Qualifying For Social Security Disability Benefits
Video Transcript for the Hearing Impaired:
Speaker 1: An injury or illness that leaves you disabled is life changing. When you're learning to cope with the medical and personal implications, you also have to consider how you're going to support yourself financially.
Other Speaker: The federal government offers Social Security disability to those who can no longer work for a living, and Attorney Karl Truman joins again here to explain how do you qualify, how to apply, to what to do if you're denied. Good to see you.
Karl Truman: Good morning.
Other Speaker: Good morning. Let's start right away with that. Can people come to you, initially?
Karl Truman: Sure. Yes. Social Security disability, uh, some people think that, uh, you know, see it as if it was some sort of, uh, dupe the government benefit. Well, we all pay into it through our Social Security taxes. A lot of times people think about Social Security only when you retire. Well, also that money that you pay in through your paycheck goes to a disability benefit, so if you cannot work and you're totally disabled, then you can apply for Social Security disability benefits, and that's where the funds comes from.
Speaker 1: When you say total disabled, this is a permanent disability meaning you will never be able to work again?
Karl Truman: Right, and, uh, to answer your question about the initial application, yes, we can help people from the very beginning of the stages; you know, when they make their very first application, you don't have to wait until you get denied. Some people choose to do that. "Well, I'll try first," but sometimes, uh, some people will want us to help them with the initial application process. All right, well, one of the expressions that you cannot do any employment. Well, maybe you worked on a loading dock, sure, and, and they might say, "Well, can't you do a job, a desk job?"
Other Speaker: Right. Is that sort of a challenge they put before?
Karl Truman: Good question, because a lot of clients will come to us and say, you know, they may have a, a heavy, con, you know, construction job or heavy, uh, lifting type job and they'll say, "Well, I can't do my job anymore. I want to apply for disability," and we have to explain to them, it's not enough just to say, "I can't do my old job." You have to show you really can't do any type of substantive, uh, the phrase is substantial, gainful activity or substantial employment. So, if you can work at a desk job, uh, even though you can't do your, you know, heavy construction job, then you're not totally disabled. You have to be totally disabled for Social Security.
Other Speaker: What about if it's, uh, a, a situation on that is graduating, say, a bad back situation? For some people, uh, I mean, they are, they are, they're locked down because their back problem progresses and, and even sitting at a desk is too difficult to manage.
Karl Truman: Sure, well, there's a lot of factors that go into it. Uh, it's not just one cookie cutter, one size fits all things, because what they, uh, they'll look at is, you know, things like your age, your education. You know? There's, there's a difference if you have a college degree versus you never, didn't have, graduate from high school; uh, your work experience, the type of work that you've done in the past; uh, ability for what's called transferrable job skills, so there's a lot of things that go into it. You can't just point to one thing and say you're if you're going to qualify not.
Speaker 1: And a lot of people don't qualify. They apply and they're denied, but you can reapply, right; if you are denied the first time?
Karl Truman: Well, eight out of ten people get denied, so –
Speaker 1: It’s pretty common.
Karl Truman: – yes, it's very, it's very common to, to get denied, even – and, you know, it gets kind of frustrating for clients and me, because clients will say, "Well, I know my neighbor, you know, he got it right away. Why don't I get it?" and, I wish I had a good explanation for that, but that's, sometimes that's the bureaucracy that we deal with.
Other Speaker: That's why it's challenging to take it on by yourself and better to call an attorney, like you, and say –
Karl Truman: Yeah.
Other Speaker: – help me walk through this minefield.
Karl Truman: That's right. There's a lot of, uh, details, a lot of processes to know to know what, uh, is important and how to submit it.
Speaker 1: Yeah, and one of the things you need to document, especially, of course, your medical treatment, your hospital bills and things like that, because it's going to be tough to prove –
Karl Truman: True!
Speaker 1: – that you're permanently disabled in a lot of cases.
Karl Truman: It's got to be documented. That's very important. You got to have the medical proof to back it up.
Other Speaker: And just like insurance companies, the government's job is to say no at first.
Karl Truman: You're – well, they're worried about money, too.
And, and not, and not having to, to pay out claims, so, yeah, so they're under pressure to, uh, you know, to not pay out, to, to try to save money.
Speaker 1: Sure. All right, Karl, thank you so much. We appreciate it. If you've been denied Social Security disability or if you just want to start from the very beginning and get Karl's help to apply for it, you can call in at 222 2222.
