Social Security Disability Determination

disabilityA social security disability lawyer can help you get social security benefits. Many people believe they are not entitled to social security due to their age. Normally this is an accurate assumption. However, there are circumstances surrounding whether or not a person is entitled to receive disability benefits.

How Does Social Security Determine Disability

Social Security Administration uses a formula to help them decide whether or not a person’s disability is severely disabled. The process normally includes a five- step- process. During the process disabled candidates are asked five questions that will help the office determine if the individual’s condition warrants further testing.

Employment Ability

Anyone who works and makes more than $1,000 per month is not considered disabled. However, the office knows that people have to maintain some standard of living, while they are waiting for their disability benefits.

Individuals who are not employed can send their completed application to the Disability Determination Board, so they can make a decision on the case. The board set up a medical appointment with one of their specialists.

Severity of the Disability

If illnesses or diseases interfere with employment and quality of life, social security will determine its severity. If any conditions do not interfere with employment or affect quality of life, social security will rule that the illness or disease is not disabling.

List of Approved Disabilities

Social Security has a list of major medical conditions that will automatically qualify someone has been disabled. If any illness or disease is not on this list, social security will need to schedule an appointment with a medical professional. Social Security have two processes that help them to expedite new disability claims quickly; Compassionate Allowances, Quick Disability Determinations.

Previous Work History Reviewed

Conditions that interfere with previous work history might not be severe enough to warrant disability payments. If the condition does interfere with work, and will continue to decline in nature, the results in receive benefits are optimal.

Turning to another Job Skill

Some disabilities are minor, and social security will look at these limitations as being manageable. Anyone who cannot perform the same type of work now, has they did in the past would be approved for disability payments. Social Security looks at age, amount of education, employment experience and work skills as being adjustable.

If the office cannot adjust the work skills, or if do not deem them to be transferable, the claim will most likely be approved. Individuals must have enough work credits in reserve to qualify for disability payments. The amount of benefits one receives depends on the amount of their yearly earned wages. The average work credits are 40, and 20 of these credits must have been earned during the last 10 years.

The Importance of Having Alarm Monitoring For Your Home

alarmA home alarm system is a valuable tool for protecting your property and your family. It is not a complete solution, however. Your alarm system is most effective when it is monitored by live people who have been trained. You should understand the importance of having professional alarm monitoring.

Never Worry When Away From Home

Something that can ruin your vacation or your day is worrying about the safety of your home while away. This could be because of recent crimes in the neighborhood or suspicious people in the area. An unmonitored alarm could be avoided or disabled by a criminal. A monitoring service ensures that any signals get immediate detection. You can rest easy while away from home knowing that trained professionals are watching your property.

Deter Most Criminals

Typical or older alarm systems do not scare many criminals these days. Criminals can use various tricks to get into a house, steal valuables and get out without being seen by the system. Something that does still make a difference is a monitoring service. A sign on a lawn or a sticker in a window will signal to criminals that someone is actively watching the sensors or cameras in the home. This will deter criminals and stop them from attempting to get into your home.

Protect Against Fires and Other Emergencies

Some of the newest home alarm systems have special sensors that are able to detect environmental emergencies. This could mean a fire, a flood or even rising carbon monoxide levels. You do not want to rely on just a loud beep from a typical smoke alarm. Your house will be far better protected with a monitoring service. Professionals will be able to see when an environmental sensor detects a problem. This can keep your home and family safe from fires or carbon monoxide.

Fast Response Times

Conventional home without outside connectivity have no ability to directly contact authorities if something happens. You have to wait until someone in the area hears the alarm, locates your house and then calls the police or fire department. An alarm monitoring service will do this much more quickly. A detailed call for help can be made as soon as a sensor is tripped in or around the home. This fast response will stop burglars or fires from harming your property.

Reduce Your Insurance Rates

A final reason monitoring services are important for you home alarm system is because they can reduce your insurance rates. Your premiums for homeowner’s insurance are based partially on how secure your house is against threats. Monitoring services can ensure that everything possible will be done immediately when a sensor detects a fire, burglar or other hazard. Most insurers will reduce you rates because of this.

