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Social Security Administration Issues Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Social Security Benefits

Happy12_08012014The Social Security Administration announced a number of changes for Social Security benefits in 2013 based on increases in the Consumer Price Index from the third quarter of 2011 through the third quarter of 2012. The changes have led the SSA to account for a 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase when determining benefits.

Based on the changes, maximum taxable earnings for social security taxes will be increased to $113,700, up from $110,100 in 2012. The maximum social security benefit for a worker retiring at full retirement age will be increased from the current $2,513 per month to $2,533 per month in 2013.

The average estimated monthly Social Security benefits also rose, from $1,240 for all retired workers to $1,261. Average monthly payments increased for all beneficiaries, including couples, widowed mothers, aged widows and widowers, and disabled workers.

Though benefits and income were both adjusted for cost-of-living increases, the limits on personal resources for determining benefits remained the same: $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples.

For a comprehensive breakdown of all the changes implemented as a result of the cost-of-living increase, visit the Social Security Administration's website.

North Carolina Social Security Lawyers

If you feel that you are not receiving the Social Security benefits that you deserve, or if your claim for benefits has been denied, the North Carolina Social Security lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help you. Call 1-866-900-7078 today for a free evaluation of your case!

Polls Finds Majority of Voters Support Social Security Disability Insurance Program

Happy14_08012014The National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR) commissioned a poll that found that the majority of voters support Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and do not believe the government should cut funding to this program.

Voters were asked whether they think the SSDI program should receive budget cuts, and 83 percent of those polled said that it would be "unfair" to cut benefits to Americans who have paid into the system. Of those, 75 percent identified as Republican.

The poll also found that:

  • 73 percent support the SSDI program even after hearing the program referred to as another "handout" or entitlement program
  • 77 percent said that Congress should focus on other programs to cut to try to balance the budget


Only 8 percent of those polled said that the budget for the SSDI program should be cut.

The poll, conducted by Lincoln Park Strategies, suggests that political attacks against the SSDI program do not reflect the opinions of the majority of Americans.

North Carolina Social Security Lawyers

The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin also believes that the Social Security Disability Insurance program is a valuable one for Americans, and our lawyers are ready to fight for those who have been denied benefits. Call 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case and find out how our North Carolina Social Security lawyers may be able to help you.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Reports Decline in Fatal Work Injuries

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the preliminary results from its Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries at the end of September showing that fatal work injuries decreased slightly in 2011 from the previous year.

According to the CFOI, 4,609 workers died from work-related injuries in 2011, down from 4,690 in 2010. The rate of injuries also fell. The rate of injuries was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in 2011, down 1.7 percent from the previous year.

The agency reported that workplace deaths have been declining almost every year since 1994.

WorkersComp23_06042014In particular, work-related deaths in the construction and mining industries have declined. Deaths in the construction industry were down 6.8 percent in 2011, dropping to 721 from 774 the previous year. It was the fifth consecutive year that construction-related deaths had decreased.

The labor department said that fewer jobs in the industry as a result of the economic downturn were likely behind the decrease in fatalities.

However, the construction industry still had the second highest number of work-related deaths than any other industry last year. Mining was the most deadly industry, with the highest rate of injuries per 100,000 FTE workers at 15.8. The number of work-related deaths in mining were down 10 percent in 2011, but the number of deaths per worker remained high overall.

The 10 deadliest occupations identified by the report were:

  • Fisherman
  • Logger
  • Pilot
  • Sanitation worker
  • Roofer
  • Iron worker
  • Farmer and rancher
  • Trucker
  • Electrical power line worker
  • Taxi driver


Final data for 2011 will not be released until the spring of 2013.

North Carolina Workers' Compensation Lawyers

If you have been injured while on the job, one of the North Carolina workers' compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help you. Call 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case.

Driving Tips for Overseas Trips

WorkersComp34_06042014Traveling overseas can be fun and exciting - especially if you decide to drive yourself to better explore and discover new things. However, a vacation abroad can quickly turn deadly if you do not follow safe driving practices. Here are a few tips to help you make your trip overseas a safe one if you plan to drive:

Get an International Driving Permit

Your U.S. driver's license will not be recognized in many countries. To be on the safe side, you will need to get an International Driving Permit. You can apply for the permit through AAA or the National Auto Club - the only two agencies authorized by the U.S. Department of State.

Make Sure You Have Insurance

Your auto insurance policy may not cover you if you are traveling overseas. Double check your policy to see if you are covered (and confirm coverage with a representative from your insurance company). If you are not covered, look into getting a supplemental policy for your trip, or find out if the rental car agency offers such policies.

Learn Local Laws

The rules for driving overseas may not be the same as the rules for driving at home. For example, you may not be able to make a right turn on red. There may be special rules for passing. And, of course, you may even be required to drive on the opposite side of the road!

Make sure to educate yourself about these rules ahead of time. Not only could you save yourself from a ticket (or legal action), but you could also save your life by reducing your chances of a serious accident caused by a simple traffic gaffe.

Learn Basic Symbols

Some traffic symbols may be universal, such as red for stop or green for go. But some signs will be written in a language that you may not be able to read - or they may be written in a language that uses characters you cannot understand. For example, could you identify the word "Stop" written in Japanese?

Learn some basic symbols or words for traffic directions in the country to which you are traveling to be sure you recognize the rules for the road when you are out driving.

Use a GPS

When you are trying to read signs written in another language, remember whether it's OK for you to pass on a single-lane road, and perhaps even keep your orientation as you're driving on the "wrong" side of the road, you shouldn't also be trying to read a map to figure out where you're going. Use a GPS that can clearly identify your route in real time and perhaps even narrate it aloud for you.

Driving in another country can be a fun way to get to know the place better, but it presents many challenges. In order to stay safe, you need to prepare yourself by learning about the local traffic laws and how to read basic signs and symbols. Make sure you have the right driving permit and insurance, and get a good GPS unit. Then enjoy your trip!

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

If you are involved in an accident at home or abroad, the North Carolina personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin may be able to help you. Call 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case.

Contact Information

Asheville Law Office

300 Ridgefield Court Suite 309
Asheville, NC 28806
Phone: 828-552-8215
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

301 S McDowell St, Suite 900
Charlotte, NC 28204
Phone: 704-599-1078
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Durham Law Office

280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-688-4991
Fax: 800-716-7881

Fayetteville Law Office

2915 Raeford Road, Suite 204
Fayetteville, NC 28303
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

1308 Wayne Memorial Drive, Suite B
Goldsboro, NC 27534
Phone: 919-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Greensboro Law Office

300 N. Greene Street, Suite 850
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Phone: 336-665-7072
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Greenville Law Office

702 Cromwell Dr. Suite G
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-355-5205
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3227

Henderson Law Office

514 Dabney Drive, Suite 200
Henderson, NC 27536
Phone: 252-492-4600
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Morganton Law Office

216 N. Sterling Street, Suite B
Morganton, NC 28655
Phone: 828-219-3080
Toll Free: 1-844-520-2894

New Bern Law Office

1505 South Glenburnie Rd, Unit P
New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252-634-9010
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3422

Raleigh Law Office

4325 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: 919-834-1184
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Roanoke Rapids Law Office

709 Julian R. Allsbrook Highway
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Phone: 252-537-9670
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Rocky Mount Law Office

144 Woodridge Court
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: 252-937-4730
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Sanford Law Office

703-B South Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: 919-775-1564
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Wilson Law Office

2315 Airport Blvd Suite A
Wilson, North Carolina 27896
Phone: 252-246-9090
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Winston-Salem Law Office

301 N. Main Street, Suite 2409-C
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078