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I am often asked if a person can get Social Security disability benefits if that person is under the age of 50 years old. If you are over 50 but not yet retirement age, Social Security basically considers you un-trainable, and you have a better chance of receiving disability benefits. You might be able to get disability benefits if you are close to 50, because Social Security considers that you are rapidly approaching age 50 (where you are supposedly untrainable).

The short answer is yes, it is possible for a person to get Social Security disability if that person is under the age of 50, but it is very difficult. There are two primary ways that a person who is under the age of 50 can get disability benefits.

First, if the applicant meets a listing for Social Security disability, Social Security will consider the applicant to be disabled, regardless of age, and will award benefits. Social Security has certain listings or criteria for considering someone to be disabled. If you meet the requirements of a listing, Social Security will consider you disabled, even if you are under the age of 50.  However, you must meet the requirements and criteria of a listing exactly, and the listings are very stringent. As a result, very few people who are under the age of 50 will meet the requirements of a listing.

Second, a person who is under the age of 50 may "grid." Social security uses a grid or table to decide if an applicant is disabled. Social Security will consider the applicant's age, skill level of past work, and something called residual functional capacity (basically meaning the skill level and type of work that an applicant is now capable of performing). However, most of the time, the grid will direct a finding that an applicant who is under the age of 50 is not disabled.

For all of these reasons, it is very difficult – although not impossible – for an applicant under the age of 50 to be awarded disability benefits. Such an applicant should expect that the initial application and request for reconsideration will be denied, and that the applicant will have to appeal and have the hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, or ALJ for short.

If the ALJ denies the application for disability benefits, the applicant should be prepared to appeal to the Appeals Council if necessary, and recommended by the applicant's attorney. The next step in the appeals process beyond the Appeals Council is suing the Social Security administration in Federal District Court.

I would recommend that an applicant for Social Security disability benefits hire an attorney for the initial application and ensuing appeals process. The applicant should be patient, because the appeals process may very well take one, two, three, or more years to complete.

Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. represents applicants for social security benefits at all stages of the application and appeals process.  Please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an initial consultation to discuss your case and options.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Tim is licensed to practice law only in Minnesota, and the information contained in this blog post may not apply to jurisdictions outside of Minnesota.  Further, reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.






 
 
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Applicants for social security benefits frequently ask if they should have an attorney represent them in the application and appeals process.  From my perspective, the short answer is yes, for two reasons.

First, you typically hire the attorney on a contingent-fee basis of 25% of past-due benefits, or $6,000.00, whichever is less.  That means that you don’t pay any money out-of-pocket, except for expenses, and that the attorney does not get paid unless you prevail.

Second, the law related to social security benefits is mind-numbingly complex, and you need an attorney to navigate the maze of laws, regulations, and cases that govern social security, apply the law to the facts of your case, put the facts most favorable to you forward, and zealously represent you in your application and at all stages of appeal.

Some people want to file the application for disability benefits on their own, and then hire an attorney for the appeal. However, I do not think this is a wise course of action. You probably have a better chance of getting disability benefits with an attorney on your side than on your ownIt is to your benefit to hire an attorney before you submit a disability application. Your application will probably be better because you have an attorney, and although there is no guarantee that you will receive disability benefits, your application stands a better chance with an attorney than without.

So, you really have nothing to lose by hiring an attorney to represent you.  Some people apparently believe that you should apply for social security benefits by yourself the first time, when you do the initial application, but then hire an attorney if your application is denied.  I have to disagree with this notion, because you’re better off with an attorney representing you from the beginning.  The ultimate attorney fee might be less, but I’d rather see you qualify for benefits sooner  After all, the focus is on you, not the attorney.

Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. represents applicants for social security benefits at all stages of the application and appeals process.  Please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an initial consultation to discuss your case and options.

 
 
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You have probably heard in the news that the Department of Natural Resources ("DNR") is planning to evict the Wildlife Science Center ("WSC") near Forest Lake, Minnesota for violating its lease. According to news reports, the DNR has sent a notice of lease violations to the WSC. The question is, can the DNR evict its tenant, the WSC?

The short answer is yes, if there are sufficient lease violations.  Commercial leases are always a bit different, but I am betting that the lease requires the DNR to provide notice of these violations and an opportunity to correct them to the WSC prior to bringing an eviction action.  The text of the notice is not available, but news reports indicate that it was given for having an unauthorized person living on the premises, maintaining a dog kennel or shelter on the premises, and being behind on rent, all of which are presumably lease violations.

In my experience, a landlord will seek to evict a tenant for lease violations other than not paying the rent if the landlord simply wants to be rid of the tenant.  Reading between the lines here, I suspect that the DNR has another use planned for the buildings and land currently occupied by the WSC. In other words, the DNR wants the WSC to leave.

If these purported violations are not corrected, the DNR will probably proceed within eviction action. In that case, the DNR will most likely be represented by the Minnesota Attorney General. If the DNR brings an eviction, the WSC will be smart to hire its own attorney to represent it at the eviction hearing.

I expect that the DNR and WSC will be able to resolve their differences before it becomes necessary for the DNR to bring an eviction. However, if there is an eviction hearing, the WSC could make the DNR prove the lease violations by requesting a trial. Alternatively, the DNR and WSC might be able to reach some sort of settlement at the eviction hearing.

