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Social Security Lawyers in Pittsburgh
When it comes to navigating the complex world of Social Security benefits, having an experienced lawyer on your side can make all the difference. A good social security lawyer will know the ins and outs of the system and will be able to help you navigate the often-confusing application and appeals process. In addition, a social security lawyer will help you understand your rights and options and can provide valuable advice on how to maximize your benefits. If you or someone you know is struggling to navigate the Social Security system, the Morgan & Morgan Social Security Lawyers in Pittsburgh can help. We have been handling these claims for decades and will always work our hardest to ensure you get the benefits you’re entitled to.
Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.
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What are The Types of Social Security Benefits?
There are two main types of Social Security benefits:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI is available to individuals who paid into Social Security through their payroll taxes and who cannot work because they suffer from a disability. The program is funded via payroll taxes and is overseen by the Social Security Administration. To be eligible for benefits, you must have worked enough years to earn what's known as "work credits."
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Social security income (SSI) is a needs-based program that provides monthly cash payments to low-income adults and children who are blind or have another disability. The program is funded by general tax revenue, not by the Social Security trust fund. To qualify for SSI, applicants must meet certain age, citizenship, and disability requirements.
SSI payments are meant to cover basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. In some cases, SSI payments can also be used to cover the cost of essential medical care and other necessary expenses. SSI benefits are typically paid out on the first day of each month. However, if an applicant’s birthday falls on the first day of the month, they will receive their benefit payment on the last day of the previous month.
How Can a Social Security Lawyer Help You Win Your Social Security Claim?
If you are disabled and are no longer able to work, you may be entitled to social security benefits. However, the process of applying for and obtaining these benefits can be complicated, and it is important to have an experienced social security lawyer on your side who can help you navigate the system and give you the best possible chance of winning your claim.
When you contact a social security lawyer, they will review your case and let you know what kind of benefits you may be entitled to. They will also help you gather all the necessary documentation, including doctor’s reports, medical records, and employment records. Once you have all the required documentation, your lawyer will help you fill out the necessary forms and file your claim.
Once your claim has been filed, it will be reviewed by a social security administrator. If your claim is approved, you will begin receiving benefits immediately. If your claim is denied, your lawyer will help you appeal the decision. The appeals process can be complex, but an experienced social security lawyer will know how to navigate it and give you the best possible chance of winning your appeal.
Four levels of Appeals for Supplemental Security Income
If you are not satisfied with the initial decision made about your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim, there are several levels of appeals that you can go through to have your claim reconsidered.
The first appeal level is called a reconsideration. This is where the administration will review your file to make sure that all of the necessary information was considered when your case was originally decided. If additional information is needed, they will request it and then make a decision.
Hearing Before Administrative Law Judge
The second level of appeal is a hearing. This is held in front of an administrative law judge who had no part in the original decision on your case. You, your attorney, and any witnesses you wish to bring will appear before the judge and testify under oath about your disability. The judge will also consider any new evidence that you or your attorney present.
Appeals Council Review
The third level of appeal is called a review by the Appeals Council. If the administrative law judge’s decision is not in your favor, you have the right to have that decision reviewed by the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council can either decide your case itself or return it to an administrative law judge for further review.
Federal Court Review
If your appeal is denied by the Appeals Council or if it decides not to review your case at all, you can file a civil action in federal district court. This is the fourth and final level of appeal.
You must file your civil action within 60 days from the date you receive notice from the Appeals Council that it has denied your appeal or decided not to review your case.
How to Choose the Right Social Security Lawyer?
There are several things you should consider when choosing a social security lawyer. Below are some factors that you should take into account when making your selection:
- Area of Practice: Make sure the lawyer you are considering is experienced in handling social security disability cases. You want someone who is familiar with the laws and regulations surrounding social security disability benefits.
- Communication Style: It is important that you feel comfortable communicating with your lawyer. This is someone who will be handling sensitive information about your personal life and health, so it is important that you feel like you can trust them.
- Reputation: Take some time to read online reviews and ask around to get an idea of the lawyer’s reputation. You want to make sure you are working with someone who has a good track record and who other people have had positive experiences with.
Making the decision to hire a social security lawyer is an important one. Take your time and do your research to ensure you find someone who is a good fit for you and your case.
What Is the Definition of a Disability?
The Social Security Administration defines disability differently than some other programs. It’s also important to note you cannot get paid SSDI unless you have a total disability. If you are partially disabled or disabled short-term, payments are not available through Social Security. You are considered to have a disability according to Social Security if all of the following are true.
- You are not able to work because of your disability;
- You cannot work the same job you did before or do a different job because of your condition; and
- Your disability is long-term and will likely last for more than one year or might even lead to death.
What Are Work Credits?
Work credits are one way that the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines whether or not you are eligible for social security benefits. As of 2022, you will need 40 work credits to be eligible for social security. You can earn no more than four credits per year. Credits are based on how much money you make. You can never earn more than 4 credits per year, no matter how much you work or earn. It might take you a few months to earn 4 credits or it could take you all year.
In 2022, for every $1,510 you earn in covered earnings, you will earn one Social Security credit. To get the maximum credits for the year, you must earn $6,040. It doesn’t matter if you earn more credits than 4; the extra credits will not increase your benefit amount. Your monthly payment for benefits is based on the average of your earnings throughout your years spent working, not the number of credits you earned.
How Much Does a Social Security Lawyer Cost?
Social security lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means they only receive payment if they win the case. The contingency fee cannot be more than 25% or $6,000, of the back pay and future benefits that are awarded to the client. If the lawyer is not successful in obtaining benefits for the client, the lawyer does not receive any payment.
Most social security lawyers also offer free consultations to potential clients. During the consultation, the lawyer will review the client’s case and determine whether or not they will be able to help. If the lawyer does not feel confident in their ability to win the case, they may decline to take on the case.
Morgan & Morgan Can Help
When it comes to addressing issues with social security benefits, it is important to seek out the services of a qualified and experienced social security lawyer. A social security lawyer can help to ensure that you are receiving the full amount of benefits to which you are entitled. If you are dealing with an issue related to social security, contact Morgan & Morgan’s Social Security Lawyers in Pittsburgh. We have extensive experience helping our clients navigate the social security system and get the benefits they deserve. We understand the ins and outs of the system, and we know how to navigate the bureaucratic red tape. We also know how to build a strong case on behalf of our clients. In short, we will do everything we can to help you get the social security benefits you need and deserve.
Contact Morgan & Morgan today to schedule a free consultation.