Social Security Disability
Unfortunately, illness and injury may be the cause for an individual to become disabled. Persons with medical conditions that can affect their physical abilities or impair their mental capacity can be qualified as being “disabled” for Social Security purposes.
Disability under Social Security is generally defined as the inability to work by reason of a medical condition affecting one’s physical abilities or causing mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. The definition of disability is the same for both Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits but the eligibility requirements differ. To be eligible for SSDI, a disabled worker must be insured for disability purposes. To determine whether a worker is insured, the worker must have earned a minimum number of credits based on taxable work and must have paid into the program in recent years.
The amount of a monthly Disability Insurance Benefit varies and is based upon the amount of taxable monies earned prior to the worker’s disability onset. There are restrictions on the worker’s financial resources to be eligible for SSI. The definition of disability is still the same.
A disabled worker may apply for Social Security Disability benefits at the local office, by calling (800) 772-1213, or by filing electronically at www.ssa.gov. A decision on the initial application will usually occur about 3 to 5 months after filing.
If you are denied initially, you must file a Request for Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge within 60 days of the date the denial notice is mailed. (Some jurisdictions require an interim step and a Request for Reconsideration must be filed). A hearing is scheduled before an Administrative Law Judge and you will have the opportunity to submit additional evidence and testify at the hearing along with any other witnesses you choose to call.
Social Security Disability Attorneys
The Social Security Administration will examine whether your impairment(s) meets or equals the criteria set forth in its Listings of Impairments. If not, the Social Security Administration will also consider your age, education, work experience and whether you have the ability to return to your past relevant work or perform any other work.
Devine Law Offices, LLC handles most Social Security Disability cases on a contingent fee basis. While you are responsible for costs, you do not pay an attorney’s fee unless you receive a favorable decision. We can assist you in navigating through the appeal process. Updated relative medical evidence is crucial to your case. Our office can assist you in collecting pertinent medical information and submitting it to the Social Security Administration. We review your records and assist you in preparing for the hearing, focusing on presenting your case in the most favorable light within the limited amount of time allowed for the hearing. Devine Law Offices has also filed appeals of unfavorable decisions to the Appeals Council and to federal court when appropriate.