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Social Security Disability Benefits

Is There a Waiting Period for Social Security Disability Benefits?

When you’re in need of Social Security disability benefits, things can feel very urgent, and waiting for your benefits to begin can be stressful. So just how long does it take for your payments to start arriving?

In most cases, benefits will begin after five months. That means you’ll receive your first payment for the sixth month after Social Security decides you qualify to receive benefits. This waiting period is mandated because, under the law, you can’t start receiving benefits until you’ve been disabled for at least five months. So, if your disability begins June 15, your first benefit will be paid in December.

Benefits are paid the month after the month they are due. So, for example, your December payment will be received in January.

When it’s decided that you will be receiving disability benefits, you’ll get a notice in the mail from Social Security that will explain how much your benefits will be and when you will start receiving them. If you have family members who are also eligible for disability benefits, a separate notice will be sent.

If you have any additional questions about receiving your disability benefits, view the Social Security Administration’s online pamphlet. Or if you’d like to learn more about the services we offer or schedule a free consult, please call 877-526-3457 to speak with one of our specialists. You can also fill out a contact form and a member of our team will reach out to you.

Autumn Yardwork

Tips to Stay Safe While Doing Autumn Yardwork

Tips to Stay Safe While Doing Yardwork this Fall

As autumn approaches, many of us will soon be heading outside to rake leaves and do other seasonal yardwork. While they may not seem like particularly dangerous activities, there are a number of injuries that can be caused by this kind of physical labor, particularly if you haven’t done it in a while. Here are a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind to prevent injury:


Go Slow and Steady

When doing this kind of work, it’s important not to overexert yourself. Keep it slow and take breaks if you’re feeling tired. Pop in your headphones and listen to a podcast, e-book, or favorite playlist while enjoying the fall weather.


Wear Proper Footwear

Make sure you wear shoes that are comfortable and provide proper protection. Sharp sticks and rocks may be hidden under the leaves or in the grass, and if you’re wearing open-toed shoes, they could potentially injure your feet. Also, standing and walking for long periods of time in shoes that are uncomfortable can cause pain and injury.


Use Short Strokes

The safest way to rake is by taking short strokes. That way you will minimize the risk of injuries related to extending your arms.


Protect Your Back

One of the biggest risks of raking leaves and doing other yardwork is hurting your back. When raking, keep your back straight and twist your whole body from your waist. Use your legs to shift your weight. You’ll also want to use your legs if you’re lifting anything heavy, like large flowerpots.


Choose the Right Rake

Make sure you select a rake that’s appropriate for you. Don’t use one that’s too long or too heavy, as it can increase the risk of various types of injuries.

For many of us, autumn is our favorite season. While you’re enjoying the pumpkin spice and the apple cider, be sure to make your safety a priority as well.

Social Security Card FAQ: The Basics You Need to Know

Your Social Security card is an important form of identification. For example, you may have some questions about what to do if you need a replacement

Social Security Card FAQ: The Basics You Need to Know

man holding social security card

or if you need to change your name. Read on to find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

How do I change or correct my name on my Social Security card?

If you change your name legally due to marriage, divorce, or any other reason, you must let Social Security know so you can be issued a new card. You can’t apply for a card online, but the good news is there’s no charge for a new one. When you apply, you will need proof of identity, and you may also need to be able to demonstrate your U.S. citizenship or lawful noncitizen status. Learn more about the documents you’ll need to bring here.

You will also be asked to fill out an application form for a new card, which you will take or mail to your local Social Security office. View more details here.

How do I apply for a replacement card?

If your card is lost or stolen, you may be able to request a new one online here. There is no charge for this service. To use the online portal, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen age 18 or above with a U.S. mailing address
  • Not be requesting a name change or any other change to your card
  • Have a driver’s license or state-issued identification card from a participating state. If your state doesn’t yet participate, keep checking back as new states are being added frequently.

If you’re unable to apply online, fill out and print the application form for a new card, then take or mail it to your local Social Security office. You will also be asked to present the appropriate documents.

How long does it take to get a card?

If you’ve requested a new or replacement card or changed your name and applied for an updated one, you may be wondering when you should expect your new card to arrive. Social Security mails the cards as soon as all necessary documentation is received. Generally, you should receive your card within 10-14 business days of the date when your application is processed.

What do I do to replace a child’s card?

To replace a child’s Social Security card, you’ll first need to gather documents proving your child’s identity, their U.S. citizenship if it has not yet been established with Social Security, or their immigration status if the child is not a citizen.

Next, you’ll gather documents proving your own identity and the child’s custody status, as well as your relationship with the child.

