What Exactly Is Social Security Disability?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]While the majority of people who are approved for Social Security or SSI disability will be able to keep getting their benefit check for years to come, there are still things that can cause your
Social Security disability benefits to be ended. For example, if you’re applying for Social Security or SSI disability, or are currently receiving Social Security or SSI benefits, then it’s important to be aware of what potentially could stop your disability benefits. Thompson & Thomas PA is here to assist you in protecting your benefits and navigating this area.


Firstly, you should have an understanding of the two different disability benefit programs which are operated by the Social Security Administration, or SSA. Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI is based on an individual having paid enough in Social Security taxes to be eligible for certain benefits. This would be somebody who has not worked long enough, or recent enough, to maintain sufficient “work credits.”  They are ineligible for SSDI no matter what their disability is. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based (low-income) program. You do not have to have paid Social Security taxes, or to have even worked, in order to be eligible for SSI. However, there are hard limits in the income or assets that somebody can possess in order to qualify for these benefits.


The most common reason for someone’s Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits to stop is because they have gone back to work. While in certain cases it is possible to be employed while continuing to receive SSDI payments, you will need to follow specific rules and regulations. If you go back to work while receiving SSDI benefits, the SSA will need to determine if you are in fact engaging in “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). The largest factor in determining if work will qualify as SGA is how much a person is paid. In 2019, somebody can be typically considered to be engaging in SGA if they are earning more than $1,220 ($2,040 for blind SSDI recipients). For example, if you are earning $200 a  week doing part-time work, you would be within the SGA work limit. However, this isn’t necessarily a cut and dry issue. If you are working a lot, then the SSA may state that your job duties constitute SGA even if your income is under the SGA amount.


The “trial work period” constitutes one exception to the SGA rule. This is a period of time that allows someone who is currently receiving SSDI benefits to go back to work without losing their SSDI eligibility. In the majority of cases, you are able to work for around nine months throughout your trial work period without having your SSDI benefits stop, no matter how much you’re making. If, at the end of the TWP, you are still working and earning over the SGA level, then you will no longer be considered disabled and your Social Security payments will stop.


Thompson & Thomas PA are here to help you navigate your benefits and income questions. Call Thompson & Thomas PA today for a consultation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

All You Need to Know About Real Estate Law In Florida

Buying or selling a property can feel like an expensive and complicated process. Some people believe that they can save money by not hiring a real estate attorney. However, real estate attorneys are incredibly beneficial, and they can save you money and help you protect your assets. As a state, Florida does not legally require parties to hire a real estate attorney when purchasing or selling their home, but let us make a case why you always should.

What does a Real Estate Attorney Do?

Real estate law is a type of civil law that handles the buying, selling, and title disputes of properties and land (both commercial and residential). Real estate attorneys specialize in real estate law cases and protect their clients against any legal issues that might arise during the buying or selling of a property, or resolving real estate disputes.

What are the Benefits of Using a Real Estate Attorney?

A real estate attorney is an additional layer of security when making one of the largest purchases of your life. Your real estate lawyer will help you throughout the entire process and has your best interests in mind.

From beginning to end, your real estate lawyer will review all paperwork to identify mistakes or areas of concern. Before you sell a property, your real estate attorney may go over the listing agreement you made with your real estate agent to ensure the terms are in your favor. As offers come in, your lawyer will inspect the documents to identify any red flags or highlight tax considerations that will impact you later. If you are a buyer, your real estate attorney will research the history of the property, ensure the zoning is up to code, identify any unpaid property tax or utility bills, and inspect the title and title insurance documents.

When it comes time to the final step, real estate attorneys will draft contracts including the review title, mortgage transfer documents, write the deed and check the final breakdown of the settlement to ensure correct payment of funds. Some examples of the contracts your real estate lawyer will draft for you include the Agreement of Sale, the Agreement of Purchase, and the title and closing documentation.

If issues arise, such as alien or judgment on the title, or issues around disclosure, your real estate attorney will protect your best interests. At times, some real estate disputes will go to court, and your attorney can represent you.

