OWM NEWSLETTER
AUGUST 2015

ATTORNEY SPOTLIGHT

DAVID S. KAPLAN

David S. Kaplan, Esq., grew up in Collegeville and is a graduate of Perkiomen School, Ursinus College and The University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He has been a member of OWM since 1983 and resides in Chester County with his wife, Diana.

Mr. Kaplan is active in the Collegeville Rotary as Past President and, most recently, Assistant Governor. He has been a leader in many community organizations and Montgomery Bar Assn. Committees and is a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR). He authored the Estate Mate Planner with the The Executor's Job: A Guide for your Executor, now incorporated into the OWMLAW website.

Mr. Kaplan's areas of concentration are Estate Planning/Administration and Social Security Disability. He is also an active mediator.

Phone: 610-323-2800
Fax: 610-323-2845
Email: dkaplan@owmlaw.com


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The material in this publication was created as of the date set forth above and is based on laws, court decisions, administrative rulings and congressional materials that existed at that time, and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. The information in this publication is not intended to create, and the transmission and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship.

 

SOCIAL SECURITY IS HERE TO STAY

On August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. Many people forget that eighty years ago our country was in the throes of a Great Depression. Our President and members of both Houses of Congress decided that never again would the workers of America find themselves without any retirement funds. A system was put into place that would ensure that for those who worked, there would be something there when they reached their retirement age. The program was never intended to be the primary income in retirement, yet it has become that for many and has kept many off welfare rolls.

The Social Security Act was amended in 1939 to include dependent benefits for spouses and minor children of retired workers in the event of a premature death of that worker. This was a logical extension of the initial intent of the Act. The concept of cost-of-living increases was added to the Act in 1950.

The first major expansion of the program came about in the mid 1950’s under President Eisenhower with the addition of disability benefits. When we pay our Social security retirement premiums out of each paycheck (FICA), a small portion is for a disability insurance policy. We earn that disability insurance through our own contribution and the money paid back for those who are disabled are based on the amount of their contributions.

There are some who see Social Security as part of an “entitlement problem” in this country. In fact, we pay premiums for these benefits just as many people do a for private individual retirement account (IRA), 401k or private disability insurance.

There are many other facets of Social Security including Medicare, Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These are funded in different ways, yet have become an essential part of our culture. A few have called for the dismantling of our Social Security system. The social disruption that would occur from most of these suggestions would be enormous. The greatest criticism is that there is significant fraud in the system. Many studies have been conducted regarding disability, Medicare or Medicaid fraud. These studies have shown that the system has a very low percentage of fraud, although the abuses that have been found have been well publicized.

The attorneys at OWM Law regularly work with the various issues involving Social Security. At times the system can be confusing. The Social Security Administration has been revising the program to make it more accessible and understandable to us all. Look at your account at www.ssa.gov and go to my Social Security.

Happy Birthday Social Security.

If you would care to discuss issues related to Social Security, please call me at 610-323-2800 or email me at dkaplan@owmlaw.com. Also, please watch OWM's August 2015 Legal Talk program entitled Celebrating 80 Years of Social Security on our website here.


FIRM NEWS

Congratulations to David S. Kaplan, Esq., Kathleen M. Martin, Esq., and Victoria S. Hollister, Esq., who have been named as 2015 Top Attorneys by Suburban Life/Philadelphia Life Magazine. Read the related article here.


UPCOMING EVENTS

OWM Law sponsoring First Friday celebration in Phoenixville on 9/4/15 and 10/2/15.

David A. Megay, Esq., speaking at Chester County Night School Seminars at Owen J. Roberts High School, Pottstown, PA, on 9/30/15 entitled "Buying and Selling Real Estate in PA" and on 10/28/15 entitled "Starting Your Own Business" (contact Chester County Night School at 610-692-1964 or online at www.chestercountynightschool.org).

Kathleen M. Martin, Esq., speaking at Chester County Night School Seminars at Pierce Middle School, West Chester, PA, on 9/29/15 and at Owen J. Roberts Middle School, Pottstown, PA, on 10/6/15 entitled "Elder Law Issues"; and at Owen J. Roberts Middle School, Pottstown, PA, on 10/20/15 entitled "Beyond the Simple Will" (contact Chester County Night School at 610-692-1964 or online at www.chestercountynightschool.org).

Watch Legal Talk, brought to you by OWM, on PCTV, Tuesdays at 8:30 on Channel 28, and Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on Channel 98, or on our website here.

Read Legal Ease every first and third Sunday in the Pottstown Mercury.

O'Donnell,Weiss & Mattei, P.C.

41 E. High Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
610-323-2800
Fax: 610-323-2845

347 Bridge Street, Suite 200
Phoenixville, PA 19460
610-917-9347
Fax: 610-917-9348

www.owmlaw.com