Monmouth County's Ask the Doctor Sept/Oct

TIPS FOR APPLYING FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS: Social security disability benefits are available if you have a severe medical impairment that prevents you from being “gainfully” employed for at least 12 months. Because peo- ple fill out the application themselves without using a lawyer, here are some tips to increase the likelihood of successfully getting benefits down the road. 1. Give the Social Security Administration all the infor- mation it asks in a straightforward way. Be truthfully and do not exaggerate or minimize your disability. 2. List all your medical problems, not just the major one. If you do not qualify on the major medical issue, the combination of your other medical problems may help you obtain benefits. 3. Complete a Disability Report and Function Report to explain how your medical impairment keeps you from working. If you are under age 50, your explanation must include why you cannot do any job, not just the jobs you have done and explain why you cannot work full time. 4. Have a relative or friend complete a Third Party func- tion report to support your claims of your symptoms and inability to do certain things. 5. If you have been terminated from jobs due to your in- ability to perform a job, ask for you your work records or evaluations and submit them. 6. If you are denied, speak with an attorney to see if you are likely to succeed at a reconsideration appeal or a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. 7. If you are appealing to the Administrative Law Judge, never do it alone. The hearing is an actual trial and So- cial Security will hire experts that need to be cross-ex- amined. You are better served by hiring a lawyer to represent you who can gather the appropriate medical evidence, ask you the right questions in your testimony and more importantly cross-examine the Social Securi- ty experts who claim you can work. We do not charge to meet with your and we are only paid if we win your case. DON'T FACE THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION ALONE! IT IS NOT THAT EASY CONTINGENCY FEE – WE ONLY GET PAID IF YOU WIN •Social Security Disability (SSD) •Supplemental Security Income (SSI) •Adults and Children

Divorce or Separation may have an effect on taxes By, Lauren Kowlacki Taxpayers should be aware of tax law changes related to alimony and separation payments. These payments are made after a divorce or separation. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed the rules around them, which will affect cer- tain taxpayers when they file their 2019 tax returns next year. Here are some facts that will help people understand these changes and who they will impact: • The law relates to payments under a divorce or sepa- ration agreement. This includes: - Divorce decrees • In general, the taxpayer who makes payments to a spouse or former spouse can deduct it on their tax return. The taxpayer who receives the payments is required to include it in their income. • Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, alimony or separate mainte- nance payments are not deductible from the income of the payer spouse, or includable in the income of the receiving spouse, if made under a divorce or sep- aration agreement executed after Dec. 31, 2018. • If an agreement was executed on or before Dec. 31, 2018 and then modified after that date, the new law also applies. The new law applies if the modification does these two things: - It changes the terms of the alimony or separate main- tenance payments. - It specifically says that alimony or separate mainte- nance payments are not deductible by the payer spouse or includable in the income of the receiving spouse. • Agreements executed on or before Dec. 31, 2018 fol- low the previous rules. If an agreement was mod- ified after that date, the agreement still follows the previous law as long as the modifications don’t do what’s described above. - Separate maintenance decrees - Written separation agreements


Frances Anne Tomes, Esq. Tomes Law Firm, PC 1 West Main St, 3rd Floor

Freehold, NJ 07728 Tel: (732) 333-0681 WWW.TOMESLAW.COM

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