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What Should I Know About the Social Security Administration in Tampa?
When you or a loved one has been injured or diagnosed with an illness, it can create many challenges in your day-to-day life. This is especially true if your injury or illness prevents you from working.
If you have been unable to work for a long period, you may be faced with financial difficulties. Mounting medical costs and lost income can make this type of situation incredibly tough.
Fortunately, disabled Florida residents can file for certain benefits through the Social Security Administration in Tampa. The Social Security Disability benefits program was established by the U.S. federal government to help those who are unable to work.
Over the course of your career, you likely paid taxes that were designated toward funding the Social Security program. When you become injured or sick and unable to work, you can apply for monthly earned benefit payments.
No one gets to choose whether they become ill or injured. Misfortune can happen to anyone, even hard-working individuals.
That is why the team at Morgan & Morgan believes every worker deserves the benefits that they have earned. Our skilled attorneys can help you file for benefits through the Social Security Administration in Tampa.
If your application has been denied, our lawyers will represent your best interests during the appeals process.
Do not forego the disability benefits that you have earned. Fill out the contact form on the Morgan & Morgan website for a free consultation today.
What Are Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability benefits are an important element of the social safety net in Florida. When a worker has become disabled, they can apply for earned benefits through the Social Security Administration in Tampa.
It is vital to apply for these benefits as soon as you become disabled. If you are eligible for workers’ compensation, you may be able to apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefit payments, too.
You can apply for SSD benefits online. You also have the option to arrange an appointment with a representative of the Social Security Administration in Tampa.
When you apply, your case will be assigned to a claims representative. They should be able to answer any questions that you have about the application process.
There are two primary categories of Social Security benefits: Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Social Security Disability
This type of earned benefit provides income to workers who have paid Social Security taxes. To qualify, applicants must show that they have worked for a requisite period of time.
Applicants must also show that they currently earn less than a certain amount of income each month.
In some cases, the applicant’s dependents, including their spouse and children, will also be eligible for benefits.
Supplemental Security Income
This type of Social Security benefit provides financial assistance to disabled persons regardless of their previous work history. Eligible parties include those who have been disabled since childhood and others who have been unable to work in the past.
After providing the requisite information and paperwork, the Disability Determination Services (DDS) will make an initial ruling on your application. To be approved for benefits, your injury or illness must fulfill the Social Security Administration’s criteria for disabilities.
What Conditions Qualify as Disabilities?
Not every injury or illness can be classified as a “disability” by the Social Security Administration in Tampa. Under the current rules of the Social Security Administration, applicants can be classified as disabled if:
They cannot do their work due to injury or illness
They cannot transition to a different type of work
Their disability is expected to last longer than a year
A skilled disability attorney at Morgan & Morgan will carefully review the facts of your case. Our firm will help you explore all of your legal options and help you determine your eligibility for SSD benefits.
When you apply for disability payments through the Social Security Administration in Tampa, they will use certain questions to determine your eligibility. These questions include:
Are You Currently Working?
If you are working, it will be more difficult to secure SSD benefits. As of 2020, applicants are ineligible for benefits if they are earning $1,260 a month or more.
Is Your Disability on the SSA’s Curated List of Disabling Conditions?
The Social Security Administration has developed a list of injuries, illnesses, and conditions that are considered to be disabilities.
These conditions are considered severe enough to prevent individuals from working. To receive benefits, your condition must appear on the list or be severe enough to qualify.
Discuss your medical condition with a knowledgeable Social Security attorney to understand your chances of securing SSD benefits.
Can You Continue to Perform Your Previous Work?
If your injury or illness does not prevent you from performing your previous job functions, you will be ineligible for disability benefits. Those who cannot work for at least one year may be eligible to receive benefits.
Can You Perform Other Work?
The SSA will also consider whether you can transition into a new occupation, given your injury or illness. To make this determination, the SSA will consider certain facts about your circumstances. These include your:
- Previous work experience
- Medical condition and status
- Medical history
- And more
If they decide that you could transition to a different type of work, your application for benefits may be denied.
Speaking with an accomplished Social Security lawyer can help you to prepare the strongest benefits application possible.
