Benefits Of Working With A Disability Lawyer
Many people think that if they have a good case for eligibility for disability benefits asking an attorney to help you thorough the process is not necessarily required. However, taking into consideration that 60% of claims are denied it is worth hiring a lawyer who will increase your chance of approval. This is because the attorney knows how the SSA deals with applicants due to having dealt with many cases before.
The right documentation is the key to a successful disability benefits claim so a disability attorney will be able to sieve through your documents to check to make sure they are acceptable. If any amendments are required or if any documents are missing your attorney will ensure all your documentation is in order before your initial claim for disability benefits is submitted to the SSA.
If you applied without a lawyer and have been denied it is not too late, contact a lawyer to aid you in the appeal process. There is always a chance of winning disability payments at this reconsideration stage if a lawyer helps you through the process.
The Proving Your Disability Part Never Stops
Even after you receive disability benefits, the proving part never stops. I have found myself constantly needing to provide explanations and justifications to everyone from my local SSA office to friends and others in my life to complete strangers.
In the beginning, everyone wanted to know why, as in, why did you go on disability? I heard this especially from older adults who seemingly wanted me to have a chance at life rather than succumb to receiving disability. Its not an easy decision to make, and sometimes you can feel like you gave up or are a failure in societys eyes.
Some friends would ask questions out of general concern, curiosity, and wanting to learn about the disability benefit process. Others would listen, but ultimately impart judgment and negativity focusing on how I could possibly afford certain things or question whether I was really in too much pain to work, since I could work from home part-time. If I had good days, they didnt understand that didnt mean I was okay to go back to work full-time.
Then there is a medical review that SSA requires, where you need to send in proof of your disability and be examined by a doctor they send you to . My review is every three years. The process used to make me nervous, but not as much anymore.
Part of whats made me less nervous about these reviews is that I have built up knowledge about what to expect. Plus, I have a lot more patience about navigating these roadblocks.
How Much Work Do You Need
In addition to meeting our definition of disability, you must have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits.
Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year.
The amount needed for a work credit changes from year to year. In 2021, for example, you earn one credit for each $1,470 in wages or self-employment income. When you’ve earned $5,880, you’ve earned your four credits for the year.
The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
For more information on whether you qualify, refer to How You Earn Credits.
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What To Do If Your Disability Claim Is Denied
If your disability claim is denied, you are not alone. Most disability claims are denied during the initial review. When your disability claim is denied, the SSA will notify you in writing. They will tell you why your claim was denied and how long you have so you can file an appeal. If you wait too long, you will not be able to appeal, and you will have to start your claim all over.
The letter will tell you while your claim was not approved, and you can talk with your attorney about that. Your lawyer will know what additional information is needed to show that you are disabled and to help you get your claim approved. You may be able to gather the needed documentation and evidence that Disability Determination Services needs to review to determine if you are disabled.
When you file your appeal, you will want to include any medical records or supporting documentation that was not previously submitted. The more information that you can provide, the more likely you will be able to get your claim approved. The disability examiner needs to be able to fully assess your situation and determine the severity of your medical issues. With the proper documentation, he or she can determine if you are able to work and earn a living.
Through this process, the judge should be able to determine what kind of work you can do â if you can work at all.
Why You Should Work With A Disability Attorney
If you are applying for disability benefits, you can benefit greatly by being represented by a disability lawyer. An attorney can increase the chances of your claim being approved significantly. An attorney will be familiar with what kind of evidence is needed to support your claim. Also, an attorney will be able to review the evidence and documentation that you have and then determine if you need additional medical tests or records.
The Blue Book listings are very technical, so an attorney will be able to determine if you can meet the listing criteria or if a medical vocational allowance and a residual functional capacity is the way to go with your claim. Your attorney will be able to ensure that your documents are organized so your casecan get a fair review.
The key to a successful claim is supporting evidence and documentation. An attorney will be able to ensure that you have the supporting evidence and documentation your claim needs for an approval. When you retain a disability attorney, you will not have to pay anything upfront or out of pocket.
