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In The News | Personal Injury Attorneys in Grand Rapids

Medicare starts rollout of new cards in April to remove SSN
“Is Medicare giving everyone a new random number, or just the people turning 65 after this year?” ....   Read Full Article Here →

12 Frequently Asked Medicare Questions
“If you're confused about Medicare's benefits, enrollment process, or any other details of the program, here are some answers”. ....   Read Full Article Here →

The first Social Security number, the one that came with Woolworth wallets and more fun facts
“In the wake of the Equifax breech and a debate over whether Social Security numbers have outlived their usefulness, let’s review the beginnings of the identifying numbers.” ....   Read Full Article Here →

Michigan No-Fault Insurance Reform in the Works

Everyone likes lower prices. If you own a car in Michigan, you know that insuring your car is expensive. Partly because of Michigan’s unique, mandatory no-fault insurance law, Michigan drivers pay the highest car insurance premium rates in the United States.
On September 26, 2017, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Michigan Speaker of the House Tom Leonard introduced a proposal that would make significant changes to Michigan’s No-Fault Insurance Act in exchange for the promise of lower premiums. Some of the key changes include:
• Allowing drivers to choose the amount of medical coverage that they have from three options: $250,000; $500,000; or unlimited. Currently, insured drivers receive unlimited medical coverage for auto-related injuries.
• A fee schedule for healthcare providers that would limit what they could charge for treatment to Medicare rates or close to them. Currently, there is no set rate for what a medical provider can charge as long as the charge is reasonable.
• Limiting compensation for family-provided attendant care to fifty-six hours a week. Currently, no time limit exists.
• A guaranteed rate rollback for five years for those that select the $250,000 option. Mayor Duggan claims that this will allow Michigan drivers to save about twenty percent a year on auto insurance premiums.
More ....

5 Expected Social Security Changes in 2018
“There are few, if any, social programs in the U.S. that are more important than Social Security, at least according to recently released data from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Recent SSA findings show that 62% of all elderly recipients get at least half of their monthly income from Social Security, and about a third overall get 90% or more of their monthly income from the program.” ....   Read Full Article Here →

House passes Noem bill to cut-off Social Security benefits to felons
“The House on Sept. 28 approved legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) to prevent people with outstanding felony warrants or parole violations from claiming certain Social Security benefits, resulting in $2 billion in estimated savings.” ....   Read Full Article Here →

Worker's Compensation and Medical Choices

Many injured workers can be misled into thinking they do not have medical choices available to them when it comes to care and treatment for a work injury. The truth is, if you are hurt on the job, you still get to direct your own care and choose your own doctors. Section 315 of the Michigan Worker’s Disability Compensation Act states that an injured worker can choose his or her own doctor once 28 days have passed from the date that treatment begins. In order to do so, he or she need only inform the employer and worker's compensation insurance company of the choice of this new doctor. The injured worker does not need to ask permission or get preauthorization. Also, an injured worker can get treatment from his/her own doctor within the first 28 days, but if the insurance company objects to that doctor, the injured worker might get stuck with the bill. Many injured workers are falsely given the impression that there are "in network” and “out of network" doctors when it comes to Worker's Compensation. This is simply not true. Worker's compensation insurance does not work the same way as group health insurance, so there is no such thing as "in network" or "out of network." Instead, injured workers choose their own doctors after 28 days and the worker's compensation insurance company has to pay (so long as the care is reasonable and necessary). More ....

The Redding Pilot
Medicare cards dropping social security numbers
“Connecticut Better Business Bureau says new Medicare cards to be issued in the spring will help protect an estimated 57 million seniors enrolled in the plan from identity theft.” ....   Read Full Article Here →

Disability backlog tops 1 million; thousands die on waitlist
‘No search for efficiencies, reprioritization of tasks or technological improvements can substitute for adequate resources,’ said Lisa Ekman of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives. To get benefits, applicants first apply to state agencies that work with the Social Security Administration. These agencies approve, on average, about one-third of the applications they receive, Disman said. In most states, applicants who are denied benefits can ask the same state agency to reconsider, though very few of these applications get approved.’ ....   Read Full Article Here →

Chicago Tribune
Many not aware of Social Security survivor benefits
“As readers of my column know, Social Security regulations are complex, and unfortunately some Social Security Administration representatives and many financial planners are not aware of some important benefits. I have received many inquiries regarding survivor benefits from individuals who do not understand options that are available.”....   Read Full Article Here →

San Francisco Chronicle
Wait time for federal disability benefits appeal hits a record
“People who have applied for Social Security Disability Insurance and been turned down twice are having to wait a record number of days to get a hearing in front of a judge and receive a decision. The average wait time is 596 days or 19½ months, up from 545 days in September and only 353 days in 2012. The backlog of cases pending a hearing stands at about 1.1 million, up from 700,000 in 2010.”....   Read Full Article Here →

Detroit Free Press
YouTube video tricking consumers on how to pay bills using Social Security numbers
“Here's some sorry news this summer: There's no secret cash stash out there to pay your utility bills or your old outstanding debts with the state. Consumers are getting swept into some scams across the country that promise a way to use special bank routing numbers supposedly from the U.S. government to cover their bills. In some cases, they're watching a You Tube video published by "Money Boy Filmz" called "I paid my bills using my Social Security number." Another is titled: "Believe you can pay bills with your Social Security."”....   Read Full Article Here →

USA Today- 5 Social Security myths, DEBUNKED
“It's time to set the record straight. Millions of American retirees and future retirees depend on, or will depend on, income from Social Security to help provide a financially comfortable retirement, but there's so much misinformation out there about the program....   Read Full Article Here →

CNN Money
Social Security Administration warns about scam callers trying to steal your checks. “In a blog post Wednesday, the agency's Office of the Inspector General said people have been receiving calls from a number with a 323 area code. ‘The caller claims to be an [agency] employee, and in some instances, tells the victim that they are due a 1.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase of their Social Security benefits," the post reads. The fraudsters attempt to "acquire personally identifiable information from victims to then edit the victims' direct deposit, address, and telephone information with [the agency].’”...   Read Full Article Here →

ABC News
Trustees project biggest Social Security increase in years
“Millions of Americans who rely on Social Security can expect to receive their biggest payment increase in years this January, according to projections released Thursday by the trustees who oversee the program.”...   Read Full Article Here →

Beware Of Disability Income Tax Traps
"Workers' compensation payments are not taxable. And then there is social security disability income. SSDI had the same tax profile as social security retirement benefits. A dollar of social security benefits is never fully taxable. It can be exempt or either fifty cents or eight-five cents can be taxable. It depends on how much you received in the year and how much other taxable income you have." ...   Read Full Article Here →

Five things to know about workers compensation...   Read Full Article Here →

Former NFL players file civil suit asking NFL to recognize brain injury disease for workers' comp...   Read Full Article Here →

Little know clause cuts insurance coverage to family...   Read Full Article Here →

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