Orlando Social Security Disability Lawyer
Social Security Disability Benefits: The Help You and Your Family DeserveWhen Illness or injury stops you from working, you and your family deserve to know whether you qualify for social security disability and supplemental security income. One FREE call, about 15 minutes of your time, and our social security lawyers will determine if applying for benefits is right for you. We will guide you through the process and we only get paid when we win your case! Call now or if you prefer, fill out the Disability Determination Form for a FAST, FREE Response. Why wait?
Have You Received a Denial Letter? We Can Help!
If your application has been denied, that does NOT mean you do not qualify. Most are initially denied. While we can handle cases from the application stage - all the way through the various levels of appeal - many people do not call an attorney until after they receive a denial letter. We can help.
The process can be confusing and many people make innocent mistakes. Having a doctor that is also a lawyer gives you an advantage when it comes to presenting your medical case. We will discuss your condition with you over the phone or in person; we will review your medical records and listen to all your concerns. We will passionately work to get you all the money and benefits you deserve.
No one knows how your medical condition impacts you better than you. Unlike those law firms that pawn you off to secretaries or paralegals, our lawyers will speak with you right from the start… at NO charge. We believe you deserve to be treated like family.
Do You Qualify For Social Security Disability?
Are you over 18 years old and disabled? As defined by the Social Security Act, you must be unable to perform substantial gainful activity as a result of a physical or mental impairment which can be expected to last for at least twelve (12) months. While we carefully walk each client through the process, in summary, the Social Security Administration (SSA) follows several steps in its evaluation. For adults, there are five steps to consider – and only three (3) for children.
1. Are you working? Working or engaged in substantial gainful activity disqualifies you for disability benefits. Substantial gainful activity in 2014 means you are earning at least $1070 a month. If you are blind, it means you are earning at least $1800 a month. These amounts increase each year…and you are allowed to deduct from your income calculation the reasonable cost of supplies or services necessary for you to be able to work.
2. Are You Severely Impaired? To be considered severe, you must have a condition which significantly restricts your physical or mental ability to perform basic job activities. An impairment which has little impact on your functioning will not qualify. If your condition, for example, limits or prevents you from bending, concentrating, sitting, standing, holding items or lifting that will be considered. However, your age, work experience or education is not considered at this point.
3. Is Your Impairment Listed? Specific categories of impairments are recognized as qualifying conditions, including Musculoskeletal System, Special Senses and Speech, Endocrine System, Cardiovascular System, Multiple Body System, Respiratory System, Neurological, and Mental Disorders. In addition, Digestive System, Immune System, Xeoplastic Diseases, Genito-Urinary System, Hemic and Lymphatic System, Skin; and for children, Growth Impairment are listed by the SSA as well. In addition, any non-listed impairment that is just as severe as these may qualify.
4. As A Result Of Your Impairment, Are you Unable To Do Past Relevant Work? Your work history over the fifteen (15) years before you became injured or impaired will be reviewed. If you are able to do past relevant work, that will disqualify you. If your condition prevents you from doing so, then it is up to the SSA to show there are other jobs available that you are capable of doing.
5. Is There Other Work Available That You Could Do?
If there are significant numbers of jobs ANYWHERE in the United States that you can physically and mentally perform and you have the necessary vocational skills, you will not qualify. Importantly, the SSA does not have to prove there is an actual job for you or that you would be hired. At this juncture, your limitations, age and reliability to perform consistently will be considered.
As you can see, this is a complicated assessment and having caring, trusted attorneys on your side may make the difference between winning and losing. Do not go it alone. Let us eliminate any confusion or uncertainty. Complete our easy to follow Disability Determination Form to immediately find out where you stand. Get your FAST, FREE Answers from your lawyer right now!
What About Supplemental Security Income?
The medical standards for disability for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are similar. However, unlike other Social Security benefits, SSI benefits are not based on your prior work. Rather monthly benefits are paid to people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. Blind or disabled children may also receive SSI.
Applying For Benefits: How it Works & the Time Involved
It All Starts With Your Application
Applying for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits can be done online, by phone or in person. At www.socialsecurity.gov you can locate the office closest to you, speak to a representative and fill out an application. For Florida residents, the Division of Disability Determinations for your local office will consider your claim.
First off, you should know what to do before you apply for social security benefits. Within weeks or months after submission of your application, you may be required to provide additional medical records or information. You may also need to be examined by a new doctor chosen for you. If that occurs, the new physician who sees you only once and who is paid by the government may not fully recognize the extent of your impairment. Sadly, many innocent and deserving people lose when this happens.
When your state office is done with its evaluation, it relays its recommendation to the SSA. Generally, this stage takes approximately 3 months or longer. In most cases, the state denies your claim and the SSA sends you a notice. That starts the clock on your time to appeal.
Your Right To Appeal: Reconsideration of Your Case
Denial notices include a brief description of your right to appeal – which is called Request For Reconsideration. It is critical to contact a lawyer immediately. You only have sixty (60) days to file your request. However, SSA assumes it took five (5) days for its notice to reach you – so, you actually have a total of sixty-five (65) days. A Disability Report Form and releases must be completed as part of your request.
All claims seeking reconsideration get returned to the same state determination office. Additional material, if any, will be reviewed by a different examiner. Depending on many factors, this stage may take another four (4) months.
It is highly unlikely that the same office that denied your claim will change its mind and approve you. However, if approved, you will receive a favorable notice, and the SSA will determine whether you satisfy the remaining eligibility factors and calculate the amount you are to receive. If, as expected, your claim is rejected, you will have the right to another level of appeal. Again, you must make your request within sixty (60) days, plus five (5) days for mailing time, from the date of the denial letter.
Your Right To A Hearing
This next stage begins by you making a timely Request for Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. You must provide the appropriate form and releases and WAIT. It may be ten (10) to twelve (12) months or longer for a judge to be assigned and several months more before your case is considered. Then a few more months will likely pass before a decision is made. The good news is - most deserving individuals win their case!
Having a trial specialist, a dedicated attorney presenting your case to the judge may provide the best chance of success. Most judges will fairly consider all your circumstances if they are properly brought out. Being able to show how your medical condition satisfies the legal requirements is critical. No one should risk trying to go this alone.
The Appeals Council
If unsuccessful at your hearing, you can seek review by the Appeals Council. Of course, there are strict requirements for this stage as well. The time involved can be a few months to over one year before your case is decided.
The Final Appeal: Go to Federal Court
If all else fails, the United States District Court will hear your case if you suffer an unfavorable ruling by the Appeals Council. Of course, this is more involved and again, a competent civil trial specialist can greatly increase your chances of success.
What Does All This Cost?
When you hire us, we only get paid if you receive benefits. Otherwise, we work for free. We are completely dedicated to your success. Call now or fill-out the Disability Determination Form for Your Fast, Free Response.