Other Speaker: And, you can learn more at trumanlaw.com.
Proper Coverage For Your Automobile Insurance Policy
Video Transcript for the Hearing Impaired:
Speaker 1: Hey Karl, good to see you. You know, um, if, if you've lived this long without having a car accident, consider yourself lucky, and in the minority. Wrecks are, on the road are one of the most common ways people get hurt, of course.
Other Speaker: Yes, and Attorney Karl Truman is here, and Karl, it is so important that people have the right amount of insurance, or they have insurance at all because you say so many people don't, actually. We have uninsured people, we have underinsured people, and I assume that neither is preferred.
Karl Truman: Yes, and again, you know, this is a, an education point that a lot of people really don't think about, that you have to protect yourself. It's looking out for yourself and your family because that other driver on the road is not looking out for you. If they hit you, they, you know, they may not have any insurance and if they do, they may just have minimum coverage, and if you have significant medical bills, it's not gonna be enough to take care of you.
Speaker 1: Yeah, well let's start right there, if the other person hits you, or you hit somebody, whatever happens, but we're a no-fault state in Kentucky. Uh –
Karl Truman: Well no fault's another topic for another day.
Speaker 1: That's, that's another topic.
Speaker 1: They have no insurance. What, where do you start?
Karl Truman: Well, see if the person doesn't have any insurance, you know, can you sue them personally to go after their assets? And sometimes we're able to do that, but oftentimes people who don't spend the money for insurance probably don't have any assets to go after so it's gonna be a dry well so to speak. So you've got to look at your own policy and look at, well do I have uninsured motorist or UM coverage to protect me if someone hits me that has no insurance coverage.
Speaker 1: And some people, I guess they, if they think it's a minor little bump, they just decide, well I'll exchange information and, and leave, while the other person has no insurance. What do you do?
Karl Truman: Well that's one thing, but the more significant is, you know, just recently, and I can tell you many stories of, of some clients that I've met with, uh, you know, I just recently met with a woman in the hospital who has severe broken bones, gonna be in rehab for months if not years, y'know I mean, just severe fractures, and you know, just hit by a very large truck, and the truck did not have any insurance coverage. And so she was gonna have hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and that person is responsible, but you know, what, what do they have to collect from? So, you know, she, that's why it's important for people like that to have enough insurance on their own to cover themselves so when they hit, uh, you know, and the other topic is underinsured motorist coverage, you know, so if someone hits you and maybe they have minimum coverage, you know, we hear that phrase, minimum coverage, that's all you need. Well, if you have significant medical bills like this person I was talking about, even if they have minimum coverage, it's not gonna be enough to cover it.
Other Speaker: Yeah, because obviously, and like that client, she didn't anticipate being in a car accident. It's not something –
Karl Truman: Right.
Other Speaker: That you really can plan for except to make sure that you have enough insurance so that if it does happen to you, you're, you're prepared.
Karl Truman: Nobody, I've met-, I've not met a client yet that, that walked out the door and said, gee I think I'll go get in a car accident today.
Other Speaker: Yeah.
Karl Truman: Nobody thinks it's gonna happen to them, so that's why you've got to have that protection.
Speaker 1: And I guess maybe some think well that'll never happen to me, the odds are that there, if I'm in an accident, that the other person will be insured, but the numbers are kind of surprising.
Karl Truman: It is. It's, it's pretty significant. People who are uninsured, in Kentucky, it's 18 percent of drivers have no insurance at all. In Indiana, it's 16 percent. So that's still a big number of people who have no insurance.
Speaker 1: Oh yeah.
Karl Truman: And again, that's not even factoring in people who have minimum coverage. The minimum liability coverage in both Indiana and Kentucky is $25,000.00. And, but if you have $100,000.00 in medical bills, that's not gonna go very far.
Other Speaker: Yeah, and when people are trying to save money, that's why they get the minimum coverage but then it's gonna cost you much more money in the long run if you need.
Karl Truman: Exactly. Yes and –
Other Speaker: If you need to make a claim.
Karl Truman: And we do see, uh, you know, as the unemployment rate goes up, the number of uninsured drivers also goes up.
Speaker 1: All right, Karl, thanks a bunch. Yeah, you could talk to Attorney Karl Truman at this phone number: 502-222-2222.
Other Speaker: Or learn more online at trumanlaw.com. We'll be right back.