Keep Your Surfaces Cleaner Longer With Renew Crew

austin pressure washing serviceIt’s unpreventable, the outside of houses are going to accumulate dirt and grime from the elements. It’s not always easy to remove the dirt without the aid of a heavy-duty power washer. Although power washers are the most thorough cleaning tool for a deep pressure washing cleaning, they can also cause permanent damage to your home and surfaces.

To thoroughly clean the outside of your home and other outdoor areas, the Renew Crew Clean 3-step pressure washing system will give you an unsurpassable cleaning job that is long-lasting and free of damage risks to surfaces and areas such as:

• Siding
• Decking
• Concrete
• Plastics

Whether you own a personal pressure washer or hire a commercial pressure washing company to clean your outdoor surfaces, the effects are typically the same – pressure washing can permanently damage what you’re trying to clean. The powerful blasts of water may show signs of gouging, stripping, peeling, breaks or cracks in your property, home or deck.

Step one – Renew Crew’s 3-step pressure washing system starts with a pre-treating, soft foam to gently lift even the toughest dirt and grime from your surface materials. The foam works its way into even the smallest of cracks and crevices to lift the dirt out. It’s a perfect solution for those hard-to-reach areas that hide dirt well.

Step two – Step two is to power wash and blast the dirt out of the cracks and off the surfaces of your home, concrete, or other property you request to be cleaned. A professional grade power washer is used by a Renew Crew trained power washer technician. Each technician is trained to power wash a wide variety of surfaces safely to ensure your home and property is well maintained.

Step three – After the surfaces are pressure washed, your Renew Crew’s technician will apply a protective finish to the surfaces to help keep your surfaces protected and cleaner for much longer than simply pressure washing. Renew Crew’s 3-step pressure washing process will make your home’s siding, decking or concrete drive and sidewalks look brand new and will help keep them looking that way.

For pricing, Renew Crew believes the charges should match the job needing done. Why pay the price of having a large home’s siding cleaned when all you need is a small back deck washed? Renew Crew tailor-fits the price to the job. You can get a free estimate by calling the top rated pressure washing company in Fayetteville, AK and speaking to a representative, or visit their site online.

How to Play With Outdoor Lighting

outdoorlightAs homeowners, we are always looking to find better ways to improve the curb appeal of our homes. We go out of our way to do our best to enhance the look of our outdoor space! We go out and buy brand new lawn and porch furniture. We plant trees and flowers. We hire landscapers to get our grass and shrubberies to look just right! We have pools and hot tubs put in. We build gazebos and fire pits for outdoor barbecues! I mean the list goes on and on! We are constantly trying to come up with more and more ways to add that special something to make our neighbor’s jealous!

Well, rest assured there is a way to both add beauty and enhance the existing features of our outdoor space! Add the wow factor of outdoor lighting! That’s right, outdoor lighting! There are a million and one ways to use outdoor lighting to enhance the appearance of our space.

Not sure just how to achieve the desired effect of outdoor lighting?

Well, you’re in luck! At you can get an idea of just how beautiful your outdoor space can look with the addition of outdoor lighting. Explore the website. Whatever you’re desired effect, can help you achieve it with just the right finishing touches!

You would be surprised just how much fun you can have with outdoor lighting! Don’t be afraid to play with it a little! Installed correctly, outdoor lighting can do amazing things for you’re outdoor space! It can add character to your front entrance! It could shed some light on your drive or walkway! Outdoor lighting around the BBQ pit can certainly make it a whole lot easier to BBQ, that’s for sure! Get creative and place outdoor lighting above the porch swing or around the deck! Highlight a beautiful flower garden! Add lighting to shrubs and trees or create a romantic ambiance around your pool or hot tub by adding outdoor lighting. Enjoy the way the light reflects off the water at night! The possibilities are endless!

While we are on the subject of adding light, let’s not forget the importance of sight around important target areas of our homes. Motion sensitive lighting is one way to add light when we need it above the front, back and side entrance’s to our home. It can also give us a little piece of mind by adding a level of protection with the potential to ward off any criminal activity.

