How Can I Apply for Disability in New York?
Disability Lawyers in New York
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Disability Lawyers in New York
If you cannot work due to disability, you may be eligible for disability benefits available through the Social Security Disability Insurance. However, in New York and any other state in the country, you must meet specific eligibility requirements to qualify for disability.
There are four common ways to apply for disability in NY. Here's everything you need to know.
What Is Social Security Disability Insurance?
Social Security Disability Insurance refers to a Federal income program offered to eligible adults who have worked and can no longer work due to disability.
Disabled adults and children may also be eligible for Supplemental Security Income. This income is designed to cater to the aged, blinded, and disabled people who have little or no income. It helps such individuals meet their most basic needs, i.e., food, clothing, and water.
How to Apply for Disability in New York
You can apply for disability in New York in the following ways:
Once you've determined that you're eligible for Social Security Disability in New York, follow these steps to apply:
- Gather everything you need to apply, and then head over to the Social Security Administration online portal.
- Provide the information required to process your claim.
- Submit the application.
A disability analyst from the NYS Division of Disability Determinations will review your application to decide whether you qualify for Social Security benefits.
Applying By Phone
Call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday to apply by phone.
Applying In Person
Visit your local Social Security office to apply in person. However, you may be required to call in advance to schedule an appointment.
The other option, which is better than the first three, is to apply through a New York Social Security Disability attorney. Here's why this option is better.
Statistics show that approximately 64 percent of first-time applicants are initially denied disability benefits. In addition, around 90 percent of applicants seek the intervention of an expert at some point in the application process.
That's where the importance of hiring a Social Security Disability lawyer comes in.
How a Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help
The process of filing a disability claim with the Social Security Administration may seem pretty straightforward on paper. However, in reality, things are different. Given that the SSA receives millions of applications every year, it's important to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements the first time you apply.
But this doesn't necessarily mean failure to meet the eligibility requirements is the only reason Social Security Disability applications get denied. In some cases, the applicant may fail to follow the correct filing procedure, leading to a denial.
The fact that you've considered filing for Social Security Disability means you cannot meet some of your basic needs. However, failure to submit your claim correctly means you'll have to wait longer to receive your first payment, that is, if you're lucky enough to be approved for disability.
But that's not something you need to worry about when working with an attorney. On the contrary, a Social Security Disability attorney can significantly increase your chances of approval.
Preparing Your Claim
To be approved for disability, you must substantiate your claim. The SSA groups this information into three main categories: information about you, your medical condition, and your work.
Under each category, you'll be required to provide additional documentation, which may vary depending on your claim. For example, if you're divorced, you'll need to provide additional information, such as the date of the divorce. An experienced Social Security Disability attorney can help prepare the required evidence, increasing the chances of approval and minimizing the waiting time.
Filing an Appeal
Suppose your Social Security Disability claim is denied. In that case, an attorney can help you file an appeal to overturn the decision. Usually, when the SSA denies your claim, they must inform you about the reason for denial. You then have up to 60 days to file an appeal.
The appeals process is usually complicated and requires a lot of paperwork. An experienced Social Security Disability attorney can review the reason for denial and create a strategy to convince the SSA that you deserve disability benefits.
The first step in the appeal process is usually not as complicated. For example, your attorney may simply request the SSA to reconsider their decision.
However, if they refuse to reconsider their decision, your attorney may have to file a second appeal, which requires a hearing. This process is more complex, which brings us to the next point.
If the SSA rejects your appeal for the second time, the next step is to have the matter decided by an Administrative Law Judge. An attorney can help present your case to the judge, explaining why you deserve disability benefits.
The lawyer might need to gather additional evidence or even call upon witnesses to testify on your behalf to convince the judge. This process requires a lot of legal knowledge and resources.
For example, before the hearing, your attorney can help you:
- practice giving your testimony and answering your questions in court;
- advise you on how to prepare for your hearing, including communicating and interacting with the ALJ;
- Deciding which witnesses to call upon to testify on your behalf;
- collecting and compiling crucial evidence that supports your claim, and;
- presenting your case to the ALJ and arguing on your behalf.
The sad truth is that it's still possible that the ALJ may reject your claim. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's the end of the journey. In fact, you still have more options to turn things around.
In that case, you may request the Appeals Council to review the ALJ's decision. If the request is approved, you may be required to submit additional evidence to support your claim, and that's something your attorney can help you with.
