What's New in Social Security
Cascade AIDS Project (June 26, 2013)
Cheryl Coon will speak at the Jobs Club meeting about social security disability benefits - eligibility, procedure, working while waiting, and other issues
Sisters of the Road (June 20, 2013)
Cheryl Coon will meet with staff and patrons at "Coffee Talk" to discuss social security disability benefits - eligibility, procedure, working while waiting, and other issues
Diversity Bar Social (June 6, 2013)
Cheryl Coon will speak about the programs of the Disability Section of the Oregon Bar Association, on whose Board she serves.
Luncheon for Congressional Staff and Social Security Disability Attorneys
(June 6, 2013)
Cheryl Coon will host a luncheon discussion about issues that congressional staff case managers and disability attorneys share in common, to identify how to better serve our constituents and clients who are going through the disability process.
Community Resource and Referral Center of the Veterans Administration Medical Center (May 9, 2013)
Cheryl Coon will speak at a meeting of the Community Resource and Referral Center (CRRC) on May 9 at 8:00am. The CRRC is a community based resource and referral center that provides access to both VA and community services for Veterans (and their families) who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. The CRRC has a multi-disciplinary team that includes social workers, a peer specialist, a psychologist and program support assistants.
The Beaverton Library Presents: Are You Disabled? Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Social Security Disability Benefits but Didn't Know Who to Ask
(May 7, 2013)
Social Security attorney Cheryl Coon will return to the Beaverton Library to provide information and advice about Social Security disability benefits at the Beaverton Library, May 7, 2013 at 6:00pm.
Oregon Organization of Rehabilitation Professionals (April 26, 2013)
Social Security Disability Attorney Cheryl Coon and Workers' Compensation Attorney Chris Frost will present at the Spring Conference of OARP 2013
Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (April 25, 2013)
Cheryl Coon will meet with refugees and staff interested in learning more about social security disability benefits.
Central City Concern meeting to discuss Social Security Disability (January 15, 2013)
Cheryl Coon will speak at a meeting of Central City Concern for folks interested in social security disability, on Tuesday, January 15 at 2 NW Second Avenue, Portland, OR 97209. For more information, call (503) 226-7387.
Jobs Club of Cascade Aids Project (January 9, 2013)
Cheryl Coon will present on Social Security Disability with a particular emphasis on working while awaiting a decision on an application for disability benefits, as well as working after being found disabled.
Cheryl Coon Elected to the Board of the Disability Law Section
Cheryl Coon has been elected to the Board of the Disability Law Section of the Oregon Bar. She looks forward to advocating for disabled clients and their issues through the work of the Disability Section.
Oregon Bar Bulletin Article "Representing Refugees and Immigrants" by Cheryl Coon is Now Available
In the July 2012 cover article, Cheryl discusses working effectively with international clients by developing an understanding of their cultures. Read more.
Oregon Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services Statewide In-Service Conference "Thriving in a Climate of Change" (August 14–15, 2012).
Cheryl Coon will present on August 14 and again on August 15 on Everything You Always Wanted to know about Social Security Disability - from application to eligibility to winning disability benefits. For more information on the conference, visit Oregon.gov
The Beaverton Library Presents: Are You Disabled? Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Social Security Disability Benefits but Didn't Know Who to Ask (April 24, 2012)
Social Security attorney Cheryl Coon will provide information and advice about Social Security disability benefits at the Beaverton Library, Tuesday April 24, 2012 6:00-8:00.
Parkinson's Disease Event for People 59 and Under (March 17, 2012)
Cheryl Coon will present on Social Security Disability for individuals with young-onset Parkinson's Disease on March 17, 2012, at the OHSU Parkinson Center of Oregon, in partnership with the Brian Grant Foundation. Read more
Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon Conference on Living with Brain and Spinal Cord Injury and Disease (March 1–3, 2012)
Cheryl Coon will present on March 2 at 9:30 am on Legal Issues Following Brain and Spinal Cord Injury (9:30 - 10:30am). On March 3, Chery Coon will speak on VA benefits for veterans with traumatic brain injury at 9:30-10:30am. She will address the topic of Social Security Disability Benefits for Children with Brain Injuries on 10:45-noon on March 3 as well. Cheryl is a Board Member of BIAOR. More information at www.BIAOregon.org.
Oregon Labor Law Conference (January 27, 2012)
On January 27, 2012, Cheryl Coon will present on all aspects of Social Security disability, including eligibility, timelines, and process at the Oregon Labor Law Conference, held at IBEW Local 48, located at 15937 NE Airport Way, Portland OR 97230. Cheryl will also discuss working while applying and after being found disabled. She will share her top ten tips for a successful application for Social Security Disability and explore the common mistakes that applicants make. More information at: www.LaborLawConference.com.
Good news for SSI Recipients:
Federal SSI payment levels will increase by 3.6 percent, effective for payments that are made in January 2012.
