Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cincinnati Attorney Calls on President Obama To Stop Social Security Disability From Keeping Judges Names Secret

The Social Security Administration is keeping the names of the federal administrative law Judges that will hear your SSDI or SSI claim secret. They started this new policy at the end of 2011. This is truly chilling and implies a big brother government cloaked in secrecy.
Anthony Castelli Attorney

I am calling on President Obama to order the Social Security Administration to stop this practice immmediately. This practice is so secret that there has not even been a published memo on the subject. In other words this policy has not been published publicly anywhere.

Everyone that applies for social secuity disability benefits either SSI or SSDI if denied has an opportunity to appeal their case and have a hearing in front of a federal administrative law Judge. Previously, once the claim was assigned to what is called the Office of disability adjudication and review a Judge would be assigned and you could learn his name. Now because of social security's secret policy you do not learn of the name of the Judge until the day of the hearing.

This secret procedure smacks of a totalitarian government. This seems untenable in a democratic society, but yet the secrecy has gone on for one year now. Where is the main stream press on this. No where. I call on President Obama to immediately lift the secrecy. Certainly he has the power to make the Social Security Administration reveal the names of the Judges before a hearing is held.

The Problem Created by a Secret Govermental Agency Policy

Social security disability lawyers are up in arms. The National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Represntatives, of which I am a member, is fighting this issue with Freedom of Information requests. Social Secuity has indicated the reason for the change is to reduce the risk of forum shopping. Apparently this policy is in response to whether you agree to a video hearing or not as one of the considerations. Because of a big backlog in some areas SSA has gone to more video hearings. These hearings are with Judges in other jurisdictions. However a claimant does not have to agree to a video hearing. 

However this justification is speculative at best and certainly does not justify secrecy. As NOSSCR noted:

"When a government uses secrecy to disadvantage claimants it is more likely the agency will get away with error, fail to follow policy or deny due process." Attorneys doing social security disability work usually do a lot of it since it is a special area in the law . A niche if you will. The social security disability lawyers come to know all the local judges. Every judge is a bit different and knowing the judge helps a  lawyer prepare for the case.

But the bottom line is the GOVERMENT IS KEEPING SECRETS when it is not necessary. This can only lead to the futher intrusion of intolerable government secret actions in our lives. Men and women have fought and died for freedom. It is now being watered down and taken away from under our very noses.

So I say,      President Obama tear down these walls. 

                        These walls of government secrecy. 

Good Lord I never thought these words of President Reagan would have to be used towards a President of the United States. 

     8170 Corporate park Drive #220
     Cincinnati, Ohio 45242


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cincinnati Lawyer Says It is Not necessary to Cut Social Security

As a Cincinnati Ohio social security disability lawyer I have seen many deserving people have their financial lives saved by social security disability. This is known as SSI to some and SSDI to others.

SSI is supplemental security income and is available for those who are unable to work and have limited assets and are no longer or have never been covered by social security disability insurance.

SSDI is social security disability income and is for people who have paid into the social security system and have enough covered quarters that if they are not able to work that can get financial disability benefits.

Of course everyone knows about social security retirement benefits. For those born in 1960 or after full retirement age is 67

Social Securtiy Does Not Need To Be Cut

Contrary to some thinking social security does not need to be cut. It does not add to the deficit. In fact there is a surplus so that even if nothing is done will last for 21 more years with people getting full benefits. It will take only minor accomodations to fund social security after that time.

Social security benfits are modest. And from my experience no judge is giving away benefits. In 30 years I have never seen a non deserving person get benefits though I have felt several that deserved benefits for disability did not get them. The average benefit for todays reiree or diabled is about $14000.00 per year. This is about $1200 per month. About 1/3 of retirees rely on social security as all of their income


About Anthony Castelli Attorney

Anthony Castelli has over 30 years experience helping people get social security disability benefits. In That time he has helped hundred of people win their SSDI SSI benefits. He offers a free consultation. There is no fee unless he wins back benefits. For help with your social security disability application call 513-621-2345

8170 Corproate Park Drive #220
Cincinnati, Ohio 45242