A Division of Premier Legal Services, LLC

A Paralegal Owned and Operated Company 

The Disability Claims Digest

Volume 14

Copyright 2012

In This Issue
Peruse Our Archived Newsletters
Visit our Disability Forum
What Would You Like to Know?
Apply for Medicare On Line
New Address
Getting Help with Medicare Costs
Check Out Our New Improved Website
Electronic Payments Will Be Mandatory
Accredited Disability Representative
Social Security Bd of Trustees Predict Fund Exhaustion

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Being Outside United States: How it Affects your Social Security 

We represent Social Security disability claimants locally, regionally and nationally.

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E-Newsletters by clicking on the following link:

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Our Disability Blog

Please visit our disability blog where you can post a question, respond to a post or share any of your thoughts and experiences with us and others that are on the same journey.

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Please call or email us with any questions or topics that you would like addressed in our next edition of


The Disability Claims Digest





Applying for Medicare


The Online Medicare Application allows you to apply for Medicare benefits if you're age 65 but not yet ready to start receiving retirement benefits. It takes less than 10 minutes to sign up for Medicare.

Proud Member 


National Association of Disability Representatives

 National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives


New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners


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Camden County Chamber


South Jersey Paralegal Association


 National Federation of Paralegal Associations


Our Contact Address:

PO Box 8411

Cherry Hill, NJ 08002


Getting Help with Medicare Premiums and Out of Pocket Costs
Social Security and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are working together to get you Extra Help with your Medicare prescription drug plan costs. If you have limited resources and income, you may qualify for Extra Help with the costs-monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments-related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. The Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $4,000 per year. To find out if you qualify, Social Security will need to know the value of your savings, investments, real estate (other than your home), and your income. If you are married and living with your spouse, Social Security will need information about both of you.



Welcome to the Fourteenth edition of The Disability Claims Digest. 

In this edition, we will be discussing Compassionate Allowance Claims, Social Security's recent prediction of the exhaustion of their funds, mandatory electronic payments of all benefits issued by Social Security will become effective in March of 2013, applying on line for Medicare benefits and getting help with Medicare premiums and prescription costs.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, comments, concerns or require help with any aspect of your disability claim.

You can reach us at:



Please read on....
Check out Our New and Improved Website 
We have worked very long and hard to create an educational website that we feel will be helpful to individuals who are in need of filing for Social Security disability benefits, as well as for those who are actively receiving benefits at this time.


The site has an entirely new fresh look.  But more importantly, we have made it easier then ever to navigate through the plethera of information. 


Please click the link below to take a look.



Reminder: Electronic Payments of Your Social Security or Retirement Benefits Will Become Mandatory

Just a reminder that electronic payments are not simply the best way to receive Federal benefits - they will soon be the only way. The U.S. Department of the Treasury's new rule phases out paper checks for Federal benefit and non-tax payments by March 1, 2013. In fact, effective May 1, 2011, all new recipients of Federal benefits, including those filing for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), must receive their payments electronically unless they meet one of the very limited exceptions.


Electronic payments are safer, easier, more reliable, less costly, and good for the environment. If you have clients who still get Federal benefit checks in the mail, have them visit today to sign up for direct deposit or Direct Express.


We are Pleased to Announce that Our President and Founder is now an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR)

Lisa Wagman, ADR, CP, NJCP, became a fully Accredited Disability Representative in January of 2012. This was attained only after having met the stringent criteria to participate in the Social Security Disability Applicants' Access to Professional Representation Act of 2010 (PRA). Through this process, she became a fully Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) through the National Association of Disability Representatives.


A disability representative must first meet the Social Security Administration's strictest requirements as they pertain to level of skill, education and experience in order to become eligible to qualify under PRA law. A disability representative must then pass a complex written examination implemented by the Social Security Administration to test their knowledge of all aspects of the disability and SSI programs.