News Updates from the Baltimore Conference of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Reps:
- The Appeals Council Director, Patricia Jonas, reported that the average waiting time for a case at Appeals Council, is now 345 days.
- Due to budget constraints, there is a hiring freeze at SSA which will affect all SSA field offices, including processing checks and appeals
The Social Security Trust Funds will last until 2036, even without any action by Congress, according to the 2011 Board of Trustees Report,released on May 13. However, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund will only last until 2018.
Is the Social Security Disability System getting better… or not?
Depends on who you ask. According to the agency, things have improved. But according to a study released today, the backlog of apeals from sick and disabled Americans who were denied in their initial application has gotten worse. There are 735,660 appeals pending in the current fiscal year, compared to 705,367 in 2010. Applicants waiting for hearings will wait an average of 369 days nationally (in Oregon, the average time is 400 days).
The study was done by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, an independent research organization located at Syracuse University.
Street Roots Explores Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury Among Homeless
An examination of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among the Portland homeless population continues in the June 10 issue of Street Roots. The article highlights the case of James Smith, a homeless veteran suffering from a TBI whose Social Security disability benefits were won for him by Cheryl Coon of Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton."The number one piece of advice I give for any client is, 'you've got to hang in there and file for appeal,' because the process is set up to weed out those who don't have the perseverance to pursue it," Social Security disability attorney Cheryl Coon states. Coon emphasized that because the symptoms of a TBI can mimic other causes, brain injury survivors are often mistakenly identified as drug or alcohol users. Read more
Advanced Brain Scans Reveal Veterans' Brain Injuries
A new study may explain why some military personnel suffer symptoms of brain injury, including loss of memory, even though their CT and MRI scans appear normal. Using a highly sensitive type of magnetic resonance imaging, researchers have documented that some types of traumatic brain injury are missed by standard scans. Researchers say that veterans who have suffered from problems with speech, balance, cognitive processing and vision but who have had a negative scan should not be ruled out for traumatic brain injury. Read more
Diabetes Mellitus and Other Endocrine Disorders Removed from Social Security Disability List
The Social Security Administration has revised its criteria for evaluating whether people with endocrine disorders are eligible for Social Security disability. Effective June 7, patients diagnosed with diabetes mellitus or other thyroid disorders are no longer automatically eligible for disability, with the exception of diabetic children under the age of six. Read more
Social Security to Overhaul Children's Benefits
Qualifying for children's SSI benefits could become more difficult as the Social Security Administration looks into revamping its criteria. Read more
Get an Estimate of your Disability Benefits Online
Now you can use an online calculator to estimate your potential Social Security Disability benefit amounts. Estimate your benefits.
Compassionate Allowances Rules Get a Hearing
On March 16, 2011, the Social Security Administration held a public hearing to obtain information from the nation's leading experts on autoimmune diseases, with a focus on how to identify and implement Compassionate Allowances for adults and children with these diseases. Noting that more than 20 million Americans suffer from autoimmune conditions, which particularly affect women and children, the Commissioner of Social Security said, "With this hearing, we are searching for objective medical evidence and decision rules that we can use to expedite cases for those with the most severe conditions and quickly provide them with some measure of financial security."
Social Security implemented Compassionate Allowances in October 2008 to expedite the processing of disability claims for applicants with medical conditions so severe that their conditions by definition meet Social Security's standards. Currently, 88 specific diseases and conditions qualify as a Compassionate Allowance. Last year, SSA used the Compassionate Allowances initiative, along with an expedited disability determination process, to quickly approve more than 100,000 applications; this year, SSA hopes to increase that number to 150,000. Learn more.
Eligibility Requirements for HIV/AIDS-related Disability Benefits May Change
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is reconsidering the criteria it uses to gauge HIV-related disabilities.
In a report released late 2010, the Institute of Medicine outlined its recommendations for updating the SSA's standards for determining the eligibility of Social Security disability applicants with HIV/AIDS. Currently, people with HIV/AIDS who apply for Social Security disability are evaluated based on a list of criteria known as the HIV Infection Listing. Read more.
LA Times story addresses the problem of chronic pain. Read more.
Administrative Law Judge Larry Auerbach recently gave thoughtful and insightful testimony to the Social Security subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee regarding the backlog of cases and the effect of the recession on the disability system. Read his testimony here. (Report: Federal Bar Association)
Social Security Brochure Now Available in other Languages
Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton is proud to announce that its brochure, "Are You Disabled? Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Social Security Disability," is now available on our website in other languages: Arabic, Russian, Somali and Burmese, as the result of a partnership with the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO). IRCO is the leading agency in Portland providing social services to immigrant, refugee and mainstream populations and has served more than 150,000 people in the last 35 years, empowering them to become healthy, integrated and self-sufficient citizens. Download the brochure in: