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Over 50? How to Determine If You Qualify for Disability Benefits

By jhall@support.websitepro.hosting | April 22, 2021

Aging increases the probability of a disability since our bodies become less resistant to injury and illness. People older than 50 years of age are considered disabled if they are unable to perform their past relevant work and are confined to sedentary work activities. 

If you are in your 50s, social security can consider your education, experience, and age to determine if you are disabled. Continue on to learn more about if you qualify for disability benefits:

What Types of Disabilities Do People File Claims For?

Common disabilities that claims are filed for include:

  • Physical impairments such as stress injuries, carpal tunnel, and knee or hip issues
  • Disc herniations and other spinal disorders
  • Physical and mental impairments caused by illnesses such as cancer, heart problems, diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson’s disease
  • Mental illnesses like depression or schizophrenia

Can You Transfer Your Skillset?

If you are 50 or over, and no longer able to perform your job due to a disability, it may be a challenge to transfer your skillset to other types of work. 

Social Security Disability benefits are another form of compensation that may be available to qualified disabled workers. Although workers of any age are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits after claiming a disability, there are special rules for older workers to simplify obtaining disability benefits.

Workers in their older years might not be required to adjust to a new type of work even if they are physically able to.

The Four Levels of Functioning Capacity 

There are four categories used by the Social Security Administration to determine your workload:

  • Sedentary – does not involve lifting more than 10 pounds
  • Light – involves lifting of between 10-20 pounds
  • Medium – involves frequently lifting 25 pounds and occasional 50 pounds
  • Heavy – frequent lifting more than 50 pounds

Even sedentary workers between the ages of 50 and 54 may be eligible for disability benefits. People between 55 and 59 could be eligible even if they can perform light work, and those between the ages of 60 and 64 could collect Social Security Disability benefits even if they can perform medium-level activities.

At Regas & Haag, Ltd., we handle all aspects of Social Security Disability cases. If you think you may be eligible for disability benefits call us today at 330-649-9102 to learn how we can help you get the benefits you qualify for.

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How an Attorney Can Help With Disability Claims

By jhall@support.websitepro.hosting | April 15, 2021

Have you recently been injured? Working with a Social Security disability attorney can improve your probability of receiving the benefits that apply to your situation. Here are a few ways that hiring an attorney can help:

They Fully Understanding The Process

Lawyers know your rights and can persuasively argue on your behalf in relation to the benefits you deserve after a personal injury. Their knowledge may help them to cite the rules and laws specific to your case.

They Help You Know and Meet Your Deadlines

You might be surprised to learn that making a Social Security disability claim late can potentially lead to an automatic denial. Attorneys are familiar with the deadlines involved and can help you prepare and submit your application well before the deadline.

They Work With the Social Security Office On Your Behalf

If this is your first time connecting with the Social Security office or testifying before a judge at a hearing—the experience can be intimidating. Your attorney can handle many of these details on your behalf. 

An attorney can also work with you to help strengthen your claim. Sometimes, seemingly inconsequential pieces of evidence or statements can make all the difference—so there are many benefits to having an expert on your side to support you through the process.

When Should I Call an Attorney?

The rule of thumb is always “the sooner, the better.” 

If you are considering filing for a disability claim, you should contact an attorney for a consultation meeting. Getting legal support and assistance beforehand can help you determine the strength of your case and assist you in submitting your initial application. Legal representation is not required, but the likelihood that you will be approved is greater if you have legal counsel on your side.

At Regas & Haag, Ltd., we handle all aspects of your Social Security Disability case. This includes getting in contact with your doctors to obtain your medical records and reports, filing all appeals on your behalf, and preparing you for your hearing.

For advice and guidance for your disability claim, call us today at 330-649-9102 to get started.

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Can Your Disability Benefits Be Taken Away?

By castleford@support.websitepro.hosting | February 19, 2021

Social Security disability benefits are rarely terminated due to medical improvement, but that does not stop them from trying. The SSA has been reviewing cases in recent months to determine cases where medical improvement has occurred and they can stop payments for benefits. These are called cessation cases. 

When and How Cessation Cases Happen 

The SSD process does not end when you receive benefits. Social Security is required to review your case periodically. If the Social Security Administration determines your disability has improved enough for you to work, you will no longer receive benefits. If you face a Continuing Disability Review (CDR), your case will be forwarded to the Disability Determination Service (DDS) in your area.

Appealing a Cessation of Benefits 

You will have 60 days to request an appeal, which consists of an informal hearing before a Hearing Officer. At the hearing, you can present additional evidence, call witnesses, and testify about your conditions. 

What is the Standard for Evaluating Medical Improvement? 

