Cochran Firm's Helping Hands Blog

US-mapSocial Security Disability Wait Times

When a person files for Social Security disability benefits he or she can wait from three to six months to hear the results, which in most cases is a denial. The first appeal can take another three months and is also usually a denial. The next appeal provides the greatest opportunity for a person to receive disability benefits. This appeal is heard before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and provides an opportunity for the person applying for disability benefits to personally plead their case and provide context for the written documents already provided. On average, most cases have about a 45% chance of being approved after an appeals hearing.

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is, “How long is the wait between the second denial and my appeals hearing?”

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newspaper-readersRecent News Affecting Our Readers

Here are several recent news stories that may be of concern to people with disabilities.

Increases for Heating Help

Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut have increased their home heating assistance budgets. According to a story in the Washington Post, New York increased its budget by $6 million, Connecticut by $1.5 million and Pennsylvania by $8 million. This means that more funds should be available to help low income people having trouble heating their houses. In addition, by raising the heating budgets, each state is also able to garner additional funding for their food stamp assistance programs, essentially nullifying the cuts Congress put in place earlier in the year. This is good news for people struggling to pay their bills and eat. Some other states are also looking at adopting similar heating budget increases.

Obama Proposes "Double Dipping" Nix

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social-work-month-2014March is Social Work Month

What would we do without Social Workers? They have been around in the United States professionally since the late 1800's helping people overcome obstacles and improve their quality of life. Perhaps their presence and help may be most strongly felt among people who suffer from disabilities as the workers fill roles of advocacy and assistance.

So, the Cochran Firm says, "Thank you!" to all the Social Workers.

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headacheMarch is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Many news stories have been written recently about the growing problem of head injuries in sports, from grade school through professional players. Sports, however, is not the only culprit causing head injuries. For years we have been warned to wear helmets and take precautions when riding bikes, 4 wheelers and motorcycles. Although due to the publicity, more people are playing safer, the risk of brain damage is still very real. One of the leading injuries our troops are returning home with from the Middle East are brain traumas. March provides a time to reflect on what can be done to lesson the risk of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Unfortunately, there are an entire group of people who have already experienced injury and the damage is done. Some of these people now find themselves needing Social Security disability benefits.

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lady-in-wheelchairNeed a Medical Device?

Many people need medical devices to assist with their disability, but their insurance will not cover purchasing the device, thus leaving the person with the choice of doing without or paying sometimes outrageous prices at stores. Other options exist for finding medical devices, though, and as the population ages, locating medical devices will probably become much easier.

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