What Do I Need to Know About the Social Security Office in Tampa, Florida?
Social Security Office in Tampa, Florida
201 N. Franklin Street, 7th Floor
Tampa, FL 33602
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Social Security Office in Tampa, Florida
Becoming disabled and unable to work can cause much worry about your future and financial situation. However, if you cannot work due to an illness or disability, you could apply for disability benefits at the Social Security office in Tampa, FL. While Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are generally available for disabled workers and their families, the application process can be complicated. Unfortunately, many claims are denied right away.
You do not have to struggle alone to fight for your benefits. Whether your claim has already been denied or you are only just starting the process of applying, Morgan & Morgan could help. Our experienced disability lawyers can assist with the required paperwork, gather the necessary medical documents, and ensure that all documents are filed correctly with the Tampa office of the Social Security Administration (SSA). Contact us today to determine for free if we could help with your application or denial.
Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits at the Tampa Office
The Social Security office in Tampa, Florida, is located at 3415 E Frontage Rd Suite A, Tampa, FL 33607, and can be reached by calling 866-331-2317. However, you can access most of the services the Tampa office offers via the Social Security Administration website. You can also apply for disability benefits online.
Social Security Disability Benefits
Physical and mental disabilities can make working and supporting those you love extremely difficult or even impossible. SSDI benefits are designed to help disabled workers provide for themselves and their loved ones.
What Is Social Security Disability Insurance?
SSDI is a tax-funded insurance program intended to support the disabled and their families financially. If you medically qualify for SSDI, you could receive monthly benefits, provided you have been employed for a certain amount of time and paid into the system. To qualify, applicants must have collected work credits before becoming disabled.
The number of work credits you must have collected to receive SSDI benefits will depend on your age. Generally, to qualify for SSDI benefits, claimants should have collected 40 work credits. However, younger workers could be eligible with fewer work credits. Workers can earn up to four credits in a year.
Eligibility and Qualifying Disability
To receive benefits from the SSDI program, you generally have to fulfil the following qualifying criteria qualify:
- You are no longer able to work in your previous job
- You cannot adjust to other work due to your disability or health condition
- Your disability is expected to last at least a year or until death
Examples of qualifying disabilities and conditions include, among others:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Neurological disorders
- Respiratory illness
- Musculoskeletal problems
- Blood disorders
- Mental disorders
Our social security disability attorneys can help determine whether you qualify and assist with your application.
SSDI Benefits You Could Receive
SSDI benefits may be available to you and your family members. Generally, the monthly benefit you could receive will depend on your average lifetime earnings. Benefits are not calculated based on household income or the severity of your condition.
According to Investopedia, the average SSDI benefit for a disabled worker amounted to $1,280.42 per month in 2021. Benefits may also be available for eligible family members, including spouses and children.
SSI Benefits for Those Able to Work
If you are disabled but can work in some capacity and receive a limited income, you may not be entitled to SSDI benefits. However, you could potentially receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
We Can Be Your Advocate
Applying for SSDI benefits in Tampa can feel overwhelming. You may not know where to begin with a claim. A disability attorney at Morgan & Morgan can advocate for you, help to prepare your application, or file an appeal if your claim is denied.
Why Some SSDI Claims Are Denied
There could be various reasons why a claim is denied. According to the SSA, only around 30 percent of initial claims were successful during 2001-2010. SSDI benefits may be denied if:
- The applicant’s impairment is not expected to last a year
- The medical condition is not considered severe enough
- The applicant can perform their usual job or can adjust to another type of work
- The impairment results from drug or alcohol abuse
- The medical evidence provided is insufficient
- The applicant fails to communicate or cooperate with the SSA
- The applicant does not follow their doctor’s treatment plan
You could also face a denial for technical reasons, such as a simple mistake on the application form. However, do not be disheartened if your claim is denied, as this is not uncommon. You could still receive your benefits. The next step after a denial is requesting an appeal. Consider working with a disability lawyer who could help you get what you deserve with an appeal.
How to Appeal at the Tampa Social Security Office
If you have received a denial letter, you have the right to appeal in writing within 60 days. There are generally four levels of appeal with an SSDI claim:
The first level of appeal is called a reconsideration. This stage involves an examiner from the SSA reviewing your benefit claim and any new evidence provided. The examiner will then determine whether to approve your claim.
Administrative Law Judge Hearing
If your claim is again denied, your next step is usually a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who was not involved in the original decision. At this stage, having an attorney by your side can be critical. Your attorney can present evidence to the ALJ and prepare you for the hearing. Your attorney may also decide to call upon a medical witness in support of your claim.