Flood Insurance: What Is Covered?

flood20% homes in America have taken flood insurance because they are under risk of floods. In US, there are only few insurance providers who provide flood insurance because the scope of profit, especially in certain flood prone areas, is extremely low. However, there are a few conscientious insurance providers like Fix of Utah where flood insurance is provided. The policies offered by flood insurance providers protect your property and physical possessions from damage due to flood.

Basically, coverage is offered for personal property (limit of $500,000) and building property (limit $500,000). When it comes to business organizations, stocks fall under personal property and usually, it is recommended that both personal and business coverage should be purchased by people and organizations that live in flood prone areas. In order to understand the things that are covered in flood insurance, you should read on –

• Items Covered Under Coverage of Building Property – The following things are covered under Building coverage –
> The building that is insured and its foundation
> Plumbing and electrical systems installed in the building
> Water heaters in the building
> Ventilating equipment, furnaces installed and central AC (air conditioning) units;
> Permanent carpet installed over unfinished flooring
> Permanent cabinets, bookcases, wallboard and paneling installed;
> Pumps in the building and the machinery installed for operating such pumps
> Canopies and awnings
> Walk-in type freezers
> Any aerials and antennas that have been attached to the insured building
> Fire sprinkler and fire extinguishing systems and apparatus

• Items Covered Under Coverage of Personal Property – Following things are covered under Personal coverage –
> Personal property, equipment, machinery, fixtures and furniture that you own and use in conducting your business
> Stocks, i.e. finished or WIP goods, raw materials and goods in storage meant for sale or otherwise
> Window and portable ACs (air conditioners)
> Dishwashers and microwave ovens that are portable
> All rugs and carpets apart from ones under the coverage of building property
> Dryers and washers for clothes;
> Freezers meant for food and the food stored therein, except the walk-in type
> Valuable items up to $2500 like fur and original works of art
> Self-propelled and non-licensed vehicles that are present for assisting disabled persons or for serving the said location, stored in the building that is insured
> Curtains
> Contents coverage (maximum 10%) for building improvements that the insured has made and has been occupying as tenant

There are certain items that are excluded from coverage. These are basically those losses which do not occur directly as a result of the flood but due to the negligence of the insured or through forces beyond the purview of flood insurance like business risk.

Getting Roofing Done Right

Getting Roofing Done RightWith owners looking to maintain the quality of their roofing, they will no doubt face a few different challenges along the way. This is part of the reason why they will need to get a basic overview of the services that they can secure. This will help prepare them to identify some major issues and fix them before they even become a problem. Most owners will understandably want to find out more information from a committed service team operating in the area. They should make sure that they are working with service teams that will simply lend their support to complete major projects like these soon. They will be uniquely qualified to handle any issue that may arise along the way.

First, every owner will need to think about getting an initial inspection of the roofing system that they have in place already. They will be able to secure support for a few different types of projects with this inspection having been completed. If owners haven’t had an inspection done in a while, they will be able to trust the results that they can get from this. The inspection itself may try to focus on the state of the shingles or the underlying support beams. This will help owners understand whether there are any structural weak points that will need to be replaced. If owners identify these ahead of time, the repairs will be much less intensive and costly.

Owners should take the time to think about how they can actually anticipate some of the materials that may go in to this process. This will help people understand whether they are working with the right team as well. The team can provide advice on whether owners may want to stick with rubber shingles or install materials like metal shingles in to place soon. This will help them choose the best all around materials package that will help them cope with the local climate. Some people may be faced with a wide variety of inclement weather conditions. They will likely be interested in adding in shingles and support beams that can defend the home against these structures.

It will be important for owners to realize that they are actually making a substantial investment in the structure of their home. These shingles and roofing systems will offer people the chance that they need to actually enhance the value of the home. Given the important role that the roof plays, owners should make sure that they are hiring the right contractors soon. Owners may want to start with the professionals that they find through This team has built up a reputation in the area and will offer their support for different types of projects.

