Becoming disabled can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating. If you suffered an injury that left you unable to work, the sudden loss of income and stack of expensive medical bills may be causing you and your loved ones to struggle to make ends meet.
You may be entitled to Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. The process of applying for those benefits is complex, and many people have their claims denied at first, even if they are qualified.
An Erie physical disabilities lawyer can explain the process, help you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, and assist you with an appeal if you have already submitted an application and it was denied. Call Berger and Green today at (412) 661-1400 to speak with a member of our staff about how we may be able to help you.
Qualifying for Social Security Benefits
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s Code of Federal Regulations §404.1505, a disability is defined as a medical issue that leads to death or a disability lasting more than 12 months. To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must submit an application and provide information on your condition.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a list of disabling impairments. In most cases, to qualify for benefits, your condition must meet the SSA’s criteria in terms of both the nature of your impairment and its severity. The medical records that accompany your application must provide sufficient evidence to show that you meet the SSA’s guidelines. Otherwise, your application may be denied.
If your disability does not fall under criteria set in a published impairment listing, you may still be entitled to Social Security benefits. If your residual functional capacity, or your remaining abilities, would not allow you to work at your previous job or in another position, you may be eligible for SSD benefits.
According to the SSA, to qualify for benefits, you must meet additional eligibility criteria. You must have worked long enough (based on your age) and must have paid Social Security taxes.
For a free legal consultation with a lawyer serving Erie, call (412) 661-1400
Social Security Appeals Process
If your application is denied for a medical reason or on other grounds, you have the right to appeal. The Social Security Administration provides several avenues for claimants to appeal denials.
An attorney with Berger and Green can review your initial application for benefits and the reason why it was denied, discuss your options to appeal the decision, and guide you through the process. If you receive a favorable decision upon appeal, you may collect disability benefits.
According to the SSA, you have 60 days from the date when you received notice of the denial to file an appeal. The SSA provides four levels of appeal.
The first is a reconsideration. Someone who was not initially involved in your case can review the information that was submitted with your application, as well as any additional information that is available upon appeal.
If your application is denied at the reconsideration level, you can request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge who was not involved in the original review of your claim. The hearing may be held in person or via video.
If an Administrative Law Judge denies your appeal at a hearing, you may request a review by an Appeals Council. It may agree to review your case or may deny your request if it agrees with the Administrative Law Judge’s determination.
If an Appeals Council denies your claim or decides not to review it, you may be able to request a Federal Court review. That is the final avenue for appeal and involves filing a civil lawsuit in a federal district court.
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How an Erie Physical Disabilities Lawyer Can Help You
Berger and Green represents disabled clients to help them seek the Social Security benefits they deserve. While you are not required to hire an attorney to help you apply for Social Security benefits or file an appeal, a lawyer may be able to help you navigate the process and provide useful insights gained by helping other clients obtain SSD benefits.
The team at Berger and Green can make sure that your initial application is complete and that it contains sufficient information to demonstrate that your disability meets the Social Security Administration’s guidelines. If you have already submitted an application and it has been denied, we can help you appeal the ruling.
Our team can review the application you submitted and the Social Security Administration’s reason for denying your claim. If your initial application contained any errors, we can correct them. If the SSA stated that you did not provide enough information to support your claim that you are disabled, we can guide them to additional evidence to show that you meet the SSA’s disability criteria. If necessary, we can guide you through multiple stages of appeals.
Call Berger and Green today at (412) 661-1400. A member of our staff can tell you more about how we can help you apply for Social Security benefits or appeal a denial.
Consider an Erie Physical Disabilities Lawyer
The process of applying for Social Security benefits can be complex and time consuming. If your application has been denied, you have a limited amount of time to take action to have the decision reviewed. The sooner you contact Berger and Green, the sooner we will be able to get to work on your behalf.
If you are out of work and struggling to get by, you may think that you could not afford to hire an attorney. Legal fees should not concern you since Berger and Green operates on an affordable contingency basis. That means that you will not have to pay our firm any money upfront. We will only collect a fee if we win your case and you obtain Social Security Disability benefits.
Berger and Green offers a free, no-risk, no-obligation consultation. Call our office today at (412) 661-1400 to discuss your case with a member of our staff and to learn more about how we may be able to assist you.