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Common Questions 2018-08-31T20:39:41+00:00

Personal Injury

When an individual is in an accident, he/she should make sure and get all of the contact information for all parties involved (incl. name, driver’s license numbers, proof on insurance and other identifying information), take photographs of the scene, get witness contact information, and a police report case number. Keep any paperwork you receive and write down your complete recollection of the incident. Many times, you may forget important details later down the road.

Do not give any statements to insurance adjusters or other representatives. Let them know your attorney will be in contact with them.

Yes! The State of Utah requires each driver to have at least $3000 available through PIP insurance for medical bills. PIP insurance is part of your auto insurance plan. Additionally, the law requires you to mitigate your damages or to make sure you are doing everything on your end to heal the injuries. A gap in treatment could have a negative impact on your case.

A good basis to know if you have a reasonable slip and fall case is to ask yourself is what should the at-fault party have done differently to prevent the fall from happening? Did they have knowledge of the dangerous situation beforehand and choose to ignore it?

First, be sure and keep track of all of your expenses. This could include medical, repair estimates, pharmacies, etc. If you have used your PIP insurance for your medical bills, have your bill your health insurance. If they are unable to do that, talk to them about setting lien for your case. Remember, it is better to get the treatment you need then to wait and deal with the pain.

Social Security Disability

Your benefits amount is based on a lot of factors, including how much money you have paid into the system, your current income situation and, in some cases, whether or not you have minor children. Our job is to help you prove your disability, so we focus not so much on your benefit rate, but rather on getting statements from your doctors and obtaining medical evidence. Because of this, Social Security does not send us information regarding your benefit rate. However, you can personally contact your local Social Security office and they can provide you with this information. We can give you their phone number if you would like. The average monthly payment for DIB (Disability Insurance Benefits) is $1,100, and for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) the maximum monthly payment for 2013 is $710.

The Social Security Act requires that you prove your case with medical evidence. That means you have to see doctors if you want to be successful. However, we understand that doctors typically don’t work for free and if you don’t have the resources to see the doctor it puts you in a very difficult situation. Here are two things you can do as we continue to work on your disability case. First, apply for aid with your local county assistance board, free medication programs, free clinics, etc. You can also dial 211 from a land line telephone and get in touch with United Way, who can help you find a free or low-cost clinic. Here are two websites www.freemedicalcamps.com and www.needymeds.org to help you find help. Second, document all of your attempts to receive treatment. The judge in your disability hearing will be a lot more understanding if you can show that you did all that you could.

This question is a difficult one to give a definitive answer. In order to receive unemployment, you have to certify to the unemployment office that you are willing and able to work, but that you just can’t find a job. If you are capable of work, you are not disabled under the Social Security Act. To get disability, you have to tell the government that you can’t work. You can see the contradiction and, if you apply for both disability and unemployment at the same time, the Social Security Administration will think that you are not telling the truth to either them or to the unemployment office. Nevertheless, the Social Security Administration will not necessarily reject your application if you are receiving unemployment, but please be aware that it can affect your case. Ultimately, the decision is yours as to whether you decide to simultaneously apply for unemployment benefits while seeking Social Security compensation. 

The Social Security Act does allow for you to do some work and still be eligible for benefits. As a general rule, work activity of any type has the potential to negatively impact your case. As a general rule, the Social Security Administration considers “disabled” as meaning that you can’t work. With this in mind, you should be very careful to understand how the work you are doing (or want to do) may affect your case. Social Security will allow you to work 20 hours or less a week and make less than $1,000 a month and still keep your case open.

This question does not have a simple answer because there are so many variables that affect each individual case, such as your age, education, work skills, medical conditions, medical records, whether or not your doctor is supportive, and who the adjudicator is that is working on the case. You have a significantly greater chance of winning if you have doctors that see you on a regular basis and support your application for disability by providing input about your disabling conditions. If you can get a letter from your doctor, a paragraph or two is all that is necessary, stating what your disabilities are and their degree of severity. With a supportive letter from your doctor, your chances of being approved go up substantially 70-75%. However, there are no guarantees when dealing with Social Security, but with a letter from a supportive doctor; we believe it is far more likely than not that you will win.

Our fee is 25% of your back benefits – that is – the checks you would have received while you were waiting for your benefits to be approved. Social Security will withhold this fee from your back pay check for us, so you don’t need to worry, and you’ll keep all subsequent payments. We will only collect a fee if you win your case.

If you are approved for benefits, you will most likely qualify for either Medicare or Medicaid.

Medicaid is a poverty program and Medicare isn’t. Many disabled people who get Medicaid get it because they are on Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To get SSI and thereby get Medicaid, you have to be very low income and disabled. Medicaid pays doctors at very low rates. People who only have Medicaid can have a hard time finding doctors willing to take them on as patients. Medicaid does pay for prescription medications. Medicaid can go back up to three months prior to the date of a Medicaid claim. It is possible to apply for Medicaid directly through a local Medicaid office without having to apply for SSI.