While real estate attorneys are optional in Florida, you should always hire an attorney if you are facing a foreclosure, you’re considering a short sale, there are liens or judgments on the title, you’re selling on behalf of a deceased owner, you’re going through a divorce, you have rental tenants, or you expect the sale to be complicated for one reason or another. A real estate attorney is almost guaranteed to be needed at some point, especially if the sale is complicated in some way.

Real Estate Law in Florida

There are two important aspects to real estate law in Florida you should keep in mind. Firstly, Florida has one of the most favorable homestead exemptions in the country. Homestead laws enable people to safeguard their homes by allowing homebuyers to keep a portion of their homes protected. In Florida, there is no limit to the portion of your home that can be protected. This essentially means your entire home could be protected from creditors, even after filing for bankruptcy in Florida. However, keep in mind that property lines established before the homestead take a precedent over the homestead.

Secondly, Florida has adverse possession laws that allow an individual to be granted the title to a neglected property. Individuals can qualify for possession if they have: lived on the property for at least seven years, paid the property taxes during that time, and have significantly improved the state of the home. The adverse possession laws in Florida are complicated. Whether you are trying to claim property, or dispute another individual’s claim to your property, a real estate attorney is necessary.

Thompson & Thompson, P.A.

At Thompson & Thomspon, P.A., the client’s needs are our top priority. With over 40 years of experience, there isn’t a real estate case we have not dealt with before. When it comes to buying, selling, or disputing a property issue, there is a lot of money on the line. Protect yourself and your assets by hiring a qualified and experienced real estate attorney. Call us today for your free initial consultation at 561-295-3530.

5 Reasons You May Need A Florida Workers Compensation Attorney

5 Reasons You May Need A Florida Worker’s Compensation Attorney

A worker’s compensation attorney helps workers who are injured at the workplace to recover compensation for their injuries, ensuring that they are made whole. The right attorney can help recover compensation due to medical bills and lost wages. Depending on the injury, the attorney can help build a case for you to obtain permanent total disability benefits, medical benefits, and vocational rehabilitation benefits.

In the state of Florida, temporary disability benefits are calculated as being two-thirds of average weekly wages just before the injury occurred, with it maxing it out $939 a week for 2019. For more debilitating injuries, the benefits are higher – you’re owed 80% of pre-injury wages for the first 6 months. There are many moving parts when it comes to securing compensation as a worker in Florida, with an attorney being able to demystify the process.

5 Reasons You May Need A Florida Worker’s Compensation Attorney
1. Obtaining adequate compensation for work-related injuries. The job of the employer’s insurance company is to assess injury claims and to get it settled at the lowest possible cost. As an employee, this means that you might be left with the short end of the stick. A compensation lawyer will guarantee that you receive fair compensation, taking all expenses into consideration.

2. Without an attorney, your claim might be denied. Obtaining compensation after an injury is stifled with the bureaucracy that can make it difficult for a lone worker to obtain proper reimbursement. An attorney will help appeal any denials through the workers’ compensation system, which will require you to file paperwork, and use legal tools to gather and secure evidence.

3. Injured at the job, and you haven’t been made whole yet. Under section 440.19, an injured person has two years after a work-related injury to file for compensation benefits. Sometimes employers will suggest that you do not file for a claim and are willing to distract you past the two-year mark. This happens too often, with workers trusting their employers to do the right thing. Unfortunately, you will be left high and dry, with injuries incurring costs.

4. The case of pre-existing conditions. If you have a pre-existing condition, it will be much more difficult and complex to secure workers’ compensation. The insurance companies will blame your injury on these pre-existing conditions and ignore or minimize how the work environment contributed to it. This is especially true if you work in an industry where you are exposed to repetitive stress injuries. An attorney will be able to gather adequate evidence and demonstrate how any pre-existing conditions did not contribute to your injuries.

5. Ability to perform has been negatively impacted. Even if you were able to recover enough to go back to work, there will be cases where you will deal with the injury and its long-term ramifications. If you cannot work again, you will need to maximize your compensation benefits and structure them to last. If the injury requires that you leave your industry and work in another, an attorney can assist with that.

Thompson and Thomas are experienced lawyers in the field of workers’ compensation in the state of Florida. If you are having a hard time securing compensation after a work-related injury, contact us.