We understand how overwhelming it can be if a medical condition is preventing you from working to provide for yourself and your family. If your claim for benefits has been denied, you may be unsure of what steps you should take next.
We want to reassure you that you are not alone. If you have not yet filed a claim, our team can explain the process to you and file your application for benefits. If your application has already been filed and denied, we can appeal your denial.
The lawyers at Berger and Green are ready to help you with your claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits with a free case review.
Understanding Different Types of Social Security Disability Benefits
There are two main types of SSD benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This program is for people who have worked for a long time and have paid into their Social Security. It is designed to bridge the gap of time between when someone’s condition prevented them from working to the age at which they expected to retire.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This program is designed for adults and children who have never worked or do not have enough work history to be eligible for SSDI. It provides cash payments to cover basic expenses like food, clothing, and shelter.
SSDI and SSI are two separate programs with their own sets of qualifications and application requirements. It is critical that you understand the difference between them before you apply, because applying for the wrong benefit can unnecessarily delay your case.
Berger and Green offers a free, no-risk review of your claim to find out whether you qualify for SSDI or SSI.
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability lawyer serving Grove City, call 412-661-1400
Proving That You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits
If you are suffering from a medical condition that prevents you from working, you have the right to seek support for yourself and your family. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider you disabled if:
- You cannot do the work you were doing before your condition manifested
- You cannot do other work because of your current condition
- Your disability is expected to last for a year or more
What types of evidence do you need to establish each of these factors? You will need to send the SSA enough documentation to satisfy them on each point. The Social Security Administration will gather the following information based on your completed application for benefits:
- Your complete medical records
- Your work history and taxes filings
- Statements from your doctors
The SSA also has a step-by-step process to determine whether someone meets the definition of disabled. The five questions they ask as part of this process are:
- Are you currently working, and does your income average more than $1,350 (as of 2022) per month?
- Is your condition severe enough to prevent you from performing basic work-related activities like sitting, standing, walking, lifting, or remembering?
- Is your condition included in the list of medical conditions provided by the SSA?
- Can you do the work you did before your condition developed?
- If not, is there other work that you are capable of doing?
The SSA has a list of impairments, and each entry includes the requirements you must meet to be approved for benefits based on the diagnosis. You are usually required to provide the SSA with specific evidence The SSA will review evidence of your condition, such as imaging scans, lab results, or notes from your physician about your diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes.
Qualifying disabilities include but are not limited to the following.
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Mental illness
- Lost limbs
Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)
If you do not qualify under an impairment listing, the Social Security Administration may rely on a residual functional capacity (RFC) when determining if your condition is so severe that you qualify for benefits. A RFC form must be completed by a physician or medical provder and will provide a more detailed picture of the work that a claimant is able to do.
The SSA may have one of their doctors review all your medical records to determine whether you can work. They may also request that your doctor assess your ability to work, or they may schedule an exam on your behalf and ask that you attend.
If the physician determines that you cannot perform the tasks associated with your previous job and that you are unable to do other work, you may qualify for SSDI benefits.
Grove City Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Fighting for Your Benefits After a Denial
If your benefits have been denied, you have a limited time (generally 60 days from the time you receive the notice) to appeal the decision. There are four different levels of appeal: Reconsideration, a hearing by a Judge, a review by an Appeals Court, and a Federal court review.
At each of these levels, you will be expected to do one or more of the following.
- Meet all SSA deadlines for filing your appeal
- Submit additional evidence to support your application
- Explain to a Judge why you deserve benefits and why the SSA is mistaken in claiming you are ineligible
- Answer any and all questions the Judge asks about your case
- Schedule and appear at a hearing in person, over the phone, or via teleconference
It is important to note that you must have a decision for reconsideration before you can request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. Our team can take many of the worries about the process off your shoulders. We can also represent you and your interests at a hearing if you have already filed your appeal.
What Happens if I Miss the Deadline to Appeal?
If the SSA does not hear back from you within the 60-day deadline, they will assume you have accepted their denial and close your case. You would then have to start the application process over again from the beginning.
Our team wants to prevent this from happening to you. We can remind you about upcoming deadlines and review your request for reconsideration, a hearing, a review, or a court review before you send it.
How a Grove City, OH, Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help
We understand how stressful and overwhelming it can be to go through the process of filing a claim for SSD benefits. Many people find their claims denied simply because they did not fill out the forms correctly or did not provide all the required documentation proving their condition, even when they should have been approved.
Our team of Social Security Disability lawyers can help you with the process from start to finish. This includes the following tasks:
- We can evaluate your case and determine which program you qualify for.
- If you meet the SSA’s standards, we can help you with the process of filing your claim. For example, we can make sure you have used the correct paperwork and that you have included sufficient documentation to establish your qualifications.
- If your application has been denied when you should have qualified, our team can help you with every stage of the appeals process.
- We can make sure you understand your rights by explaining how the system works and answering any questions you ask us.
Gabrielle, one of our Social Security Disability clients, said that “working with Berger and Green was amazing,” because we were able to take her legal worries off her shoulders as she dealt with medical testing and diagnoses. Now we can do the same for you.
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Paying for a Disability Lawyer
If you are applying for Social Security Disability, you may already have financial concerns. We do not want to do anything to make your situation more stressful or uncertain. Berger and Green increases the accessibility of our legal services by:
- Offering a free case assessment to everyone who calls in
- Are available to answer your questions by phone, text, and email
- Charging no lawyer’s fees up front
- Taking our fee out of the money you recover rather than out of your pocket
- Charging no lawyer’s fees at all if we cannot get benefits for you
Handling your case alone in an attempt to save money could end up costing you more if you make an avoidable mistake and need to appeal.
Let Us Help You Starting Today
To learn more about your options, call Berger and Green for a free, no-risk review of your claim. A Social Security Disability lawyer from our team can assist you with your application and appeals. We are pleased and proud to help clients in Grove City, Ohio, as well as other areas in Ohio and Pennsylvania.