Finding Insurance for Your Home

Finding Insurance for Your HomeHaving homeowner’s insurance is almost as important as having a home itself because you don’t want to have to pay out of pocket for damages that are not your fault. Imagine having to buy a new house because your current one burned to the ground during a freak accident while you were away. That would be a worst case scenario, but having homeowner’s insurance can help you prevent that from ever happening. The problem is that every insurance plan is different, so choosing the right one for your needs is very important. Here’s what you can do to find a suitable insurance plan for your home.

Determine Your Needs and Budget

Before you choose a home insurance plan, you should figure out how much coverage you actually need and want. Most standard plans are adequate for most homeowners as they cover expenses resulting from all kinds of accidents and disasters from flooding to tornado damage. Standard plans usually offer up to $100,000 in liability coverage, so damages costing more than that amount would have to be paid out of pocket. You have the option to get more premium plans that pay for $300,000, $500,000, or even a million dollars in damages if you’re willing to pay more. Speaking of cost, you should also set a cap on how much you can afford to pay every month. Plans that exceed this maximum amount should not be considered.

Do Your Research

The next step is to do some homework on insurance companies and the plans that they offer. There are hundreds if not thousands of insurance companies out there, and many of them aren’t very reputable or trustworthy. Make sure that you go with a company that has good BBB ratings and positive customer reviews. To play it safe, stick with a big name company or a well-respected local business. Rogers & Gray Insurance is a very reputable company located in Hyannis, MA. The business provides homeowner’s insurance in addition to car insurance, boat insurance, business insurance, and more.

Contact an Insurance Provider to Learn More

While most insurance providers have a website displaying important information including insurance plans, some may not have websites or details listed. Talk to a customer service representative to get more information so that you can make a smart decision. You may be able to speak with someone over the phone, or you could choose to set up an in-person appointment with an insurance agent to learn more about costs, requirements, and the fine print.

Ask for Discounts

When speaking with an agent, always ask for any available discounts on plans. Many providers will lower monthly costs if you have the proper safety precautions in place such as installing a smoke detector on very floor, having sprinklers in the home, or getting a security system, for example. These price reductions can make plans that were once unaffordable fall within your budget.

Top Six Factors That Affect Your Homeowners Insurance Rates

home-insurance-companiesBuying homeowners insurance is not easy. The process of buying homeowners insurance can be frustrating, complicated and confusing. Sometimes, it’s difficult to accurately compare rates, since coverage isn’t usually identical from insurance company to insurance company.

However, to help you understand the factors that insurance companies use to determine your homeowners insurance rate, I’ve listed the top six factors that affect your homeowners insurance rates.

1. Value. When you calculate the value of your home, leave out the value of your land. Only consider the replacement cost of the dwelling at today’s prices.

2. Geography. The further your house is from a fire station, the higher your premium will be. So, homes in cities, where fire stations are close by, will have lower rates than homes in rural areas.

3. Contents. The value of your personal property is usually calculated by the insurance company as 50% of the dwelling value. So, if your personal property has value in excess of that amount, you need to increase the policy limits on Contents.

4. Liability Limits. Homeowners Insurance is a package policy with a minimum liability limit built in. I recommend that you increase your liability limits significantly above the minimum. Jury awards on liability claims can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. A minimum liability limit will leave you dangerously under-protected.

5. Deductibles. The deductibles you choose will have a significant affect on your insurance rates. Generally, the higher your deductible, the lower your rate. Always choose the highest deductible your budget will allow. Then, set aside one deductible in your savings account to take the financial pressure off your deductible choice.

6. Claims History. If your home is free of previous insurance claims, you’ll get the best insurance rates. If you have had previous insurance claims, the insurance company will consider those claims when they calculate your premium rate.

A change in any of these factors can cause a change in your homeowners insurance premium. Make sure that you fully disclose the correct information about each of these factors to your agent. That way, you’ll be most certain to get the lowest homeowners insurance rates you can.

If you have experienced an insured loss, whether auto, business, fire, wind, flood or other, you need to know winning insurance claim strategies. The insurance company will not tell you the claims process, but I will. I will show you how to take control of your insurance claim, and add hundreds or even thousands more dollars to your claim settlement.