Other Speaker: When you buy any kind of insurance you hope you’ll never have to use it but when it’s time to make a claim you can be frustrated by the late payment or denied claim.
Speaker 1: Attorney Karl Truman, he’d be the other guy on this seat, that’s not wearing a Fasinator.
Other Speaker: We match though.
Speaker 1: Some insurance companies seem to deny valid claims in an effort to reduce their bottom line, rewarding employees who do this. In fact, Karl said, uh, you said some of these insurance companies have delayed claims in hope that policyholders will give up and in some cases even pass away at home.
Attorney Karl Truman: Yes, it’s amazing some of the tactics that insurance companies do and what I’m doing that today is I have a report put together by the American Association for Justice which talks about tricks of the trade, uh, what insurance companies do to deny and delay claims and so if anybody would like a copy of this, a free copy, simply call my office, 222-2222. We’ll send you a free copy so you can read it for yourself too because I believe an informed consumer makes a good client and so I want to let everybody know some of the things that the insurance companies are doing.
Speaker 1: Clearly, yeah, there, there are tactics they have to delay. We, we’ve all run into that various times in our lives, to try to get paid for something or other here so the whole idea is the longer they hold off on the money the better it is on their bottom line.
Attorney Karl Truman: Well, the delay thing to read about how, uh, some insurance companies have actually given incentives to their employees to deny claims.
Other Speaker: It’s hard to believe that! How is that legal? This is stunning!
Attorney Karl Truman: Well, it, the only way to hold them accountable is, you know, through the civil justice system. You know, that’s what we do and it’s to try to hold the insurance companies accountable for, uh, these types of tactics to, uh, wrongfully deny claims, you know, things that they do about delaying claims. Especially we see this in elderly and nursing homes. If they can delay it until that person dies then it, they can off paying less for being held responsible.
Speaker 1: What other sorts of tricks are there involved with insurance companies in terms of applying pressure to people to just give up?
Attorney Karl Truman: Well, that is one of the tactics that they do all the time is just, is just, uh, make it so frustrating, so, uh, uh, painful process to go through that someday eventually you’ll just say it’s not worth it and give up, and the language, if you ever tried to read your insurance contract, which what other business would you buy something that you don’t even know what you bought until after you bought it to get your contract. You know, you always hear about, well, reading your contract, well, usually if you buy something or you enter into a lease or something you get the contract, you read it, and then sign it. That’s not the way it is in the insurance industry. You buy the policy and then you find out what you bought.
Other Speaker: Now, how are they using credit scores to set premiums?
Attorney Karl Truman: Well, that’s one of the things that they’re doing now too, like many insurance companies are. They’re using credit scores and what that can hurt is people that, uh, particularly elderly people who pay cash, don’t use credit, don’t have, really have a credit score and if you don’t have a credit score that’s the same as having bad credit so, you know, people who don’t really use credit can be penalized by higher premiums.
Speaker 1: And the critical issue here, of course, it, for everybody is they’re trying to compete. They’re trying to make everything as cumbersome as possible and using gobbley gook language that is once again want to surrender, eventually.
Attorney Karl Truman: That’s one of the frustrating things about reading here and trying to read your insurance policy is that what is given to you in one part of the policy is taken away in another part of the policy. Uh, I mean it’s, it’s very common to, you know, Hurricane Katrina, that there is an example that even talks about in the, uh, publication here is that someone had hurricane coverage but they didn’t have, they were told they didn’t need flood coverage and so even though they were covered by the hurricane since it was a flood and the insurance company said well, the flood negates the hurricane so you don’t have any coverage.
Other Speaker: Hmm.
Speaker 1: Yeah, it was nice of them to point that out in advance.
Attorney Karl Truman: Yeah.
Speaker 1: Yeah, they sold that, but clearly people don’t know how many questions to ask when they are buying a policy. So, I guess the important thing is you can pick up one of these free brochures, Tricks of the Trade, and learn more about it, how insurance companies deny, delay, confuse and refuse. Refuse.
Attorney Karl Truman: Yeah, just give me a call at the office and I’ll send you a free copy.
Other Speaker: Okay, that number again is 222 –
Attorney Karl Truman: 2222
Other Speaker: – 2222, How can you forget that?. You can also get more information online at trumanlaw.com.
Disclaimer Info: The legal information provided is general and should not be relied on as legal advice, and legal advice cannot be given without full consideration of all relevant information relating to your individual situation.