If you recently filed a claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits and did not get approved, you have the right to appeal the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) decision. A Norwich Township Social Security lawyer from Berger and Green can help you build an appeal and fight for the disability benefits you deserve. We have over 40 years of experience and have helped hundreds of clients fight their appeals and win.
At Berger and Green, we deliver results for our clients, and we make the process as easy and stress-free as possible for them. Client service is important to us, and it shows in our track record, reviews, and client testimonials. We are also so confident in our ability to get the job done that we never charge a fee until our clients collect benefits. To set up a free, no-obligation case evaluation with a Social Security Disability (SSD) lawyer in Norwich Township, OH, on the Berger and Green team, call us at (412) 661-1400 today.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has strict requirements that applicants must meet to get approved for benefits. For your appeal to be successful, you must show that you meet both the medical and the non-medical requirements for the disability program to which you are applying—either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Both SSDI and SSI have the same medical requirements. These requirements are complex, and the specific approval criteria depend on the nature of your medical condition, but what the SSA essentially wants to be sure of is that your disability is severe enough to prevent you from working and earning a living on your own.
Some applicants believe or have been told that they are automatically ineligible for benefits if they can work but with accommodations made by their employer. This is not always the case. Berger and Green has helped clients get approved for SSD even when they could work with accommodations. This is a gray area in which you will have the highest chance of success if you work with an experienced and dedicated attorney.
Whether you are applying for SSDI or SSI, there are also non-medical requirements you must meet. To be approved for SSDI, you must demonstrate that you have paid enough into the system via payroll taxes. SSDI operates like an insurance company, and payroll taxes represent the premiums that you must pay in order to receive benefits.
If your work history is not substantial enough to qualify for SSDI, you may be eligible for SSI, a means-tested benefit program for people who are disabled and have financial limitations. To receive SSI, your total income and total assets both must fall below certain levels.
A Social Security Disability (SSD) lawyer in Norwich Township, OH, from Berger and Green can review your financial documents and let you know which disability program you qualify for on a non-medical basis.
Unlike VA, Social Security does not offer partial disability benefits. It is an all-or-nothing proposition. If the SSA believes you are partially disabled, meaning you have limitations but are still capable of working and earning above substantial gainful activity, it will not approve you for SSD. In such cases, you may be able to seek benefits from a private disability insurance company if you have a disability policy.
Appealing for SSD Benefits
After your SSD claim gets denied, you can begin the appeals process. A Norwich Township Social Security lawyer from Berger and Green can help you navigate that process with the best chance of success. A Social Security disability appeal has several stages.
The first stage of an SSD appeal is the reconsideration stage. Once you get denied, you have 60 days to file something called a request for reconsideration. Essentially, this request is saying to the SSA, “Here is some additional evidence; please reconsider your decision to deny my disability claim.”
When you submit your request for reconsideration, the SSA will take another look at your disability claim, along with any new evidence you have submitted, and determine whether its original decision was the right one or the wrong one.
After the SSA has reviewed your request for reconsideration, it will notify you of its answer. If the answer is not favorable, you can move to the second step of the appeals process, the hearing stage.
The second step of the appeals process is the hearing stage. At this stage, you can make your case in person to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This Judge has full decision-making authority and can unilaterally decide whether to uphold the denial of your claim or to grant you benefits. You can bring a lawyer to this hearing, and it is recommended that you do so.
The Social Security Disability (SSD) lawyers in Norwich Township, OH, at Berger and Green have several decades of experience fighting disability cases before ALJs. We have helped many clients have their denials reversed and have accumulated substantial knowledge about how the process works and the best practices for winning appeals.
The third stage of the appeals process, which comes after a denial at the hearing stage, is to ask the Appeals Council to review the ALJ’s decision. The appeals council can agree or refuse to hear your appeal.
Lastly, if you have made it through the Appeals Council stage and still have a denial, you can appeal to a federal court. Very few applicants avail themselves of this option, however, because of the time and requirements involved.
Schedule Your Free Social Security Claim Evaluation Today by Calling Berger and Green
A Social Security Disability (SSD) lawyer in Norwich Township, OH, at Berger and Green is eager to get to work on your disability appeal today. We do not charge a fee until you begin collecting benefits. To set up your free case evaluation in Norwich Township, call us at (412) 661-1400.