When a parent of a child with special needs retires and begins receiving Social Security retirement benefits, her child may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) based on the parent's work record if the...more

Don't Forget: Some SSI Beneficiaries Can Switch to SSDI When a Parent's Circumstances Change

Because of her disability, a person receiving SSI may not have worked long enough to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits on her own work record. Therefore, once she meets the government’s strict...more

Last Chance to Use File and Suspend Strategy for Claiming Social Security Benefits

Time is running out to use a potentially very lucrative Social Security benefits-claiming strategy. Spouses will no longer be able to use the "file and suspend" strategy after April 29, 2016. Beware, however, that the new...more

Employee Benefits: Maximize Your Social Security Benefits (2/16)

The Social Security old age system is a simple concept with some very complex rules. It is a near-universal arrangement, covering working Americans and their families, which provides retirement benefits for life. The basic...more

District Court Rejects Government’s FCA Claim Seeking Return of Retained Benefits; Decides that Agency Policy Guidance Did Not...

In an opinion issued earlier this month, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma refused to impose False Claims Act liability on a defendant who retained and invested his mother’s Social Security...more

'Compassionate Allowances' Process Speeds Up Disability Applications

Applicants for Social Security disability benefits often have to wait months, if not years, before they finally receive a check from the government, even if they are clearly eligible for benefits. However, in certain...more

Social Security Disability Cuts Proposed in 2016

Washington insiders suggest that Social Security Disability benefit cuts are likely on the way. Social Security has always been a hot debate topic and cuts to the program are often discussed. In recent months, the future for...more

CFPB issues guide on pension payouts

The CFPB has issued a guide that is intended to assist near-retirees with private sector payment plans in deciding whether to choose monthly payments or a lump-sum payout. The guide includes a series of questions for...more

2015 Year End Tax Update

A BRIEF LOOK BACK - Where We Are Now – The View from Bucks County, Thanksgiving 2015 - 1. “Make America Great Again!” Sounds like a terrific idea, even for those (few?) of us who think America is already great and...more

Simple Tricks to Determine the Type of Disability Benefits Your Loved One Receives

When a special needs planner meets with the family of a person with special needs, the planner will often ask the family what federal disability benefit their loved one receives. In many cases, the family will tell the...more

New Federal Budget Ends Two Spousal Social Security Claiming Strategies

The federal budget agreement that President Obama signed into law November 2, 2015, spells the end to two Social Security strategies that some spouses have used to maximize benefits. The strategies were worth tens of...more

Issues in Gray Divorces

The divorce rate in the United States has been dropping during the past 20 years. However, divorce among spouses over 50 years old has doubled since 1990! The surge has spawned the term “gray divorce” for these older...more

The baby boomer gamblers: Running out of money

As the first of the baby boomers have reached retirement age, the greatest financial threat to the American middle class is silently waiting for them. Most are unprepared for what actuaries call “longevity risk.” The real...more

What You Need to Know About Changes to Social Security

A few years back I wrote a post about things to consider when divorcing later in life. One of these considerations was Social Security. Social Security continues to be an important topic of discussion for any couple divorcing...more

Quiet Changes to Social Security Could Have Big Impact

If you are at or near retirement age, you are likely aware there will be no cost-of-living adjustment to Social Security benefits for 2016. In other words, your benefits will remain the same for next year. As a result, many...more

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