During a CDR, Social Security uses the Medical Improvement Review Standards (MIRS). If you were found disabled because you were unable to stand or walk for more than an hour in an eight-hour day, you would qualify for disability benefits. If you feel better, but you cannot stand or walk for an hour, your medical improvement is not related to your ability to work, and your benefits continue. 

It is the Social Security Administration’s responsibility to prove that you are capable of returning to work. It is much harder to lose your benefits than to gain them since you initially demonstrated you are disabled. Nonetheless, disability cessations can occur. 

How Can Regas & Haag Help?

Even after being awarded disability benefits, there are still hurdles to maintaining your status with the SSA. Learning about the CDR process can help you be better prepared for a periodic review. 

Regas & Haag handles every aspect of your Social Security Disability case, including communicating with your physicians, obtaining medical records and reports, filing all appeals on your behalf, preparing you for an Administrative Law Judge hearing, and appealing through Federal district court. Contact us today by filling out the form on our website, or by calling us at (330) 649-9102. Remember—there are no attorney fees until you win.

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Skip the Line With Help From Regas & Haag

By idavey@support.websitepro.hosting | February 11, 2021

Social Security offices have been closed to the public for in-person meetings and appointments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with vaccinations beginning, we anticipate the eventual re-opening of these field offices—however, we also anticipate significant wait times and delays in getting in-person meetings and appointments to help with the filing and process of disability claims. Fortunately, Regas & Haag is here to help.


Important Information for Disability Insurance Applicants
Each year about 2 million people apply for SSDI benefits, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) only approves about 37% of first-time applicants. That leaves 700,000 ineligible applicants who are denied; most after waiting for more than two years. At Regas & Haag, we’re here to help you through the steps of the application process for Social Security Disability Benefits. Here is what you need to know about applying for SSDI:

  1. You must meet the duration of work test, meaning you are fully insured, and record at least 40 quarters of paying FICA taxes throughout your entire working career.
  2. You must meet the recent work test of 20 quarters or credits (5 years) of earnings during the last 10 years.
  3. If your disability is determined to be long term, permanent or terminal, you can apply for SSDI. But don’t wait too long before applying, as a delay could render you ineligible.
  4. You must meet the SSA’s definition of disability to receive SSDI benefits.
  5. Once approved, plan for your benefits to begin five months after the date you last worked.
  6. Disability benefits convert to retirement benefits once you reach 65–67 depending on your birthdate.
  7. Confirm your eligibility before you apply. Regas & Haag will help you determine if you are eligible before you apply, and help navigate the SSDI process.
  8. Considering applying alone? Applicants with representatives have a higher chance of success at the application and appeal levels of the SSDI program.
    At Regas & Haag, we handle all the steps of the application process for Social Security Disability Benefits so you don’t have to. This eliminates the need for applicants to wait for hours on-hold or in line. We also anticipate appointments being filled months into the future upon the
    reopening of Social Security offices. When you file your application can affect how much money you receive, so it’s important to submit your application early. Contact us to speak to a representative today and learn how Regas & Haag can help!
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Regas & Haag Supports the “Save Our Social Security Now” Act

By Regas & Haag, LTD | December 1, 2020

Introduced into Congress by Rep. John Larson (D-CT), the Save Our Social Security Now Act would reverse President Trump’s Executive Action which deferred the payroll tax contributions of millions of American. At Regas & Haag, we support this act and we encourage everyone to contact your local Congressional districts and corresponding Representatives to let them know that you are against this Executive Action.

A Potential Disaster in the Making

Introduced by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Social Security is the foundation of retirement security for our great nation. It provides nearly all workers and their families with essential insurance protections for retirement, disability, or the death of a family breadwinner. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global economic and healthcare crisis. Millions of Americans are relying on their savings to keep food on their table and a roof over their heads. Eliminating the safeguard of Social Security spells potential disaster for millions of working Americans.

Social Security is America’s number-one anti-poverty program, and without it, 15 million seniors (almost half of older Americans) would live in poverty. Additionally, around 4.1 million children receive Social Security benefits each month because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired or deceased. This money helps lift over 1 million American children out of poverty, and eliminating this benefit would ensure these children do not have a future.

We applaud Representative Larson and his long history of protecting and enhancing Social Security. On behalf of Regas & Haag and our clients, we thank you for introducing H.R 8171 to the House. We stand with you in defending Social Security and believe your success in protecting this trust will help ensure the financial future of our clients and Americans everywhere.

Contact Your Local Representative

Our clients rely on Social Security payments to meet their basic needs. It’s important that the benefit they have paid into is available to them.

Contact your local Representative, and urge them to support keeping our Social Security benefits stable and properly funded.

