It is not uncommon for people that have physical or mental disabilities to avoid treatment. When the medical records are reviewed, you will find long time periods where the claimant did not see a doctor for examinations or treatments.
These gaps, in the medical records can cause significant problems in proving a Social Security Disability (SDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim. Without ongoing office visits, it will be difficult for a doctor to state whether your condition got better, worse or remained the same. It will be difficult for the Social Security Administration to assess your ongoing disability and determine its severity. It will also be difficult for your treating doctor to assist you in providing an accurate diagnosis, determination of disability and plan for treatment.
Further, your medical treatment may require testing, treatment and therapy. All of these elements can also be used to prove your Social Security Disability case.
If you are seeing a doctor, you should continue to make and attend recommended office medical visits. You should also comply when your doctor prescribes testing, treatment and therapy.
Avoiding treatment can not only adversely affect your health and wellbeing, it can also hurt your claim with the Social Security Administration.
If you have any questions concerning Social Security claims, you should consult an experience Social Security attorney.
Kent S. DeJean
One of the biggest mistakes that people make in applying for Social Security benefits is that they believe and assume that the Social Security Administration is their advocate. They believe that the Social Security Administration is advocating for them and taking care of their cases. The truth is that the Social Security Administration is a federal administrative body to administer claims. Don’t get me wrong. The people that work with the Social Security Administration are good hard-working people.
But the Social Security Administration is not the claimant’s attorney. Although the Social Security Administration will assist to some degree in getting medical evidence, it is the responsibility of the clamant to obtain and submit medical evidence. The Social Security Administration will not assist a person in advocating the claimant’s claims. Without an attorney, claimant’s find that they are representing themselves. They will find that their claims have been denied because evidence was not received or important parts of their cases were not submitted. To add insult to injury, it is difficult to appeal these decisions.
It is very important that a claimant consult with an experienced attorney that handles Social Security cases. A claimant’s case is important to them. The process in obtaining benefits is a long one and often times, the claimant is experiencing financial distress. Time is of the essence. So, it is important that claimant make the most of their opportunity to make sure that their cases are being properly presented.
Kent S. DeJean
In the past, many heirs were reluctant to open legal succession in Louisiana due to the fees and costs. There is a perception that opening a succession even for a small one, is expensive.
However, recent Louisiana legislation now makes completing a small succession relatively easy without having to file succession pleadings and incurring expensive fees and costs.
If the decedent died without a will and the net value of the decedents estate is worth less than $ 75,000.00, then this type of small succession may be done by affidavit.
The heirs will be required to follow the statutory requirements as to its execution and form for this affidavit.
This small succession procedure affidavit is not the answer for all small successions. If the heirs are fighting, if there is litigation, or if the assets and debts are not known, it may still be necessary to open a legal succession with the courts.
As always, heirs should consult an experienced succession attorney before taking any action on their own regarding a succession.
You are invited to attend our Free Senior Work Shop on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at 12:00pm and 6:00pm at the East Baton Rouge Library – Goodwood, 7711 Goodwood Blvd. Baton Rouge, LA. Please RSVP seating is limited. Please call to reserve 225-892-9702
One of the biggest things that motivates people to our law firm to engage in estate planning or updating their wills is when they go on an airplane trip. The thoughts to traveling high in the air in a large aircraft scares people into executing wills and powers of attorney. The perception is that flying is very dangerous. However, human perception is sometimes not based in reality.
What is your probability of dying in a commercial airplane crash? According to statistics, you have a one in 3.5 million chance of being involved in a commercial airplane crash where at least one person dies (not necessarily you).
In comparison, statistics show that you have a one in 100,000 chance of dying in an automobile accident. That’s right. You are at least 35 times more likely to die riding in a car accident today than if you got on a commercial aircraft.
So, what is the moral of the story? Instead of waiting to estate plan when you are taking a trip on a plane, you should be much more worried about estate planning today if you are riding in a car. One should not put off estate planning or the execution of powers of attorney. Our health and/or capacity is not guaranteed. Plan today!
If you have any questions about wills, estate planning or powers of attorney, contact an experienced estate planning attorney.
Kent S. DeJean
A living will is probably the most misnamed legal document.It has nothing to do with “living” and it’s not a “will”.
To put it bluntly, it is a directive to be allowed to die. A person that signs a living will is declaring that they be allowed to die if certain facts are present. In Louisiana, euthanasia is illegal. Certain elements have to all be met before a living will becomes effective. The required elements are as follows:
- The person must have an incurable injury, disease or illness
- This injury, disease or illness must be certified to be a terminal and irreversible condition by two (2) physicians (one of whom is the treating physician of that person) who have personally examined the person
- The physicians must determine that my death will occur whether or not life-sustaining procedures are utilized; and
- The application of life-sustaining procedures would serve only to prolong the dying process artificially
If all of these elements are met, the person may direct that all life-sustaining procedures be withheld or withdrawn. The person can also express a directive as to whether to allow food and water to be administered invasively if all the above elements are met.
The most common example of where all these required elements are met is if a person is in an incurable coma and whose life is being artificially prolonged by the use of a respirator.
A person interested in executing a living will, powers of attorney and a will, should consult an experienced estate planning attorney.
A Health Care Directive is a legal document where a person can express whether they want or don’t want to try medical treatment in certain specific medical situations. These documents can be very lengthy and can cover wide ranges in hypothetical medical situations. It can take a long period of time to complete these lengthy documents.
This document is very important because it does two very important things:
- It allows the person who executes this document to remain in control of their medical treatment even though they become incapacitated. By expressing their preferences, family members or friends know what the person wanted and didn’t want in medical treatment.
- It removes very difficult medical decisions for family members and friends to have to make. Medical decisions can be very difficult because they have to be made during very difficult emotional times. By executing a Health Care Directive, the decisions are made for the family members and friends. This makes it easier for family members and friends during this difficult time.
A person interested in executing a Health Care Directive as well as powers of attorney, living wills and wills should contact an experienced estate planning attorney.
Monthly Pension Rates
Basic Improved Pension: $1,097
Aid & Attendance: $1,830
Standard 5% VA UME Deduction: $54.92
Basic Improved Pension: $1,436
Aid & Attendance: $2,169
Standard 5% VA UME Deduction: $71.92
Basic Improved Pension: $735
Aid & Attendance: $1,176
Standard 5% VA UME Deduction: $36.83
Veteran Married to Veteran
Basic Improved Pension: $1,436
One Housebound: $1,680
Two Housebound: $1,923
One Aid & Attendance $2,169
One Housebound and One Aid& Attendance $2,412
Both Aid & Attendance: $2,903