Social Security Statements: Moving into the 21st Century

mySocialSecurity

Until last year, the Social Security Administration sent taxpayers an annual statement showing a complete record of their taxable earnings as well as estimated retirement, disability and survivor benefits based on those earnings. Now, the SSA has made the records available online in a cost-cutting method likely to save the program money.

Once you’ve created an account, you can login and access the following:

  • Estimate the retirement, disability, and survivor benefits available to you
  • Estimate benefits your family would get when you receive Social Security or die
  • See your lifetime earning to date
  • See the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid over your life
  • Find information about qualifying and signing up for Medicare
  • Apply online for SSI and SSDI
  • Access a printer-friendly version of your Social Security Statement

To create your My Social Security account, go to ssa.gov/myaccount/ and follow the directions. You must have a valid email address, Social Security number, U.S. mailing address, and be an adult.


How to apply for Social Security Disability

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Disability are the two biggest Federal programs providing assistance to those that have been determined to be disabled. Social Security Disability Insurance pays out to people that have been determined to be insured. Meaning, they must have worked long enough and paid social security taxes. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays benefits base on financial need. In order to qualify for either, you must meet the Social Security definition of disabled. If you think you may eligible for benefits, try using the Social Security Administration’s Disability screening tool at: https://ssabest.benefits.gov/

In order to apply, you can fill out an application online (https://www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/), at your local social security office, or by calling: 1-800-772-1213

 

In any event, you may be denied benefits. If you need help appealing a denial of social security disability benefits, contact the Bruner Firm today at 1.800.BRUNER.1 or fill out our online form. We serve nearly all of the Florida Panhandle and are prepared to fight your case today.


Isaac: Hopefully not another Opal

Well it appears out worst fear here on the Gulf Coast is being reckoned. As Tropical Storm Isaac begins making its way towards the Florida Coast, the state has already started showing signs of panic. Although Isaac is not yet a hurricane, there is no question it has the potential to do exactly what our worst nightmare, Hurricane Opal, did back in 1995. It may be hard for most Americans to remembers this mid 90’s catastrophe, but the resident of Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, and Panama City remember it all too well.

Opal entered the Gulf of Mexico as a category 1 hurricane. However, almost overnight, the beast transformed into a Category 4 worst nightmare situation. The hurricane somehow managed to gather energy from some unseen reserves. Wind speeds hurdled up to 150mph. The Florida Panhandle was in a total panic. Everyone tried to evacuate last minute. I remember sitting in traffic like it was yesterday; it was like a scene from a movie. Although it only made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane, it turned out to be the 4th most damaging hurricane in US history (it eventually ended up costing $3 Billion and killing 4 people.)

As Isaac enters our area of the planet, there are a few simple precautions that all fellow Floridians, (and especially those in Pensacola, Fort Walton, Destin, and Panama City) should take in order to prevent injuries to person or property:

  1. Plan an evacuation route
  2. Have disaster supplies on hand in the even of a storm
  3. Make arrangements for pets
  4. Get your boat secured
  5. Protect valuable property like Birth Certificates, Jewelry, Vehicles Titles, Passports, etc.
  6. Make sure your whole family is informed and know how to respond to a hurricane.
  7. Teach children how to call 911. Explain the importance of the service.
  8. Protect windows; Make sure to stay clear of them if you are unable to evacuate
  9. Develop an emergency communication plan; Get cell phone chargers and battery packs all juiced up in the event of a power outing
  10. Take photos of your house and property; this will make it easier for you or an attorney to prove your losses to an insurance company

Here at the Bruner Firm, we hope everyone will remain safe throughout any storm that may eventually make landfall in Florida. If for some reason you or a loved one are injured due to the negligent acts of another, always feel free to contact our staff. The consultation is free and you will speak with an attorney. We are conveniently located in Panama City and Fort Walton Beach Florida.

Our phone number is 850-243-4227 (Fort Walton Beach) or 850-769-9292 (Panama City).

We are also Toll Free at: 1-800-278-6371 (1-800-Bruner-1)

UPDATE: This video of Opal illustrates just what these storms are capable of.


Back to School: Opening the doors for Child Injuries

Swingset injury

Often times some of the most harmful accidents that a child may encounter occur in the schoolyard. Although they’ve just made it through summer, the start of a new school year always creates new perils for the most curious of members of our population.

School, daycare, and after school activities injuries frequently occur on the playground, but can come from other sources:

  • Playground accidents
  • Dangerous Conditions
  • Unsafe Equipment
  • School bus accidents
  • Pedestrian and crosswalk accidents
  • Field trip Accidents
  • Youth sports injuries
  • Daycare accidents
  • Poorly maintained premises
  • Bullying
  • Assault
  • Inadequate supervision
  • Use of unsafe child and baby products
  • Illegal activity on the behalf of another

Children have the right to a safe childhood. As parents, caretakers, and responsible citizens, it is our duty to make sure we provide for a safe environment and upbringing for America’s future. The negligence, abuse, and illegal actions of others often times make our goals for less attainable. When preventable injuries harm our kids, it is only right for us to seek justice. Call our Northwest Florida Law Firm today. If you are in Panama City, Defuniak, Crestview, Fort Walton Beach, Santa Rosa, Destin, or anywhere nearby, we can help. Call us now at 1.800.BRUNER.1.


Destin Boating Accidents

Destin Florida - Destin Lawyer

It seems this year has been an especially tumultuous one for the waters of Destin. Several major boating accidents have led to catastrophic injuries and death. Preventing accidents can be difficult because often times people are just not accustomed to the hazards that come with operating a vessel on the open waters. However, training, experience, and improvements in boating design and safety features have all reduced the likelihood of boating accidents.

As recently as August 11th of this year, one of Destin’s own died in a boating wreck near Crab Island. A few weeks before, a young tourist lost a foot in a jetski wreck in Joe’s Bayou. Tragedies like these give reason for concern. If you or a someone you love has been injured in the waters of Destin or Panama City Beach, please give us a call today. The consultation is free and you will speak with an Attorney.

You can call our Panama City Law Office at 850.769.9292

or

our Fort Walton Beach Law Office at 850.243.4227.

 


Panama City Law Office

Panama City Law Firm

Official in July 2012, we have re-opened a law office in Panama City, Florida to better serve our clients. Whether you are in Chipley, Bonifay, Blountstown, Altha, Marianna, Wewahitchka, Port St. Joe, Mexico Beach, Panama City Beach, Crestview, Defuniak Springs, Vernon, Ponce De Leon, Ebro, Freeport, Destin, Alford, Wausau, Cottondale, Greenwood, Sunny Hills, Graceville, Caryville, Apalachicola, Westville, Campbellton, Grandridge, or Navarre we can meet you by appointment. Call 1800BRUNER1 for a FREE consultation.


Welcome to Bruner Law Firm

Welcome to the future home of Vince Bruner & Associates. We specialize in automobile accidents, watercraft injuries, motorcycle wrecks, prescription drug liability, paralysis, and other serious personal injuries.


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Bruner Law Firm represents clients throughout Florida’s Emerald Coast including Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Mary Esther, Niceville, Freeport, Defuniak Springs, Crestview, Shalimar, Navarre, Gulf Breeze, Milton, Laurel Hill, Bonifay, Chipley, Panama City, Panama City Beach, Valparaiso, Miramar Beach, Okaloosa County, Walton County, Santa Rosa County, Escambia County, Bay County, and Holmes County.

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