If you have a disabling condition that prevents you from working, you may qualify for one of the two Social Security Disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). At Berger and Green, a Stark County Social Security Disability lawyer may be able to help you apply or fight a benefits denial.
Our team will review your options for free if you live in Alliance, Canton, Louisville, Massillon, or elsewhere in Stark County, Ohio. Our law firm represents our clients based on contingency. You will pay no attorney’s fees unless you receive benefits or a settlement.
Understanding Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability (SSD) includes two benefit programs that can help those who cannot work receive income. These programs have different qualifications, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides them for different groups. While relatively rare, some people could qualify for both SSDI and SSI at the same time.
SSDI: A Program for Workers with Disabling Conditions
Social Security Disability Insurance provides income to those who previously worked but now cannot because of a health condition. It is not an income-based program, although the claimant must be unable to earn an income that exceeds the current substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit.
SSI: Supplemental Income for Those with Few Assets Who Cannot Work
Supplemental Security Income provides income for households with few assets and other options for earning money because of the applicant’s health. There are strict limits for this income-based program, and SSA monitors recipients regularly to ensure they continue to meet the requirements.
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability lawyer serving Stark County, call 412-661-1400
Berger and Green Helps Stark County, OH, Claimants with Applications and Appeals
Berger and Green attorneys represent SSDI and SSI applicants in Stark County, Ohio. Our team has 40-plus years of experience fighting for the best outcome for our clients, so we understand the application and appeals processes. No matter where you are in either process, we may be able to help. This could include:
- Reviewing your initial benefits application
- Helping you file your application
- Requesting reconsideration after a denial
- Representing you throughout the appeals process
Before filing, it is especially important that you include the necessary information about your healthcare providers. This is the primary information the Disability Determination Services (DDS) representative will use to approve your application for benefits. Without the ability to request your medical records and analyze them, they are unlikely to OK your SSDI or SSI payments.
If you have already received confirmation of a denial from DDS, our team knows how the appeals process works. We can offer advice, guidance, and representation during this time, as well as navigate the steps on your behalf.
Stark County Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
We Can Help You Prove Your Disability Prevents You from Working
Both SSDI and SSI require recipients to prove their disability is so severe that it keeps them from holding a steady job. There are two ways DDS evaluates this:
- Via the evaluation criteria listed in SSA’s impairment listings, known as the Blue Book
- Through a residual functional capacity evaluation, which will determine if the claimant can work any job they might qualify to work
In many cases, this can be determined by reviewing all available medical records and information from a claimant’s healthcare providers. The DDS representative reviewing the claimant’s application will obtain the records from their providers, which is why it is essential to include correct and current contact information with your application.
If necessary, following a denial, our legal team can determine if you may need additional medical evaluations or if a component is not properly recorded in your records.
You Must Prove You Meet Other Requirements, As Well
Each disability program also has other requirements you must meet to receive approval for benefits. This includes having a minimum number of work credits for SSDI and meeting income requirements for SSI.
Your work credits are based on your years of work. Most applicants must have a minimum of 20 credits, which is about five years of work. However, younger claimants may be eligible with fewer credits.
For SSI, SSA will consider your household income and assets, minus some exempt assets, such as a car and tools necessary for your work. Our attorneys will review your application to ensure you provide the appropriate information necessary.
You Can Get Help with Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process
Initially, you will file your claim with the SSA. After a general review for technical errors, the information will go to DDS, where a representative will assess your eligibility for the benefits you are seeking. We can help you apply if you contact us before doing so.
After the DDS representative rules on your claim, you will receive approval and begin benefits or receive a denial notification. If you receive a denial letter, our team is here to review your Stark County, Ohio, case and help you with your appeal.
Appealing a Decision
The first step in the appeals process is reconsideration. You have only a short time to request reconsideration. This step asks DDS to give the claim another look. Only once this has been done—and it upholds your denial—can you get a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) on its schedule.
Our attorney will represent you during the Administrative Law Judge hearing. This is often done by phone or video conference, but it may be in-person under some circumstances. If the Judge does not overturn the denial, we can ask the Appeals Council to review your case or take it to a Federal Court review, whichever is necessary.
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Talk to Berger and Green for More Information About Your Options
The Social Security Disability team from Berger and Green helps clients with their applications, reconsideration, and other steps of the appeals process. We understand how critical Stark County SSDI or SSI benefits can be for you and your family if you cannot work. Let us discuss your options with you and answer any questions you have for free today.