However, if the Appeals Council denies your claim, the final option is to file an action with your local US District Court. Your attorney can help prepare everything you need to file an action, increasing your chances of winning the claim.
Common Reasons for Social Security Disability Claims Denials
In New York and all over the United States, thousands of Social Security Disability claims are denied every year. While the reasons for these denials vary from one claim to another, here are the most common:
The Applicant Earns Too Much
Did you know that your earnings could affect your SSD benefits? The SSA puts this limit to ensure that these benefits are awarded only to individuals who need them most. For example, in 2022, you can only earn up to $1350 to qualify for SSD benefits. However, if you're blind, the salary shouldn't exceed $2,260.
This figure fluctuates now and then, and it's important to talk to your attorney to determine your eligibility.
Most individuals who earn more than the required amount don't qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. However, sometimes, it's usually a case of an error on the government's side when reviewing your application. An experienced attorney can help identify such errors and implement important changes to increase your chances of winning the claim.
Disability Isn't Severe Enough
Your application for disability benefits may be denied if the SSA establishes that your disability isn't severe enough. The rejection can be painful and disappointing, especially if you have a genuine disability that actually prevents you from working. However, that's not something you need to worry about when you work with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney. As mentioned before, this attorney can help compile important evidence to prove to the SSA that you deserve disability benefits.
Disability Is Due to Drug and Alcohol Abuse
If the SSA denies your claim because your disability is due to drug and alcohol abuse, an experienced attorney can help evaluate your options. Here's an example.
Let's assume that the SSA denies your claim after discovering evidence of drug and alcohol abuse in your medical records. This doesn't necessarily mean that you cannot work due to substance use.
To conclude that drugs or alcohol are the reason you can't work, the SSA must establish that these two elements are causing or even worsening your physical and mental impairment. They must also establish that your condition could improve if you stopped using drugs or alcohol.
Otherwise, you may be able to file a successful claim if your attorney proves that there's no connection between the alleged substance abuse and your inability to work.
Here's a more realistic example.
John is struggling to find work because of his disability. Depressed, he becomes an alcoholic. He then discovers that he can apply for Social Security Disability benefits. However, after reviewing his application for benefits, the SSA determines that John is ineligible because he has a history of alcoholism.
However, they may not know that with or without alcohol, John is still unable to work and genuinely needs disability benefits. In that case, John's attorney compiles supporting documents and evidence to prove that his client is eligible for disability benefits.
Applicant Didn't Follow Prescribed Therapy
The SSA may deny a claim if they establish that the claimant didn't follow the prescribed therapy recommended by their doctor. This may be interpreted as an attempt to falsely qualify for benefits. However, as mentioned earlier, every claim is different, and what may qualify as fraud in one case may be totally different in another. For this reason, having an experienced attorney could be the difference between winning or losing your claim.
Applicant Committed Social Security Fraud
The SSA has a right to terminate your benefits if they establish that you or someone else committed fraud. In that case, you may need to contact a Social Security fraud defense attorney to review your case and file an appeal if possible.
How Morgan & Morgan Social Security Disability Attorneys Can Help
By now, you probably understand the complex nature of filing for Social Security Disability claims. The truth is, some of these claims get rejected for the wrong reasons. Even more truthful is the fact that most applicants don't appeal when the SSA rejects their claims.
But things are usually quite different when you work and an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer from Morgan & Morgan. As the largest personal injury law firm in the country, we've dealt with countless Social Security Disability cases for more than three decades.
We understand the pain and frustration of not being able to afford your basic needs. However, it's even more frustrating when your application for help – one that you're entitled to - is rejected.
Earlier, we discussed how the appeals process can be complicated and exhausting, which is why some individuals (and even lawyers) quit halfway. This process requires a lot of legal resources, and that's not something you'll get at a regular law firm.
Instead, you need a law firm that won't get tired of fighting for your rights. That's where Morgan & Morgan comes in as the law firm for the people. With an army of over 800 attorneys with powerful legal resources, you can always count on us when you need help filing your Social Security Disability claim.
When applying for disability benefits, it is always important to get it right the first time. This is one of the best ways to avoid the long and exhausting appeals process. While our law firm is always prepared for every scenario, we always try to find the easiest and most reasonable way to approach each case.
For this reason, hiring a Social Security Disability attorney from Morgan & Morgan increases the chances of approval for the initial claim. If you or your loved one needs disability benefits, call us today at 877-359-7502 for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Not sure whether you qualify for disability? No problem! Send us a message online, and we'll get in touch as soon as possible.