How Do I Choose The Best Social Security Disability Attorney
The best Social Security disability attorney for you is one you like and trust someone you can work with to complete and win your claim. If you have an existing relationship with a lawyer that youve worked with on other items, you can always ask for a recommendation.
You can also check with your family and friends, especially if any of them have gone through the disability claims process themselves. Getting a referral from another lawyer, friend, or relative is generally a good path both are unlikely to refer to someone that isnt reputable or effective. Either of these routes is likely to increase the level of trust you feel with a potential Social Security disability lawyer.
Another good path is to ask others you know who have gone through the disability benefits claims process and been successful. For example, if youre involved in a support group or rehabilitation group with others who have been successful in getting their SSDI benefits, ask them if they worked with an experienced attorney or specific law firm and see if you can get a referral. You should generally be able to reach out in confidence to a disability attorney who has helped win claims for others.
As you look for referrals, below are some good questions to ask about any disability attorneys who are recommended to you:
How Long Will It Be Before I Receive A Decision On My Application
Thelength of time it takes to receive a decision on your application depends on
the nature of your disability
- How long it takes the Agency to receive medical evidence from your doctors and other medical sources
- Whether the Agency determines that it is necessary to send you for a medical examination
- Whether the Administration reviews your application for quality purposes
Impairments That May Qualify For Diabetes Disability Benefits
Diabetes itself will not typically qualify an individual for SSDI and/or SSI benefits. However, if you have been diagnosed with a condition related to diabetes, and that condition limits your ability to work, then you may be approved for disability benefits.
Diabetes can cause a range of impairments, particularly when it is uncontrolled or poorly controlled. Common conditions linked to diabetes include:
- Cardiac arrhythmias, intestinal necrosis, or cerebral edema and seizures caused by diabetic ketoacidosis.
- A peripheral neurovascular disease that leads to amputation, diabetic retinopathy, coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, abnormal gastrointestinal motility caused by diabetic gastroparesis, diabetic nephropathy, poorly healing skin infections, diabetic peripheral and sensory neuropathies, and cognitive impairments such as depression and anxiety caused by chronic hyperglycemia.
- Seizures, loss of consciousness or altered mental status, and cognitive defects caused by hypoglycemia.
Each of these conditions has its own specific requirements for qualifying for disability benefits. For example, a person with diabetes develops diabetic retinopathy or damage to the blood vessels inside of the eye. This can cause a significant loss of peripheral vision and/or visual acuity.
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What’s The Process For Filing An Appeal
If your initial application was denied, and you believe you qualify, you have 60 days to file an appeal to reach the next level of determination. First, you can hire a lawyer and have him or her schedule a hearing. Your lawyer should meet with you before the hearing to discuss what will happen and go over questions that are normally asked at the hearing. The hearing will be conducted by an Administrative Law Judge and will follow a five-step consultation. The judge will not issue a decision on the day of the hearing a “Notice of Decision” will be issued to you and your attorney at the same time, which can take anywhere from two to six months.
Second, you can move on to an Appeals Council. The average processing time for the Appeals Council is 18 to 24 months. The council can review your claim and render a decision, choose not to review the claim, or remand your claim back to the Administrative Law Judge for reconsideration.
Finally, you can appeal to the Federal Court if all else fails. You can file a civil suit in a Federal District Court and appeal ultimately to the United States Supreme Court.
Myth: Ssdi Will Replace Most Of Your Work
“Social security disability payments are modest,” Jarrett says. “At the beginning of 2015, Social Security paid an average monthly disability benefit of $1,165.” The payment is meant to help people meet basic living needs, and the program is designed to replace some, but not all, lost income.
“It’s a safety net for those who are no longer able to work on a regular basis,” explains Proudian.
“You can’t expect that it’s going to replace your income 100 percent,” says Kimberly Calder, director of health policy for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and a patient advocate.
Social security disability insurance is not the same as Supplemental Security Income , a federal income supplement program. One difference between the SSI and SSDI programs is how they are funded. With SSDI, employment taxes primarily finance Social Security retirement, survivors, and disability insurance benefits. Generally, Social Security pays benefits to eligible workers and their families based on the workers earnings, Jarrett says.
You can also return to work while collecting SSDI benefits. We have special rules to help you get back to work without jeopardizing your initial benefits. You may be able to have a trial work period for nine months to test whether you can work, he explains.