As an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR), I will be participating in annual continuing education and will strive to maintain her knowledge and high level of expertise in her field. This will enable me to stay abreast of the constant changes in the law, regulations and rulings so that she may continue to provide the best possible representation to individuals filing for disability.


To learn more about the ADR program, please peruse the website by clicking Accredited Disability Representative.


Click here to learn more about the National Association of Disability Representatives, and the Social Security Disability Applicants' Access to Professional Representative Act of 2010 (PRA).


Please visit our website for helpful information and guidance regarding the Social Security claims process.

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Social Security Board of Trustees: Projected Trust Fund Exhaustion Three Years Sooner Than Last Year


(4/23/12) The Social Security Board of Trustees today released its annual report on the financial health of the Social Security Trust Funds. The combined assets of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds will be exhausted in 2033, three years sooner than projected last year. The DI Trust Fund will be exhausted in 2016, two years earlier than last year's estimate. The Trustees also project that OASDI program costs will exceed non-interest income in 2012 and will remain higher throughout the remainder of the 75-year period.


For the complete report, click the link below.


Trustee Report


Social Security Announces New Conditions for Compassionate Allowances Program


Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, today announced 52 new Compassionate Allowances conditions, primarily involving neurological disorders, cancers and rare diseases.  The Compassionate Allowances program fast-tracks disability decisions to ensure that Americans with the most serious disabilities receive their benefit decisions within days instead of months or years.  Commissioner Astrue made the announcement during his remarks at the World Orphan Drug Congress near Washington, D.C.


"Social Security will continue to work with the medical community and patient organizations to add more conditions," Commissioner Astrue said.  "With our Compassionate Allowances program, we quickly approved disability benefits for nearly 61,000 people with severe disabilities in the past fiscal year, and nearly 173,000 applications since the program began."


The Compassionate Allowances initiative identifies claims where the nature of the applicant's disease or condition clearly meets the statutory standard for disability. With the help of sophisticated new information technology, the agency can quickly identify potential Compassionate Allowances and then quickly make decisions. 


Social Security launched the Compassionate Allowances program in 2008 with a list of 50 diseases and conditions.  The announcement of 52 new conditions, effective in August, will increase the total number of Compassionate Allowances conditions to 165.  The conditions include certain cancers, adult brain disorders, a number of rare genetic disorders of children, early-onset Alzheimer's disease, immune system conditions, and other disorders.  In his speech that opened the Congress, Commissioner Astrue thanked the National Institutes of Health for research they conducted which helped identify many of the conditions added to the list.


For additional information concerning the compassionate allowance program, click below.


Compassionate Allowance Claims

From The President's
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We hope that the information in this edition of our Disability Digest will prove to be beneficial to you or someone you know who is applying for or receiving Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits.

It is our mission to help as many people as we can to make their way through the frustrating claims process.  We are here to help anyone who is on this journey.  In addition to excellent representation services, we provide all of our clients with guidance, words of comfort, compassion, encouragement and kindness.

If you know of anyone that may benefit from the information contained in our newsletter, please forward it along to them by using the link below.

Until next time, take care and be well.


Sincerely yours,

Lisa S. Wagman, ADR, CP, NJCP 
Founder and President 
Accredited Disability Representative
Certified Paralegal





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Social Security Disability Benefit Consultants is a subdivision of Premier Legal Services, LLC. We are independent benefit consultants authorized by law to represent claimants before the Social Security Administration from the initial application to the Appeals Council level. We are in no way affiliated with the Social Security Administration directly.

We do not provide any legal advice. Our newsletter is a general service that provides legal information. We are not a law firm. The information contained in this newsletter is general legal information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual information. We do not endorse any content provided by any linked sites, nor do we assume any responsibility for the interpretation or application of any information originating from such content.
Copyright 2007-2012 by Social Security Disability Benefit Consultants.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any use of materials from this newsletter,
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without the prior written consent of ssdbc, is strictly prohibited.