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Third Circuit aligns itself with Ninth Circuit in defining posthumously conceived twins as “children” for purposes of surviving child's Social Security benefits: Capato v. Comm'r (1-4-11)

The Third Circuit recently aligned itself with the Ninth Circuit in deciding that for the purposes of surviving child's insurance benefits under 42 USCS § 402(d) of the Social Security Act, a posthumously conceived child (i.e. donor eggs, artificial insemination, surrogate wombs) is a "child"...

2011 ELDER LAW NUMBERS

There are several figures of interest to seniors and their families for 2011. They include long-term care spousal standards, long-term care premium deductibility limits, Social Security benefit changes, and Medicare premiums. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that there...

New Law Protects Garnishment of Automatic Social Security Funds

In a perfect world, Social Security funds in your bank account should be immune to garnishment for any unpaid debts. Federal law says so. But in the real world, it happens. A lot. The National Consumer Law Center estimates that about one million receipients of federal benefits have their benefits...

In a Six-Year Blink of the Eye, Social Security Might Be Drained

According to a recent AP report , the Social Security disability fund is on a 6-year brink of destruction. Estimates project that the disability trust will run out of money by 2017, with the retirement fund drying up about two decades later. The doomsday scenario is largely related to laid-off workers...

Social Security Administration Announces 2012 COLA

For retirees and workers, there's good news, not-so-good news, and in-between news. Let's start with on a positive note: The Social Security Administration today announced the first cost of living increase in the past three years. If you're one of the 55 million Americans currently collecting...

Williams Mullen: Benefit Limits and Contributions for 2012

BY: CATHERINE M. MARRIOTT The Commissioner of the Internal Revenue has adjusted the dollar limitations for benefits and contributions that apply to retirement plans. The Social Security Administration has also adjusted the Social Security earnings limit. The change in the 2012 limits was triggered...

Annual SSA Earnings/Benefit Statements Ceased

In the past, each year the Social Security Administration (SSA) mailed a statement to all workers age 25 and older who were not receiving Social Security or Medicare benefits. The statement listed a worker's earnings record along with estimated benefit amounts at various retirement ages. For...

Federal Appeals Court Rules Retirees Cannot Dodge Medicare Eligibility

By Anne Rabuck A federal appeals court has ruled [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] that those over age 65 and eligible for Social Security cannot escape their automatic entitlement to Medicare Part A benefits unless they repay all the Social Security funds paid to them. Three...

A Recent Study on How to Outsmart Social Security

A savvy Sarasota or Bradenton Florida retiree can maximize their Social Security benefits by choosing to begin payments at just the right time. Eligible Sarasota and Bradenton residents who turn 62 this year must wait until age 66 to begin receiving full payments. But they can receive smaller payments...

Oast & Hook: Taxation of Social Security Benefits

By Andrew Hook As a firm specializing in assisting retirees and their families, Oast & Hook is frequently asked by its clients how their Social Security benefits are taxed. That depends on their other income. In the worst case scenario, 85% of the benefits would be taxed. (This doesn't mean...

State Net Capitol Journal: Helping Workers Help Themselves

When Dr. Dena Davidson graduated from the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry in 1995, her expectations were pretty reasonable. "I knew being an optometrist was not going to make me rich," she says. "But I felt I would be fairly comfortable." To her, that meant...

Thirty-Three Social Security Planning Tips

Social security can be a confusing government benefit. The following is a brief list of tips to make it more beneficial to you. 1. If you are already collecting your retirement benefit and are at or over full retirement age, you can tell Social Security you want to suspend further benefits and then...

Hook Law Center: Making the Most of Your Social Security Benefits

It is well known that timing is an important consideration when applying for Social Security retirement benefits. For example, you may begin receiving retirement benefits as early as age 62, but if you wait until you have reached your full retirement age (determined by your year of birth), or even as...

Your Social Security Is Not Safe from Unpaid Student Loan Debts

Thousands of retirees are learning today that defaulting on student-debt can threaten something that used to be untouchable: their Social Security benefits . The federal government is withholding money from a rapidly growing number of Social Security recipients who have fallen behind on federal student...