Finally, you’ll be asked to complete an application for a card. Everything should be taken or mailed to your local Social Security office.

Can I laminate my card?

Given the importance of your Social Security card, laminating it to protect it from tearing may seem like a good idea. But doing so prevents the detection of many security features. However, you can cover the card with plastic or other materials that can be removed.

Can noncitizens get a Social Security number?

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may be able to get a Social Security number. However, in general you must have permission to work from the Department of Homeland Security. Learn more about Social Security numbers for noncitizens here.

If you have any additional questions about your Social Security card, visit the Social Security Administration’s website for more details. If you’d like to speak with a member of our team to learn about our services or schedule a free consult, please call us anytime at 877-526-3457. You can also fill out this contact form online, and a member of our team will reach out to you.

Breast Cancer Detection: Supporting Local Women

We know how hard it can be when you’re struggling with a health challenge, and we make it a priority to do all we can to support the health of our clients, friends, families, and community.
For that reason, Jan is supporting the Camden Clark Foundation’s upcoming Pink By Poolside event, which will raise funds to provide mammograms to eligible local women.
The event will be held on Friday, September 13 at the Parkersburg Country Club in Vienna, West Virginia. There will be locally catered food, signature cocktails, complimentary bar service, and live entertainment. Purchase tickets here.
Watch the video below to hear Jan’s personal story and her insights about the importance of early detection.

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Tips to Avoid a Falling Injury When the Ground is Damp

How to Avoid Falling When The Ground is Damp

Tips to Avoid a Falling Injury When the Ground is Damp

This time of year, the weather tends to get pretty damp, and as we move further into fall, we need to start thinking about snow. With falling leaves, snow and ice, the risk of slipping is definitely greater. Here are some steps you can take to prevent a painful fall.


Wipe Your Feet

When you come inside on a rainy or snowy day, be sure to thoroughly wipe your feet on a floormat. Most of us do this in order to keep our floors clean, but it’s important from a safety perspective as well.


Take it Easy on the Stairs

If the streets and sidewalks are wet, you’ll want to exercise extra caution when going up or down stairs. Take it slowly, don’t run. And be sure to hold onto railings.


Don’t Take Shortcuts

In damp weather, stick to sidewalks and areas intended for pedestrian traffic. Don’t cut through grass or dirt, as there could be a greater risk of slipping when walking on surfaces not designated for walking. Water could also be deeper in those areas.


Watch Where You’re Going

It’s always important to be aware of your surroundings as a pedestrian, but it’s especially crucial when you’re walking on a damp surface. It’s best to put your mobile phone away if you’re walking. If you’re looking at your phone as you walk, you might not realize until the last moment that you’re about to bump into another pedestrian, or worse. Changing course quickly could result in falling.


Wear the Right Shoes

Shoes that give you proper traction can help minimize the risk of slipping. High heels and dress shoes aren’t always the best options. Sneakers, boots and other shoes with soles made of rubber or other waterproof materials are the safest choices.


Reach Out for Help

If you’re someone who doesn’t always feel steady on your feet, holding the hand of a friend or family member while walking on damp surfaces can be a helpful safety measure. Being able to maintain a sense of balance is more important when the risk of slipping is higher.

As the temperatures drop and the weather becomes more treacherous, the risk of falling should be taken seriously. Taking a few simple steps to ensure your safety can help you avoid serious injuries.

Of course, if you have an accident and the liability is questionable, contact for a free consultation.

Heart and Stroke Walk

Join Us for the 2019 Mid-Ohio Valley Heart and Stroke Walk

Here at Jan Dils, we do our best to support the health and well-being of our clients and our community.

As part of that effort, we’re putting together a team to participate in the upcoming Mid-Ohio Valley Heart and Stroke Walk in support of the American Heart Association (AHA).

Heart disease is the number one killer of West Virginians, claiming the lives of nearly 9,000 people locally. Nationally, more than 610,000 Americans lose their lives to heart disease every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

And stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, taking around 140,000 lives annually. In fact, heart disease is the country’s number one killer at the national level, as well, and stroke comes in at number five, according to the AHA.

The Heart Walk is the AHA’s premier event for raising funds to prevent deaths resulting from heart disease and stroke, and events are held throughout the year and around the country.

The AHA was founded by a group of six cardiologists in 1924. This nonprofit organization publishes guidelines on cardiovascular health, operates highly visible public service campaigns, and organizes fundraising events.

The upcoming walk will be held on October 17 at 5 p.m. in the Parkersburg City Park. You can support our effort by donating to our team or by walking with us.

We hope to see you there!

Hermia FNA

Hernia Mesh Recall

Failed Hernia Repair Surgery? You May Be Entitled to Damages.

