You may need help applying for Social Security Disability benefits because you cannot maintain substantial gainful employment. You may already have received a denial of your application. In these situations, a DuBois disability application lawyer may be able to help.
The attorneys of Berger and Green can perform many steps in the Social Security Disability application and appeals process. We can evaluate your application, explain what information could supplement your case, and represent you during the appeals process.
Our assistance can help you prove that you qualify for benefits.
Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides two different programs for individuals with disabling conditions. These programs are called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
These programs require separate applications, as they have different eligibility requirements. You may qualify for only one program, or, in some cases, you may qualify for both.
Qualifying for SSDI Benefits
According to the SSA, you must be “insured” to receive SSDI benefits. This means that you have paid Social Security taxes while working and earned at least 20 work credits (this may be subject to change based on your age).
The amount of earnings that you must have to get a Social Security credit changes from one year to another. You can earn a maximum of four credits per year.
Qualifying for SSI Benefits
Only people with a low income will qualify for SSI benefits.
Eligibility for SSI benefits is subject to strict income and resource limits. Per the SSA, a single person cannot have more than $2,000 in countable assets. A married couple cannot have more than $3,000 in countable assets.
Not all your resources count when you are applying for SSI. Having income from work or other sources also can reduce any SSI benefits for which you qualify.
Submitting an Application for Benefits
The first stage of your disability claim is to complete an application for benefits. You can apply online, by telephone, or in person at your local SSA office.
You must provide a great deal of information and documentation to complete your application, including:
- Personal identifying documents, such as proof of your age and citizenship
- Information about your work history
- Information about your medical condition and all medical providers who have provided treatment to you
- Proof of your living arrangements and income
The smallest mistake could hinder your case. Our team will review your application for completion and accuracy so that you avoid unnecessary setbacks.
For a free legal consultation with a disability application lawyer serving DuBois, call 412-661-1400
Explaining the Stages of Appealing Benefits
The SSA says that about 53% of applicants are denied benefits the first time they apply. You may need to go through several processes to secure approval.
We do not want you to be discouraged if you already received a denial. We can help you through each stage of the appeals process.
At Berger and Green, we can help you by:
Filing a Request for Reconsideration
If you submit your application for Social Security Disability and you receive a denial letter from the SSA, you can appeal that denial by filing a request for reconsideration. You generally must ask for reconsideration within 60 days of receiving your denial letter, per the SSA.
You also can submit any new evidence that you have to the SSA, such as updated medical records and lab test results. The person who will consider your disability application is different from the first person who made a decision about your case.
Once they have reviewed your claim, you will receive a written decision about your claim by mail.
Meeting with an Administrative Law Judge
Even after the reconsideration stage, if your application is denied, you could present your case to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). You may have a hearing by telephone, video conference, or in person.
You will be able to present testimony and evidence at your hearing to prove that your medical conditions are so severe that they prevent you from providing for yourself. You and your lawyer also can present testimony from other persons who know about your disability and how it affects your life and ability to work.
The ALJ also may require you to have additional tests or medical examinations before making a decision on your case.
Going to the Appeals Council
If the ALJ does not approve your application, then you can submit your case to the Appeals Council. They will either make a decision on your case or send it back to the ALJ for further review.
A Lawsuit in Federal Court
Despite all of these measures, if you cannot get approved for the benefits you need, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in federal court.
DuBois Disability Application Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Contact Berger and Green for More Information
We want to make this process as easy for you as possible. Hire a DuBois disability application lawyer today and take the first step toward applying for disability benefits. We can answer all your questions and address your concerns throughout the Social Security Disability process. You can turn to us for all matters related to your application.
The attorneys of Berger and Green are dedicated to assisting you throughout the duration of your Social Security Disability claim. You can count on us to guide you through the application process. Call (412) 661-1400 today and get more information.