Have you been denied social security disability benefits?
Our lawyers and staff have a combined forty years of experience in helping those wrongly denied such benefits!
We offer a free one-hour consultation to determine if we can help, so please contact us. Please remember we are local lawyers helping local people and are not a “disability mill” firm where you are just a number and not a name.
Here are some commonly asked questions and answers:
1. Can I still collect disability benefits if I am working?
Sometimes you can work as long as it is part-time. In order to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you most be off of work for at least 6 months, or have significantly reduced your work week hours for at least 6 months. Generally, of course, you can’t claim you are disabled and cannot work, and at the same time keep working.
2. I got denied by Social Security for disability benefits, but the employee that took my application didn’t even listen to my health problems, and they didn’t request all of my medical records, or review them, now what?
Most applicants for disability benefits are denied at the initial level. If a claimant appeals the denial, an Administrative Law Judge, in a hearing, will hear his/her case. Claimants have the opportunity to present evidence to the judge for review. This evidence most commonly includes: medical records and physicians’ opinions, the Claimant’s testimony and academic records. The Administrative Law Judge is required to review all of the evidence of record. An attorney is advisable and very useful for building a Social Security Disability case.
3. I keep re-applying for Social Security Disability benefits and they keep denying me. I really cannot work! Why do they keep turning me down?
Not everyone appeals his/her case denial, but will instead continue to re-apply for benefits. The acceptance rate of disability cases is much higher at the hearing level, when Social Security’s initial determination is appealed. Claimants who merely re-apply may be endangering their rights to back pay.
4. How do I appeal my denial?
A claim can be appealed by submitting forms to Social Security to request a hearing. This MUST be done within 60 days of the denial date in order to preserve your appeal.
5. I can no longer do the job that I have done all of my life, why did I still get denied?
In order to receive disability benefits, a claimant must prove that he/she can not only no longer perform the job that he/she is trained for or educated to do, but also must prove that he/she cannot do any job that exists in the national economy, in significant numbers. This includes jobs that may not even be in the area, unskilled work or a sit-down job.
6. What is the average waiting time for a hearing, when your case is appealed from the initial denial?
Locally, the average time between filing for an appeal and when the hearing is held is between 1 1/2-2 years. The Social Security Disability appeal process is a long one, due to the backlog of cases that the Social Security Administration deals with. Fortunately there are several local and national charitable organizations that can help ease the frustration of waiting for a hearing and a hearing decision.