Can The Long Term Disability Carrier Force You To Use A Social Security Disability Claims Service They Recommend Like Allsup
Many long-term disability insurance policies require you to apply for Social Security disability benefits, and will offer the services of companies like Allsup, Occudanta, Advantage 2000, Disability Services, Inc. to help you with your Social Disability Claim. Should you use these companies?
As an experienced long-term disability/ERISA and Social Security disability Attorney. My answer is unequivocally No!
In fact, UNUM was convicted on making LTD applicants apply for Social Security disability even if the applicant was not entitled to or qualified or eligible for Social Security disability.
Of course, some may think my answer is based on the fee I might earn on the Social Security disability claim. Nothing is further from the truth!
If you do get Social Security disability benefits, you are generally entitled to a retroactive lump sum payment. The long-term disability carriers want their money back immediately. Allsup, Occudanta, Advantage 2000, Disability Services, Inc. will have you sign an agreement that allows them to automatically a withdrawal from your checking account any overpayment that might be due to your long-term disability insurance company. On the face of it, thats fair.
Answering these broad-based questions isnt easy. Help is a phone call away. You can contact Nancy Cavey, an experienced long-term disability attorney at 727-894-3188.
Does Social Security Make Exceptions To The Sga Limit
Some argue that the monthly SGA earnings limit is an arbitrary amount with no real basis and is unfair, and to some extent that is true. For instance, someone making the federal minimum wage can work 32 hours per week and have their earnings come under the SGA amount, while someone who makes significantly more can work only five hours per week without becoming ineligible for benefits.
In actuality, Social Security can look at things that affect the “worth” of an individual’s work that might influence whether or not an individual is engaging in SGA-level work activity, even if the individual is earning over the monthly earnings limit. For example, Social Security claims representatives must investigate whether an individual is performing work activity that is actually worth what they are being paid. They must consider the fact that some employers will subsidize disabled employees’ work by paying them their full wage even though the employees are not performing up to the value of that wage because of their disability. If an employer considers an employee’s work to be worth half of the actual pay, then Social Security could just count half the amount of earnings toward the SGA determination.
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What Can Help Me Apply For Social Security Disability
On Behalf of The Disability Law Office of Jeffrey S. Lichtman, LLC | Mar 8, 2017 | Firm News
If you are suffering from a long-term disability that keeps you from working, then you may be eligible for benefits. In order to apply for benefits, you need to file an application for SSD with the Social Security Administration as soon as possible. Social Security Disability claims take a long time to process , so it is important to do whatever you can to strengthen your claim and get it approved quickly.
To make the process go faster, you should have your personal information and medical records readily available. You will need medical records, names and dosages of medications, lab results, and your most recent W-2s to show when and where you worked before the injury occurred.
Once your application is processed by the SSA, a decision will be made regarding your claim. If you are awarded benefits, you should start receiving compensation immediately. If your claim is denied, you have the option to file an appeal. If you have been denied SSD benefits because you do not fit the criteria of a disabled person according to the SSA, then you can file your appeal online by filing a disability report. You should provide updated information regarding your condition including any new medical test results and doctor visits.
How To Apply For Disability In Allegan County Michigan
In Michigan you may apply for social security disability insurance by calling your social office toll-free number and following the voice instructions. It is also possible to use a web form available on the administrations website. The last option would be to go to the offices for social security in Allegan County and make a physical application.
As you prepare to file your application, make sure you already have your social security number handy, and something such as your ID or passport that will help as proof of age. You will need names and addresses of any professionals such as doctors, caseworkers and nurses who have previously treated or taken care of you. Make sure you have the details of all your previous encounters with the health practitioners, especially the dates of visit. Get your medical records these will include the following.
- Test results from laboratories
- Reports from clinics, therapists, hospitals or caseworkers
Be ready to provide your employment and career records as captured in the following details.
- Present occupation
- Previous occupation
- A recent W-2 form/federal tax return copy
In addition you will also need social security numbers for any family member and proof of the same. Married people also need proof of marriage but this only applies to a spouse that applies for the benefits.
What Is A Social Security Card
Your Social Security card is an important piece of identification. Youll need one to get a job, collect Social Security, or receive other government benefits.
When you apply for a Social Security number , the Social Security Administration will assign you a nine-digit number. This is the same number that is printed on the Social Security card that SSA will issue you. If you change your name, you will need to get a corrected card.
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How Does Coronavirus Impact Social Security
Due to COVID-19, many local field offices are closed to the public. In most cases, you can call the office to schedule an appointment if you need to complete a transaction that can only be done in person. Otherwise, you will need to take care of your situation over the phone with the central office or online through the Social Security website.