Common Reasons for Denying Social Security Applications
Unfortunately, the majority of first-time applications for Social Security benefits are denied. Many people apply for the benefits that they have earned without fully understanding the process.
As many as 60% of initial Social Security applications are rejected. This leaves many hard-working individuals and families without the resources that they need.
Consulting with a legal professional will help you to cover your bases before applying for disability benefits. Each denial for SSD benefits is unique.
Still, there are some reasons for SSD denial that are more common than others. Some typical reasons for denying Social Security benefits applications include:
Applicant’s Income Is Too High
If your income is too high at the time of your application, you will face a denial. This is referred to as surpassing the limit of “substantial gainful activity.”
Earning more than the minimum amount will prevent the SSA from categorizing you as disabled.
Disability Is Not Severe
If your injury or illness is not sufficiently severe, you cannot receive benefits. The Social Security Administration may decide that you are still capable of working, given your medical condition.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Some injuries and illnesses are the result of drug or alcohol dependence. If drugs or alcohol were the cause of your disability, the SSA will deny your claim.
This is the case even if substance abuse was only a contributing factor to your medical condition.
Refusal to Comply
Some patients do not follow their medical care provider’s treatment instructions. Those who do not adhere to the approved treatments or medications are considered ineligible to receive SSD benefits.
If your Social Security Disability benefits application includes misleading or false information, you will be denied. These instances can be considered fraud and will result in a dismissal of your application.
Consulting with a knowledgeable disability expert at Morgan & Morgan will ensure that your SSD application is completed appropriately. Many types of information and documents are needed to complete the SSD application.
- Spouse and children information
- Military service records and information
- Previous employment and work experience
- History of medications
- History of medical treatments and diagnosis
- IRS forms
- Bank account information
- Relevant addresses and phone numbers
- And more
It can be overwhelming to locate and provide all this information. The skilled team at Morgan & Morgan has plenty of experience helping clients with SSD applications.
Because most initial Social Security benefits applications are denied, you can save time and trouble by consulting with a legal professional.
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What Are the Steps for Appealing a Denial of SSD Benefits?
If you have been denied the benefits you have earned, it may feel overwhelming. Fortunately, a legal expert at Morgan & Morgan can help you appeal the decision and recover the money that is rightfully yours.
The first step in the appeals process is requesting a reconsideration of your application. Your attorney will file this request and ensure that the SSA reassesses their previous decision.
During this step, a claims examiner will review your application a second time. Your lawyer can present new evidence to bolster your claim for benefits. Many applicants receive benefits following a reconsideration.
But if you still cannot access the benefits you are owed after a reconsideration, your legal representative can request a hearing. This proceeding will be overseen by an administrative law judge.
If you disagree with the judge’s ruling, you still have options. Your attorney can request a follow-up hearing from the Social Security Appeals Council.
The Appeals Council is not required to provide a second hearing. In some cases, the Council will overturn the previous denial immediately.
Alternatively, they may provide you with a second hearing before a different administrative law judge. During this second hearing, your representative will speak on your behalf to get the benefits you deserve.
When these appeal approaches fail, you have the option of filing a lawsuit in the federal court system. Speak with a skilled attorney to explore the best path forward in your situation.
What Are Contingency Fees?
Most reputable tort attorneys are paid through contingency fees. When you hire a lawyer, you decide on a certain percentage of the financial recovery from your case that will be used to pay for legal services if the outcome is positive.
After your attorney recovers money for you, that percentage of the compensation is paid to the attorney for legal services. This means that clients pay nothing upfront.
When you hire the firm of Morgan & Morgan, we do not receive a single dime unless we get money for you.
Morgan & Morgan Will Fight for You
The accomplished team at Morgan & Morgan has years of experience representing Social Security claimants. We know what it takes to recover the benefits that you worked hard to earn.
Since our firm was founded back in 1988, we have won and settled more than a million cases. As a result, our attorneys have secured over $10 billion for our clients.
Do not settle for anything but the best. Complete the user-friendly contact form on the Morgan & Morgan website to schedule your free legal consultation. At Morgan & Morgan, we are on your side!