People filing claims for Social Security disability are filing them because they have a major need for those benefits. Disability benefits exist to help people who are unable to work due to a serious medical condition pay their bills, buy groceries, and support their families.
Unfortunately, too many people in New York who have fallen upon hard times are denied on their first attempt at claiming the disability benefits they need. Some are also denied in subsequent attempts, and too often none there is no sound explanation as to why they have been denied.
Morgan & Morgan has experienced and dedicated Social Security disability attorneys in New York who have helped thousands of clients qualify for benefits, even if they were previously denied. It’s easy to feel despondent after being denied a claim you desperately need, but don’t get discouraged. Morgan & Morgan’s attorneys may be able to help you appeal and get you those benefits.
It’s important to know that just because your claim was initially denied does not mean the fight for your benefits is over. Our New York attorneys may be able to help. Contact us for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case.
Defining Disability Under Social Security
A denied claim may have something to do with failing to meet Social Security’s qualifications for what is and is not a disability. Any claimant for Social Security disability benefits must have an impairment, be it physical or mental, so serious that it has prevented them from gainful activity such as work and is expected to last at least 12 months, or a condition that can result in death.
Each of the terms within this definition has its own unique meaning within the Social Security program. For instance, “substantial gainful activity” generally means employment for pay that provides the claimant a net income of more than a certain amount per month. This amount changes every year and is $1,170 for 2017.
The Social Security Administration also uses a list of diseases and medical conditions – often referred to as “listings” – to determine if a medical impairment is serious enough to prevent a person from working. If the claimant does not meet a listing, then other circumstances are evaluated to determine whether their impairment fits the definition of “disabled.”
The Social Security Disability Appeals Process
A Morgan & Morgan Social Security disability attorney can help you appeal your denied claim.
The importance of having an attorney by your side becomes clear in the appeals process, as there are four crucial elements to it. Our attorneys have decades of experience working within the rules of Social Security. That means we can not only walk you through the more difficult and confusing elements of it, but we can help simplify the process and ideally speed it along so that you can get the benefits you need faster.
These are the four elements to the appeals process:
Reconsideration: A reconsideration of a disability claim consists of a full review of the application by a new Social Security reviewer. In this stage, your disability attorney may submit any new evidence that is available in support of the claim.
Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge: If the Social Security Administration denies the reconsideration, your attorney may request a hearing. An administrative law judge presides over this hearing. At the hearing, your disability attorney will present evidence to the judge in support of your claim for disability benefits. Your attorney may use an expert witness to explain to the judge why you qualify for disability benefits.
Review by the Appeals Council: If the administrative law judge denies your claim, you may request a review by the Social Security Appeals Council. The Appeals Council considers all requests for review, but it may deny a request for review if it believes the hearing decision was correct.
Federal Court Review: If the claim is still denied at the conclusion of the appeals process, your attorney may file a lawsuit in federal court seeking to overturn the SSA’s denial of benefits.
Contact Morgan & Morgan Today
Don’t hesitate to contact a Morgan & Morgan Social Security disability benefits attorney. Our New York attorneys may be able to get you the benefits you need for your disability. For a free evaluation of your case, fill out our no-obligation review form.