Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Attorney Joseph Rattman Retires

After 40 years of practice, attorney Joseph Rattman is retiring and closing his law office at 19 S. 6th St., Stroudsburg, PA as of 12/31/2019. If questions arise about previous representation or the file he can be reached by voicemail at 570-424-6035 or writing to P.O. Box 203, Delaware Water Gap, PA 18327. Prior clients should request anything right away since files are generally destroyed 5 years after representation ended.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Ending the Right to a Social Security Hearing

The latest attack on the disabled by the Trump Republican federal government is the proposal to end the right to a hearing in person before a Social Security Administrative Law Judge of appeals seeking Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Disability benefits.  For several years, Social Security has been able to limit hearings to video appearances unless you promptly asked for a hearing to be scheduled in person when requesting the hearing.  Now, Social Security has announced that they will decide whether a hearing in person will be offered, requiring the people accept a video hearing, or perhaps, at times, only a hearing by telephone.  This continues the trend of stripping away rights and making it harder to qualify for disability benefits.  Fewer claims and appeals have been approved in recent years.  The latest proposal has been published in the Federal Register and can be read and commented upon at

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Temporary Disability in Pennsylvania

There is limited state help while waiting for SSD or SSI in PA:
"Individuals can qualify for General Assistance (GA) if they:
  • Have a temporary or permanent disability; or
  • Are a child under 18 who is not living with a relative; or
  • Are between the ages of 18 and 21 and in high school; or
  • Are caring for an unrelated child under the age of 13 or are caring for someone who is ill or
    disabled; or
  • Are a victim of domestic violence (benefits will be limited to 9 months in a lifetime); or
  • Are in a drug or alcohol treatment program that prevents them from working (benefits will
    be limited to 9 months in a lifetime)
    The maximum GA cash grant for individuals in most Pennsylvania counties who have no other in- come is $205 per month or $316 per month for a married couple.
    Applications Are Now Being Taken For GA!
    Those wishing to apply for GA may do so in person at their local County Assistance Office or online face-to-face interview is required as part of the application process. Those who qualify can start receiving benefits as early as this fall, with benefits to be paid retroac- tively back to the date of eligibility. In general, that means the date all required application verifica- tion documents are submitted and an interview is completed."
    Source: PA Health Law Project

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Need help with a Social Security hearing?

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Is your case at the Social Security Appeals Council?

Attorney Charles Hall in North Carolina has advised:

"Your Get Out Of The Appeals Council Jail Free Card     I said in an earlier post that I thought that because of the Supreme Court decision in Lucia v. SEC that the Appeals Council might as well go ahead and remand virtually all the cases it has pending. Another attorney at my firm pointed out to me the reason why they have little choice, as long as a Lucia objection has been filed with the Appeals Council. They can’t realistically raise the objection that you failed to raise the issue before the ALJ because in Lucia v. SEC itself (slip opinion at 3), the objection was only raised before the Securities and Exchange Commission itself after the ALJ decision. Theoretically, one could say that issue was never considered by the Supreme Court but that's theoretical rather than an argument Social Security is at all likely to raise. Social Security can’t say that its ALJs are different from the SEC's ALJs since the Solicitor General memo has conceded that they aren't.

     If you've got a case pending at the Appeals Council and you haven't already filed a Lucia objection, 
you'd better do so right away. Like today."

Monday, July 23, 2018

Ongoing Attacks on Social Security Hearing Judges and Staff

Read about the ongoing attacks on Social Security Hearing Judges and the folks who process Social Security Disability and SSI applications, appeals and awards....

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Trump Orders Social Security Hearing Judges Under His Control

I am sharing this warning from Social Security Works about an urgent threat: "This week, Trump signed an executive order which is designed to strip independence from the Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) who review disability claims. This action comes after a lengthy misinformation campaign targeting Social Security’s disability program, including making the outrageous claim that it is not a “core” part of Social Security. The truth is, we have one Social Security system, and we need to protect it from political interference. This order will only ratchet up pressure to deny disability claims. By putting a Trump appointee over the shoulder of every decision, they seek to deny the due process to which every Social Security claimant is entitled. Call on Congress to protect Social Security from political interference! There is already a million-person backlog of claims for Social Security disability insurance. While Senator Bernie Sanders’ new SSA Fairness Act would fully fund the Social Security Administration to clear that backlog fairly and efficiently, Trump’s answer seems to be to hire judges who share his political agenda and will deny all of the claims. Workers earn their disability benefits with every paycheck. Republicans are taking yet another step to deny some of the most vulnerable people in the country the benefits they've earned. ALJs are hardworking civil servants who are doing their best. Letting the Trump administration threaten their livelihood when they act with integrity is something we must all protest."

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Social Security Cuts Threaten

There is more evidence that raising the Social Security retirement age is tough on people with disabilities, health problems and lower earnings. Proposals to raise the retirement age are part of the broad attack on Social Security that have caused delays in taking and deciding applications and appeals, and have caused the wait for Social Security appeal hearings and decisions to extend to about two years. There are fewer staff to answer the phone or solve even simple problems. More than ever, people need help from lawyers to get promised benefits, while years ago you could walk into the local Social Security office and quickly take care of business. Social Security benefits should be increased, not cut, and staff must be added so that claims are quickly and fairly decided.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Rep. Tom Marino Insults Constituent

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Joseph Rattman Attorney At Law || Introduction

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Rubio: Offset Tax Cuts By Reducing Social Security, Medicare Benefits

Rubio: Offset Tax Cuts By Reducing Social Security, Medicare Benefits: Financial Advisor Magazine created exclusively for advisors by highly experienced editorial and publishing teams. We provide an interactive community for the Financial Advisor, Investment Advisor, Financial Planner, Financial Planning, RIA, Retirement Planning, ETFs, Alternative Investments, Investment News, Broker-Dealer, CFP, Wealth Manager. Financial Advisor magazine produces the Alternative Investment Strategies, Retirement Strategies, and Fiduciary Gatekeeper conferences. We also offer a variety of subscriber benefits including webinars and FREE subscription trials to valuable print and online products.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Joseph Rattman Attorney At Law || Introduction