Receiving benefits after becoming disabled shouldn’t become a full-time job. Unfortunately, detailed paperwork, specific procedures, and the tendency for the Social Security Administration to deny applications can make the process feel overwhelming. A Columbus Social Security Disability lawyer from Berger and Green can represent you through this challenging time and discuss your options for pursuing benefits.
A Columbus Attorney May Help Get You Disability Benefits
If you live in Columbus, Ohio, and have a serious, long-term disability that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD). This could include either of the SSD programs—Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income.
If you have questions or need help applying for either of these programs, the Berger and Green Social Security Disability lawyers serving Columbus are here to help. Our team can help you:
- Understand the two programs
- Determine your eligibility
- Prepare your claim
- File your application
- Meet all deadlines
- Represent you at your hearing
We can also handle your appeal, if necessary. Through it all, we use our more than 40 years of experience to support you.
For a free legal consultation with a Social Security Disability lawyer serving Columbus, call 412-661-1400
Berger and Green Can Help You Understand the Two Types of SSD Benefits
SSD includes two programs that offer disability benefits to those who suffer qualifying impairments and cannot work because of these impairments. We can help you understand how each of these programs works and which you are eligible for. Alternatively, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers an online Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool.
The two SSD programs include:
- Social Security Disability Insurance
- Supplemental Security Income
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI is a program to help workers whose health prevents them from continuing to work until they reach full retirement age. This program requires you to:
- Have enough work credits earned by working
- Have recent work credits earned from work over the last few years
- Have an earned income that falls below the current limit
SSDI considers your earned income to ensure you cannot work and earn a living. You can have unearned income—such as investment income and other sources—with no limit.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI helps those who do not have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI but who are disabled and have an extremely low income and few assets. To be eligible for SSI you must meet strict income guidelines.
As outlined at Benefits.gov, SSI benefits can be influenced by your marital status and even the income of those in your household, like a parent. In fact, you may see your benefits reduced if you receive financial help elsewhere, such as from someone in your family.
If you do not qualify for SSDI but want to explore your other options, we can go over your eligibility for SSI.
Columbus Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Proving You Have a Qualifying Disability Based on SSA Rules
In addition to meeting the basic qualifications of each program, known as technical qualifications, you will also need to have medical evidence to prove you suffer from a qualifying disability.
The SSA provides a list of approved medical conditions, including:
- Sensory disabilities like blindness or Ménière’s disease
- Respiratory disorders like cystic fibrosis or lung transplantation
- Immune system disorders like lupus, inflammatory arthritis, or HIV
- Neurological problems like epilepsy or cerebral palsy
- Mental disorders like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder
These are just a few of the listed conditions, and some that are potentially eligible come with caveats. If your disorder is not listed, you may still be eligible, depending on if you meet certain criteria. The bottom line is proving that you are suffering from a disability that is severe enough to prevent you from working.
If you have questions about this process, our SSDI attorneys can help determine if your disability qualifies, what is required, and how to access benefits.
Gathering Evidence of Your Disability
You do not have to collect this evidence on your own. Instead, you will list contact information for your physicians on your application and the disability examiner assigned to your case will request your medical records.
The type of medical evidence you need will vary greatly based on your impairment and other factors. Some common types of medical evidence include:
- Medical imaging such as CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays
- Lab testing results
- Notes about procedures, treatments, and outcomes
- Other relevant clinical notes
- Any information about the severity of your condition and prognosis
In general, there are two ways the disability examiner who handles your case will use this information to determine if you qualify for benefits:
- Comparing it to an impairment listing in the Blue Book; or
- Evaluating your residual functional capacity to determine if you can work any job
If either of these tests finds you cannot work and you meet all the technical qualifications, you will likely qualify for SSD benefits.
Columbus, Ohio, SSD Lawyers Can Help You Fight for Disability Benefits
If you live in or around Columbus, OH, the disability attorneys from Berger and Green can help you pursue the SSD benefits you need. We can help you understand your options, answer any questions, and help you apply for benefits.
We know how the process works to determine if you are eligible for benefits and how to navigate the appeal process if they deny your claim.
Steps in the SSD Claim Process
A key weapon to fighting feelings of frustration or being overwhelmed is knowledge of the process. We can walk you through each step:
- Approval or rejection
Your claim may not require going through all these steps, but whatever form your case takes, we are willing to stick by you through it all. If necessary, we will go through the entire disability claims process with you from application to hearing. Call 412-424-6079 today to get started.
Don’t Let Fears About Payment Stop You
You are applying for SSD benefits because of a tough financial situation. We therefore know that you are on a tight budget and worried about how you’re going to pay your bills. We don’t want to be another bill that worries you. As a result, you pay us nothing until you get the benefits you deserve.
You Could Quality to Recover Additional Compensation
If you suffer from a disability following a personal injury accident, the attorneys from Berger and Green may be able to help you hold the at-fault party financially responsible. Backed by founding attorney Laurence B. Green who has more than 40 years of experience handling personal injury cases, our team may be able to attempt to negotiate an out-of-court settlement or litigate your case.
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Berger and Green Can Help with Your Columbus, Ohio SSD Appeal
The SSA denies a large portion of the claims they receive, and many well-qualified applicants have to rely on the appeal process to get the disability benefits they deserve. If you receive a notice of denial, don’t panic, and instead reach out to us right away. We can help you request reconsideration and navigate the appeals process if there is sufficient time to do so.
The appeal process continues even if they deny your claim again during reconsideration. If you enlist our help, we will represent you and be with you every step of the way. The full appeal process includes:
- A hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge
- A review by the Appeals Council
- Filing a lawsuit in U.S. district court
As a part of this process, you may be able to recover back pay back to the date when you initially filed your claim for disability. We can help you understand how much you may qualify for based on the facts of your claim.
What Our Past Clients Have Said About Us
At Berger and Green, we are proud of what we have been able to accomplish for our clients when faced with tough SSD cases. Here are some reviews from them:
- “From the very first phone call, they helped me through every question that I was asked. All you had to do is be honest and upfront and they took it away from there.”
- “They were just very compassionate and understanding and they let me speak. They let me explain what was going on. They took the time. They took the effort.”
- “If you are in a situation where you are unsure of your future, but you are disabled and you are not sure how you’re going to make it through the next day, they can step in and make things happen for you.”
Talk to a Social Security Disability (SSD) Lawyer
At Berger and Green, our Social Security Disability lawyers can file your application and go after the benefits you deserve. Our team will help you navigate the entire process, from understanding the types of benefits available, the application process, and navigating the appeal process, if necessary.