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Hilton Head, SC Social Security
Social Security Disability Insurance is designed to provide income to people whose disabilities prevent them from working. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies approximately two-thirds of all initial applications. A denial is not necessarily the end, though. You have options, and the experienced Social Security attorneys at Morgan & Morgan can help you navigate the complicated Social Security system.
If you’ve been denied disability benefits, fill out a free case evaluation form.
Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits
The SSA determines whether to extend benefits using the following criteria:
- You have a medical condition that meets the SSA’s definition of disability
- You are unable to perform the work you did prior to disability for the required length of time, typically a year or more
- You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s)
You also must have the minimum required number of Social Security Credits. You earn credits when you work and pay Social Security taxes, so the required number of credits is based on your age and the number of years you’ve worked.
The denial letter sent by the SSA is an important resource. One of our Hilton Head attorneys can review the SSA’s decision letter and identify the specific reasons for denial as well as the appropriate next step.
Denial of benefits does not mean that you aren’t disabled. You could, for instance, be denied due to lack of sufficient paperwork, an inadequate medical assessment, or a determination that you can work in other fields. Identifying the basis for denial is a crucial first step in appealing or reapplying.
Appealing a Denial
The SSA allows for four levels of appeal. Time is of the essence, because any appeal typically must be made within 60 days of receipt of the notice of denial. Contact one of our Hilton Head Social Security attorneys right away to discuss your appeal options.
A reconsideration is the first level of appeal. It consists of a new review of your application by an SSA examiner who did not take part in the first determination.
If you disagree with the decision made by the SSA after reconsideration. You may request an administrative hearing, which is a video or in-person hearing held before an administrative law judge.
If you disagree with the decision made by the administrative law judge, a review by the Appeals Council may be available. The Council is a body within the SSA that provides final review of all Social Security appeals. It will not grant all requests for review. It may deny a request if it believes the judge made the correct decision and complied with all SSA laws and regulations. If the Council grants your request for review, it will either render a new decision in your case or send it back to an administrative law judge for further review.
A federal court review is the final stage of appeal. It entails filing a civil lawsuit in your local federal court.
Navigating the Social Security appeals process can be complicated. You can benefit by having an experienced Morgan & Morgan attorney on your side.
Sometimes the best option is to start over with an entirely new application. Because an applicant who is approved for disability benefits is eligible for back pay starting from the date of application, it is advisable to request that the SSA reopen your original claim in connection with the new application.
The benefit is that, if the new application is granted, you may receive back pay from the date of the original claim. One of our Hilton Head attorneys can assist you with the reapplication process to help you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled.
No Out-of-Pocket Costs
At Morgan & Morgan we understand that disability can create a financial hardship for you and your family. That’s why we don’t charge any out-of-pocket costs. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we only get paid if you are approved for disability benefits.
Morgan & Morgan has been fighting For The People since the firm was founded in 1988. Since then, we’ve won over $9 billion for our clients. If you’ve been denied Social Security Disability benefits, we’ll fight for you too. Start by completing our free case evaluation form.