For Medicare, it does not matter whether you are rich or poor. If you have been on Disability Insurance Benefits, Disabled Widows or Widowers Benefits or Disabled Adult Child Benefits for 24 months, you qualify for Medicare. The good thing about Medicare is that it pays doctors at a higher rate than Medicaid. Almost all doctors are happy to take Medicare patients. The bad things about Medicare are that it does not begin until after a person has been on cash disability benefits for two years and it generally does not pay for prescription medications.

Generally no. There are thousands of claims pending and, unfortunately, the wheels move very slowly in the Social Security Office. Most everyone applying for disability finds themselves in fairly difficult circumstances and wants to be moved to the front of the line. The Social Security Administration only allows for this if you are homeless or unable to obtain life-sustaining medications. Dire need rarely does anything in the Initial and Reconsideration stages and, even in the Hearing Stage, it may only move your hearing up a few months. 

The national average is 12-15 months to get a hearing once you have filed a request. The reason that it takes so long is that there are thousands of cases waiting for a hearing and only a small number of judges that are able to hear the cases. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to make it go any faster. Please be aware that your prompt response to inquiries and supplemental documents is essential to keep your case on track. Otherwise, your case could take substantially longer.

Under the Social Security Act, “disability” means “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” 

There are at least five major types of Social Security disability benefits. Disability Insurance Benefits is the most important type of Social Security disability benefits. It goes to individuals who have worked in recent years (five out of the last 10 years in most cases) who are now disabled. Disabled Widow’s and Widower’s Benefits are paid to individuals who are at least 50 and become disabled within a certain amount of time after the death of their husband or wife. The late husband or wife must have worked enough under Social Security to be insured. Disabled Adult Child Benefits go to the children of persons who are deceased or who are drawing Social Security disability or retirement benefits. The child must have become disabled before age 22. For Disability Insurance Benefits, Disabled Widow’s or Widower’s Benefits and Disabled Adult Child benefits, it does not matter whether the disabled individual is rich or low income. Benefits are paid based upon a Social Security earnings record. Supplemental Security Income benefits, however, are paid to individuals who are very low income and who are disabled. It does not matter for SSI whether an individual has worked in the past or not.

You do not have to wait until the worker’s compensation period ends and you should not wait that long if you are disabled. You can file a claim for Social Security disability benefits while receiving worker’s compensation benefits. It is best to file the Social Security disability claim as soon as possible. Otherwise, there may be a gap between the time the worker’s compensation payments end and the Social Security disability benefits begin.

Social Security is supposed to gather your medical records and carefully consider all of your health problems, as well as your age, education, and work experience. In general, Social Security is supposed to decide whether you are able to do your past work. If Social Security decides that you are unable to do your past work, they are supposed to consider whether there is any other work which you can do, considering your health problems and your age, education, and work experience. 

After an individual files a Social Security disability claim, the case is sent to a disability examiner at the Disability Determination Service agency in your state. This individual, working with a doctor, makes the initial decision on the claim. If the claim is denied and the individual requests reconsideration, the case is then sent to another disability examiner at the Disability Determination Service agency, where it goes through the same process. If a claim is denied at reconsideration, the claimant may then request a hearing. At this point, the case is sent to an Administrative Law Judge who works for Social Security. The Administrative Law Judge makes an independent decision upon the claim. This is the only level at which the claimant and the decision-maker get to see each other.

Be honest and complete in giving information to Social Security about what is causing or has caused your disability. Many claimants, for instance, fail to mention their psychiatric problems to Social Security because they are embarrassed about them. In almost all cases, individuals who were slow learners in school fail to mention this fact to Social Security, even though it can have a good deal to do with whether or not the Social Security disability claim is approved. Beyond being honest and complete with Social Security, the most important thing that you can do is just keep appealing and hire an experienced person to represent you. It is important to appeal, because most claims are denied at the initial level, but are approved at higher levels of review. It is important to hire an experienced person to represent you because you may not understand the way Social Security works. Statistically, claimants who employ an attorney or other professional representative to represent them are much more likely to win than those who go unrepresented.

When it comes to disability, looks can be very deceiving. There are many people who look quite healthy but who are quite disabled by anyone’s standard. For instance, many individuals who suffer from very severe psychiatric illnesses are physically healthy and able to do things such as outdoor chores and other physical activities.

