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NEWS
November 15, 2012
Regarding Yvonne Wenger 's article on Social Security Disability, she is correct regarding how long it can take for truly needy people to be approved for disability benefits ("After a disability, long waits for federal benefits," Oct. 28). My cousin, who is in her 60s, has had diabetes since childhood. During the last 15 years she has had chronic blood vessel leakage in her eyes and suffered diabetic comas and chronic kidney failures. All that time she continued to work as a special needs teacher assistant.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
July 30, 2014
Between the crises in the Middle East and Ukraine and the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, it's difficult to get domestic news on the front page this week, let alone good news. But the improved finances of Medicare deserve the public's attention, particularly given that the much-maligned Affordable Care Act is involved. Here's the bottom line: Medicare paid out less in hospital benefits last year than it did the year before. This is a fantastic development because, according to projections contained in an annual report released Monday, it means that Medicare will have enough money to continue paying for the hospital care of the elderly and disabled through 2030, which is four years longer than the federal government estimated for the program just last year.
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NEWS
November 10, 2012
Reporter Yvonne Wenger 's article on the troubling reality of applying for federal disability benefits reflects what we see daily at Health Care for the Homeless in Baltimore City ("After a disability, long waits for federal benefits," Oct. 28). As Ms. Wenger noted, around 31 percent of all initial applications for benefits are denied. But for individuals who are homeless, and who often have much higher rates of mental illness, the acceptance rate is even lower. Many of these individuals are uninsured and thus unable to access vital treatment and services.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | January 26, 2014
The Baltimore office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is the slowest in the country in processing disability claims for servicemen and servicewomen - averaging about a year - and makes more mistakes than any other office. The failures locally are a symptom of a national breakdown: Across the country, more than 900,000 veterans wait an average of nine months for the agency to determine whether they qualify for disability benefits, according to the VA. Even as the VA says it is working to fix problems in Baltimore and nationwide, Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, calls the situation "shameful.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | October 27, 2012
Jim Nicholas lay in a hospital bed recovering after a heart procedure when his attorney called with life-changing news: The Social Security Administration would pay him more than $206,000 in disability benefits, bringing an end to his nine-year court battle. Ever since he began suffering from heart failure, Nicholas and his wife, Yvonne, had been trying to prove he was sick enough to get benefits from the agency, which not only administers Social Security but provides support for those too disabled to work.
NEWS
By John B. O'Donnell and John B. O'Donnell,Washington Bureau | September 22, 1993
WASHINGTON -- An Annapolis woman severely beaten two years ago by a man later committed to a state mental hospital went to Capitol Hill yesterday to press for legislation that would deny her attacker Social Security disability payments.Susan Donnelly, who suffered severe head injuries when she was beaten with a baseball bat by a co-worker in 1991, was followed to the witness stand by a North Carolinian whose son was killed by a man later committed to a mental hospital. R. B. Nicholson said he subsequently discovered that the man who killed his son and three other people was drawing $511 a month in disability benefits.
NEWS
February 3, 1994
An Anne Arundel Circuit Court judge denied disability benefits yesterday to an Annapolis police officer and a former officer who said they were unable to work after being injured on the job.Judge H. Chester Goudy Jr. upheld rulings by the Annapolis Public Safety Disability Retirement Board, which denied benefits in 1992 to Officer Leslie S. Collins and Katharine A. Wheeler.Judge Goudy said the evidence at a hearing Tuesday showed that Officer Collins, a 13-year veteran assigned to light duty, is disabled, but that he failed to prove the disability could be traced directly to job-related injuries.
NEWS
By Suzanne Wooton | September 23, 1990
What happened to Ray Meyer could happen to anyone. He got sick, so he couldn't work. He couldn't work, so he applied for federal disability benefits.What happened next to Ray Meyer could happen to anyone, too. Instead of getting help, he got the fight of his life.For months he's gathered extensive medical evidence for Social Security. He's filed and refiled forms -- some of them lost by the agency. He's been turned down twice, forcing him to hire a lawyer, who will get one-fourth of any benefits he may win. He's exhausted his savings, applied for welfare, asked his church for a loan, and now risks losing his small Catonsville home.
SPORTS
By Jeff Barker and Jeff Barker,Sun Reporter | June 27, 2007
WASHINGTON -- It was a day of tears - but also relief - for retired NFL players who hope their accounts of debilitating football injuries will move Congress to demand reform of a "broken" disability benefits system. "Thank God for Congress. Maybe they're going to do something," Hall of Fame guard Joe DeLamielleure said after a House of Representatives Judiciary subcommittee heard from four former players, an NFL representative and others. Members of the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law listened to former players, including Hall of Famers Harry Carson and Mike Ditka.
