Reaching a settlement in a personal injury case often requires months of depositions, document requests, court appearances, interrogatories and negotiations. Your personal injury attorney has put in much time and effort to help you get the personal injury case settlement you deserve from the other side’s insurance company. However, in many cases, once the settlement paperwork arrives you find that a condition of the settlement requires that you agree to keep the details of the settlement under lock and key. But something even more startling is the fact that your settlement agreement outlines that in the event that you end up violating the non-disclosure agreement, you will be held responsible for penalties that could include repayment of part or all of the total settlement amount.

NDA Violation

What Are the Possible Penalties of an NDA Violation?

While the specific details of each personal injury case settlement can vary greatly, the common penalties contained in a non-disclosure agreement state that the violating party must either:

· Return the entire injury case settlement amount.

· Return a predetermined sum that is less than the full amount of the settlement. This is known as liquidated damages.

Additionally, most NDA agreements state that if the violating party fails to pay back the required sum upon demand, they will be financially responsible for covering the attorney fees and any additional costs that the insurance company may incur in the event that further legal proceedings are required.

How Can You Protect Yourself from a Non-Disclosure Agreement Violation?

It is clear to see that the penalties attached to an NDA violation can be very severe but there are some steps you can take to protect yourself from liability or at least soften the blow if you do breach the contract. Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney is the first step in protecting your rights and preventing any future NDA violations.


Can a Tax Refund Affect SSI Eligibility?

by Clauson on May 9, 2018

If you are receiving supplemental security income from the Social Security Administration, your SSI is evaluated every month to determine if you are still eligible to receive SSI. Although receiving a state or federal tax refund usually doesn’t interfere with your SSI, the rules governing tax refunds and SSI are somewhat complicated.

Tax Refund and SSI

When Does a Tax Refund Affect Supplemental Security Income Payments?

Advanced tax credits and state and federal tax refunds do not need to be included in an SSI recipient’s resource limit. However, if the refund has not been spent within one year of receiving it and the SSI recipient goes over their allowable resources amount, they could lose part or all of their benefits. Additionally, refunds from child tax credits or earned income tax credits are exempt from mandated reporting for nine months after receiving the refunds.

Other types of income that the SSI program does not consider “true” income includes:

  • Assistance for food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • Home energy assistance
  • Small amounts of money that are infrequently or irregularly received
  • Scholarships, grants or gifts meant to pay for educational expenses and tuition
  • Loans that require repayment
  • Earnings up to $7350 a year ($1820 a month) for students under 22 years of age

Tax Refunds and SSI Overpayments

The Social Security Administration considers an overpayment to be a monthly payment a recipient should not have been paid because they earned a certain amount of income for that month. If an SSI recipient does not spend a tax refund for one year and receives a regular SSI payment, the SSA may consider that payment an overpayment and expect it to be repaid. Other causes of overpayments include unreported changes in income due to marital or living status changes that exceed the SSI income limit, neglecting to report changes in a timely manner and mistakes made by the SSA.

To ensure you do not receive overpayments that must be repaid due to a tax refund, consult with a supplemental security income lawyer who is knowledgeable about complicated SSI guidelines.


Child with ADHD

The Social Security Administration modified its listing of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) from a separate disorder to a neurodevelopmental disorder. This change encompasses a wider variety of medical conditions to facilitate receiving SSI disability benefits. In addition, the SSA has rewritten its description of ADHD symptoms that parents must prove through doctor reports and other documentation:

  • Impulsive, hyperactive behavior (inability to remain seated, talking excessively)
  • Difficulty focusing on and organizing tasks, extreme procrastination regarding completion of tasks
  • Recurring vocalizations or motor movements (rocking back and forth, repeating words and phrases, flapping arms)

Parents must also prove that a child’s ADHD/ADD imparts severe limitations in several functional areas. Some of these include interacting with people/peers, controlling behaviors, making reasonable decisions and remembering/learning information.

How Should a Parent Document Their Child’s ADHD?

To expedite SSI disability benefits for a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, parents need to submit results of psychological tests, academic reports detailing an ADHD child’s behavior/learning issues in school and physical exams if they provide supportive information of the diagnosis. Each document must include full names, contact information and addresses if a doctor, therapist or other health professional has supplied the document to the parent. Clinical documents detailing how a child’s ADHD disability has worsened over time are also helpful.

