If you cannot work because of a disabling condition, you can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. This could offer you an additional option for income and make it possible to make ends meet. A Portage County Social Security Disability lawyer from Berger and Green can help you apply or fight a denial.
Our team serves all parts of Portage County, including Aurora, Kent, Ravenna, Streetsboro, and Tallmadge, Ohio. We offer free initial consultations. Claimants or those considering filing an application can connect with the Berger and Green team today at no cost.
Berger and Green: an Ohio Social Security Disability Law Firm
For more than 40 years, Berger and Green has helped clients get the money they need through the Social Security Administration (SSA). We represent those who hope to receive SSDI or SSI benefits. This includes helping claimants apply for benefits, understanding communications and requests from the SSA, and fighting denials.
We represent our Social Security Disability clients based on contingency fees. We do not ask for any payment upfront, and our attorneys’ fees come from the backpay that we recover for you.
Our cases begin with a free consultation. We’re prepared to help you by:
- Discuss which benefits you are eligible for
- Helping you apply for SSDI or SSI
- Reviewing your denial notice
- Explaining the appeals process
- Representing you during appeals hearings and reviews
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability lawyer serving Portage County, call 412-661-1400
Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits
To get Social Security Disability benefits—either SSDI or SSI—you must prove that your disability:
- Is severe enough to prevent you from working
- Will last for a year or longer (or will result in your passing)
There are generally two ways that the SSA uses to establish these facts. It uses the information in your application to obtain your medical records, test results, and other information from your healthcare providers. This allows the SSA to determine:
- If you meet the criteria included in the SSA’s Blue Book based on your diagnosis; or
- If your residual functional capacity shows you cannot work any job you qualify to hold.
Portage County Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
You Must Prove Different Things for SSDI and SSI
SSDI and SSI both have the same goal: to provide benefits to those who cannot partake in gainful employment. However, these programs both have different eligibility requirements. Consider the following:
Eligibility for SSDI Depends on Your Work History
SSDI helps workers who cannot continue earning a living because of their health. This program requires a demonstrated history of paying into Social Security through various jobs. When you pay in, you earn work credits. You likely need a minimum of 20 work credits to qualify. This is about five years of recent work. Young workers may need fewer work credits.
Eligibility for SSI Depends on Your Countable Assets
SSI is a program designed to help those afford basic needs, such as food, water, and housing. This is an income-based program and considers the resources and income of the entire household. The limits are very strict, although there are exceptions for some assets.
For instance, your house and the property it sits on do not count toward your countable assets. However, other items, such as a second vehicle, do.
The Stages of a Portage County Social Security Disability Claim
A Social Security Disability lawyer from Berger and Green can help with your Portage County claim from beginning to end. Once you submit your application,
a Disability Determination Services representative will assess your claim to determine if you qualify for benefits.
The SSA notes that about 67 percent of applications are denied at this stage and must proceed through the appeals process to secure approval. Appealing a denial may require one to progress through the following four stages:
- A hearing with an Administrative Law Judge
- Review with an Appeals Council
- Federal Court review
What Do These Phases Entail?
If your claim is denied, our team can request reconsideration and explain what you can expect during this process. Since this is a review of your application and supporting materials by the same agency that denied the claim initially, only a small percentage gain approval during reconsideration.
If you do not receive approval, we can request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. This step allows you to submit new evidence to support your application and documentation. This may make the difference in your case. We represent clients during this process, which may occur in person, by phone, or by video conference.
We also handle Appeals Council and Federal Court reviews for our clients when necessary.
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Proving You Deserve Social Security Disability Benefits
You must have the right medical evidence to prove your condition is so severe that it prevents you from working. Berger and Green can help you prove your disability in several ways:
- We review medical history to ensure the correct information is provided to the Social Security Administration
- After a denial, we can analyze your medical records to ensure your medical treatment and diagnosis are properly documented.
- During the appeals process, we can help you understand the SSA’s evidentiary requirements and other information that could support your claim.
In addition to helping you document your qualifying condition, a Berger and Green attorney serving Portage County can offer support, advice, and information throughout the application and appeals process. We are here for you.
Let Our Team Assess Your Options for Free
You can discuss your Social Security Disability application or appeal with a team member from Berger and Green for free today. We provide consultations for Portage County, Ohio, residents hoping to get approved for SSDI or SSI benefits. We can help you apply or represent you during the appeals process.
You don’t have to navigate this process on your own. Connect with us now to learn more.