Social Security Income in 2018

by Clauson on August 17, 2017

If you’re receiving social security benefits, or expect to apply for them next year, you could receive a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for your Social Security income in 2018.

Social Security Income in 2018

Inflation rates prompt the government to give cost of living adjustments. Over the last few years, these adjustments have been 1.7 percent or less, which is something at least, but doesn’t really make a big difference. Some experts, like The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) expect a 1.9 to 2.1 percent increase from SSA, if inflation rates hold steady.

Seniors living on a fixed income would welcome any increase. If the government grants the COLA next year, benefits will be at a six-year high, the highest since 2012. If the Social Security Administration decides to increase Social Security income in 2018, the agency would make the announcement in the fall of 2017.

TSCL says that any increase is welcome, but says that only new legislation will increase SSA benefits to a level that benefits seniors. That’s because the way SSA calculates the COLA puts seniors at a disadvantage. The COLA doesn’t factor in the rising costs that retirees are paying and the portion of their income being spent on buying things. In effect, seniors are still losing their buying power. TSCL says the COLA is tied to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). When the price index rises, the COLA rises, but it is based on younger workers and doesn’t factor in the spending pattern of seniors (age 62 and up). It also doesn’t facto in other rapidly growing costs that seniors incur, such as increases in Medicare Part B premiums, which have risen a whopping 195 percent in the last 15 years.

TSCL says that seniors need a more relevant COLA and a boost to benefits if they have any hopes of catching up where benefits equal expenditures. TSCL says the boost to benefits doesn’t have to be large; it can be modest but needs to be there to help people who are living longer and therefore are retired for a much longer period of time. Groups like TSCL are strong supporters for Congressional legislation that would do both.

If all of this has your head swimming, consider giving us a call. We can help you through the SSA benefits process to ensure that you get the Social Security income in 2018 that you deserve.


Part of planning for the future is also planning for what happens to your social security benefits after your death. The Social Security Administration allows what are termed “survivor benefits” to be paid to the widow or widower of a worker based on that deceased spouse’s earnings record. This benefit has proven to be a true lifeline to many older surviving spouses, especially those who are disabled or who are no longer able to work.

Social Security Survivors Benefits

Here’s what most people want to know about survivor’s benefits more than anything else when it comes to long term planning: who qualifies? In simple terms, your widow or widower is eligible to receive reduced survivor benefits on a sliding scale as early as age 60, with full benefits once they reach their full retirement age based on their year of birth. Additionally, if your spouse is disabled and their disability began before or within seven years of your passing, they are eligible to start receiving benefits right away.

Survivor benefits are also payable to other parties beyond your spouse as well. Divorced spouses, surviving minor or disabled children, and even the parent’s of a worker may be eligible to receive survivor’s benefits provided that their loved one who passed away had sufficient earnings on record.

There are specific criteria to each of these scenarios that must be met in order for benefits to be paid, but the fact is should you be a divorced spouse raising mutual minor children in the event of that child’s parent’s death, you can collect social security benefits in order to help you and your child avoid living in poverty. Should you lose your spouse with minor children still at home to care for, you will not be left destitute and without financial support.

If you are a North Carolina resident who is seeking Social Security survivor’s benefits, you may be uncertain as to where to start regarding your eligibility and the application process. The good news is that you don’t have to go through this process alone. Contact The Clauson Law Firm today to request a case evaluation regarding your eligibility for benefits. The specialists at Clauson Law have years of experience navigating the application and appeals processes for the Social Security Administration, and they can give you a professional and trustworthy opinion regarding whether or not you should pursue survivor’s benefits from the SSA. Call today or visit their website for more information.


Disability Benefits After a Stroke

by Clauson on August 3, 2017

Suffering a stroke is a very traumatic event that can prevent your ability to work. At this point, you need to look into the specifics for qualifying for Social Security disability benefits. The Disability Living Allowance for stroke in the United Kingdom was phased out in the last few years and replaced by a new Personal Independence Payment. The original DLA can still be claimed by children under 16.

Disability Benefits After a Stroke

Social Security disability benefits will apply if you’re in the United States. There are a few factors that go into this qualifications, so it’s important to know the process to have the greatest chance of your case being accepted.

