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Updates in the Law and Other Issues Affecting Our Clients

in General

Cost of Living increases for Social Security

The Social Security Administration has announced that there will be a 3.6% cost of living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security and SSI beneficiaries in 2012. This is the first increase since 2009. The last COLA increase in 2009, was 5.8%, the largest increase since 1982. The average monthly benefit in 2012, for all disabled workers will be $1111, where is was $1072 in 2011. The SSI rate for individuals in 2012 will be $698 per month, an increase from $674 per month in 2011.

New Social Security Ruling:

SSR 11-1p prohibits claimants from filing a new application while a current application is pending. Attorneys would often instruct clients to re-apply while an appeal is pending with the Appeals Council. This new Social Security Ruling does not allow for claimants to do both. Social Security will instruct claimants that they must withdraw their appeal if they want to re-apply. If you have concerns about this in your own case, make sure you contact us at Ladas, Hoopes & Mcneill Law Office.

Social Security Offices to Close Early: Social Security has announced that beginning August 15, 2011, Social Security Field Offices will close a half hour early each day. This means if the office was open until 4:00 p.m., it will close at 3:30 p.m. Check out the Social Security Website www.ssa.gov for more information.

Is it snooping or hacking? An Oakland County man is facing felony charges for allegedly hacking his wife’s email. See the article. This means you need to be careful before you are looking at your spouse’s email, facebook or other password protected information.

Be careful what you post on Facebook! A New York Judge allowed private facebook posts as Court evidence in a personal injury case.  Many spouses also want to use them in family law cases. Even if your settings are private, once you post items on the internet, you could lose your ability to keep these items out of the Courthouse. You may also find yourself in trouble if you delete postings, so the best course of action is not use Facebook for messaging or posting, unless you want everyone (including your spouse, former spouse, or opposing party in a lawsuit) to know about it!