For additional information concerning NJ elder law and special needs planning visit: NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning Services read more →

Every year we release the key dollar amounts that are frequently used in elder law, estate administration and special needs trust planning, including Medicaid figures, Medicare premiums, Social Security Disability, and Supplemental Security Income. Be sure to check back often, as we will add any information that has not yet been released and update the page.. read more →

With the aging population becoming increasingly tech savvy, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has moved a lot of services online. From applying for Social Security benefits to replacing a card, the SSA has online tools to help. To access most of the online services, you need to create a my Social Security account. This account allows you to.. read more →

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced the 2019 cost-of-living increases for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. SSA announced a 2.8% benefit increase in 2019, and an increase in the SSA taxable maximum amount to $132,900. The federal benefit amount for an individual eligible for SSI in 2019 will increase to $771 per month. The information.. read more →

For additional information concerning NJ elder law and special needs planning visit: NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning Services For additional information concerning Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability appeals, visit: Social Security Disability Appeals       read more →

For additional information concerning special needs trusts and disability planning, visit: NJ Special Needs Trusts and Disability Planning For additional information concerning VA compensation and pension benefits, visit: VA Compensation and Pension Benefits read more →

The Social Security Administration (SSA) published two final regulations that will have significant impacts on the disability determination process for those applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and those applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits on the basis of disability. The first set of regulations, Revisions to Rules Regarding the Evaluation of Medical.. read more →

To ensure that all beneficiaries can receive their payments and make proper use of funds, Congress has granted the Social Security Administration (SSA) the authority to appoint third parties, known as representative payees, to receive and manage payments when the beneficiary is unable to do so. A representative payee is an individual or organization appointed.. read more →

Disability benefits are available to claimants under both disability benefit programs established under the Social Security Act (the “Act”), i.e., the regular Social Security disability program under Title II of the Act, and the Supplemental Security Income program under Title XVI of the Act. Social Security Disability (“SSD”) Benefits: Social Security Disability benefits are available.. read more →

The 17th Annual Elder Law Retreat, presented by the New Jersey State Bar Association Elder and Disability Law Section, was held on April 21 – 23, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA. At least two significant events occurred at the Retreat this year. First, I was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing my “advocacy in elder and.. read more →

A New Jersey appellate court ruled that a person who is incapacitated may still be able to express a preference as to his or her choice of a guardian or place of residence, both of which are entitled to consideration by the court. Matter of the Guardianship of Walter J. Macak, 377 N.J. Super. 167.. read more →

 Supplemental Security Income (SSI): Effective 1-1-15  SSI Federal Benefit Rate           SSI Resource Maximum For an Individual – $733.00                   2,000.00 For a Couple – $1,100.00                      3,000.00 New Jersey State Supplement: New Jersey supplements the federal benefit rate with additional money. The payment received by SSI recipients each month includes.. read more →

Reversing a trial court, an appeals court ruled that a beneficiary’s Social Security benefits, though deposited each month into a special needs trust, were correctly counted as income by Louisiana’s Medicaid agency. Moore v. Louisiana Dept. of Health and Hospitals (La.App.Ct.1st Cir., No. 2014CA0422, Nov. 7, 2014). Jess Moore, a disabled resident of Louisiana, lived in.. read more →

Elder Law College 2014  Presented by the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education Thu, Dec 18 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Location: Crowne Plaza 690 Route 46 East Fairfield, New Jersey 07004 973-227-9200 If you have an interest in representing the graying segment of our population, this is the course for you. In just one day,.. read more →

In the April 28, 2014 Karlson v. Colvin decision, New Jersey’s Federal District Court reversed an Administrative Law Judge and granted a Social Security recipient’s request for waiver of his Social Security Disability (“SSD”) overpayment. Karlson v. Colvin, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58942 (D.N.J. 2014) Under the Social Security Act, if an individual incorrectly receives an.. read more →

On April 23, 2014, the Social Security Administration (SSA) issued Emergency Message 14026 providing instructions for the regional centralization of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) trust reviews to help improve the accuracy and consistency of SSI trust resource determinations. Under the new policy, effective April 28, 2014 a member of the new Regional Trust Reviewer Team.. read more →

In an Initial Decision of the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law, Administrative Law Judge Laura Sanders held that transfers by a Medicaid applicant to her adult disabled children were exempt transfers that did not subject the Medicaid applicant to a penalty period. M.K. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services and Somerset County Board.. read more →

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has revised its Program Operations Manual System (POMS) to allow first-party trusts to pay for travel expenses incurred by non-beneficiaries in limited cases. In addition, the revised POMS clarifies the rule that payment of some administrative expenses upon early termination of the trust or otherwise, including trustee fees, will not.. read more →

Several months ago, I presented a program on Veterans Benefits and Social Security Disability Benefits at the Elder Law College, a seminar on Elder Law and Special Needs Law presented each year by the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education. I wrote a blog post summarizing the seminar material  presented at the Elder Law.. read more →

On Saturday, April 27, 2013, I presented a session on the impact of elder law issues on divorce mediation at the 2013 Annual Divorce Mediation Seminar by the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators. The topics covered in my session included Social Security, including retirement, disability and survivors benefits, Supplemental Security Income benefits, Medicare, Medicaid,.. read more →

(I recently presented a program on Veterans Benefits and Social Security Disability Benefits at the Elder Law College, a seminar on Elder Law and Special Needs Law presented each year by the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education. A summary of the seminar material is presented below.) VA BENEFITS Veterans and their families should.. read more →

aThe Social Security Administration released the federal benefit rate for the 2013 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits as follows: The benefit amount for an individual SSI recipient in 2013 is $710 per month (an increase from $698/mo. in 2012). The benefit amount for a couple who are both receiving SSI in 2013 is $1,066 per.. read more →

1. Initial Determinations. (This is the first step, but don’t expect to win at this stage. In 2011, 55% of all claims in New Jersey were denied at the Initial Determination stage.) An applicant for Social Security benefits must file an application. Presently, all new applications for disability benefits must be filed online through the.. read more →

History What is generally thought of as Social Security is now contained in Title II of the Social Security Act (SSA). SSA was originally adopted in 1935 as part of New Deal legislation, which included old age benefits, unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation benefits. Added immediately after the SSA was passed was survivor’s benefits for.. read more →

Regulations governing the Social Security Administration (SSA) set forth a five-step sequential evaluation process for determining disability. As a result, every applicant who files a claim for disability benefits under both the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs must meet the five requirements in the rules in order to be approved for benefits… read more →