Wags 4 Tags a great organization that raises money to have shelter dogs trained to work with veterans with PTSD is having a fundraiser at Doherty's Irish Pub on July 20th beginning at 2pm. Live music from 6 bands. Doherty's is located at 1979 High House Rd, Cary, NC. Please come out and help raise money for our veterans with PTSD. Our own Susan O'Malley is a member of Wags 4 Tags and encourages participation in this wonderful program.
Many of our clients at O'Malley Tunstall who are disabled don't fit any of the boxes set forth by Social Security to determine disability. Instead they simply, due to a series of disabilities, lack the ability to work forty (40) hours per week. A great many of these clients have twenty (20) or more years of work history and although they have tried to work through their disabling medical conditions, simply cannot work enough to keep full time employment. Substantial gainful activity on a regular and continuing basis means eight hours a day, for five days a week. SSR 96-8p "An individual does not have to be totally helpless or bedridden in order to be found disabled under the Social Security Act, otherwise, the ability to perform substantial gainful activity even one day each month or each year would disqualify an individual for benefits." Trotten v. Califano, 624 F.2d 10, 11-12 (4th Cir.1980)(citations omitted). Implicit in a finding that a claimant can perform light work is the conclusion that a claimant can work eight hours a day, five days a week.Hines v. Barnhart, 453 F.3d 559, 563 (4th Cir. 2006). You can read about the Hines case in one of our other blogs as this was Susan O'Malley's Case. Therefore, if after years of working full time, medically you are restricted to little if any work, you may be disabled even if you don't meet one of Social Security's boxes. Call our law firm or visit our website to discuss.
Wounded Warriors get Expedited Social Security Disability Hearings if they are serving in the Wounded Warrior Program. At O'Malley Tunstall we are proud to represent many of our nation's military men and women in their time of hardship. If you are a disabled veteran and can't work due to injury, mental illness, or other medical conditions, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Social Security Disability benefits are different from benefits offered from the Veterans Administration (VA), and require a separate application. In addition, veterans who become disabled while on active duty may be eligible for supposed fast-tracked Social Security claims processing and hearings. This procedure is supposed to speed up the receipt of disability payments. O'Malley Tunstall has a great deal of experience working with veterans and their families to get them the benefits they deserve. Our expertise can help you or your disabled loved one take advantage of this new procedure. Wounded Warriors and disabled Veterans can obtain Disability As part of a great program put in place by the Social Security Administration, veterans who are part of the Wounded Warrior are supposed to receive faster processing of disability claims. Visit Social Security's website for questions. Here are the basics of what you need to qualify: 1. You have to be a veteran who became disabled while on active duty; 2. You have to provide proof of military pay (like a W-2 form, tax return, or pay stub); 3. You may receive disability benefits whether or not you are still on active duty, but if you have already been discharged, you will need your Form DD 214. 4. It will help if you know the names and locations of all of your medical providers from both civilian and military sources. Just like non-veteran disability claims, you have to meet Social Security's definition of disabled. Basically, for people under 50, you have to prove that you cannot do any work that exists in the national economy. The decision to file for disability can be a difficult one, and the process can be time-consuming and confusing. If you have already applied for Social Security Disability, or if you are just thinking about applying, you may want to consult an experienced advocate about the procedures involved. If you or your loved one is a veteran of this country and has questions about Social Security Disability in general, or the fast-track process for Wounded Warriors in particular, contact us at our website or call us at (800) 755-1987 and speak to our knowledgeable staff and attorneys. You can also go to www.ssa.gov/woundedwarriors/ for more information.
O'Malley Tunstall, PLLC is joining with Wags 4 Tags for a fundraiser at On The Square Restaurantin downtown Tarboro on November 18, 2012 from 6-8 pm. There will be a wine tasting and hors d'oeuvres followed by a silent auction.
