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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fibromyalgia - Some Internet Resources to Understand Your Disability

As a disability benefits attorney, many of my clients suffer from a very common condition called fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia can cause many restrictions and limitations that keep someone from working.

Knowledge about your condition is very important. Use the following list of online resources to understand your condition and keep up with current treatment options for fibromyalgia.

What is fibromyalgia?
MedlinePlus on Fibromyalgia
PubMed on Fibromyalgia
Mayo Clinic on Fibromyalgia
WebMD on Fibromyalgia on Fibromyalgia

National Fibromyalgia Association

Tests and treatment for Fibromyalgia:
Mayo Clinic

Fibromyalgia Tender Points Diagram (tenderness in these points is an indicator of fibromyalgia):

Copyright (c) 2011 by John V. Tucker and Tucker & Ludin, P.A. All rights reserved. For assistance with your fibromyalgia disability claim related to your Long Term Disability benefits, ERISA Disability benefits, Social Security Disability, or Veterans Disability compensation or pension, call Florida Fibromyalgia Disability Attorney John Tucker at (866) 282-5260.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Congressional Hearings Into Social Security Judges That Pay "Too Many" Claims

The Wall Street Journal reported on a July 11, 2011 Congressional hearing into Administrative Law Judges that pay more than 80% of the claims that come before them. In its July 11th online edition, the Journal reported on the testimony of Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue and others. This story followed an earlier story criticizing one ALJ in West Virginia that approved nearly all of the claims that came before him, prompting the Social Security Administration to suspend the Judge. The average ALJ approves about 60% of the claims that come to a hearing.

Commissioner Astrue testified that Judges that approve over than 80% of claims cost taxpayers over $1 billion per year.

In May, I commented on the Wall Street Journal's previous story, and questioned why Social Security failed to investigate those ALJs that deny nearly all of the claims that come before them. Not that the Commissioner heard me, but he did testify about the ALJs at the more "conservative" end of the spectrum...those that deny more than their fair share.

"Mr. Astrue, a Republican, said the agency was also looking into judges who deny a disproportionate number of claims compared with their peers. He said judges who deny benefits in 80% or more of their cases end up saving taxpayers $200 million each year, though he wasn't suggesting this was a practice he condoned."

According to the Journal, "The number of people receiving disability benefits has soared in recent years, with one of the two Social Security programs paying out $124 billion in benefits to 10.2 million people in 2010. Government estimates predict the Social Security Disability Insurance program will run out of money in 2018 if actions aren't taken to shore up its trust fund."

Credit: Wall Street Journal (link above).

Copyright (c) 2011 by John V. Tucker and Tucker & Ludin, P.A. All rights reserved. For assistance with your Clearwater, St. Petersburg, or Tampa Social Security Disability claim, call Florida Social Security Disability Lawyer John Tucker at (866) 282-5260.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Social Security's Florida Hearing Offices (ODARs) Continue to Experience Severe Wait Times for Hearings

How long will you wait for a hearing in your Social Security Disability or SSI claim in Florida? Statistics released by the Social Security Administration on April 29, 2011 show that you can still expect at least a year waiting time at most of its Offices of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR).

Out of 157 ODARs in the United States, Florida's hearing offices had waiting times ranging from 334 days to 414 days to get a hearing after a Request for Hearing is filed. How long you will wait depends on where you live. Here are the waiting times and the national rank of each of Florida's ODARs:

Orlando - 63rd out of 157 ODARs - 334 days
Tampa - 75th out of 157 ODARs - 343 days
Ft. Lauderdale - 93rd out of 157 ODARs - 368 days
Tallahassee - 114th out of 157 ODARs- 395 days
Ft. Myers - 119th out of 157 ODARs- 400 days
St. Petersburg - 119th out of 157 ODARs - 400 days
Miami - 127th out of 157 ODARs - 414 days

Social Security's statistics show you will do better with an an attorney representing you at a hearing. I strongly recommend that you call a Florida Social Security Disability attorney tLinko help you with your claim.

Copyright (c) 2011 by John V. Tucker and Tucker & Ludin, P.A. All rights reserved. For assistance with your Long Term Disability claim, ERISA Disability benefit claim, Social Security Disability claim, or Veterans Disability compensation or pension claim, call Disability Lawyer John Tucker at (866) 282-5260.

Legal Guides From John Tucker on Selected Disability Topics