If you have a neurological disorder that interferes with your ability to work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD). These benefits can provide much-needed financial resources to help with your monthly bills and household expenses. However, securing payments can be daunting, and many applications receive an initial denial.
Fortunately, an Akron, OH, neurological disorder lawyer with Berger and Green can help you file for SSD or appeal denied benefits. Our firm has more than 40 years of experience fighting for workers with disabilities, so we know what it takes to secure the monthly payments you need and deserve. Let us put our experience behind your claim while you focus on what is most important—your health and your family.
Does Your Neurological Disorder Qualify for Social Security Benefits?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hundreds of millions of people worldwide have neurological disorders. Neurological conditions affect the nervous system (including the brain and spine) and can run the gamut from migraine and headache disorders to more severe illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
For your neurological disorder to qualify for SSD benefits, your condition must interfere with your ability to earn a living. You must also meet specific medical, work, and income guidelines that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has established.
Your neurological disorder must limit your ability to perform basic work-related activities for a minimum of 12 months. The SSA maintains the Blue Book, a list outlining conditions it considers severe enough to meet this requirement. Neurological disorders in the Blue Book include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Muscular dystrophy
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Huntington’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
You can still pursue SSD payments if the Blue Book does not contain the neurological disorder you have. The SSA will evaluate the medical evidence submitted with your claim and determine whether your illness is as severe as the listed conditions.
Income and Work Requirements
As mentioned, a qualifying neurological disorder must affect your ability to work for at least one year. The SSA determines this based on its substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit. The SGA for 2023 is an average of $1,470 per month. If you can earn this amount, you likely are ineligible for SSD.
Additional work and income requirements will depend on the type of SSD benefits you seek. The SSA administers two separate and distinct programs:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Eligibility for SSDI depends on the number of work credits you have earned via your employment contributions. Generally, you need at least 20 work credits (or about five years of work) to qualify for benefits.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI recipients do not need earned work credits. Instead, this needs-based program is available to individuals with disabilities who have limited income and resources.
The process of seeking SSDI and SSI and appealing denials is similar, and some recipients qualify for both programs. However, the programs have different applications. Our Ohio Social Security Disability attorneys can tell you more and ensure you correctly complete and file the proper paperwork for your claim.
For a free legal consultation with a Neurological Disorder lawyer serving Akron, call 412-661-1400
How Much Money Can You Receive for a Neurological Disorder?
Monthly SSDI payments depend on your earned work credits and can range from a few hundred dollars to over $3,000. The more credits you have, the higher your benefits. You can get a sense of how much money you may receive using the SSA’s online Benefits Calculator.
The SSI rate varies annually based on the Consumer Price Index and other economic factors. According to the SSA, the monthly SSI benefit for 2023 is $914 per individual.
Keep in mind that other sources of income and benefits you have will affect your SSD. These include:
- Retirement and employment benefits
- Workers’ compensation benefits
- Veterans’ benefits
Akron Neurological Disorder Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Reasons the Social Security Administration May Have Denied Your Application
According to the Social Security Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, nearly 70 percent of initial SSD claims received a denial as of 2020. Common reasons for denial include:
- Clerical errors
- Insufficient medical evidence
- The SSA does not believe your disorder meets disability requirements
- The SSA believes your income exceeds SGA limits
Our Akron neurological disorder lawyers can help you avoid some of these pitfalls by filing your application for you. We can also ensure the SSA has the appropriate information regarding your medical providers.
Our Social Security Disability Attorneys Can Manage Your Appeal
If you already received a denial, our SSD attorneys can manage your appeal. The appeals process has four stages:
- Reconsideration. We can ask a Disability Determination Services (DDS) office in the Akron area to review the SSA’s decision. Approval at this stage is rare.
- Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Our lawyers can represent you during this official court proceeding. At this stage, we can also introduce new evidence to support your SSD application.
- Review of ALJ Hearing. If the ALJ does not rule in your favor, we can ask the Appeals Council to take a second look at the decision.
- Federal district court action. If necessary, we can file for a review of your claim by the U.S. District Court and represent you throughout your case.
You Should Start on Your Neurological Disorder Disability Claim Today
You can and should apply for SSD as soon as your neurological disorder affects your ability to earn a living. You do not have to wait until you are out of work for 12 months.
If the SSA denied your initial claim, you have 60 days from receiving notice to begin your appeal with a request for reconsideration. From there, you have 60 days between each step of the appeals process to file to move on to the next stage. Waiting too long could leave you ineligible for payments. Our attorneys can help you get started today.
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Connect With an Akron SSD Lawyer With Berger and Green
Contact Berger and Green to learn more about how our Akron neurological disorder lawyers can help you secure SSD benefits. We assist Social Security Disability clients on a contingency fee basis, this means there is no fee unless you are awarded benefits. Take advantage of our free consultations today.