Last updated 4 days ago
No matter what changes Congress makes to Social Security, those receiving or planning to receive benefits in the next few years will not see any significant changes. Married couples can still maximize their Social Security Benefits by waiting until the right time to begin collecting. For example, couples can earn 8% annual delayed credit for each year they wait to collect Social Security past the full retirement age.
In this video, a retirement expert outlines how to maximize Social Security retirement benefits. As she explains, though someone is eligible to collect as early as age 62, early collection reduces benefits by 25%. She also explains how married couples can maximize benefits by claiming benefits on each other’s records.
The Philadelphia Social Security attorneys of Todd M. Berk, Esq. offer a free initial consultation to assess your benefit eligibility. Call (267) 439-4943 to schedule a consultation.
Last updated 11 days ago
Last year, the Social Security Administration announced a 1.5% benefit increase for people receiving Social Security benefits in 2014. This increase is based on the annual cost-of-living adjustment, which measures the rate of inflation. Even though nearly 58 million people will see their benefits increase, this represents the smallest adjustment since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975.
Not only does the COLA adjustment affect Social Security beneficiaries, it also affects benefits for millions of disabled veterans, federal retirees, and those depending on Supplemental Security Income. The purpose of the COLA is to help Social Security beneficiaries maintain a certain standard of living. The cost-of-living adjustment helps account for rising costs in basic needs, such as food, utilities, and medical costs. The latest COLA amounts to an average increase of $19 per month.
Wages Subject to Taxes
Currently, an estimated 165 million workers pay Social Security taxes. With the new COLA, the amount of wages subject to Social Security taxes is also increasing. The Social Security program receives funding from a 12.4 percent tax paid on the first $113,700 a worker earns. While the worker pays for half of the tax, the employer is responsible for the other half. Next year, this wage threshold will increase to $117,000.
Comparison to Other Increases
Each year, the COLA is determined by comparing consumer prices in July, August, and September to the prices in the previous year. Since 1975, the average raise to Social Security benefits was a little over four percent. The adjustment scheduled for 2014 is only the seventh time that the COLA has been less than two percent. However, it’s important to note that there was no COLA in 2010 and 2011, as the inflation rate was too low to justify an increase.
If you’re wondering how the COLA will affect your Social Security benefits, schedule a meeting with Todd M. Berk, Esq. Mr. Berk has more than 30 years of experience representing disabled people seeking Social Security Disability benefits. To schedule a free consultation, please call (267) 439-4943.
Last updated 18 days ago
Todd M. Berk, Esq. was born May 7, 1955 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, and received his Bachelors of Arts from Clark University in 1977. After graduation, he went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Widener University School of Law in 1980. For more than 30 years, Mr. Berk, Esq. has been helping disabled people receive the Social Security Disability benefits they deserve for any reason; injury, disease, etc.
Todd M. Berk, Esq. founded his own law practice on April 1, 1995. His firm primarily concentrates on representing Social Security Disability and SSI claimants. In addition, Mr. Berk, Esq. handles personal injury claims, representing people who have experienced birth injuries, spinal cord injuries, misdiagnosis, and work-related injuries. Throughout his legal career, Mr. Berk, Esq. has served as an elected member of the Philadelphia Bar Association Board of Governors. He has also served as Appointed Committee Chair and member of several Bar Association committees.
If you would like to schedule a meeting with Todd M. Berk, Esq., please call (267) 439-4943. Our office believes communication is the key to serving clients well and is committed to providing assistance in a timely manner.
Last updated 25 days ago
Even with the best obstetrical care, birth injuries can still happen. However, certain types of birth injuries are preventable if the hospital staff provides the expectant mother and baby adequate care during the labor and delivery period. If a doctor’s actions lead to a preventable birth injury, then the parents should schedule a meeting with a birth injury lawyer.
During training, an obstetrician learns how to recognize risk factors that can cause delivery complications. For example, large babies are more likely to create delivery complications and are more prone to sustaining birth injuries. For this reason, a doctor will likely choose to deliver a large baby through Caesarian section to avoid potential complications with a vaginal birth. For example, if a large baby has wide shoulders, it can get stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone during delivery. Additional force is needed to deliver the baby, which can result in nerve damage and a condition known as shoulder dystocia.
Brachial plexus injury
The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that transmits signals between the spine, shoulders, arms, and hands. Vaginal delivery of a larger baby can result in stretching or tears to this delicate nerve network. This happens when the baby’s shoulder is being forced down while his head is being pushed away from the shoulder.
Cerebral palsy refers to a group of disorders that inhibits one’s ability to move and maintain balance. Usually apparent in the first few years of life, people with cerebral palsy have difficulty walking or accomplishing motor tasks like writing and using scissors. In some cases, lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain can result in cerebral palsy. This lack of oxygen causes damage to the portion of the brain responsible for muscle tone.
Todd M. Berk. Esq. understands the physical, financial, and emotional stress an injury can have on a family’s life. Our mission is to help people put their lives back together following an accident. Call (267) 439-4943 to schedule a free consultation with a birth injury lawyer.
Last updated 1 month ago
The spinal cord is responsible for conveying messages between the brain and the rest of the body. Damage to the spinal cord can limit a variety of basic functions, including walking, talking, and breathing. The higher on the spinal cord an injury occurs, the greater the impairment.
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, you’ve likely heard a doctor use certain numbers or letters to describe the injury. These numbers and letters refer to the location of the injury. This video provides an overview of the different levels of spinal cord injury, explaining what each letter and number classification means.
The personal injury legal team at Todd M. Berk, Esq. is committed to assisting clients in a timely manner. For more information, give us a call at (267) 439-4943.