When you have a severe disability that hinders your ability to work, finding resources to help pay your medical bills, food, shelter, and other daily living expenses can be challenging. Thankfully, government programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) are available for those whose impairments make them unable to perform gainful employment.
But the laws surrounding how to secure income and benefits from these programs can be confusing. Most applications are denied initially — you will likely have to go through the different stages of the appeals process to have your claim approved. Whether you are a first-time applicant or had your application denied, an Alliance Social Security Disability Lawyer from Berger and Green can meet you where you are in the disability benefits process and lead you through the next steps.
An Alliance Social Security Disability Attorney Can Discuss if You Meet SSA’s Definition of Disability
Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disability is much stricter than other programs. To qualify for disability under Social Security rules, you must meet the following criteria:
- Your disability prevents you from performing a substantial gainful activity (SGA) — any work activity that provides income above a certain threshold is considered SGA and may disqualify you for SSDI. The income limit for 2022 is $1,350 per month
- Your disability prevents you from performing your previous job or any other job
- Your impairment is expected to last at least one year or result in death
Next, SSA will consult the Blue Book to determine if your medical condition is severe enough to prevent you from engaging in any SGA. The Blue Book lists impairments for each body system that is severe enough to prevent the affected individuals from maintaining employment.
If your condition is not mentioned in the Blue Book, then you must provide evidence demonstrating that your disability is as severe as the ones on the list.
The Disability Determination Services (DDS) will gather the necessary evidence from your own healthcare provider during the evaluation. If the provided information is insufficient, DDS will have you attend a consultative examination (CE) to seek additional information.
We can guide you through the entire process involved in advocating that your impairment is severe enough to warrant disability benefits.
For a free legal consultation with a Social Security Disability lawyer serving Alliance, call 412-661-1400
Our Alliance Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Disscuss Which Benefits Are Available
SSA administers two disability benefits programs — SSDI and SSI.
- SSDI: This federal income benefit provides disabled individuals and some family members with financial assistance. Benefits are paid to those who have a disability severe enough to impede their ability to work for at least a year. To qualify, you must have sufficient work credits based on taxable work to be insured by the program (at least 20 work credits minimum) and meet SSA’s definition of disability.
- SSI: This is a need-based benefit for those with low income and few assets.. Your work history does not impact your eligibility for SSI.
Once we learn more about you, your disability, and your work history and needs, we can confirm which program you should apply for.
Alliance Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
If Your Claim is Denied, A Social Security Disability Attorney in Alliance Can Help Appeal the Decision
Many times, qualified individuals get their initial applications for SSI or SSDI denied. Don’t be discouraged and make the mistake of not appealing your denial. Thankfully, a multi-level appeals process gives you a few chances to seek approval.
But note that you only have 60 days to appeal your decision. If your Alliance disability claim is denied, consider contacting us immediately so we can file a reconsideration request before your time limit is up. At this stage, a new DDS examiner will review your case and provide a decision.
We will request a hearing with an ALJ if the claim is denied again. This will allow us to present your case before a Judge and demonstrate the extent and severity of your disability. We will also prepare you for the hearing, so you do not feel intimidated speaking with the Judge.
How Berger and Greene Can Improve Your Disability Filing Process
Filing for Social Security benefits is intricate with several moving parts. It’s not as straightforward as receiving an approval letter on the first try — it rarely happens.
Here are some ways you can expect us to assist you with your goal of seeking disability benefits:
- File your application
- Identify any technical errors or evidentiary gaps that may have contributed to the claim’s denial
- Request a reconsideration within 60 days of receiving the decision letter
- Prepare you for the hearing before the Judge and guide you through what to expect
- Represent you during the hearing and review
- Answer all your questions and keep you updated about the progress of your claim
When working on your claim we are available to answer any questions that you may have. We understand that you are going through a difficult time and we want to make this trying time less stressful.
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Let Us Use Our More Than 40 Years of Experience to Help You Obtain Disability Benefits
Our team is standing by to hear from you. We want to learn about your situation and determine your case’s potential for reaching a successful outcome. Call us today for a free consultation with our team members.
We will walk you through the entire process and inform you of your rights and options and how we will fight to get you the benefits you need and deserve. Let us help you navigate the claims process so that your experience is as smooth as possible.