Serving Clients Throughout Tulare County
Tulare County, located south of Fresno, is named for Tulare Lake, which was once, before it was drained for purposes of agricultural development, the largest freshwater lake west of the Great Lakes. Tulare County is one of the most beautiful regions of California, indeed one of the most scenic areas of the entire county, spanning the San Joaquin Valley all the way east to the Sierra Nevadas.
In addition to being the home of Sequoia National Park and parts of both Kings Canyon National Park, and Mount Whitney, the residents and representatives of Tulare County focus much attention on preserving the natural wonders of their locale. The Tulare County Resource Conservation District (RCD) works diligently with a wide range of state and federal agencies to preserve fresh water, prevent devastating fires, and protect fish and wildlife. In keeping with preserving natural resources, Tulare County works to protect human resources. Fortunately, the people of Tulare County have excellent legal services to help them obtain government assistance should the need arise. Peña & Bromberg, situated in nearby Fresno, is a well-known law firm with a fine team of disability attorneys. These highly skilled lawyers are eager to provide efficient, compassionate service for those whose lives might otherwise be unmanageable.
Government Benefits are Designed to Level the Playing Field in Tulare County
Whether you have been disabled from birth, or have become disabled due to injury, illness, or military combat, government assistance can establish, or bring you back to, a lifestyle of greater comfort and stability. Once Peña & Bromberg obtains your benefits, you will develop a renewed sense of independence and dignity.
The Benefits of Social Security Disability in Tulare County
Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are designed to provide monthly income to those who have worked in the past and become disabled in the present. Once our disabliity attorneys have helped you to qualify for government aid, you will receive a certain amount monthly to help you with household expenses. Cost of living (COLA) adjustments will be made to your stipend so that you can keep up with inflation. This last element usually distinguishes government benefits from employer benefits, since the latter typically keep payment at the same level, regardless of inflation.
Tax Benefits of SSD in Tulare County
Another example of SSD benefits is visible in your taxes. Though 50 percent of your SSD benefits are taxable as income, if the premium was paid from post-tax dollars while you were working, the long-term disability will not be taxed once it is received. If, on the other hand, the premium was paid with dollars not yet taxed, the long-term disability benefit would be considered taxable income.
Medicare Benefits of SSD in Tulare County
Those who have been receiving SSD for 2 years may also qualify for Medicare coverage, , regardless of age. This can be extremely helpful to disabled parties who require further medical or rehabilitative care. Disabled employees who have qualified for protection under the federal insurance continuing coverage known as COBRA can also benefit from receiving disability benefits since these individuals are entitled to additional months of COBRA coverage after which Medicare will kick in, regardless of the recipient’s age.
Protection of Social Security in Tulare County
Everyone looks forward to receiving the Social Security benefits when they have paid into the system, upon reaching the age of retirement. Individuals who are deemed eligible for SSD payments have their Social Security earnings records “frozen” for the period of time they are disabled. Because these interim years are not counted when the government tallies future benefits, and because benefits are assessed in terms of average earning during a fixed period of time, these people will come out ahead — with higher future Social Security benefits.
Incentives to Return to Work in Tulare County
Many injuries or illnesses result in relatively short-term disability, meaning that the afflicted individual will be able to return to work after a reasonable period of recovery. Because the government wants to encourage people whose disabilities are short-term to return to work when they are able, the Social Security Administration (SSA) allows recipients of disability benefits to continue receiving benefits while they rehabilitate or retrain for employment. Also, for those who have been disabled and are uncertain about their ability to return to work successfully, the SSA will provide a “ticket to work.” This allows you to attempt to resume work for a trial period. If you find that you cannot continue working, your disability benefits will continue without interruption. In other words, you don’t have to risk losing your benefits by trying to return to the workforce.
Who Gets Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in Tulare County?
SSI benefits differ from SSD benefits in that they are designed to help those who are disabled and who have never been able to work. These benefits include monthly cash benefits – payable retroactively to the month the claimant initially applied — as well as medical benefits. Once you have been declared eligible for SSI, there is no need to apply separately for Medi-Cal; you are automatically eligible. Medi-Cal will cover doctor’s visits, prescription medications, lab tests, radiological exams, hospital care, vision, hearing care, and dental care. You and your family may also be entitled to CalFresh, California’s equivalent of food stamps.
Variables Regarding SSI in Tulare County
In spite of the fact that all SSI recipients are eligible for the same basic amount, their monthly benefits may vary, depending upon such factors as:
- Whether they earn other income
- Whether they have other unearned income, such as pensions, alimony or child support
- Whether they receive state supplements of any kind
- Whether they are partially supported by someone who provides shelter or food
Because the wheels of bureaucracy turn very slowly, and it may take between 3 months and 2 years for an SSI application to be approved, eligible individuals will receive backpay for SSI owed during the period of application. Depending on the amount owed, and upon additional, necessary costs, such as added medical expenses, such back pay may be returned as a lump sum or paid back in installments.
Veterans Benefits in Tulare County
California has the highest percentage of veterans in the country, each and every one of whom has the right to receive certain benefits. If you have been injured or developed an illness as a result of your time spent in the service, you are eligible for medical services, lower mortgage rates, help for your spouse or domestic partner and your children and exemptions from property taxes. You and your children are also entitled to waivers of tuition and fees at institutions of higher learning within the state of California. If you die, your spouse will be eligible for such an educational benefit in your place.
Help With Disability Benefits in Tulare County
As you can see from the above, there are many benefits to obtaining SSI, SSD or veterans’ benefits if you qualify for them. There may be, however, a long road between deserving government benefits and obtaining them. This is where Peña & Bromberg comes in. Such benefits can be life-changing, providing underlying financial support when you are unable to work for a prolonged period. If you reside in Tulare County and have questions concerning whether you qualify for Social Security benefits, you don’t have to go far to consult with some of the finest disability attorneys in the country. You need only reach out to Peña & Bromberg, PLC by phone or complete the contact form on our website. As a matter of fact, in these days of electronic advancement, we can handle your case anywhere in the United States.
Not only do we have a proven track record of winning disability benefits for our clients; we also have a well-earned reputation for empathy and concern. We know how challenging dealing with a cumbersome bureaucracy can be, especially when you are trying to manage an injury or illness at the same time. Let us help to make your life more manageable and win you the benefits you are entitled to receive.