5 Things You Can Do to Increase Social Security Success

Now is the time to think about your future and plan how you can get there. Today we’re going to show you five steps that can help you create the most Social Security success as possible. Planning your future may seem overwhelming at first, but the following are five easy tasks that you can do:

Step 1: Get to know your Social Security — You’re going to be working side by side with Social Security for the entirety of your life, and there is an incredible amount of information you’re probably missing regarding benefits and services from the SSA. Social Security provides financial aid to millions of children and adults before they retire; this includes those suffering from chronic illness, children of deceased parents, and wounded veterans.

Step 2: Verify your earnings — How much benefit you receive is determined by a calculation involving your earnings record. You can sign into your my Social Security account to make sure that your earnings record accurately reflects your actual earnings.

Step 3: Estimate your benefits — You can estimate your future retirement or disability benefits by using the SSA’s Retirement Estimator which uses your actual earnings record in its calculation.

Step 4: Apply for benefits — You can apply for retirement, Medicare, or disability benefits online through the SSA’s simple yet secure online application that is easy to navigate.

Step 5: Manage your benefits — Social Security puts you in control by providing convenient and secure services that meet your needs. Verify your payment information, change your address or phone number, get a benefit verification letter, and even start or change direct deposit of your benefits.

Visit www.socialsecurityofficesnearme.com to locate the Social Security office nearest your location.

How To Qualify For Disability In Texas

To start qualifying for disability, you need to possess enough work experience in jobs that are recognized by the Social Security Administration. You also need to have a valid medical condition which falls under the SSA’s definition of disability. Typically, the SSA will provide monthly disability benefits to those who’ve been unable to work for at least a year due to their condition. 

If you qualify for disability benefits you will receive them monthly until you can return to work. Work incentives, which supply continued benefits and health care coverage, are provided as well to ease your transition back into the work force. 

If you are receiving disability payments at your full retirement age, the SSA will automatically convert your disability payments into retirement benefits, but the payment amount will stay the same.

How Long Do You Need To Work?

Other than possessing a valid medical condition that fits the SSA’s disability definition, you need to have worked long enough and fairly recently to qualify for disability benefits.

The SSA awards work credits based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income, with the capacity to earn no more than 4 credits per year.

The amount required to receive a work credit varies year to year. For example, in 2018 you receive one work credit for each $1,320 in wages or self-employment income. When you’ve reached $5,280, the SSA awards you 4 work credits, the maximum, for that year. 

How many work credits you need to become eligible for disability benefits is dependent on the age of when you became disabled. Typically, the SSA requires 40 credits, 20 of which must be earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you became disabled. On the contrary, if you’re a younger work then you could qualify with fewer credits. 

The key thing to note about the SSA’s work credit requirement is no matter your age, you need to have earned enough work credits within a certain period ending with the year you entered disability. If you’re eligible at this moment to receive disability benefits but stop working under Social Security, you may not meet the SSA’s work credit requirement later on.

What Is Disability To Social Security?

The Social Security Administration’s definition of disability is unlike other programs. Social Security pays only for total disability, they will not award benefits for partial disability or for short-term disability.

The SSA considers you disabled if:

  • You cannot meet the job requirements of your previous occupation,
  • You are determined to be unable to adjust to other work due to your medical condition(s); and
  • Your disability has remained or is expected to remain for at least a year or result in death.

Social Security is very strict on this definition of disability. The Social Security disability program assumes that working families have access to other resources that provide assistance during periods of short-term disabilities such as workers’ compensation, insurance, savings, and investments.

How Does The SSA Decide If You’re Disabled?

If you have accumulated enough work credits to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, then the SSA will begin their 5-step process. The steps are 5 questions which are:

1. Are you working?

If you are currently employed in 2018 and your earnings average more than $1,180 each month, you typically will not be considered disabled.

If you are not working, the SSA will send your disability application to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) office where your medical condition be evaluated to see if you qualify. The DDS uses Steps 2-5 (found below) to make a decision.

2. Is your condition “severe”?

Your medical condition must impair your ability to complete basic work tasks such as lifting, standing, walking, sitting, and memory recollection, lasting for at least 12 months. If it does not, the DDS will not consider you disabled.

If your condition does impair your ability to complete basic work tasks, the DDS will move to step 3. 

