Social Security disability benefits are available to workers who can no longer earn a living due to an injury or illness. The program is taxpayer-funded and offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). When you become disabled, you may file for one or both of two SSA programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Unfortunately, you require an approval from SSA to receive benefits, and many qualified applicants receive a denial every year. If you are one of them, a Social Security Disability (SSD) lawyer from Berger and Green can help.
At Berger and Green, we believe our clients should pay us not for our time but for the results. That is why we never charge a fee until you start collecting benefits. We will take the time to understand your case and to put together an appeal for you. We are eager to put our resources to work for you, starting today. For a free, no-obligation case evaluation with a member of our team, call a Madison Township, OH Social Security Disability (SSD) lawyer at (412) 661-1400.
Filing a Social Security Disability Appeal
Just because you receive a denial from Social Security disability does not mean you will not receive benefits. Social Security disability recipients may still obtain an approval through the disability appeals process, which includes several stages, that gives you a fresh opportunity to make your case.
The first stage of the appeals process, a step you must initiate within 60 days of receiving your denial letter or risk losing your right to appeal, is to file a request for reconsideration:
The Request For Reconsideration
A request for reconsideration is simply a formal statement to the SSA asking that they take a second look at your disability application. You can even attach supporting evidence and documentation not included with your initial claim. The SSA will review it and determine whether you have sufficiently proven that you meet the eligibility requirements for benefits. If you have, they will approve you at this stage. If they are not convinced, you will receive a second denial, at which point you can move to step two, the hearing stage.
If there is sufficient time to do so, you can request an in-person hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) only after you have filed an unsuccessful request for reconsideration. At an ALJ hearing, you can argue your case face-to-face with a judge, or you can have a lawyer help you. The hearing stage offers the highest chance of approval. Berger and Green will help you prepare for and present your case at your hearing, but only if there is sufficient time to do so.
The Appeals Council
The Appeals Council is a decision-making body that reviews claims denied by ALJs. The Appeals Council can approve your claim (i.e., reversing the decision of the ALJ), deny it, or send it back to the ALJ for a second look.
If you have exhausted the previous steps of the process, your last chance is to take your disability appeal to Federal Court, but this can be a costly option.
For a free consultation with a Social Security Disability (SSD) lawyer at Berger and Green, call (412) 661-1400.
For a free legal consultation with a lawyer serving Madison Township, call (412) 661-1400
Social Security Disability Qualifications
The key to winning your Social Security disability appeal—ideally at the earliest stage possible—is by making a thorough, compelling case that you meet every eligibility requirement of the program to which you are applying. The medical criteria are the same, no matter the program. The non-medical criteria, on the other hand, differ between the two main disability programs, SSDI and SSI.
In order to receive Social Security disability, you must prove that you are totally disabled. (See the Blue Book’s criteria for disability evaluation under Social Security.)
According to the SSA’s definition, totally disabled means you cannot sustain gainful employment. Many disability recipients work part-time, seasonal, or menial jobs, but you can work a full-time job and still receive benefits as long as you earn below the substantial gainful activity amount.
If you can work full-time but require accommodations for your disability, you may also be eligible for benefits, and a Madison Township lawyer from Berger and Green can help you get them. Call us today so that we can evaluate your case and let you know your options.
The non-medical requirements are different for each of the two programs. SSDI is an insurance program paid for by taxes, so in order to qualify to file a claim, you must have paid into the system. The SSA will look at your work history and specifically the amount of payroll taxes you have contributed, as these are what fund the program. If you do not qualify, you may be eligible for the other program, SSI.
Since SSI is a means-tested benefit program for financially people, it does not have any work history or tax contribution requirements but instead has caps on total income and total assets. In other words, you must prove you actually have a demonstrated financial need.
Berger and Green can review your financial records and determine if you qualify for one or both programs.
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Call a Madison Township, OH Social Security Disability (SSD) Lawyer at (412) 661-1400
Berger and Green is eager to get to work on your Social Security disability appeal in Madison Township today. We want to help you collect the benefits you deserve. There is never a fee until we win your case. To receive a free, no-obligation case evaluation, call us at (412) 661-1400.