Often people first call our office out of concern over payment for large medical expenses as a result of an automobile collision that was not their fault. The law in North Carolina after the passage of HB542 and SB 586 has changed and only a portion of any bill, that amount that is neccessary to satisfy a medical bill, is admissible to prove evidence of medical expenses. Rule 414 Evidence of medical expenses. Evidence offered to prove past medical expenses shall be limited to evidence of the amounts actually paid to satisfy the bills that have been satisfied, regardless of the source of payment, and evidence of the amounts actually necessary to satisfy the bills that have been incurred but not yet satisfied. In the real world, many clients debate whether or not to use their health insurance to pay their medical bills after an injury. They don't want to use the insurance because it was not their fault, they are afraid of higher premiums and don't want to have the hassle of filing the insurance. Often, many hospitals take that decision away from the patient by refusing to bill the health insurance regardless of whether the patient would like it billed or whether the patient has already paid for health insurance that should pay the bill. Many insurance companies, such as Medicare, are secondary payors. That means they pay only if no one else pays. However, even Medicare states that when a bill is left over 120 days it shall become primary and pay. In these situations, insurance such as Medicare of the State Health Plan is entitled to obtain reimbursement for all the bills paid by them by the third party at the end of the case. Regardless of the reimbursement provisions (called subrogation) many hosptials take the decision away from the injured party and refuse to bill the person's health insurance hoping for a greater recovery from the at fault party in the collision. However, the hospital doesn't take the risk of the patient recovering the amount from the at fault person's insurance, instead they often make claims against and sue the patient for the unpaid bill, even though they could have accepted the insurance. The Charlotte Observer has recently written a series of articles on these not-for-profit hospitals suing uninsured persons for their unpaid medical expenses. Articles. Another article by the Charlotte Observer even references a veteran with tri-care insurance whom they sued because they could not properly bill the insurance. Article 2. In another article Duke University failed to properly code an insurance bill and hired a collection agency to hound and call repediatly a couple who had proper insurance. Article 3. Forbes Magazine has chosen to call this the Tort-Reform for Hospitals. In their article they describe that not-for-profit hospitals are obtaining significant benefit from directly suing their patients rather than working with the insurance companies or using low paying health insurance such as Medicaid. Our clients, and many other persons injured through no fault of their own should worry. Just because you have been financially stable and smart, it will not prevent
Veterans and Wounded Warriors can apply for Social Security Disability, SSI. All of our Veterans are heroes but I wonder if many of them know that their service or work history may entitle them to Social Security Disability if they are unable to return to work? Many of our recent veterans are still on active duty in the Wounded Warriors program, where they continue to receive military pay while they attempt to get medical treatment and determine whether they will be able to continue to serve or transition to civilian life. This wonderful program allows injured military to begin the tough transition while still receiving pay and medical care. Often this is a good time to begin the process of applying for Social Security Disability. Disability for our Veterans and Wounded Warriors There are approximately 9.4 million military veterans currently receiving Social Security benefits. It takes a special person to give of themselves for the benefit of our country. It was incredible to find out that almost one in four persons receiving Social Security disability, either through Social Security Retirement or Disability, has served our country! Military veterans have been covered by Social Security since 1957. If you served in the military prior to 2001 Congress specifically passed a law that allowed for an additional earned income credit equal to $100.00 in earnings for every $300.00 earned in active duty pay. This credit was to offset the smaller earnings of military as opposed to private employment. Congress ended the credit in 2001. See SSA's website for more information on disabled veterans and on the end of the income credit for veterans. As we approach the ten year anniversary of 9/11, unfortunately we have a high number of wounded soldiers and marines, many who are still very young, very injured and in need of a bright future. Although there is no preferential treatment for proving disability if you are a wounded veteran (and almost all the veterans we have represented would not have wanted one) most Administrative Law Judges (ALJ's) will certainly take into account your active duty service and sacrifice for your country. If you are under fifty years of age, you still must prove you are disabled from performing any work to qualify for benefits. That means you cannot do any job in the national economy due to your injuries. For example, if you are able to be the greeter at Wal-Mart you are not disabled for Social Security purposes. If you are over fifty, then the standards change depending on your prior work and current functional limitations. For those recently returning from war, with functional limitations, injuries, post traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), depression, anxiety and a host of physical ailments, it is very difficult to decide to file for disability. Remember, filing for disability does not mean you will never work again -- instead Social Security can be stopped after your recovery and entry back into the working world. If you have questions as a veteran of our country, please do not hesitate to contact Susan O'Malley in our office, who heads our Social Security Disability section. https://www.omalleytunstall.com/; https://www.omalleytunstall.com/