3. Is your condition recognized by the Social Security Administration?

For every major body system, the SSA maintains a list of medical conditions that are considered severe enough that it prevents someone from earning substantial gainful activity. If your condition is not on the list, the SSA will need to decide if it is as severe as a medical condition that is already on the list. If it is, the DDS will determine that you are disabled. If not, the DDS proceeds to step 4.

The DDS have two methods that are designed to speed up the processing of new disability claims:

  • Compassionate Allowances: Specific cases that typically qualify for disability can be permitted as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed. An example of this would be acute leukemia, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), and pancreatic cancer. 
  • Quick Disability Determinations: The DDS uses advanced computer screening to sort cases with a high probability of allowance. 

4. Can you complete the work you did in the past?

Step 4 is where the DDS decides if your medical condition(s) prevents you from completing any of your previous work. If it doesn’t, the DDS will decide that you do not qualify for disability. If it does, they will continue to step 5. 

5. Can you work any other job?

If you’re unable to complete work done previously, the DDS will determine if there are any other jobs you could work despite your condition(s).

The DDS considers your medical condition(s) and age, education, past work experience, and any transferable skills you may possess. If you are unable to work, the DDS will decide that you’re eligible for disability. If you can do other work, you will not be considered disabled and your disability claim will be denied. 

Submitting Your Disability Claim

You can submit your Social Security disability claim conveniently online. You can also schedule an appointment with your local Social Security office to file an application. Call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday or contact your local Social Security office.

A few of the most popular Social Security Offices in Texas are provided below:

SAN ANTONIO TX 78206

DALLAS TX 75215

HOUSTON TX 77039

Jeffrey Loria’s Reign is Coming to an End

Since 1999, Jeffrey Loria has tainted baseball through his gluttonous greed; he’s destroyed baseball for one city and conned another out of billions of dollars. He tore apart a championship baseball team and micromanaged countless more while simultaneously behaving like an absolute self-centered mogul. He could only be described as a blowhard who provided no substance, and those furious with his actions only took solace in one thing; eventually, the MLB would get rid of him.

Mercy wasn’t the only domain of the Ninth Circuit yesterday. Early Thursday, a concoction of mixed feelings of joy and anger circumferenced the Forbes report which was about Lorio’s agreement to sell the Miami Marlins to an unnamed buyer for 1.6 billion dollars. Fans were met with joy because Lorio was destroying his franchise and was now relieving the team from his deceitful grip. Fury accompanied because one of the worst, if not the worst, owners in sports history was turning a $158 million purchase into a sale worth 10x the original price, which invokes worry that other owners with resembling consciences may attempt to replicate.

However, the frustration expressed due to the scummy and filthy rich man getting, even more, money was nothing compared to the feeling of freedom the Marlins players felt after learning the warlord was finally being expelled. Marlin players and franchise executives spread the news each other like wildfire and were ecstatic. While believing the deal will be successful is presumptuous, there are even more barriers to come says an inside source. Loria wishes to soak up any more potential revenue he can, and that means he may potentially be involved until at least the All-Star Game at Marlins Stadium in July so the date of the sale is unknown currently, but that’s not stopping players, executives, and fans alike to celebrate the end of one of the most oppressive ownerships that tainted baseball for almost two decades.

1 Dead 4 Injured From Minivan and Semi Collision

A man dead and four others left injured after a minivan and a big rig accident in Downey.

The minivan slammed into the big rig killing the 18-year-old passenger of the minivan.

The crash occurred around 11 p.m. Friday at Lakewood Boulevard, north of Florence Avenue.

A Downey resident, a 20-year-old male, was driving southbound on Lakewood Boulevard in a 1997 Chevrolet Astro van before veering into the back of the big rig, which was sitting in the lift turn lane, the Downey Police Department explained.

The minivan ended up wedged under the rig, a tow truck was required to lift the semi off of the minivan, police added.

The 18-year-old man who was killed was a passenger in the minivan and was identified as Isaac Antonio Marroquin.

The other four passengers including the driver of the minivan were taken to local hospitals to address their non-life-threatening injuries.

The 52-year-old driver of the semi was not injured.

If you or a loved one has been in an accident contact an experienced Downey personal injury attorney from Guldjian Law APC for a free first-time legal consultation regarding your accident, to decide whether you may be entitled to legal compensation and whether it is viable to pursue legal action.