You can enlist the help of a Social Security Disability attorney at any time during your claims process. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form to share the details of your case with an attorney who handles disability cases in your area. You will increase your chances of having a successful claim and be awardeddisability benefits.
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Completing The Application Process
It will take the SSA approximately three to four months to process your claim for disability benefits. If your claim is approved, you will receive a letter stating how much your monthly benefits will be and how much back pay, if any, you are entitled to.
If your Social Security Disability application is not approved, you have 60 days from the date you receive the notice to appeal the SSA’s decision to deny your benefits. Approximately 70 percent of the applications received by the SSA are denied each year so it is not uncommon for applicants to have to file an appeal in order to receive Social Security Disability benefits.
How Long Will It Take
The SSA can take three to six months to determine if you meet their disability qualifications. At that time, they will notify you on whether youve been approved or if your application has been rejected.
If your application is rejected, dont lose hope. Many, if not most, disability applications are denied the first time. However, once an application is denied, you have a short window of time to file an appeal. You should consider hiring a lawyer who is experienced with disability claims.
In fact, you may want to contact one early in the process to help improve your odds of a quick approval. A lawyer is well versed with some of the most common causes of initial rejections and can help you take a proactive approach to filing for disability.
Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits
Once you have gathered the necessary information, you should contact the SSA to complete a disability application. The actual application can be filled out either at the Social Security office, over the phone or online.
When submitting your application for Social Security Disability benefits, you will need to complete the Social Security Adult Disability Report.
This report contains eleven separate sections and asks for information about your medical conditions, any work activity you may be performing, your education and training, medical treatments you have undergone, medications you are taking and other disability-related information.
Once the SSA receives your application for Social Security Disability benefits and all of the documentation required, they will begin to review your claim. You may, at this point, be asked to go for a consultative exam. This exam is paid for by the SSA.
The purpose of the exam is to evaluate the extent of your disability and whether or not your condition meets the Social Security Disability guidelines. It is very important that you show up for your exam.
Not undergoing the required consultative exam may result in a denial of your Social Security Disability benefits. While the findings of the consultative exam do play a part in the decision the SSA makes in regards to your disability application, statements from your treating physicians and objective medical evidence are given more weight in the determination process.
Special Rules For People Who Are Blind Or Have Low Vision
We consider you to be legally blind under Social Security rules if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye or if your visual field is 20 degrees or less, even with a corrective lens. Many people who meet the legal definition of blindness still have some sight and may be able to read large print and get around without a cane or a guide dog.
If you do not meet the legal definition of blindness, you may still qualify for disability benefits if your vision problems alone or combined with other health problems prevent you from working.
There are a number of special rules for people who are blind that recognize the severe impact of blindness on a person’s ability to work. For example, the monthly earnings limit for people who are blind is generally higher than the limit that applies to non-blind disabled workers.
In 2021, the monthly earnings limit is $2,190.
Ssd Application Process: After Claim Approval
Once you receive approval, it will take some time to start receiving payments. The SSA considers your application date to be your onset date.They use your AOD to mark the start of your mandatory five-month waiting period. This may sound like a long stretch of time to go without benefits, but its unlikely the SSA will approve your application before this point. That said, it generally still takes 1-2 months to start receiving your monthly benefits. The SSA also deposits any lump-sum backpay they owe you to cover anywhere from 5-17 months worth of SSD benefits.
Getting Help With Your Disability Case
If you wish to apply for social security benefits as a result of suffering from an impairment or disability, or if you’ve been denied benefits, it is in your best interests to get a lawyer’s help in doing so. A lawyer can explain to you exactly what requirements you have to meet and can assist you in all the steps of convincing the SSA that you are deserving of benefits.
3 Things You Must Know About Social Security Disability Claims
Are you eligible?
