2020 Cost of Living Adjustment Increases SSI Amount, SSI Resource Cap Unchanged For Now

Every year, SSA announces a Cost of Living Adjustment, or COLA, that affects the monthly amount SSI beneficiaries receive. For 2020, this increase is 1.6%. The SSI federal benefit amount will increase from $771 per month to $783 per month for individuals and from $1,157 per month to $1,175 per month for couples. Some states add a supplement to the federal amount as well. Despite this increase, SSI resource limits remain frozen at $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for ...

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New Commissioner Appointed for Social Security Administration (SSA)

A new Commissioner of SSA, Andrew Saul, was sworn in on June 17,
2019. He is SSA’s first confirmed Commissioner since Michael Astrue stepped
down more than six years ago. Unlike Nancy Berryhill, the Acting Commissioner
he replaces, Commissioner Saul has no experience with SSA or its programs. He
has prior experience in government as the head of the Federal Thrift Investment
Board, a Reagan-era board advising civil servants on matters of thrift in
saving, investment, and retirement. 

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SSA’s Fraud Re-determination Process Violates Due Process Rights

According to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) fraud re-determination process violated the due process rights of many Social Security beneficiaries. In a well-publicized case, many medical opinions were thrown out by SSA because of assumed fraud. Beneficiaries who were approved based on those opinions were not allowed to challenge whether or not those opinions were in fact fraudulent. A federal court found that this violated due process rights, and a panel of the Sixth ...

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G&G Weekly Update

Is Social Security Going to Ask Me To Go To a Consultative Examination?

A Consultative Examination (CE) is an exam ordered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to assess physical or psychiatric conditions. Reviewing recent statistics it is clear that it is not at all certain under what circumstances SSA will order a CE. In Hawaii, for example, in only 11.6 percent of disability cases were claimants sent for a CE. Contrast that with New York and Puerto ...

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G&G Weekly Update

Social Security Trustees Note Solvency through 2052

The Board of Trustees of the Social Security Administration (SSA) recently released its annual report on the state of the Social Security Trust Fund. According to this year’s report, the system can now pay full benefits through 2052, 20 years later than last year’s report. This is due to the Trustees estimating that fewer people will be approved for disability benefits. The new date is also due to declining application rates and declining numbers ...

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G&G Weekly Update

National Adjudication Team Begins On-The-Record Decisions

After making zero attorney advisor decisions during Fiscal Year 2018, the National Adjudication Team began its work in November 2018 for Fiscal Year 2019. These Attorney Advisors are empowered to issue fully-favorable decisions on the record in cases where a hearing is not necessary. Through February 2019, the most recent month available at this writing, 454 decisions had been issued nationwide with an average of 4.73 dispositions per day. While this sounds like a large ...

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