5 Ways to Save on Your Home Insurance

save-moneyThe end of 2013 is rapidly approaching – have you started on your New Years resolutions yet? Is saving money one of your resolutions? For many, the resolutions are already being forgotten and saving money has been replaced by a warm cup of Starbucks coffee. But fear not, there is something you can do now to save money and you don’t even have to give up your daily Starbucks (though I would recommend doing that as well). Below are 5 ways to save on your home insurance right now.

1. Increase your deductible. Increasing your deductible could save you over $100. This is the simplest and least painful way to save a couple extra bucks on your home insurance.

2. Increase the security on your home. There are things that you can do that will pay for themselves due to the decrease in home insurance premium (i.e. installing dead bolts and smoke detectors). Other security measures (like installing a burglar alarm) are smart and will actually decrease your home insurance costs, but may cost you a little more in the long run. Of coarse, a burglar alarm could deter theft and that is priceless.

3. Improve the safety of your home. If your home is more safe, you may not need to make any claims. Claims are not only expensive for you and the insurance company right now, but will also affect the cost of your home insurance for the next 3 years.

4. Remove coverages that are unnecessary. If you live on a fault line, you probably need earthquake insurance. If you are no where near a fault line you might be OK to skip adding earthquake to your policy. Also, sometimes scheduling jewelry on your policy is not as cost effective as insuring your jewelry with a 3rd party.

5. Shop around. Some insurers will tell you that you need to bundle because you will automatically save money. You always receive a discount when you bundle a primary home and auto, but that doesn’t mean that would be the best deal. Sometimes separating the policies is more affordable and sometimes having them with one company is the way to go. Shop around and you’ll be surprised by the price difference between companies.

Get started now on that New Years resolution by getting a quote for your home insurance and your car insurance from an independent agent. They may be able to save you hundreds of dollars this year without the pain of giving up anything you enjoy!

How To Get The Most Out of Your Home Insurance Policies

insurance policyMost people simply accept home insurance as a necessary part of owning a home. In fact, many home owners simply renew their policies each year without putting any thought into their policies.

The reality is that you should take the time each year to read through your policy. This is important to make sure that you have the right amount of coverage and that you are getting your money’s worth.

Review, Then Renew

Depending upon the year, you may have had drastic changes in your household. For example, did you just finish renovating a certain part of your home? Did you get a dog? Did you purchase an expensive piece of art or start a home business? Are you storing a boat on your property? These are all things that may necessitate a change in your policy coverage.

In addition, it could be possible that your insurance agent made a mistake on your policy. These mistakes could be costly if something should happen. For example, if you have upgraded your linoleum kitchen floor to top quality hardwood flooring and the hardwood is damaged after your pipes burst, your insurance company may only reimburse enough to fix a linoleum floor, not the newer hardwood floor.

Consider how much coverage you have. Then, ask yourself what would happen if you would need to replace all of your possessions due to a major catastrophe. Would your insurance cover that amount? If not, you may need to increase your coverage.

Coverage For More Than Catastrophes

Your home insurance policy also provides liability coverage as well. Suppose your dog nips a guest in your home and the guest needs medical attention? Your homeowner’s policy would cover expenses. This is also true if you have a home business and you meet with clients in your home. Should you ever be sued due to injuries a client sustained while on your property, having a homeowner’s insurance policy can be a big asset.

Getting a Good Insurance Rate

Often at renewal time, homeowners wonder if they can save some money on their policies. Because the cost of insurance can vary significantly from company to company, it is a wise idea to compare rates every so often. When comparing rates, make sure that the quotes are for the same amount of coverage!

There are some ways to save money on your policy without switching companies. You can combine your auto insurance and home insurance policy in order to receive a discount on the cost of your policies. You can also increase the deductibles on your policies. However, caution is in order. Although you may save money on your policy, you should also make sure you can pay the deductible.

If You Decide To Switch Companies

Research companies several months in advance of your renewal date. Then, simply start your policy with your new company and do not renew your old policy. Of course, you will need to call the new company several weeks in advance in order to make sure that your new policy begins when your old policy expires. Any lapses in coverage could be very costly financially.

Although you make not have the time to check your coverage on a regular basis, taking the time once a year can actually help you save money and get better coverage in the long run.