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    The Future of the Social Security Administration

    Last updated 4 days ago

    The future of the Social Security Administration (SSA) has long been a source of concern and controversy for Americans. There is a trend toward an increasing number of disability beneficiaries, which far outstrips the pace at which current workers are paying into the fund. According to the SSA, the percentage of disability beneficiaries per 100 covered workers is expected to increase by more than 40 percent from 2004 to 2030. In 1970, there were fewer than three disability beneficiaries for every 100 covered workers. That statistic has steadily risen. In 2030, experts predict that there will be 6.8 disability beneficiaries per 100 covered workers.

    These troubling statistics reflect a trend toward insolvency. The Board of Trustees of the SSA has predicted that insolvency of the DI trust fund will occur in 2027. The retirement program is facing similar insolvency issues, due to the same root cause. Fortunately, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is not expected to face insolvency, although the number of SSI recipients is on an upward trend.

    Todd M. Berk, Esq. is a Social Security attorney who is dedicated to helping claimants get the benefits they deserve. If you live in the Philadelphia area, you can schedule a free consultation with one of our Social Security attorneys by calling (267) 439-4943.

    What Are Birth Injuries?

    Last updated 11 days ago

    Each day, future parents around the country eagerly anticipate the birth of their little bundle of joy. Unfortunately, some babies are born with dire medical problems such as birth injuries. Birth injuries aren’t the same as birth defects, which can occur due to genetics. Rather, birth injuries occur when there is a problem during labor and delivery, and the attending healthcare provider fails to respond in an appropriate manner.

    As you’ll learn by watching this video, there are many factors that can go wrong during labor and delivery. A doctor or nurse may be held medically negligent for exerting excessive force on the baby, using equipment inappropriately, or failing to recognize the signs of fetal distress.

    If your baby has suffered a birth injury, it’s important to contact an injury lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your legal options. Families in Philadelphia can schedule a case review with Todd M. Berk, Esq. by calling (267) 439-4943.

    An Overview of Social Security Benefit Increases

    Last updated 18 days ago

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) has been adjusting the distributed benefits since 1975 in accordance with the rising cost of living. In October 2013, the SSA announced a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2014, which reflects a modest increase. The affected benefits include Social Security payments and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments, and benefits for federal retirees and disabled veterans.

    Cost-of-Living Adjustment
    The SSA calculates the COLA based on the government’s assessment of inflation. After the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the annual inflation report, those figures are used to determine whether beneficiaries will see an increase in their payments. This annual inflation report assesses the consumer price index among clerical workers and urban wage earners. It reflects upward or downward trends in the cost of such necessities as food, energy, medical care, housing, clothing, and education. The way in which the COLA is calculated is intended to help Social Security beneficiaries keep up with rising costs and avoid poverty. However, many beneficiaries, particularly older Americans, note that even with the annual increase, it can be difficult to make ends meet.

    2014 Increase
    This year, Social Security benefits have increased by 1.5 percent. This increase will affect almost 58 million people—or more than one-fifth of the total population of the U.S. The average increase in benefits most beneficiaries will see is a mere $19 per month, a modest increase. This is in stark contrast to the 5.8 percent increase announced in 2008 and the 4.1 percent increase in 2005.

    Taxable Wages Increase
    The Social Security payments are covered by a 12.4 percent tax on income. However, only the first $113,700 a worker earns is applicable to this tax. This has changed for 2014. Now, workers can expect to pay Social Security taxes on the first $117,000 of their income.

    The Social Security lawyers at the law office of Todd M. Berk, Esq. provide Pennsylvania claimants with legal representation for Social Security claims, disability claims, and more. With more than 30 years of experience, we provide the knowledge and strategies you need to successfully navigate the legal system. Call our office at (267) 439-4943 and let us know how we can help you.

    Pennsylvania Statutes of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims

    Last updated 25 days ago

    If you suffer a personal injury, you have a specified time frame for bringing legal action against either a person or an entity. This time frame is referred to as the “statute of limitations,” and it varies from state to state. For this reason, it’s important to speak to a local injury lawyer about the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania.

    Specific civil actions
    In some cases, you may be able to bring multiple causes of action from one single incident. This means that even if one particular statute has run out, you may be able to file a different claim. Also, some situations contain exceptions to the standard limitations period. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for professional malpractice, including medical malpractice, is two years. Fraud and personal injury cases must be filed within two years.

    Statute of repose
    Unlike a statute of limitations, a statute of repose dictates that after the statutory period expires, you can’t file a lawsuit, even if an injury occurs after the statute expires. For example, if there is a 20-year statute of repose on a certain manufacturer, you can’t file a claim against that manufacturer for an incident occurring more than twenty years later. This is true even if a design defect is responsible for your later accident.

    The discovery rule
    In some situations, it’s not possible for you to discover the cause of your injury until considerable time has passed. For example, you may not notice an error in drafting your will or a financial planner’s embezzlement until years after the incident took place. Pennsylvania’s discovery rule means that the statute of limitations doesn’t begin until you should have reasonably known of your injuries or known another caused your injuries. 

    For more information about Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations, please contact Todd M. Berk, Esq. at (267) 439-4943. Our Philadelphia attorneys represent personal injury victims as well as disabled persons seeking Social Security Disability benefits. In addition, we offer a free consultation to determine if you qualify for Social Security Disability.

     

    How Does Paralysis Occur?

    Last updated 1 month ago

    Paralysis is a physical condition in which an individual loses his or her ability to voluntarily control muscle movement. The brain triggers muscle movement by processing messages to and from different parts of the body. Injury or damage to the nerve cells controlling muscle movement can cause someone to lose his or her ability to control his muscles.

    Hemiplegia occurs when one side of the body becomes paralyzed. This is usually the result of damage to the opposite side of the brain. Paralysis of both lower limbs is referred to as paraplegia, while paralysis of both arms and legs is known as quadriplegia. Depending on the amount of damage and location of in the injury, paralysis may be temporary or permanent. Some of the most common causes of paralysis include physical injury, such as injuries from sports or car accidents. In addition, poisoning, infection, blocked blood vessels, and tumors can all cause some to develop paralysis.

    If you’ve suffered a personal injury or a work injury, Todd M. Berk, Esq. can help. You can reach one of our Philadelphia Social Security lawyers by calling (267) 439-4943.

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