Here is a list of our local Congressional districts and corresponding Representatives:

Ohio 7th–Bob Gibbs (R)

Ohio 12th–Troy Balderson (R)

Ohio 13th–Tim Ryan (D)

Ohio 16th–Anthony Gonzalez(R) 

If you need to apply for Social Security benefits, Regas & Haag can help. Visit our website or contact us with any questions you may have.

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The Difference Between Workers’ Compensation and Employers’ Liability

By Regas & Haag, LTD | November 9, 2020

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 5,000 work-related fatalities in the United States in 2018, with over 150 deaths in Ohio alone. If your family member has been seriously injured or killed in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Learn more about the difference between workers’ compensation and employers’ liability and how it relates to workplace fatalities.

The Difference Between Workers’ Compensation and Employers’ Liability

Workers’ compensation is an employer insurance program designed to compensate workers who are injured while performing their duties. This compensation is intended to cover the cost of medical bills associated with illness or injury and compensate for lost wages if the employee is unable to continue working. In the state of Ohio, all employers must provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees.

On the other hand, employers’ liability covers incidents—such as illness, injury, or death—due to negligence. Workers may also file an employers’ liability claim if they feel that workers’ compensation does not adequately cover their expenses.

What Is Wrongful Death?

Surviving family members should file a wrongful death claim following a workplace fatality if they believe that the employer is at fault. To file a wrongful death claim, plaintiffs need to prove:

  • Breach of duty. Was the employer in a position responsible for the workers’ safety, and was this responsibility violated?
  • Negligence. Were the employers’ actions careless, reckless, or otherwise negligent?
  • Causation. Did the negligence directly result in the death of the employee?
  • Damages. What is the measured impact of the employee’s death?

The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to seek compensation for damages above and beyond what workers’ compensation may provide. This includes, but is not limited to, loss of the decedent’s potential future earnings, loss of possible inheritance to the decedent’s current heirs, emotional anguish over the decedent’s loss, and more.

In Ohio, only the personal representative of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim. The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Ohio is two years.

At Regas & Haag, Ltd, our attorneys handle a wide variety of workers’ compensation and wrongful death claims. If you believe your loved one was wrongfully killed while working, we can help. Visit our website or call (330) 649-9102 to get started.

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Why You Should Have an Attorney Represent You at a Disability Benefits Hearing

By Regas & Haag, LTD | October 1, 2020

Applying for disability benefits can be a complicated process, and often includes a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to determine whether your application is approved or denied. Here are three reasons why it is important to have an attorney represent you at a hearing.

Help From Trained Professionals 

Lawyers know the ins and outs of the legal system and how to best represent their client to get optimal results—they are your advocate and have your best interests at heart.

Lawyers are trained professionals who understand the intricate rules of the court system, including the procedures to properly handle all aspects of your Social Security Disability case. They’ve overseen hundreds of such cases and can help advise you on the directives that you should take. 

Comprehensive Assistance

At Regas & Haag Ltd., we handle all aspects of your Social Security Disability case—including contacting your doctors to obtain medical records and reports, filing all appeals on your behalf, preparing you for an eventual hearing in front of an ALJ, and appealing through the federal courts.

Get an Advocate in Your Corner 

The vast majority of applications for disability benefits end up going to a hearing in front of an ALJ. This hearing is the most important step in determining whether someone is eventually approved for benefits. The assistance of a seasoned attorney who is well-versed in disability law can be the difference between your case being approved or denied.

We have over 40 combined years of representing clients at hearings that determine whether or not they are approved for disability benefits. To learn more about having an attorney represent you at your hearing, visit our website or talk to our professionals by calling 800-520-2200.

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Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits Successfully

By Regas & Haag, LTD | September 1, 2020

Applying for social security disability benefits requires time, patience, and understanding in order to fill out the lengthy and monstrous forms. Doing so can be tedious in itself, but you’ll need to fill them in correctly if you are hoping to get them approved the first time. Unfortunately, many forms are rejected if they are not completely filled out or if any medical records are missing in the submission.

What Is Social Security Disability Insurance?

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is meant to help support you and your family members if you are struggling with a disability. These benefits are only available to individuals that have paid taxes on their earnings for a sufficient period of time in a recent time frame.

Do You Quality for Social Security Disability Benefits?

In order to make a claim for social security disability benefits, you must:

  • Not be earning more than $1,260 a month in the current year.
  • Be impaired by a condition that makes it difficult or impossible to complete basic work-related tasks.
  • Have a condition that is listed among the list of medical conditions that make it impossible to earn a living.
  • Not be able to complete the work you did in the past.
  • Not be able to do any other type of work.

In order to receive social security disability benefits, you will need to meet every criteria above.

How Can You Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Once you’ve reviewed the criteria above and the Checklist for Online Adult Disability Application, it’s time to start the application process. Thankfully, there are multiple ways to apply for these benefits.  