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How Can I Get Social Security Disability For Diabetes
The Social Security Administration maintains a listing of impairments, which includes both medical and mental health conditions that are considered severe enough to prevent a person from working. Diabetes is included on this listing of impairments under endocrine disorders. While the SSA notes that both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are usually well controlled, there may be a number of reasons why a person cannot control fluctuating blood glucose levels.
Most people who qualify for SSDI and/or SSI for diabetes do so because they have been diagnosed with a disabling condition related to the disease. In other words, the SSA typically does not approve a person for disability simply for having diabetes mellitus. Instead, an applicant may qualify for SSDI and/or SSI because their diabetes caused another condition and that condition is disabling.
The key to being approved for SSDI and/or SSI for diabetes or a related condition is demonstrating how it affects your ability to work. For diabetes mellitus, this may include showing that you cannot work because of the related conditions associated with diabetes. For any of these conditions, you must meet the specific criteria set out in the listing of impairments, and provide evidence of your diagnosis, treatment history, and how your illness affects your ability to work.
Myth: If My Doctor Says I’m Disabled That Guarantees I Will Qualify
Not true, according to Proudian. The SSDI decision is a legal one, not a medical one a key point that people often misunderstand, she says. But the doctor who treats you and provides details about your condition must be a credible medical professional, and must provide honest, detailed information. Once that information and other details are filed, the decision is up to the Social Security Administration, she says.
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How Can A Social Security Disability Attorney Help Me File A Claim
Applying for Social Security Disability benefits is a complex process. Nearly 90 percent of applicants end up seeking assistance from an experienced Social Security Disability attorney during the process. Having a Social Security attorney help you with your application ensures that you provide the appropriate information and increase your chances of approval. An attorney can also help by remaining in communication with representatives from the state agency to promptly address any issues that come up during their consideration of your application.
If your application is denied, an attorney can assist you in filing an appeal and represent you during that process. You must request an appeal in writing within 60 days of the agencys decision. After that, the application may pass through these levels of appeal, all of which your lawyer can help you through:
- Reconsideration by the agency
- A hearing with an administrative law judge
- A hearing before the appeals council
- Filing a claim in federal court
If your application is approved, your attorney will evaluate the Social Security Administration calculations to ensure that all information provided was used and that no errors were made. Your attorney can also answer any questions you have about your disability benefits.
The Importance Of Household Income
Unfortunately, your Social Security disability alone doesnt determine whether you receive food stamps. The combined income of your household is used to determine whether your income meets the gross and net income tests. A household is defined as anyone who shares meals and expenses. Each household member over the age of 18 must submit income verification information along with your food stamp application. Documentation in the form of pay stubs or tax returns, if the person is self employed, is required.
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Are You Eligible To Apply For Benefits
Anyone is able to apply. Your local Social Security office staff will review the non-medical portion of your application to determine the benefits for which you are eligible. They will look at your work history, your age, your income and your resources.
In Oklahoma, your application is then sent to the Disability Determination Services . The DDS, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, is responsible for making timely, and accurate disability determinations in accordance with Social Security Rules and Regulations.
DDS personnel, consisting of a physician or psychologist and a disability examiner, will consider all the facts in your case using medical information from your doctors, hospitals, clinics, and other places where you have been treated to determine if you are found to be medically disabled.
Once a determination on your claim is reached, you will get a written notice from the Social Security Administration explaining the determination. If your claim is approved, the notice will show the amount of your benefit and when payments will start.
Information About Family Members
- Social Security numbers and proof of age for each family member who may qualify for benefits and
- Proof of marriage, if your spouse is applying for benefits, as well as dates of prior marriages, if applicable.
If you don’t have all the documents you need, don’t delay filing for benefits. We will help you get the information you need.
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What Our Clients Say
The Advocator Group made this process so easy for me. When I first spoke with a rep I was told not to worry about anything and to focus on my health. After about 19 months I finally got a hearing. The attorney they provided was fabulous! I was very nervous and she took that away. About 30 minutes into the hearing the judge awarded me my disability. I would recommend them to anyone. Words cannot express how appreciative I am.
The Advocator Group handled all aspects of submitting my case for SSDI. I was approved without any delays with very little effort on my part other than answering questions for the preparation of the application on the telephone. I highly recommend using their services!
I had an outstanding conversation with an advocate who took the time to go through my claim and walk me through each step. She helped me get to the root of the problem I was having, and went above and beyond the call of duty for me. I needed someone to truly listen to me, and this made me want to work with The Advocator Group.