Appeals Council Review
If the ALJ denies your claim, you can request an SSA’s Appeals Council review. The Appeals Council will look at your claim again, including all the medical information available, to ensure nothing vital was missed. The council can then either hand your case back to an ALJ for a decision, reverse the judge’s decision and authorize your claim, or deny your claim.
If your claim is denied again, you have one last option: filing a lawsuit in federal court. If you do not already have legal representation, hiring an attorney now can be crucial for your case. Suing the SSA in federal court can be time-consuming, stressful, and costly without professional legal representation.
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How Do I Find the Best Disability Attorney in Tampa?
Hiring an experienced disability lawyer can be a great help with obtaining SSDI benefits in Tampa. If your claim was denied, consider finding an attorney right away. Steps you can take include:
Asking for Referrals
If you know someone who successfully received their SSDI benefits, you could ask them whether they worked with an attorney. You can also ask friends and family members for referrals.
Searching for Disability Lawyers Online
Internet research can help you find names of attorneys and law firms who handle SSDI claims. You could try a simple Google search or look up a lawyer on the Florida Bar’s website by using the “find a lawyer” tab.
Contact Morgan & Morgan for Help With Your SSDI Claim
You do not have to look far for the best disability lawyers. Our experienced SSDI attorneys in the Tampa area can be here for you and could help you handle a new claim or appeal against a denial. We fight hard for the rights of the disabled. Our attorneys can work tirelessly in your best interests and fight your case all the way to federal court.
Should I File an Appeal or an Entirely New Claim?
Normally, claimants should file an appeal if their SSDI claim is denied. However, in some cases, it can make sense to file an entirely new claim, for example, when:
- Your disability or medical condition has progressed significantly
- You face severe financial hardship
- There is new medical evidence of your condition
- You suffer from a terminal illness that is progressing fast
If you depend on a quick decision, filing a new claim can be preferable to going through the lengthy appeals process where your claim can get stuck for weeks or even months. Knowing what to do after a denial can be confusing, especially if you are facing hardship. Consider consulting with our disability lawyers. We can assess your case and advise you on your options for recovering the benefits you deserve as fast as possible.
What Is the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?
As we have seen, disabled individuals hoping to receive SSDI benefits must have a qualifying condition and must have paid Social Security taxes before becoming disabled.
In contrast, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is designed to help low-income individuals who may not have been able to work previously due to a disability or health condition. Therefore, to qualify for SSI benefits, you generally do not need to have paid Social Security taxes or have collected work credits.
However, there are criteria you need to fulfill before receiving SSI, including but not limited to:
- Having limited income and limited resources
- Being a U.S. citizen or permanent resident meeting specific requirements
- Living in the U.S.
Factors that can influence your eligibility for SSI benefits can include your marital status and savings.
How Can an Attorney at Morgan & Morgan Help Me After a Claim Denial?
If you are unable to work due to your health condition or disability, having your claim denied can be frustrating and worrying. However, we could help you appeal and fight vigorously for what you deserve. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), working with a disability lawyer can give you an advantage and help you get the benefits you deserve.
Morgan & Morgan’s determined SSDI lawyers can help in numerous ways, such as:
- Protecting your legal rights
- Helping you file a claim
- Handling the appeals process for you
- Asking for a reconsideration, ALJ hearing, or Appeals Council review
- Expediting your claim, if possible
- Gathering and organizing crucial medical evidence
- Preparing you for appeal hearings
- Tracking your claim
- Filing a lawsuit in federal court
With an experienced attorney by your side, you could prevent denials and receive your benefits quicker. Our disability lawyers are committed to helping disabled individuals receive the benefits they need and deserve to go on with their lives.
How Much Does a Social Security Disability Lawyer Cost?
The SSA generally caps disability lawyers’ fees at 25% of a past-due award. This ensures that claimants have access to legal representation without seeing their benefits depleted. Attorney’s fees will not come out of your monthly benefits. Moreover, when Morgan & Morgan handles your case, you do not have to worry about out-of-pocket fees as our fee is free unless your claim is successful. We believe that all SSDI claimants are entitled to excellent legal representation.
Contact Morgan & Morgan Today for Help With Your SSDI Claim
More than half of all SSDI claims are denied at the first instance. The appeals process can be lengthy, arduous, and complicated. We understand that having your claim denied by the social security office in Tampa, FL, can be upsetting and stressful. Moreover, dealing with a physical or mental disability while worrying about supporting yourself and your loved ones can take a toll on your health.
However, help is available. Do not lose hope if your claim was denied or you need help with your initial application. Morgan & Morgan’s experienced and committed disability attorneys have helped countless SSDI applicants receive the benefits they need and can be here for you. Contact us now for a free assessment of your claim and to find out how we could help you.