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Cutting Through The Backlog
Wait times differ across the country, but you should expect to wait at least six months. According to the SSA, the shortest wait times for 2021 are in:
- Akron, OH: 6.5 months
- Evansville, IL: 6.5 months
- Elkins Park, PA: 7 months
- Houston, TX: 7.5 months
In certain parts of the US, wait times can be as high as a year or more. Tacoma, Washington, for example, has a current claim-processing time of 497 days. For many people, waiting more than a year to have their application heard can be devastating. In an interview with WIVB, Ohio resident Kathy Nobilio said she was lucky her bank understood that she had been waiting for more than a year for payments.
is just sitting therenothing has been done, Nobilio told the news source. Im afraid Im going to lose my house. The bank has been very patient.
Some people may think they could receive benefits faster if they apply for Supplemental Security Income , but the Ohio Bar says the laws governing who medically qualify are the same for both programs. According to the Federal Times, the issue may worsen as the number of SSA employees continues to decline.
Given the expectation of leaner future budgets, SSA needs to plan to meet its mission with fewer resources, the Office of the Inspector General said, according to the Fiscal Times.
The Administrative Law Judge
After a Recon claim is denied, claimants may submit their claim to an Administrative Law Judge, or ALJ. The only type of claim the ALJ reviews is disability appeal cases, so he or she is an expert at how the law applies to the specific case. The average wait times for getting a case heard before an ALJ range from ten to twenty-three months, depending on the jurisdiction.
Advantages to ALJ Review
- Case is reviewed by one individual
- The ALJ process makes allowance less burdensome than denial
- The claimant is seen in person, before the ALJ
- Statistically, the ALJ approves almost 75% of claims
- ALJs are more concerned with legal than medical requirements
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What To Do If My Disability Application Is Denied
If the SSA denies your disability application, do not worry. You can appeal a Social Security denial. However, you have 60 days after receiving the denial notice to request an appeal.
There are four levels of appeal:
- Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge
- Review by the Appeals Council
- Federal Court review
The attorneys at Evans Disability can help you appeal your denial. Its critical to discuss your disability benefits denial with an experienced Social Security Attorney to ensure your disability benefits get approved.
How Your Claim Is Managed
At the DDS office, the DE and MC are the people who manage the disability determination process, but they are working within a system of complex rules and have little personal influence on the claims process or decision. Your claim will be reviewed by an MC who specializes in a specific medical condition. For example, claimants who allege back pain and anxiety will have their claims reviewed by an orthopedic doctor and a psychologist.
The DE, who is the manager for your claim and the person to contact, also reviews the kind of work you have done. For SSDI claims that depend on work history, your past work can determine what kind of work you are qualified for now. Does your disability keep you from your usual work as, for example, a structural steel worker? The DE will evaluate whether you might be able to adapt to a new kind of work.
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What Application And Forms Do I Fill Out
You will need to fill out an Application for Disability form.
Then you will need to fill out a release form SSA-827. This form enables Social Security to request and access your medical information and history.
If you apply online in your account portal, you should be able to fill out both the Application for Disability and the SSA-827
Can You Start Collecting Social Security Early
Most people can begin collecting their Social Security benefits as early as right before the age of 62. However, if you choose to collect before your full retirement age, your benefits will be reduced to a smaller monthly earning. The total amount of the reduction will depend on how early you start collecting benefits. While it is possible to start collecting Social Security benefits before your full retirement age, doing so will result in a reduced monthly payment. This is really only recommended for people who have no other source of income or have evidence that they will not live very long.
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The Basics About Disability Benefits
The SSDI program pays benefits to you and certain if you are insured. This means that you worked long enough and recently enough – and paid Social Security taxes on your earnings. The program pays benefits to adults and children with disabilities who have limited income and resources.
While these two programs are different, the medical requirements are the same. If you meet the non-medical requirements, monthly benefits are paid if you have a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death.
Education & Work History
The application will ask about your highest level of education, including any degrees or vocational training received.
You should also have access to your most recent W-2 and the details of any jobs you have held over the past two years, including your start and end dates and total wages. In addition, you will need information for the past five job types you worked in the 15 years before you became disabled, including the types of duties assigned to you in these jobs.
If you served in the U.S military, you should include the type of duty, branch, and service beginning and end dates.
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