Social Security predicted to be exhausted in 2016, Medicare in 2026

The Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare Hospital Insurance programs are likely to be exhausted by 2016 and 2026, respectively, according to a 2013 trustees summary report.

In 2013, the trust fund ratio of the Disability Insurance dropped by 85 percent, causing trustees to predict that the funds would be depleted by 2016, the same projection that was seen last year. Medicare, on the other hand, is expected to be drained in 2026, contrary to last year’s report that stated 2024. According to the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees, the matter of the Social Security Disability fund is extremely pressing and something that lawmakers need to address soon to prevent lowered payments for beneficiaries.

If you are in need of Social Security Disability benefits, get in touch with the lawyers from the Hankey Law Office, P.C., to learn about how we may be able to help you acquire this financial assistance by calling 317-634-8565.

Social Security Disability Insurance funds expected to be gone by 2016

The funds of the Social Security Disability Insurance program are expected to be gone in 2016, ahead of Medicare and Social Security, a government report stated last year. The surge of people claiming disability benefits is one of the major reason funds are expected to drain relatively soon.

A new report of the disability program’s health is set to be released on May 31 by the trustees of Social Security and Medicare, updating the public on the vitality of the program. New estimates will also be provided regarding when the Social Security retirement trust fund and Medicare’s hospital fund are predicted to run out of funds. In the latest prediction, Social Security will run out of funds in 2035, while Medicare will only last to 2024.

To learn more about Social Security disability benefits and your eligibility for obtaining such financial assistance, contact the lawyers at the Hankey Law Office, P.C., by calling 317-634-8565.  

Things to know before applying for child SSI disability benefits

Disabled children who live in a home with low or no income resources are able to get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from birth until the age of 18. However, the process of getting these benefits can be difficult, which makes understanding the steps of the process important.

First, in order to apply a child must be deemed to have a severe physical or mental condition that hinders him or her from doing normal tasks. A state agency will scrutinize all the information available and may ask other people and sources who know the applicant in order to assess the extent of the disability.

The resources and income of the child’s family will then be assessed to determine if they are unable to adequately provide for the daily needs of the child. Those whose family has little or no source of income at all and meet the agency’s definition of disability are often awarded SSI. The agency will then send a letter, which could take 3-5 months, if an applicant is qualified for benefits.

If you have questions regarding disability benefits, including SSI for adults and children, get in touch with the legal team at the Hankey Law Office, P.C., by calling (800) 520-3633.

National Dog Bite Prevention Week focuses on the problem of dog bites

This week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, and as such, many public and private organizations are working on educating the public about the prevalence of dog bites and how to avoid being bitten.

With nearly 1,200 dog bites and attacks reported to animal control agencies in Indianapolis in 2012, Indianapolis’s own Marion County Animal Care and Control Agency, along with the American Veterinary Association and State Farm Insurance, are working on decreasing the number of people bitten by dogs. According to Dawn Contos, spokeswoman for the Marion County Animal Care and Control Agency, the number of pet bites that occur can likely be decreased by owners acting responsibly and people exercising greater caution around dogs. For Indianapolis this is especially important, as it ranks 7th in the nation for the number of insurance claims filed for dog bites, according to State Farm.

Contos also warned that people, especially children who are susceptible to more severe bites as they are closer to a dog’s level, should be careful around all dogs, not just notoriously dangerous breeds.

At the Hankey Law Office, P.C., our legal team can help you if you have been bitten by a dog that was not properly controlled by its owner. Call 317-634-8565 to discuss your situation and potential legal options with us.


Debt and Social Security talks worry hoosier seniors

A move to change the way Social Security calculates cost-of-living adjustments to reduce deficit is cause for worry among seniors, especially women.

AARP associate state director for advocacy Sarah Waddle said the proposed chained Consumer Price Index (CPI), which lawmakers are currently considering, will result in smaller annual increases for seniors. Although the idea is that seniors will be frugal enough to find cheaper alternatives of what they need, Waddle says this. Hoosier seniors will lose around $2.6 billion over 10 years using the “chained CPI,” AARP calculates. Waddle also stressed that senior women will be greatly affected by “chained CPI” calculation because a majority tend to live longer and receive a lower amount in Social Security benefits.

Waddle also said seniors should not be targeted in deficit reductions because they have contributed to Social Security during their working years, and this program didn’t add to the debt.

Obtaining Social Security benefits is a difficult process, especially if you are disabled and in need of financial support. Thus, when you are in great need of these financial benefits, speak with a lawyer from the Hankey Law Office, P.C., by calling 317-634-8565.

Stryker Rejuvenate and AGB II

Another hip implant was recently added to the growing list of hip replacement devices that are failing at alarmingly fast rates, as the Stryker Corporation issued a voluntary recall of their Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck hip stems. As a result many Stryker hip recall lawsuits have been filed across the country.

In theory, both the Rejuvenate and the ABG II were designed to provide patients with a more accurate fit. Unlike most hip replacement devices that only offer a one-piece neck and stem component, with the Strykers, surgeons could choose from one of six Rejuvenate stems and 16 modular-necks, providing patients with a near-custom fit and angle. The Stryker ABG II offered eight right stems, eight left stems and 10 modular necks.