How to qualify for Social Security disability benefits for a stroke:

Check the bluebook.
You need to check the bluebook to verify that your condition qualifies for benefits. Depending on the affects of the stroke, this could be listed in a few different areas. In section 11.04 it pertains to the affects of a stroke on the central nervous system. This requires that your ability to write or speak is lost or severely impaired or that you have problems controlling movements with at least two of your extremities.

If your vision is affected, you’ll need to reference Sections 2.02, 2.03 or 2.04. You may have suffered hearing loss as a result of a stroke. Is this is the case, then you need to look at Section 2.10 for specifics. You may be covered in Section 12.00 for mental disorders. A stroke can cause cognitive loss and brain damage, so you may be covered here instead.

This is where a doctor will come in very useful because this professional will be able to interpret the requirements and where your specific symptoms fit. This person will be able to tell you if you qualify under an existing listing or if you’ll need additional steps.

Provide medial documentation.
You must provide medical documentation in order to back up the specifics of your condition and show that it qualifies for Social Security disability benefits. A lawyer will also help you determine if your condition qualifies for an already listed condition and help you move forward in the process.

Although the disability living allowance after stroke no longer applies, you can find other things to help you going forward. Contact us with any questions.


SSI Disability for Migraines and Depression

by Clauson on July 31, 2017

If you suffer from migraines or depression, you may qualify for SSI disability benefits. Migraines consist of neurologically based headaches that have a variety of symptoms. Depression can be a debilitating condition that also consists of unfavorable symptoms.

SSI Disability for Migraines and Depression

Migraine Headaches
If you do suffer from migraines, you are familiar with the symptoms that make them much more severe than just a simple headache. Migraines bring on nausea and vomiting. An increased sensitivity to light is also a reality during a migraine. These symptoms make it extremely difficult to function. The effects of medication often include drowsiness, and sometimes medications are ineffective.

If you suffer from these debilitating migraines and find it difficult to work, you should consult with a SSI disability attorney. They can answer any questions you may have about your qualifying condition. They can also assist you during the entire application process.

People who suffer from depression experience much more than just the feeling of sadness. They also experience feelings of hopelessness. Oftentimes, depression causes an extreme loss of energy. Depression victims suffer from untreatable fatigue. It is a struggle for these individuals to deal with normal stresses and responsibilities. When one suffers from depression, it is difficult to manage life, let alone manage a job.

It is possible to receive SSI disability for migraines and depression. It is beneficial to consult with a SSI disability lawyer. Their knowledge and experience will greatly benefit you as you file your claim.

There is necessary documentation that you will need to support your claim. These documents include, but are not limited to:

● Medical forms.
● Financial forms.
● Past work history documents.

When you hire a SSI disability attorney, they will ensure that you are aware of all of the necessary documents that you will need. They will also provide you with valuable information about other documents and factors that will support your claim for long-term disability for migraines.

SSI Disability for Migraines and Depression
When you suffer from migraines or depression, you may stress about providing for yourself and your family. These condition sometimes make it impossible to work. You will benefit from hiring a SSI disability lawyer. The representation they provide is invaluable during the claims process.

A SSI disability attorney has the knowledge and expertise to help you make the most of your claim. They will support you during the entire application process. They can even assist you if your claim has been denied. Consult with a SSI disability lawyer today to learn more about disability for migraines and depression.


Motorcycle Accidents and Disability Benefits

July 27, 2017

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Physical Exams for Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know

July 21, 2017

As you are going through the process of applying for disability, you will be required to submit a lot of documentation that speaks to your overall physical state. Since most disability cases are based on physical injuries or other conditions, […]

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Mental Conditions and Disability Benefits

July 19, 2017

Applying for disability benefits can be a daunting process. It’s important to have everything in order to make sure that you qualify. You need to make sure to have your medical documentation in order as well as other personal information. […]

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Undergoing a Mental Exam for Social Security Disability

July 17, 2017

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Filing a Request for Reconsideration

July 12, 2017

If you have recently applied for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, then you should know that many people — up to 70% of applicants — are initially denied benefits, for a variety of reasons. If this happens to you, or […]

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Going Through a Continuing Disability Review

July 11, 2017

Once you’ve been awarded Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, it’s important to know that your dealings with the Social Security Administration are not over for good. From time to time, you will be expected to undergo a Continuing Disability Review […]

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