Tax Relief

Yes, there are laws that make it a Federal crime to willfully evade the payment of tax, willfully fail to file a proper tax return, etc. Remember Al Capone? He was found guilty of tax evasion and sent to prison. However, indictment for a Federal tax crime is on the rare side. In 2015, 1,330 individuals were indicted for tax evasion compared to 150,000,000 individual tax returns filed that year, less than 0.0009%. Even so, we understand the programs and policies of the IRS and Department of Justice to be able to provide guidance to minimize any potential exposure.
If you and your spouse/ex-spouse filed a tax return on a married filing joint basis, then you may potentially be liable for all unpaid taxes shown on that tax return regardless of whether the taxable income was yours or your spouse/ex-spouse’s. An option for you is requesting innocent spouse relief. The IRS has established criteria for granting innocent spouse relief and the granting of such relief is discretionary with the IRS. Our initial analysis will provide answers as to whether or not it is reasonable to request innocent spouse relief.
There are a number of alternatives available to resolve your specific tax case which can include:
i. Entering into an Installment Agreement for monthly payments;
ii. Submission of an Offer in Compromise;
iii. Requests for a Penalty Abatement;
iv. Request for Currently Not Collectible Status;
v. Request for relief based on the running of the Statute of Limitations; or
vi. Filing for relief through a Bankruptcy proceeding.
The process for resolving your tax situation with the IRS is daunting and stressful. A main objective for serving you as a client is to reduce the level of your anxiety that comes with resolving your tax situation. After our initial information gathering and analysis, we will aid you in employing one or more alternatives to resolve your specific case.
Call one of our Tax Specialists today for a free, no obligation consultation. If you choose to become a client, we will start working immediately on your case to help resolve your tax issue the quickest and most effective way possible.
A tax lien is a document filed in local government offices giving notice to the public that you owe federal taxes and provides the IRS with a priority position over all of your assets if such assets are sold or foreclosed upon. A tax levy is the process by which the IRS collects the unpaid tax balances. A levy can include wage garnishments, bank account seizures or foreclosure sale of your assets. Notice must be given by the IRS prior to commencement of a levy action. Timing is critical. If you receive a notice indicating that a levy might be imposed, then quick and correct action is required to preserve your rights to challenge such levy. We at Acadia Tax Relief are versed in the correct action to be taken to preserve your rights and obtain a workable solution for resolution of your unpaid taxes.
We get involved the moment you become a client by execution of documents authorizing us to represent you before the IRS and other internal documents. Sometimes time frames and deadlines are short. Whether it is a threatened wage garnishment, threatened bank levy, filing of a tax lien, receipt of certified letters, etc., we begin providing assistance on your behalf and work on resolving the specifics of your case as soon as authorization and engagement documents are signed.
Impersonation of IRS personnel has become a growing scam in people’s lives. As a Federal tax lien is public record, some of your identity information, name and address, is available to the public. Most contact by the IRS is initiated by mail by delivery of a written notice. However, there are circumstances that you may be contacted in person. If you are contacted in person, the IRS representative will provide two forms of official credentials: (1) a pocket commission, and (2) a HSPD-12 card, which is a government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification for Federal employees and contractors. You have the right to see these credentials. If they are not volunteered to you, then ask to see them. If you are contacted by an IRS revenue officer, revenue agent or special agent, or a person claiming to be one, then itis appropriate for you to ask them to contact us as your “power of attorney.” TheIRS, at IRS.gov, has issued these statements concerning contact by IRS representatives.
“Note that the IRS does not:
  • Demand that you use a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. The IRS will not ask for your debit or credit card numbers over the phone.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes. You should also be advised of your rights as a taxpayer.
  • Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying. The IRS also cannot revoke your driver’s license, business licenses, or immigration status. Threats like these are common tactics scam artists use to trick victims into buying into their schemes.”
You should not ignore any communication from the IRS. Even though it may be stressful, you should open and read the materials sent to you as they often provide important deadlines for response. Meeting any deadlines identified will often simplify the tax resolution process and provide the best opportunity for an acceptable tax resolution result. If we have filed with the IRS as your “Power of Attorney” with your consent, then we will also receive such not ices, sometimes prior to you receiving your copy. Upon receipt of a notice, we will immediately contact you to explain the notice and discuss the necessary response. Communication with our clients is critical for deriving the best possible solution. Communication is a two way process and includes our clients informing us if they have been contacted by letter or otherwise. In most instances we will receive the same notice, however, we enlist the help of our client in notifying us whenever they receive a notice, to ensure that deadlines are met.
Dealing with the IRS is stressful for a taxpayer. There is even a degree of anxiety with filing a tax return every year. Our prime objective is to reduce our clients’ stress in deriving and implementing a tax relief solution. A component of this stress relief is acting as your advocate (“power of attorney” in tax talk) before the IRS. Our knowledge of IRS procedures and policies allows us to efficiently and effectively pursue an appropriate tax relief solution on your behalf. If you are contacted by a revenue officer, revenue agent or special agent, it is appropriate for you to ask them to contact us as your “power of attorney.” It is our job to handle the communication with the IRS.
A reduction of amounts owed to the IRS may be obtained if stringent requirements are met. This program is the submission of an Offer in Compromise. We will not recommend application for a program of tax relief that has a limited chance of success. While other firms may possess a “pay us and we’ll give it a shot” approach, we believe that is not in the best interest of our clients, either emotionally or financially. Our recommendations are based on data acquisition, analysis and experience. Our two phase relief process emulates this principle.
Failure to meet deadlines as provided in the tax laws can have dramatic effects on your ability to obtain the least intrusive tax relief solution. Our two-phase relief process is designed to quickly determine any approaching deadlines and react in the most efficient manner to provide the best tax relief solution for your tax case.
Calculating the correct amount owed is a critical initial step in formulating options for resolution of your tax situation. In fact, this calculation is so important we have formulated a two-phase relief process with the first phase being data collection, analysis and design, and the second phase being the implementation of one of several methods to resolve your unpaid taxes. This two-phase process allows for delivery of our services on an efficient and least expensive basis. There is no one-size-fits-all program in the detailed area of tax resolution.