Hernia mesh is a net-like surgical device constructed of natural or synthetic material, primarily plastics. It is used in hernia surgery to stabilize and provide additional support to damaged tissue and to promote healing. There are two types of mesh: absorbable and nonabsorbable. When non-absorbable hernia mesh is used, it is generally planned to be a permanent implant used to provide reinforcement to the repaired hernia; absorbable mesh degrades over time and provides temporary support while new tissue grows.

There are more than 800,000 hernia repair surgeries each year in the U.S., and hernia mesh is used in roughly 90% of all cases. Over the last few years, thousands of hernia patients have experienced severe side effects or complications as a result of the use of some brands of hernia mesh during their repair surgery.

Have you or a loved one ever suffered from a hernia? Sadly, they are a common condition. This mesh has caused many treatments to fail and require reconstructive surgery. Hernia mesh manufacturers including C.R. Bard; Covidien/Medtronic; Atrium Medical and Ethicon, a branch of Johnson & Johnson that makes medical devices, may be facing more than 50,000 lawsuits for injuries caused by their devices.

Some post-surgical complications that have been directly related to surgical mesh are:

  • Severe or chronic pain
  • Serious infection
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Organ perforation
  • Mesh migration
  • Hernia recurrence

These are just a few of the conditions that have been reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) here in the United States.

Did you have complications from hernia mesh surgery? Some types of surgical mesh have been taken off the market including Johnson & Johnson/Ethicon’s Physiomesh and Atrium’s C-Qur. If you had a mesh used during your surgery that has since been recalled, you have a hernia mesh case. Call our Personal Injury team today at 877-526-3457 for a free consultation to be sure.


TEN Frequently Asked Questions by Clients Who Have Hearings Scheduled

You’ve likely waited some time for this day and lots of questions may be running through your mind. We have put together a list of frequently asked questions that we hope you find helpful. As always, if you have a question not covered on this list or need further details, please give us a call at 1-877-JANDILS.




What do I bring to my hearing?

(medications, DL, hearing notice, etc.) Typically, all you would need to bring are the hearing notice and a photo ID.

What are my chances of winning?

There is no way to determine that before a hearing. It is determined on a case-by-case basis by the Judge. As long as you are honest with the Judge in your testimony and what you say is consistent with what you’ve told your doctors, you give yourself the best chance of being found disabled.

What do I wear to my hearing?

The hearing is casual and there are no strict rules about dress code. You can wear anything from what you would wear to go to Walmart to what you would wear to go to church or business casual wear. The only thing we would ask is that you don’t wear something that would be disrespectful to the court like clothes with holes in them or screen print that would be offensive.

Can someone come into the hearing with me?

As long as you are ok going in alone, that is typically best. The issue is that somebody else is not allowed to testify if they come in with you, so you could not look to them for answers. They would have to be like a fly on the wall. Since it is natural to try to get answers from that person if you don’t know an answer, it would be best to do so on your own. If you have to have somebody come in for moral support, you should let your attorney know, however it will ultimately be up to the Judge to allow that person to come in or not.

Do I bring my cane/walker?

If you would normally bring it when you go outside of your home, you can bring it or if you are having a bad day to where you would usually need to use it, you can as well, but if you wouldn’t normally bring it on that day, then you shouldn’t.

Will I have to talk at my hearing?

The Judge will want to hear from you how your impairments affect you personally. They have the medical evidence and any diagnosis that was made on your impairments, but they need to hear from you about limitations and symptoms you have and how that might affect your ability to work. Your attorney can make any legal arguments necessary, but you know your limitations and symptoms better than anybody else, so the Judge will expect to hear from you about those things.

How will I know who my attorney is?

Your attorney will usually find you in the waiting area. There aren’t usually a lot of people waiting, so it is usually easy for them to find you.

Will I know if I am approved the day of my hearing?

Most likely not. If your attorney has an idea of what might happen, they will let you know before you leave that day, but many times they will not know. Even if your attorney has an idea of what might happen, nothing is final until you get the decision back in writing.

How long does it take to get a decision?

The upper end of decision timelines right now is around 2-3 months. Typically, a decision will not take much longer than that and some can come back more quickly. If you have waited 2 and a half to 3 months and still haven’t received anything back in writing, you can contact our office and we can look into it to see if anything is holding up the decision.

If I get denied, is that the “end of the road?”

No, there is always an option to appeal the decision to the Appeals Council. We would write a brief on your behalf regarding any legal error and they would review the brief, your testimony, and the medical evidence to determine if a legal error was made. If one was made, typically, they will send the decision back to the Judge for another hearing which could result in an approval depending on how significant the error was. If you are SSI eligible or your DLI has not expired, your attorney may suggest that you file a new application instead of appealing.

