All posts by David Zimmerman
09 May

Unemployment haunts Social Security recipients
By Tami Luhby @Luhby May 7, 2013: 6:06 AM ET

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Diana Brest is getting smaller Social Security payments because she was unemployed before retiring.
Losing your job is a nasty shock at any age, but for older Americans nearing retirement, there’s an extra kick: A late stretch of unemployment will haunt them throughout their Golden Years in the form of lower Social Security payments.
“Those years are vital to their Social Security benefits,” said Gary Koenig, director of economic security for AARP’s Public Policy Institute. “It’s something you’ll have to deal with your entire life.”

Social Security benefits are based on a person’s highest 35 years of earnings, which are then indexed for wage growth. The last years of one’s career are when most people earn their highest salaries, so replacing those top-income years with less lucrative ones — or no income at all — can prove costly. A person who misses a year of earnings could see his Social Security payments reduced by 3%, or just over $450 annually if he receives the average check of $1,262 a month, according to a calculation AARP ran for CNNMoney.
For Diane Brest, four years of unemployment at the end of her career meant a $68 reduction in her monthly Social Security check.
“That’s $68 I could use towards food or medical expenses,” said Brest, 62, who lives in Phoenix. “Food has gone up in price. Minimum payments on credit cards have gone up. Health insurance has gone up. It’s very depressing.”
Brest got hit with a double whammy that’s common for those laid off late in life: To get by by, she had to start collecting Social Security several years earlier than she planned. Before being let go from the insurance company where she worked for 14 years, Brest had intended to work until age 66, when she would have been eligible to receive $1,200 a month. Instead, she chose to start collecting at 62 because she needed the money. She thought she would get $968, but because of her unemployment, she’s only getting $900 a month.
You can estimate your own future Social Security payment with a calculator on the Social Security Administration’s website.

07 May

Please be advised that the Social Security Administration will now be releasing the names of the ALJ’s before the hearing. This is very helpful in allowing us to give you an idea about how your specific hearing will be conducted.

07 May

Question: Can I settle my Michigan Workers Compensation Case and how much is it worth?
Answer: Yes you can, if the Insurance company is agreeable. It happens all of the time and in about 95% of all cases. They are usually evaluated as per a number of years of future years of workers compensation benefits. Please call the Law Offices of David Zimmerman for a free consultation, as to whether or not settlement is a good idea in your case.

07 May

Can I appeal the ODAR’s onset date or the ALJ’s onset date of my disability? Yes you can, but you must be aware that you can lose the findings that have been already made. Your entire case can be reviewed by the judge or the appeals counsel.

12 Oct

National Ranking Report- Social Security Disability ODAR
by Average Processing Time
as of 3/30/12

Rank Hearing Office Processing Time

7 Oak Park, Michigan 250 days
32 Lansing, Michigan 292 days
33 Detroit, Michigan 293 days
35 Livonia, Michigan 295 days
43 Flint, Michigan 317 days
111 Toledo, Ohio 372 days
130 Mt. Pleasant, Michigan 390 days

07 Oct

Dear Clients:
FYI…. We will no longer know the judge that is assigned to your case until we enter the court room. This per new Social Security Administration rulings. While we feel this is unfair and not in the best interests of our clients, the Social Security Administration is trying to protect claimants from out of state attorneys that withdraw from representation when they find out who the judge is. Many national firms that are located on the east coast or LA advertise on TV, failing to advise that that they are out of state attorneys. When they find out that they have a more conservative judge on the case they often withdraw, not wanting to fly an attorney in on the day of hearing. Basically, it costs too much for the risk. To prevent these firms from withdrawing, often at the last second, the Social Security Administration, came up with the new rule.

27 Aug

Please contact our firm before you settle your workers compensation claim directly with the insurance company. They rarely advise claimants about attendant care beneftits or other very important rights that you have under the workers compensation act.

08 Aug

Hello to All….