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SSI Recipients Qualify for Discounted Internet Service!

The Federal Communications Commission understands how important internet access is these days. Internet access is necessary for many reasons but it can be expensive. A new program, the Affordable Connectivity Program has recently launched that provides discounted internet service for eligible households. Any household with an individual who receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is eligible to participate in the program and receipt of the assistance will not affect the SSI payment. Participation in other assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing, WIC or Lifeline also qualify for the program. Learn more about the Affordable Connectivity Program by clicking HERE....

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OBL Remembers The Honorable Alma deLeon

It is with deep sadness that we pass along the news of the death of retired ALJ, Alma deLeon. Judge deLeon was, hands down, one of the good ones, as anyone who had the privilege of appearing before her would testify. Although demanding in terms of proof of disability, and very careful in that regard, she was a deeply caring person who conscientiously listened to the claimant. While it always seemed clear that she had an idea going into the hearing what she thought about a case, because she was so prepared, she was open to arguments and certainly looked...

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OBL in the Community: KNEAD Cafe

We love serving our local communities.  The last few years have been especially hard for so many. We enjoy helping when we can and thanks to the wonderful people at Knead Community Cafe, we were able to help a little by sponsoring a Grab N' Go dinner yesterday evening that fed over 2oo people! Our very own Karl Osterhout and Amy DeSanto were on site to help pass out meals. Knead Community Café located in downtown New Kensington, Pa,  is committed to serving healthy dining options using fresh, local, and minimally processed ingredients as much as possible. Their restaurant operates on...

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OBL is Helping You Navigate Benefits!

The OBL Partners

Did you know that we now have a dedicated benefits liaison to assist you with questions about your disability benefits, community assistance or any other areas of law? Attorney Kelly Arnold has been with OBL for five years. She has an extensive history of working in this field, including working as a benefits counselor, representing claimants at the Pitt Health Law Clinic in law school, and working as an Attorney Advisor for the Social Security Administration, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (now called Office of Hearing Operations). This new role grew out of a desire to better serve our clients...

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Filing an Long Term Disability Claim Looks Simple; It’s Not.

Judging by the initial forms an LTD claimant is sent by the insurance company, which are usually quite short, it appears as though the claim is a relatively informal proceeding. It is almost as though the forms are designed to encourage you to leave out information. In fact, they are designed, really, to help the insurance company deny claims. Don’t ever forget that an LTD case is an “adversarial” case – it is the insurance company’s job to deny any claim that is not adequately documented. Osterhout Berger Disability Law is experienced in LTD claims and can help you through this...

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A Look Back at an OBL Wedding!

One of the things that is fun to do here at OBL is to reminisce about the "big days" in our history. So, for instance, Karl starting the firm in 2002, Lindsay joining as an associate attorney in 2007, and then becoming partner in 2009, and Erik joining as a partner in 2017 are definitely on that list. Hannalore joining the firm in 2016, and then becoming Partner and Managing Partner in 2021, is also obviously on the list. But what could top a wedding?!? Lindsay reminded Karl that he had been in touch with a local marketing firm back in...

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Medicare Premiums Are Increasing in 2022!

If you are receiving Social Security Disability, or are 65 or older, you are probably paying for Medicare. Unfortunately, it looks like you'll be paying more in 2022! The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced significant increases to the 2022 premiums, deductibles and coinsurance amounts for Medicare Parts A and B. The Part A deductible that applies to hospitalization will be $1556, an increase of $72. The Part B premium will be $170.10, an increase of $21.60 per month. The Part B premium is typically deducted automatically from a disability check, so if you are on Medicare, you...

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Social Security Disability for Veterans

Today, Osterhout Berger Disability Law honors our friends, coworkers, and clients who have risked their lives to protect our country. Did you know that the Social Security disability program is part of our nation's obligation to wounded warriors and their families? Social Security is an important resource for military members who return home with injuries. If you know a wounded veteran, please let them know about the SSA Wounded Warriors webpage. Even if a veteran receives benefits through the VA, they could still be eligible for additional benefits through Social Security. Active duty military service members who continue to receive pay while...

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Medicare Annual Enrollment: What Disability Recipients Should Know

Disability beneficiaries receiving Medicare should be asking the following questions right now: Do I have proper prescription drug coverage? Should I enroll in a Part C Medicare Advantage plan? Am I on the plan that covers my doctors and medications? Can I save money? This time of year, it’s hard to turn on the tv without being bombarded by insurance company commercials advertising their Medicare products. Each year, the Medicare annual enrollment period is between October 15th – December 7th. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries have the option to add, change or remove coverage. Many assume that the commercials are targeted...

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What If My Insurance Company Wants To Represent Me In My Social Security Disability Claim?

Based on our extensive experience handling long-term disability (LTD) claims, we know that about one third of Social Security disability clients are also either receiving or applying for LTD benefits. Indeed, we have helped many of our Social Security disability clients get their LTD! Many insurance policies require that an LTD claimant also apply for Social Security disability (almost always when the LTD insurance is part of a benefit received from your employer; private LTD policies usually do not include this requirement). Please understand: The only reason they want this is that most LTD policies allow the insurance company to...

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