Pedestrian Versus Driver

‘Pedestrian Versus Driver’ – Who’s at Fault?

“Who was at fault.”

With summer being in full swing there are many pedestrians out and about spending as much time soaking up the sun as possible. This can be a very dangerous time for walkers in big cities as well as small towns. Knowing the traffic laws is very important for drivers and pedestrians alike. When a pedestrian gets hit by a moving vehicle that is where things can get tricky. One question always arises, “Who was at fault.”

The answer to this question can vary, it really depends on who had the right of way in the situation. It is a common myth that pedestrians always have the right of way. Pedestrians in the crosswalk at intersections with lights must wait for their light allowing them to cross. In other cases, such as crossing in front of a school or mall, it is expected that vehicles will slow down and yield the road to pedestrians. Any other case when there is a crosswalk and not a light to signal when to stop or go for the pedestrian’s vehicles are also expected to allow pedestrians to pass.

Some other variables play into this as well, such as whether the driver was texting, speeding, ran a red light, or was under the influence. In the same breath, we can ask if the pedestrian was texting or walking in traffic, or even if they were under the influence as well. Trying to figure out who was at fault in one of these cases is the hardest part of filing a claim.

‘Pedestrian versus Driver’ cases are a grey area and if there is a lack of evidence, they can become even that much more unclear. The best thing to do in the instance that you have been hit by a vehicle and are looking for a personal injury claim would be to get representation. While it is possible for a pedestrian to handle a claim without a lawyer, in most cases it can be extremely difficult to do it on your own. You will have to get all the evidence to prove that you were not at fault, nor could you have helped avoid the contact with the vehicle and be sure that fault is not in dispute.

Get In Touch With Us!

If you or a loved one have been hit by a vehicle you may have a personal injury case on your hands. Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, has a team who deals exclusively with Personal Injury cases with great knowledge. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

Do You Know Your Social Security ABCs?

Like many areas of business and the government, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has its own special lingo and frequently uses acronyms in their communication with a claimant during the claims process. Understanding the language will help you navigate through SSA’s rules and regulations when filing for disability benefits. Below is a list of commonly used acronyms to know when applying for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income:

  • ALJ – Administrative Law Judge
    An independent judge is assigned to review your file, listen to your testimony and decide on your claim following a request for hearing.
  • AOD – Alleged Onset Date
    This is the date in which you feel you became disabled.
  • CE – Consultative Exam
    A consultative exam or test called for when your current medical information is considered insufficient by the SSA in deciding your outcome.
  • COLA – Cost of Living Adjustment
    In order to keep up with inflation, Social Security may increase by a small percentage each year. This is known as a cost of living adjustment.
  • DDS – Disability Determination Section
    State Agencies funded by the Federal Government whose purpose is to make disability findings for SSA at the initial and reconsideration levels of a disability claim.
  • DIB – Disability Insurance Benefits
    One of the two disability programs housed under the Social Security Administration office. This is also known as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Title II benefits. This program requires a claimant to have obtained enough work credits to have gained an insured status.
  • DLI – Date Last Insured
    Your date last insured is when your work credits expire. In order to be eligible to receive DIB, you must prove that your disability started before your date last insured.
  • ME – Medical Expert
    Helps the ALJ understand your medical records. He or she may also give testimony at your hearing regarding what he or she feels you can and can’t do following a complete review of your medical records.
  • OHO – Office of Hearing Operations
    When you file a request for hearing, your claim file is sent to this office. It’s the office where the ALJs work, also known as the hearing’s office.
  • PIA – Primary Insurance Amount
    This is the amount of money you would receive each month if approved for DIB.
  • SGA – Substantial Gainful Activity
    SGA is work that brings in over a certain dollar amount per month. In 2019, that amount is $1,220 for non-blind disability applicants and $2,040 for blind applicants. If you are working and earning over those amounts, SSA will not consider you disabled.
  • SSI – Supplemental Security Income
    SSI is a needs-based disability program. You must be found medically disabled by the Social Security Administration, but you also must meet strict income limitations in order to receive SSI benefits.
  • VE – Vocational Expert
    An expert witness called by SSA to testify at your hearing. The VE knows about job availability and skills needed to perform certain jobs.

Visit SSA acronyms, for a complete list.

Here at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, we have been speaking the SSA lingo for over 25 years, and we take great pride in helping our clients get the benefits they deserve.  If you’d like to know more about our services, or if you’d like to sign up a free consultation, call us today at 877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form so we can call you at a better time.


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