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Our attorneys understand that Social Security benefits can be crucial for disabled workers who have little to no income to support themselves and their families. Collecting these benefits requires an extensive application process which, if not handled properly, can result in a denial. If you are considering filing a Social Security disability claim or have had your claim denied, it is important to hire an experienced Social Security attorney to assist you in recovering benefits.
Our Tallahassee Social Security attorneys are well-versed in Social Security law and the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) strict guidelines regarding benefits eligibility. We know which information can be most helpful to your claim and have a history of success collecting the benefits to which our disabled clients were entitled.
Learn more about how our disability attorneys can help you during this difficult time by completing our free case review form today.
How Can a Tallahassee Social Security Attorney Help Me File a Claim?
Applicants who have not yet filed claims for Social Security disability benefits will have a better chance of recovering benefits with the assistance of a qualified Social Security attorney. More than 60% of Social Security disability applications are denied due to some minor deviation from the SSA’s application requirements. A Social Security attorney from our Tallahassee office can help ensure your claim meets these requirements and is filed before any applicable deadlines.
Your attorney can also help ensure that your application is submitted with evidence that supports your claim for disability benefits. This evidence can include medical records, a detailed history of the medical treatment you received and witness statements. When the SSA reviews your application, it will consider this evidence in conjunction with your application when determining whether you qualify for benefits. The attorneys in our Tallahassee office have years of experience compiling SSD claims and know which pieces of evidence will be most supportive of our clients’ claims.
What Can I Do If My Claim for Benefits is Denied?
If you filed an application for Social Security benefits and your claim was denied, you should contact an attorney to handle the appeals process. The attorneys in our Tallahassee office are well-practiced in Social Security Disability appeals and understand the strategies that may help to increase your chances of receiving benefits.
There are four steps in the claims appeal process:
- Reconsideration. Within 60 days of the SSA’s decision, your attorney can request to have your claim reconsidered by a disability claims examiner who was not involved in the initial review. Your attorney can submit additional evidence in support of your claim to help increase your chances of approval.
- Hearing. If your claim is denied, your attorney may request to have the claim reviewed by an administrative law judge (ALJ). The judge, in most cases, will schedule a hearing to have the information presented before him. During this hearing, you will be permitted to present your case, witnesses, experts, and any additional evidence your attorney may have uncovered. The judge will base his decision on the information you provide. If your claim is denied, your attorney may request a hearing in front of the Appeals Council.
- Appeals Council. The Council will review each request, but is not required to grant the claimant’s application. Should the Council approve your request, they will review the judge’s decision for any errors in their review. The Council may reverse the judge’s decision and approve your request, order a second hearing, or deny your claim.
- Lawsuit. If your claim is denied by the Council, you may be able to file a lawsuit in federal district court seeking benefits.
Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)
SSDI is a program that provides benefits to individuals who need monthly financial assistance because their disability does not allow them to work. Claimants must have worked in the past, consistently paid Social Security taxes, and suffer from a disability that is listed or approved by the SSA.
Disabilities the SSA has listed for eligibility include:
- Mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, autism, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, PTSD
- Musculoskeletal system problems such as back and spine conditions, arthritis, amputations, fibromyalgia
- Skin disorders such as psoriasis, burns
- Respiratory illnesses such as asthma, emphysema, cystic fibrosis
- Immune system disorders such as MS, HIV/AIDS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis
- Digestive tract problems such as Crohn’s disease, liver disease, hepatitis, IBD
- Impairments that affect multiple body systems such as Lyme disease, metabolic disorders
- Sense impairments such as vision, hearing, and speech loss
- Endocrine disorders such as diabetes, thyroid problems, neuropathy
- Cardiovascular conditions such as heart failure or coronary artery disease
- Neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI) Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy
- Genitourinary impairments such as chronic renal (kidney) disease, chronic hemodialysis
- Hematological disorders such as sickle cell disease, hemophilia, myelofibrosis
- Malignant neoplastic diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma, most kinds of cancer
When you work, you earn a certain number of “credits.” If you have earned enough credits, you should be entitled to SSDI benefits.
SSDI can cover disability, retirement, retirement, survivor, and disabled adult child benefits. Under the SSA’s regulations, if you have been employed and consistently paid Social Security taxes, you may be able to recover both SSDI and SSI benefits simultaneously.
Supplemental Social Security (SSI)
SSI benefits can provide financial assistance to the disabled, those over the age of 65, or the blind regardless of work history and tax payments. These benefits are based on the financial needs of the claimant and will cover basic living expenses. SSI benefits are only provided to individuals who do not meet the income requirement, which as of 2013, was less than $710 per month for individuals and less than $1066 for couples.
If you are considering filing for SSDI or SSI benefits, or have had your claim denied, you may have the opportunity to reverse the decision. To learn about legal options you may have to recover benefits, and how our Tallahassee Social Security disability attorneys may be able to help, please complete our free case review form.