I checked the public court case information system, or MNCIS, but was unable to find information suggesting that an eviction had already been filed. That does not mean that an eviction will not be filed. By sending the notice, the DNR is telling the WSC to correct the lease violations. The notice is a required first step before the DNR can bring an eviction.

Every landlord – tenant situation is unique, and I recommend that landlords talk to an attorney experienced in evictions and landlord tenant law before taking action  To that end, I invite landlords to give me a call at 763-450-9494 to discuss their unique situation. I typically do not represent residential tenants, but do not represent commercial tenants - if I do not have a conflict of interest or the representation is not otherwise prohibited.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Tim is licensed to practice law only in Minnesota, and the information contained in this blog post may not apply to jurisdictions outside of Minnesota.  Further, reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

 
 
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Tim is teaching a seminar on Bankruptcy Basics: What Everybody Needs to Know about Bankruptcy. The seminar will be held on Friday, January 29, 2016 from noon to 1 PM at Tim's office, 2140 – 4th Avenue North, Anoka Minnesota 55303. This seminar is intended for consumer and small business debtors, as well as attorneys who do not practice in the area of bankruptcy.

Space is limited, so preregistration is required. For more information and to register, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bankruptcy-basics-everything-you-need-to-know-about-bankruptcy-tickets-20485575909.

ATTORNEYS: This seminar has been approved for one standard CLE credit. The event code is 214745.

Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. represents consumer and small business debtors in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings. Please note that only individual debtors can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief, not businesses.  Please call (763) 450-9494 to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation today and find out whether declaring bankruptcy is the right option for you!

DISCLAIMER: Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. is a debt-relief agency, and Timothy H. Baland, Esq. is a debt-relief agent.  We help people like you to obtain bankruptcy relief.

WARNING: The information contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.



 
 
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I am often asked whether a person can keep all of their property when they file for bankruptcy. The answer is generally yes, but  the answer depends on whether you are filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and whether you are using the state exemptions or the federal exemptions.

When you file bankruptcy, all of your property goes from where you own and control it to where it is owned and controlled by the bankruptcy trustee.  As a bankruptcy attorney, my goal is to keep your property out of the hands of the bankruptcy trustee. I can do this in one of 3 ways.

First, the property might be exempt under applicable state or federal law. The law provides that certain property is exempt, up to a certain limit. My job as a bankruptcy attorney is to find it as many exemptions for your property as possible. I want you to be able to keep as much of your property as possible.

Second, if you are making payments on a secured property, which the creditor could take back from you if you did not make the payments, you can do what is called reaffirm the debt. In other words, you can promise to continue making the payments, and then keep the property. In order to keep secured property, you have to reaffirm the debt and do not have a choice in the matter.

For most people, the first two options are sufficient. Between reaffirming secured debt and the exemptions, you get to keep most – if not all – of your property. However, if for some reason you have too much property that you want to keep, and this happens most frequently with a small business, you have options. If chapter 13 will not work for you click here for an article that discusses the differences between chapter 7 in chapter 13 bankruptcy), you can buy nonexempt property back from the bankruptcy trustee.

Again, this usually happens when you are dealing with a small business bankruptcy, or with the debtor who has a lot of property. If the debtor is an individual and has regular income, chapter 13 might be an appropriate way for the debtor to keep most if not all of his or her property. However, if the debtor is a corporation, then chapter 7 may be the way to go. The best option really depends on the individual debtor's circumstances.

Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. represents consumer and small business debtors in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings. Please note that only individual debtors can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief, not businesses.  Please call (763) 450-9494 to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation today and find out whether declaring bankruptcy is the right option for you!

DISCLAIMER: Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. is a debt-relief agency, and Timothy H. Baland, Esq. is a debt-relief agent.  We help people like you to obtain bankruptcy relief.

WARNING: The information contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.







 
 
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The short answer is no, unless the tenant is a resident in a mobile home park. In that case, notice has to be provided in accordance with Minn. Stat. 327C .09, subd. 2. However, if the tenant is not a resident in a mobile home park, and the lease does not provide otherwise, the landlord does not normally need to provide notice that an eviction will be filed. In other words, the landlord can bring an eviction action as soon as there is a lease violation, either for nonpayment of rent or for something else.

Typically, the tenant misses a rent payment, and that is the reason for bringing the eviction in the first place. At that point, the landlord has to decide whether the landlord wants the tenant to pay and stay, or just wants the tenant to move out. If the landlord wants the tenant to pay and stay, then I would recommend bringing the eviction only for the reason of unpaid rent. However, if the landlord wants the tenant to move out, then I would look for other lease violations, in addition to unpaid rent, that you could include in the eviction complaint.

The reason is that the tenant can request a trial at the eviction hearing, but the tenant has to pay to get a trial if the eviction is brought for unpaid rent alone, but does not have to pay to get a trial if the eviction is brought for unpaid rent and for a different lease violation.

Every landlord – tenant situation is unique, and I recommend that landlords talk to an attorney experienced in evictions and landlord tenant law before taking action  To that end, I invite landlords to give me a call at 763-450-9494 to discuss their unique situation. I typically do not represent tenants.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Tim is licensed to practice law only in Minnesota, and the information contained in this blog post may not apply to jurisdictions outside of Minnesota.  Further, reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.