Applying for ADHD Disability Benefits

Making an appointment at your local Social Security Administration Office is recommended if you are not using an SSI attorney to handle your case. Parents applying for a child’s ADHD disability should be aware that SSA considers household resources and income when making a decision about SSI disability benefits for children. In addition, the child’s ADHD must have been ongoing for 12 months or more or is expected to interfere with a child’s ability to function normally for at least one year.

Most disability claims are initially denied, but parents have the right to appeal their application. To reduce the chance of being denied, parents of an ADHD child should consider hiring an experienced SSI lawyer who knows how to satisfy particular SSA requirements. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with an SSI disability benefits lawyer.


The Social Security Administration adheres to the diagnostic criteria established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control regarding chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Anyone applying for social security disability benefits for chronic fatigue syndrome must prove they have suffered at least four of these six symptoms:

  • Recurring/persistent sore throat
  • Atypical/chronic headaches
  • Muscle/joint pain
  • Extreme deficits in concentration and memory
  • Tender/inflamed lymph nodes
  • Extreme fatigue/illness following physical activity that lasts at least 24 hours

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

In addition, applicants will need to show they have been thoroughly examined and tested to rule out other causes of their symptoms upon submitting paperwork for their CFS disability case.

What Is the Application Process for Social Security Disability Benefits for CFS?

In addition to all doctors’ reports, test results and other clinically pertinent information, the SSA needs documentation of descriptions of functional limitations that applicants and their physicians have noted from the time an applicant first began having symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Examples of functions the SSA deems as mental or work-related include the ability to walk, stand, lift, remembering and carrying out instructions and using appropriate judgment when making decisions.

Nearly 90 percent of successful CFS disability cases result with applicants being awarded monthly benefits according to SSA’s “medical-vocational allowance” guidelines. This allowance considers an applicant’s age, work history, education level and their residual functional capacity when determining if the applicant can work full time. RFCs are descriptions of an applicant’s maximum mental and physical abilities despite their other impairments.

What Is a Medically Determinable Impairment?

Social Security Ruling 14-1p states that while chronic fatigue syndrome can be disabling, it must be proven to be a medically determinable impairment (MDR) using laboratory findings or other medical tests. The SSA also accepts the following to establish an MDR:

  • Elevated antibodies in the bloodstream indicating Epstein-Barr virus
  • Abnormal brain scans
  • Results of psychological tests
  • Tests showing hypotension (neurally mediated)

Applicants seeking social security disability benefits for chronic fatigue syndrome will also need to provide enough third-party, subjective and clinical reports clearly outlining the extent and prolonged existence of CFS symptoms.

CFS is one of the more difficult disabilities to get approved by the SSA. Legal assistance can significantly improve the chance your CFS disability case is accepted. Contact an SSI lawyer today for help with your case.


Can You Get Disability Benefits for Sleep Apnea?

March 9, 2018

Sleep apnea affects more than 200,000 people in the United States per year. It is a serious sleeping disorder than affects your breathing while you are asleep. You can get disability benefits for sleep apnea, but check with your physician […]

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Can Back Problems Qualify for Disability Benefits?

March 6, 2018

Back injuries and problems can leave anyone unable to do their job. However, not everyone qualifies for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) on their back problems alone. Back problems are the most cited disability the Social Security Administration will see […]

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If You Need Social Security Disability Income How Do You Know What they’ll Pay

February 26, 2018

Suffering from a disability is one of the most difficult things any person can endure. While the Social Security Administration (SSA) can help provide support, it’s not easy to know exactly what that benefit will be. If you need Social […]

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Can I still be approved for Social Security Disability after being denied 3 times?

February 22, 2018

If someone is denied to receive Social Security disability benefits, it is highly recommended to appeal these denials. Some may continue filing separate claims each time, but that can hurt your case. The decision would not change if you file […]

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Can you get social security benefits back after they are withheld?

February 5, 2018

The full retirement age right now is 66, but you can receive benefits as early as 62. By receiving early retirement, you are withholding some of you monthly payment. You could be getting a third more if you wait until […]

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Will moving to another state affect my Social Security benefits?

February 2, 2018

If you have to move out of the state that you are in, you don’t have to re-apply for Social Security disability benefits. The disability program is a federal government program so your approval will drag over to where ever […]

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