Cochran Firm's Helping Hands Blog

people with faces blurredSocial Media & Disability

In January 2014 eighty New York City police and firefighters were charged with Social Security disability fraud. Many of these people had worked on 9-11 or in the aftermath and claimed disabilities stemming from that experience including both physical and mental problems. Since then, some have been exonerated, but many still face charges and lengthy jail times if convicted. How did the government catch them? In many instances the officials combed through social media sites including Facebook to find posts and pictures depicting the suspect performing activities that they indicated they could not do when they applied for Social Security disability benefits. One person reportedly posted pictures of himself driving a jet ski.

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lady offering an appleGot Food This Christmas?

December tends to put a severe strain on already stretched budgets. Millions of people are now experiencing higher home heating costs than anticipated with the onset of really cold weather seemingly arriving earlier this year when massive repeat storms swept across a large majority of the country even pushing into the deep South bringing almost unheard of November snow. Food pantries and private organizations are stepping up to help this Christmas to make sure that everyone can get food. The needy just need to know where to go or how to find the free or low cost food offered to them. Read on and we’ll show you some starting points to locate food if you need assistance.

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English JudgeMy ALJ Experience-

What Happened at My Disability Court Hearing

I’ve waited almost three years for this day. Today I had my disability hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)- the one person who could, with the stroke of a pen, make my life easier or allow me to continue struggling with daily existence and trying to pay bills. I have been unable to work since 2011, but have had four surgical procedures and a five day stint in ICU so the medical bills have really stacked up along with the usual cost of living.

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pumpkin pieNational Baking Month

December needs to be declared National Baking Month! Almost everyone has fond memories of mothers or grandmothers bustling around a flour covered kitchen from which came wisps of fragrant baked goods tantalizing the senses. My grandmother’s big thing was minced meat pie. She made it every Thanksgiving and Christmas for my grandfather. I was never really into the taste of the pie, but the aromatic spices sure could make the entire house smell simply wonderful!

Do you have some favorite old recipes? Send them to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. we just might add them to this page.

Here are some suggestions for baking this month that correspond to December's “national” food days.

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pills-6-250Medicare's Extra Help Program

On Medicare and need extra help paying for your prescription medications? Check out Medicare's Extra Help Program. If you applied before and did not qualify re-check now. The rules recently changed and became more lenient. There is no charge to apply and no ongoing costs. 

Here are the basic requirements as listed on the Social Security Administration's website:

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