Thursday, April 23, 2009

Quatrini Rafferty Attorneys Volunteer Time for "KD and You and The Law"

Quatrini Rafferty attorneys Ronald J. Fonner and Michael V. Quatrini volunteered their time and legal knowledge on April 21st for the 25th Annual "KD and You and the Law Program" sponsored by the Allegheny County Bar Association and KDKA.

The annual event includes more than 100 attorneys answering legal questions from the general public. It is estimated more than 2,000 telephone calls were received during the event.

The video from this year's event is not online yet, but you can learn more from KDKA's 2008 coverage:

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Bill Introduced to End Two Year Waiting Period for Medicare

As most of our clients are aware, disabled individuals must often wait two years for medical coverage through Medicare despite being unable to work. Well, good news might be on the way!

On March 25, 2009, two bills were introduced, one in the United States Senate and the other in the United Stated House of Representative, to eliminate the waiting period over the next ten years. The authors of the bills are Democrat Senator Jeff Bingaman from New Mexico and Democrat Represenative Gene Green from Texas.

Our friends at the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives authored a very concise article on the propsed change here:

For those that are interested, the text of the House bill is as follows:

"By Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas (for himself and Mr. TERRY):
H.R. 1708. A bill to amend title II of the Social Security Act to phase out the 24-month waiting period for disabled individuals to become eligible for Medicare benefits, to eliminate the waiting period for individuals with life-threatening conditions, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committees on Energy and Commerce, and Transportation and Infrastructure, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned."

A version of the Senate bill, which is lengthy, is also available here:

Feel free to contact your local Congressional Representative or U.S. Senator and urge them to support passage of either bill!

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

QR Endorsement: Quatrini Rafferty Endorses Daniel K. Bricmont For Commonwealth Court Judge

The attorneys of Quatrini Rafferty are pleased to announce their support for Commonwealth Court candidate Daniel K. Bricmont in the upcoming primary election election on May 19, 2009.

Dan Bricmont is an attorney at Caroselli Beachler McTiernan & Conboy. He has spent the last 20 years fighting to protect the rights of injured workers and their families. Mr. Bricmont’s practice focuses on the areas of Workers’ Compensation and Appellate practice as well as representing clients in Social Security Disability matters and advising clients regarding employment law issues such as Americans with Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act, and issues arising under Collective Bargaining Agreements.

A significant portion of Dan’s practice is in the Appellate Courts. He has appeared frequently before our Supreme Court and the Commonwealth Court with respect to Workers’ Compensation matters. He currently represents clients with matters pending in both Commonwealth Court and Superior Court.

Because we believe Dan shares our compassion for the rights of injured workers, we strongly encourage all of our clients to support Dan in the upcoming primary, and general, elections.

For more about Dan, visit his website:

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Quatrini Rafferty Attorney Brian P. Bronson Welcomes New Member of the Family!

Quatrini Rafferty is proud to announce that QR attorney Brian P. Bronson and his wife welcomed a second baby boy, Brody Quinn Bronson, on Monday evening.

We wish the Bronson family heartfelt congratulations on the new addition to their family!

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Social Security Announces Stimulus Payments in May 2009

Quatrini Rafferty has recently learned that Social Security intends on disbursing stimulus payments in May 2009. We have reprinted SSA's announcment below for your convenience:

Vice President Biden Announces $250 Recovery Payments to Go
to Social Security and SSI Beneficiaries in May; Payments will inject more than $13 Billion into Economy

Vice President Joe Biden and Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, announced today that the federal government will send out $250 economic recovery payments to people who receive Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits beginning in early May 2009 and continuing throughout the month. No action is required to get the payment, which will be sent separately from the person’s regular monthly payment. "The Social Security Administration and Commissioner Astrue have been working closely with other federal agencies to get these payments out the door in record time and into the hands of folks who need it most," said Vice President Biden. "These are checks that will make a big difference in the lives of older Americans and people with disabilities - many of whom have been hit especially hard by the economic crisis that has swept across the country."

"We have been working diligently to issue the $250 one-time recovery payments as soon as possible," Commissioner Astrue said. "The legislation requires extensive coordination with other federal agencies and I’m pleased we are on track to issue these recovery payments earlier than the statute requires. Soon more than $13 billion will be in the hands of more than 50 million Americans."

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides for a one-time payment of $250 to adult Social Security beneficiaries, and to SSI recipients, except those receiving Medicaid in care facilities. To receive the payment the individual must be eligible for Social Security or SSI during the months of November 2008, December 2008 or January 2009. The legislation also provides for a one-time payment to Veterans Affairs (VA) and Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) beneficiaries. The VA and RRB will be responsible for paying individuals under their respective programs. However, if someone receives Social Security and SSI, VA or RRB benefits, he or she will receive only one $250 payment. People getting Social Security or SSI should not contact the agency unless a payment is not received by June 4, 2009.

For more detailed information about the $250 one-time economic recovery payments, go to To learn more about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, go to

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation and Social Security: Can I Receive Both?

A Quatrini Rafferty Newsletter article by A. Tereasa Rerko, Esq.

If you're receiving workers' compensation benefits, it may seem that filing for Social Security disability benefits is unnecessary. Nothing could be further from the truth. For someone who may not work for at least a year or more, there are significant reasons to consider filing for Social Security disability benefits, even before workers' compensation benefits end.

Social Security disability benefits are insurance benefits, so eligibility for receiving them has a time limit. Generally speaking, you must prove you are disabled within five years of ending your employment. For example, someone who is injured in 2001, and stops working for wages that year, must usually establish disability by some time in 2006. Waiting until the workers' compensation claim is resolved in 2008 will make it more difficult to obtain the medical evidence and testimony necessary to establish disability before 2006. Therefore, if you expect to be out of work for more than a year due to your disability, consider filing for Social Security disability benefits as soon as you stop working.

Another reason to apply for Social Security disability benefits at that time is to protect your Social Security retirement benefits. Payroll taxes support the payment of Social Security disability benefits, and payment of these taxes ends when you stop working. This means that if you leave the workforce before age 62, your retirement account will show a number of years of "zero" income. However, when you are declared disabled by the Social Security Administration, your retirement account is not affected by those years of zero income because your earnings record is "frozen" by your receipt of Social Security disability benefits.

Additionally, if you are awarded Social Security disability benefits, you become entitled to Medicare two years after you begin receiving those benefits. Even while receiving workers' compensation payments, Medicare eligibility can provide access to valuable medical insurance and prescription benefits for non-work-related conditions.

Finally, an award of Social Security disability benefits can provide you with income protection if your workers' compensation benefits are terminated. Also, an award of Social Security disability benefits gives you the opportunity to resolve your workers' compensation claim for a lump sum, knowing that you have another source of income.

Contrary to what you may have been told, it is a good idea to explore the possibility of filing for Social Security disability benefits as soon as you leave the job market due to illness or injury. Contact us at Quatrini Rafferty to discuss your specific workers' compensation or social security disability situation.

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