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We pay into social security with each paycheck to ensure that we will be taken care of when we retire or if we become disabled. Unfortunately, the process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits is fraught with difficulties. Despite faithfully contributing to this benefit for years, it can be burdensome to get the benefits you need when the time comes.
Regardless of whether you have just started the process of applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, or have recently had your claim denied by the Social Security Administration, our attorneys in Winter Haven may be able to help. The SSA receives thousands of claims each year, and many are denied because they lacked paperwork or were filled out incorrectly. For first-time applicants, our lawyers can complete the necessary paperwork to ensure your application complies with the SSA’s rules and procedures. If your initial claim for benefits has been denied, our Winter Haven disability attorneys can represent you at an appeal hearing and present additional medical evidence to help overturn the SSA’s decision.
If you are unable to make a living by working because of a physical or mental disability, find out how our Winter Haven attorneys may be able to help you. Please complete our case review form today for a free, no-risk consultation.
How an Attorney Can Help
Our Winter Haven Social Security disability attorneys can provide legal assistance at any stage of the disability claims process:
Collecting All Required Documents: To qualify for disability benefits, the SSA requires that you submit documentation that shows you are unable to work because of a physical or mental disability. For example, you will be required to submit medical records from your doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics, and caseworkers detailing your inability to return to work. Your doctors may be required to complete certain forms and submit relevant medical records to the SSA. In addition, you will need to submit a summary of where you worked and the type of work you performed.
Filing an Initial Claim: If you are unable to work because of a physical or mental disability, an attorney from our Winter Haven office can complete your Social Security disability application and submit it to the SSA on your behalf. Your lawyer will complete all required paperwork so that it complies with the SSA’s rules and procedures, which require clear and unambiguous documentation of your disabling medical condition.
Filing an Appeal: If the SSA has improperly denied your claim, your attorney may file an appeal seeking to overturn the decision. Part of that process involves gathering all the necessary evidence, such as medical records and photo/video evidence and submitting the evidence to court. Your attorney could also interview the medical professional that treated your injuries and request that he or she verifies your injuries and their impact on your working capacity. Furthermore, your disability attorney will help prepare you for any questions the judge may ask during your appeal.
Types of Social Security Claims Our Attorneys Handle
Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (referred to as “SSD” or “SSDI”): Social Security Disability aims to provide benefits for taxpayers and their family members if they are unable to work because of a physical or mental disability. Among the factors that the SSA considers when reviewing whether a person is, in fact, disabled, is the duration of their injury. In order to qualify, your injury must have lasted, or expect to last, at least a year. The amount of benefits you could recover is based on your earnings history.
Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”): SSI is a need-based program for people with limited resources who are age 65 or older or who for those have a disabling medical condition. Sometimes, a disabled person may qualify for both SSD and SSI benefits. Usually, an individual qualifies for SSI benefits if the person has less than $2,000 in assets. A married couple could also qualify for SSI if they have total assets amounting to less than $3,000. For purposes of qualifying for SSI, the value of an applicant’s house and car is usually not included in determining total assets. SSI can be available to children who have a disability.
Disabled Adult Child Benefits (“DAC”): Disabled children between the ages of 18 and 22 may be eligible for benefits if one of his or her parents is deceased or receives Social Security retirement or disability benefits.
Disabled Widow/Widower Benefits (“DWB”): Widows or widowers over the age of 50 who develop a disability within seven years of a spouse’s death could qualify for DWB benefits. In order to qualify for these benefits, the widow or widower must have been married to the deceased for at least ten years.
Social Security Disability Appeals Process
If your initial claim for Social Security benefits has been rejected, a lawyer from our Winter Haven office will review your application and determine if you were wrongfully denied benefits. If your attorney determines that the SSA has improperly denied your claim, he or she will prepare an appeal on your behalf.
Your Social Security disability attorney will help you through all the steps of the appeals process. The appeals process can give you several chances to reverse the SSA’s decision. There are four steps of appeal for Social Security disability claims:
Reconsideration: A reconsideration of a disability claim will be reviewed thoroughly by a new Social Security reviewer. If you attorney has any new evidence, he or she will submit it during the review to support your claim. The reviewed will reconsider the documents in an applicant’s file. You do not need to appear before the SSA during the appeal.
Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge: If your appeal is denied for reconsideration, your attorney may be able to request a hearing. The hearing takes place before an administrative law judge. At the hearing, the attorney will provide supporting evidence and retain expert testimony to explain to the judge that you are suffering from a medical condition and require compensation.
Review by the Appeals Council: If the judge rejects your claim, you may still have a shot. Your attorney may request another review by the Social Security Appeals Council.
Federal Court Review: If your claim remains denied, your attorney may be able to file a lawsuit in federal court, demanding an overturn of the denial.
Contingency Fees: How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?
The disability attorneys in our Winter Haven office are paid on a contingency fee basis, which means that we only receive a fee if you qualify for benefits. Attorneys’ fees in Social Security claims are strictly regulated by the SSA, which means that hiring a disability attorney is generally an affordable for anyone seeking disability benefits.
To learn how our Winter Haven Social Security disability attorneys may be able to help you qualify for benefits, complete our case review form for a free, no-risk claim evaluation.