SPORTS
By Jeff Barker and Jeff Barker,SUN REPORTER | September 19, 2007
WASHINGTON -- NFL Players Association chief Gene Upshaw asked Congress yesterday for assistance in improving a disability benefits system that retired players say repeatedly let them down when they were poor and ailing from old football injuries. "We have made great progress, and we are not finished. Congress can help," Upshaw said at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing attended by such former NFL luminaries as Gale Sayers, Mike Ditka, Daryl "Moose" Johnston and Mercury Morris. Many of the retired players who appeared in the jammed Senate hearing room - either as witnesses or spectators - said it was too soon to tell whether Upshaw would deliver on the new series of reform proposals, some of which require legislative action.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | April 28, 2013
Administrative law judges who evaluate disability claims for the Social Security Administration want a federal court to ease a workload that they say makes errors more likely - the latest in a series of challenges confronting the Woodlawn-based agency. In a federal lawsuit filed this month, 1,400 judges said the agency's expectation that they decide as many as 700 claims per year is causing them to rush evaluations and possibly approve claims that should be denied, at a potential cost of millions of taxpayer dollars.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | February 19, 2013
The Baltimore office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the nation's worst performer in processing disability claims, will receive more employee training, an influx of senior staff and a new digital processing system ahead of schedule, under a plan outlined Tuesday by VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki and Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. The infusion of resources is intended to reduce a 26.2 percent error rate and help reduce the backlog of outstanding claims by disabled veterans. "What we have found since the beginning of the war — and our war is now 10 years old — when our veterans return, though they face the nightmares of war, they often face a quagmire" with the claims process, Mikulski said.
NEWS
November 15, 2012
Regarding Yvonne Wenger 's article on Social Security Disability, she is correct regarding how long it can take for truly needy people to be approved for disability benefits ("After a disability, long waits for federal benefits," Oct. 28). My cousin, who is in her 60s, has had diabetes since childhood. During the last 15 years she has had chronic blood vessel leakage in her eyes and suffered diabetic comas and chronic kidney failures. All that time she continued to work as a special needs teacher assistant.
NEWS
November 10, 2012
Reporter Yvonne Wenger 's article on the troubling reality of applying for federal disability benefits reflects what we see daily at Health Care for the Homeless in Baltimore City ("After a disability, long waits for federal benefits," Oct. 28). As Ms. Wenger noted, around 31 percent of all initial applications for benefits are denied. But for individuals who are homeless, and who often have much higher rates of mental illness, the acceptance rate is even lower. Many of these individuals are uninsured and thus unable to access vital treatment and services.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | October 27, 2012
Jim Nicholas lay in a hospital bed recovering after a heart procedure when his attorney called with life-changing news: The Social Security Administration would pay him more than $206,000 in disability benefits, bringing an end to his nine-year court battle. Ever since he began suffering from heart failure, Nicholas and his wife, Yvonne, had been trying to prove he was sick enough to get benefits from the agency, which not only administers Social Security but provides support for those too disabled to work.
NEWS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | February 27, 2012
An Annapolis woman pleaded guilty Friday to using false identities to bilk banks, Social Security and private and public insurers of $2.6 million, prosecutors said. From 2005 though 2009, Winnie Joanne Barefoot, 57, used stolen identities to take out loans on three properties in Annapolis, falsely representing her ability to repay the loans, according to a statement Friday from Maryland's U.S. Attorney's Office. Barefoot also admitted to providing false information to the Social Security Administration during that same period in order to receive disability benefits, which she has since repaid.
BUSINESS
By Carrie Mason-Draffen | May 29, 2005
Q. I collect a pension and Social Security, but I also work part time. I recently was injured off the job and have been out of work since February. Can I apply for disability, or am I disqualified because of my retirement benefits? A. Receiving a pension doesn't automatically disqualify you from disability benefits. Instead, your eligibility could depend on whether you signed up for the benefit. You waive your right to disability benefits if you decided against paying the average 60 cents a week that employees contribute toward disability insurance, said Jon Sullivan, a New York Workers' Compensation Board spokesman.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | November 28, 1996
WASHINGTON -- The government sent letters to the parents of 260,000 children yesterday notifying them that the children might lose disability benefits because of the new welfare law.The cash benefits, averaging $424 a month, are paid under the Supplemental Security Income program. The children, most of them from low-income families, were previously found to have a wide range of severe physical or mental disabilities like cerebral palsy, autism, tuberculosis, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, epilepsy and mental retardation.
NEWS
March 18, 2010
In 1962, Baltimore's mayor and City Council made a solemn promise to our police officers, firefighters and public safety workers to provide them with retirement benefits, line-of-duty disability benefits, ordinary disability benefits and death benefits in lieu of Social Security. Our police and firefighters face working conditions that are far more dangerous than most and have a high risk of work-related death and disability. These men and women have earned the benefits that the city promised in exchange for their service to the city and its residents.
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