San Bernardino Street Race Kills Young Teenager

Wednesday night around 10:00 p.m., police and paramedics responded to an accident that took place at Highland Land and Macy Street in San Bernardino. Police stated that a teenager was racing another vehicle in his 1992 Mitsubishi GT 3000 when he collided head-on with a 2011 Toyota Corolla.  The Corolla was carrying three occupants when the crash occurred.

The teenage driver of the Mitsubishi was identified as 19-year-old Mark Jimenez of San Bernardino, he was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

The three people occupying the Toyota Corolla were taken to a local medical center where they were rushed into emergency surgery due to critical internal injuries sustained in the accident. The driver of the Corolla is reported to be in critical condition; he was identified as 23-year-old Francisca Vargas of San Bernardino.

Police are still searching for the other driver who was racing with Mark. If you or a family member have been injured in a car accident, it’s important to understand how to handle the situation. Contact our San Bernardino car accident attorney today.

San Jose Street Race Kills 3

Two teenagers and an 18-year-old male were killed Tuesday night, another teenager suffered critical injuries, this occurred after a high-speed crash that was an alleged street race on Santa Clara Street according to San Jose Police Department.

San Jose residents Oscar Avila Toledo, 18, and Jayleen Ciriaco, 15, along with Anthony Ramos, 15, of Gilroy, were all killed during the race. An additional 15-year-old boy is in critical condition in ICU.

Family members came together along the road near the crash and lit candles to remember the teenagers.

Police were responding to two cars speeding westbound on Santa Clara Street at around 11 p.m., Sgt. Domingo Sanchez stated. A gold Honda Accord, one of the vehicles involved in the race, lost control near 22nd Street and collided with a light pole and then later with a tree.

One boy and a girl were declared dead at the scene. The other two boys were hospitalized, Domingo claimed.

Police are still trying to figure out who was actually driving the Honda, which according to investigators, was an unreported stolen vehicle.

Investigators believe the Honda and a dark Acura were racing on Santa Clara Street during the time of the crash. The Acura did not stop and has not been located.

A witness spoke the police claiming she saw the speeding cars, the point of original remains unclear, however, a relative of one of the victim’s believes the race started near the McDonald’s restaurant on 27th Street. Police have not interviewed the surviving teen as of Wednesday afternoon, but investigators believe there was no immediate implication the race was planned previously.

The three deaths bring the number of people who have died in traffic collisions this year in San Jose to 43. Which was also a ten-year all-time high in 2014.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a San Jose California accident, contact Guldjian LAW APC for a free legal consultation regarding how you may be entitled to legal compensation.

Above Average Rainfall Did Not Help

The U.S. Drought Monitor has recently released a heat map of the Northwest indicating the intensity of drought throughout the states. California’s recent above-average rainfall is expected to have minimal impact on the overall drought of the community. The report stated, “During the weekend, residual moisture associated with Hurricane Dolores fueled showers and thunderstorms across southwestern California and western Arizona leading to locally heavy rainfall accumulations and flash flooding, despite well-above-average precipitation in southern California during the past 90 days, recent rainfall has had little impact on the overall drought situation in the state.” The report says the three-month accumulation of rain in southern California had little positive improvement to the drought conditions of the state.

A recent report from the N.C.E.I. says the west is experiencing the warmest June on record. According to the report, “on a state level, California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington all experienced their hottest average-temperature Junes on record since 1895.” Continuous deficits of rainfall through the region causes concern for crops in Eastern and Central Washington.

You can read the full article here and view the heat maps of the region.

Current Gold Prices Rising After Reaching Lows

Over the last couple of months Gold prices have seen a decline, but recently prices have begun to tick up.  Currently, prices are up as investors move back into the gold precious metal.  After falling from its high of over $1900 per ounce, it is good news to gold investors and those looking to sell gold jewelry that prices have begun their upward trend.

As with any investment vehicle, gold and precious metals will fluctuate because of many different reasons.  It is almost impossible to determine which direction the price may go because there is no telling what events may occur to drive the price one way or the other.

Below is an image of the current Gold price chart:

Live New York Gold Chart [Kitco Inc.]

The below chart shows how the price of Gold has been moving lower over the last 60 days:

For those looking to sell gold jewelry the first thing you should do is get a jewelry appraisal from a certified jewelry appraiser in your area.  In many cases, jewelry can be worth more than just the value of its weight in gold.  Here is a link to learn more about the benefits of jewelry appraisals.