If you find these forms difficult and confusing, ensure you get the right assistance that will help you on your journey. At Regas and Haag Ltd, we don’t wait for the application to be denied. We handle applications from the earliest stages, including making sure the lengthy and difficult forms are completed correctly, to increase your chances of getting approved.

To know more about how to file for social security benefits successfully, talk to our professionals by calling us at 800-520-2200.

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How to Get the Workers’ Compensation You Deserve

By Regas & Haag, LTD | August 1, 2020

When a worker suffers from a serious injury while on the job, the lasting damage can greatly impact the individual’s life. Whether the incident has made it difficult or impossible to work for a short time, or for the rest of their lives, the employer must be held responsible for the incident and its impact on the employee’s future. 

When you are injured because of your job or if you have developed a work-related illness, there are laws that can help you to get the compensation you deserve for the loss you have suffered. However, it’s important to understand the Ohio workers’ compensation laws to ensure you are compensated fairly. 

What Are the Workers’ Compensation Laws in Ohio?

The workers’ compensation system in Ohio will provide funds for individuals who have suffered injuries or for any health issues caused due to the work required. These funds are specifically meant to cover medical expenses and lost wages as a result of the harmful work incident in an effort to provide peace of mind and fair compensation for the injured employee. However, it’s important to note that claimants only have one year to put forth their claim for review. 

As an injured worker in Ohio, you have rights. You deserve to be treated fairly and to receive the appropriate care and compensation which you are entitled to. You have the right to access high-quality BWC-certified healthcare of your choosing, have your approved medical expenses paid for, and to receive timely payments for these services. 

What Benefits Will I Receive From My Workers’ Compensation Claim? 

Now that you understand the laws, it’s also important to understand how they can benefit you if you need them. If your claim is approved by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, you may be entitled to any one of the following:

  • Medical benefits
  • Lost wages
  • Disability payments
  • Retraining or rehabilitation benefits

How Can I Submit a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Ohio?

Submitting a claim can be difficult, depending on the circumstances of your injury or illness. After all, in order to receive compensation, you must verifiably establish that 

  • The injury or illness happened in the course of your employment and that
  •  Your work was the cause of the injury or illness suffered.

Hiring a professional attorney can help you ensure you are able to prove the requirements above and can receive the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your Social Security Disability or Workers’ Compensation benefits, call the office of Regas & Haag, Ltd. immediately at 330-649-9102 or toll-free at 1-800-520-2200.

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Back to Work Amidst COVID-19: The High-Risk List, Reasonable Accommodations, and What You Can Do

By Regas & Haag, LTD | July 28, 2020

As our state re-opens, many are faced with a difficult decision—whether or not to return to work. Unfortunately, general fear or concern over coronavirus does not hold legal merit to refuse to return to work. However, those who are high-risk individuals (as determined by the CDC), or who have other health disorders, are protected by specific laws and regulations

Whether you’re looking for additional accommodations in returning to work, or keeping unemployment benefits after refusing to return, you’ll want to consider these things:

The CDC High-Risk List

The CDC is continually updating its list of high-risk medical conditions concerning COVID-19. For individuals with these conditions, it’s suggested they take precautions to limit social interactions. When returning to work, CDC recommends additional accommodations such as telecommuting, increased PPE, or changes in schedule to limit interactions with staff/customers.

If you are considered high-risk and want to work, it’s important to remember your employer cannot force you to stay home. They must work with you to provide reasonable safety accommodations.

Reasonable Accommodations

Discuss with your employer what procedures have been put in place to ensure proper protection and social distancing. Ask:

  • What’s the cleaning and sanitization policy?
  • How will staff/customers adhere to social distancing?
  • What screening procedures are being put into place?
  • Is it possible to telecommute?

If you require additional accommodations to feel safe, you must engage in the interactive process with your employer to determine what adjustments are needed.

If your request does not cause undue hardship to your employer, they must comply. Reasonable accommodations may include; additional or modified protective gear; plexiglass, or other barriers between yourself and others; telecommuting; and more.

Talk to Your Doctor

Not all medical conditions are visible or are on the CDC high-risk list. We recognize mental health conditions such as anxiety, PTSD, OCD, can impact someone’s ability to feel safe returning to work. While general concern or fear over the virus is not enough to allow an individual to refuse to return to work, there are steps you can take. Talk to your doctor and obtain a medical note regarding the risks you face returning to work due to your mental or physical illness. 

If you choose not to return to work, and you cannot provide legal justification, you could lose any unemployment benefits you’re collecting. At Regas & Haag, we defend vulnerable individuals in Social Security & Disability Law and Worker’s Compensation cases. If you believe you have a legal claim in regards to returning to work post-COVID-19. Please reach out to schedule a consultation with us to discuss your rights.

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