This ability to custom-fit the devices and allow for the perfect hip angle was just one of the selling points that Stryker used to market the Rejuvenate and the AGB II to younger, more active generations.

Instead, these young, previously-active hip replacement patients are now facing serious complications that have caused excessive pain, immobility and even the need for revision surgeries that could result in life-long disabilities.

While the Stryker hip replacements are not considered metal-on-metal devices like the DePuy ASR or the Biomet, they are still comprised of chromium, cobalt and titanium, and are causing patients to experience high levels of metal toxicity in the blood.

According to the Stryker website:

“…we decided to voluntarily recall these modular-neck hip systems due to the potential for fretting and corrosion at the modular-neck junction which may result in ALTR (adverse local tissue reactions), as well as possible pain and/or swelling at or around the hip.”

Adverse tissue reactions can be very serious and have so far caused complications in many recipients of the 20,000 Stryker Rejuvenate and AGB II devices sold prior to the recall.

Complications include:

  • Metallosis, or elevated levels of metal in the blood
  • Osteolysis, or thinning of the bones
  • Pseudotumors
  • Revision surgeries that are highly invasive
  • Necrosis, or the dying of the surrounding tissues

If you have suffered a failed hip implant, you should get immediate legal advice by calling our office at (317) 634-8565.

Republicans in favor of Obama’s Social Security cuts

Republican leaders are happy with Obama’s proposal to cut Social Security benefits, and they are eager to schedule a debate to tackle the sensitive issue.

Two House subcommittees plan to hold a hearing this week in line with Obama’s proposal to cut annual increases in Social Security benefits. Higher Medicare premiums, higher Medicare eligibility age, and reduced benefits for well-to-do seniors will also be tackled in the hearing. Budget analysts say Republican leaders’ top priority is to reduce cost of entitlements. Included in the president’s budget proposal is the “chained consumer price index (CPI)” where benefits will be reduced by 0.3 percent.

The first public hearing for Obama’s chained CPI proposal is scheduled on Thursday, while hearings on proposals to restrain the cost of Medicare will be followed by the health subcommittee.

As a person seeking Social Security disability benefits, any changes to legislation can be worrisome. Discuss your disability benefits and any needs or questions you may have with the lawyers at the Hankey Law Office, P.C., by calling 317-634-8565.

Direct deposit, now an option for Social Security payment

People, including Indiana residents, who receive monthly Social Security benefits and other federal checks can now start receiving their payments through direct deposit to their bank accounts rather than through the use of conventional paper checks, according to a recent report.

Indiana is believed to save an average of $840,000 a year when everyone chooses to get their benefits through direct deposit, the U.S. Department of Treasury said. Additionally, the federal government is estimated to be able to save about $1 billion over a period of ten years when the transition is implemented. Moving to direct deposit helps address the issue of stolen paper checks from mailboxes, which had amounted to around 440,000 lost or stolen checks last year.

A Go Direct employee will contact any benefit recipient who missed the March 1 deadline to sign up for direct deposit.

Getting the Social Security benefits you need is critical, as it can pay for costly medical bills, among other types of expense. Our legal team at the Hankey Law Office, P.C., can help you file for the benefits you need or answer any questions you may have. Call (800) 520-3633 today to learn more about your eligibility for Social Security benefits.

Charles D. Hankey Interviewed on Fox 59 Regarding Slander and Internet Anonymity

Charles D. Hankey was recently interviewed for his thoughts on a recent Indiana court case regarding free speech and internet anonymity. The case involved an anonymous poster, going by the username DownwiththeColts, who commented on an Indianapolis Star article about a Junior Achievement construction project’s funding struggles, saying, “This is not JA’s responsibility. They need to look at the FORMER president of JA and others on the board. The ‘missing’ money can be found in their bank accounts.” The former CEO, Jeff Miller, accused the commenter of slander and requested that his or her identity be revealed by the Star, which refused.

An Indiana court of appeals ruled in Miller’s favor, requiring that the commenter come forward in order to be identified. As Mr. Hankey noted, this decision was an important decision in terms of both protecting free speech while acknowledging the responsibility that individuals must take for their speech. Noting that the court determined DownwiththeColts’ comments to be “defemation per se,” Mr. Hankey outlines his reasons for believing the decision was correctly reached, noting that the person was “not really a whistleblower,” but simply someone who made baseless claims after the story had gone up.

You can view the video of the interview below.

Sandy prevents NE residents from receiving Social Security checks

While the northeast is still struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy and now a new, snowy weather system moving through the area, hundreds of thousands who depend on Social Security paper checks each month are left empty handed.

Mail service for many areas of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut is still disrupted a week and a half later, Reuters reports. Although 94 percent of Social Security recipients collect their benefits electronically, 229,000 disabled and/or retired residents in New York still receive paper checks, as do 43,000 Connecticut residents and 92,000 New Jersey residents.

The Social Security Administration is switching all Social Security payments electronically on March 1st, 2013. At that time, recipients can receive their money through direct deposit, DirectExpress debit cards, and ETA banks or credit unions.

If you or someone you know need help applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, contact the experienced SSDI lawyers of the Hankey Law Office, P.C. by calling 17-634-8565.


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