If you recently received a denial letter on your Social Security disability application, a Heath, OH Social Security disability lawyer from Berger and Green can help. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping disabled workers collect the benefits they deserve. We want to put our resources to work for you. If you are unable to work due to your injury or illness, you deserve compensation, and our job is to make sure you get the benefits you deserve.
Berger and Green is a client-centered law firm that values honesty, transparency,
and communication. Our clients are like extended family members to us, and we pledge to put your needs first. The outcome of your appeal means as much to us as it does to you, which is why we never collect a fee until you receive benefits. We will take the time to explain your options and how the process works, and once you decide to move forward with us, we will never stop working for you.
To receive a free consultation with a member of the Berger and Green team, call our office today at (412) 661-1400.
Filing a Social Security Disability Appeal
The Social Security Administration (SSA) gives you several opportunities to appeal your denial. But you must initiate the process within 60 days of receiving your denial notification. Once you get this letter in the mail, contact a Heath, OH Social Security disability lawyer from Berger and Green, and we will get to work for you right away.
The stages of the disability appeals process are:
The Reconsideration Stage
At the reconsideration stage, you file what is called a “request for reconsideration” with the SSA. This request basically asks them to take another look at your application and, ideally, reconsider their decision to deny you. To bolster your appeal, you can attach additional documentation and evidence that were not included with your initial application, and it is a good idea to do this. After all, if you send a second version of the application that resulted in a denial, you will likely receive similar results. Our Heath, OH Social Security disability lawyers will help you make your reconsideration request compelling.
The second stage of the process is the hearing stage. This stage offers the best statistical chance of success, so it is important to put a lot of effort into it. The hearing stage often leads to an approval because applicants get the chance to present their claim in front of an actual person who has the sole authority to grant them benefits. This person is known as an Administrative Law Judge, or ALJ.
Berger and Green has been fighting cases in front of ALJs for many years, and we understand the tactics that work in these hearings. We will help you prepare for your hearing, and then we will help you present your case in front of the Judge.
Appeals that get denied at the hearing stage can be forwarded to a body known as the Appeals Council. They look at appeals denied by ALJs and decide whether to approve them, deny them, or send them back to the ALJ for another look.
The last stage of the appeals process is filing a claim in federal court. Not very many applicants take advantage of this option though, as it usually takes a substantial amount of time.
Social Security Disability Qualifications
Why do Social Security disability appeals so frequently get denied? According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), it is because many claims fail to do enough to prove that the applicant meets the qualifications to receive benefits.
To receive Social Security disability, you must meet certain medical and non-medical requirements. The medical qualifications are the same for the two major Social Security disability programs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The two programs differ substantially, however, in their non-medical eligibility requirements.
To receive SSDI or SSI, you must prove you are totally disabled. That means, at least in the eyes of the SSA, that you cannot work a full-time job and earn an income that puts you above the poverty guidelines. While other disability programs, such as the VA and private insurance, offer partial disability benefits, Social Security does not. To them, you are either disabled, or you are not.
SSDI’s non-medical requirements include having a sufficient history of working and contributing to the program via payroll taxes. These are the taxes that get automatically deducted from your paycheck by the government, not those you can have voluntarily withheld to pay your income tax bill in April. The reason payroll taxes are important to SSDI is that they fund the program. As a result, only those who have paid into the system can file claims and collect benefits.
SSI is a different type of disability program – a means-tested social benefit for the needy. Instead of having a work history requirement, therefore, it requires applicants to demonstrate their financial need by showing that their income and assets fall below certain levels.
In terms of the non-medical requirements, almost all applicants qualify for one program or the other, and some people qualify for both. Berger and Green will look at both your medical records and your financial documents to determine where you have the best chance of getting approved.
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For a free legal consultation with a lawyer serving Heath, call (412) 424-6079
Call (412) 661-1400 for a Free Social Security Disability Consultation
If you are ready to get started on your Social Security disability appeal today, do not delay. Call the Heath, OH Social Security disability lawyers at Berger and Green for a free consultation at (412) 661-1400.