The intent of this program is to provide a financial safety net for Americans who have worked and paid taxes but can no longer do so through no fault of their own. In many cases, these serious injuries and illnesses happen at work and result in lifetime restrictions.
Social security disability law can be complex and difficult to understand. Failing to follow the Social Security Administration’s strict rules and guidelines when filing a disability claim can result in a person’s rightful social security disability benefits being denied and needing legal representation.
At Terry Katz & Associates, our New York City social security disability lawyers have helped thousands of individuals recover disability benefits and appeal challenging denials after a serious injury or illness prevents them from continuing in their career. If you’ve suffered a physical or mental impairment that has put your financial future at stake, our disability lawyers can help get the social security disability benefits you’re entitled to faster, with less stress and fear of being denied. Our experienced team of disability lawyers has rigorous training and experience in analyzing disability claims, writing persuasive arguments, and negotiating with the Social Security Administration; all of which are important in winning disability benefits for you.
The Social Security Administration defines social security disability as a program designed to provide financial support to people who meet the definition of “total disability.” It is not for those with short-term disabilities or workers eligible to receive temporary payments under the state workers’ compensation program. Social security disability is also different from programs for veterans that award payments based on a percentage of disability. The SSA will deny any applicant that it feels is not 100 percent disabled due to an injury or chronic medical condition.
To qualify for social security disability benefits, you must be completely disabled for at least one year (12 months) or have a condition that is expected to result in your death. If you are awarded benefits, you will be subject to future medical exams to determine if you still meet this definition and can, therefore, continue to receive benefits.
If you meet the criteria of having a permanently disabling or life-threatening condition, the SSA still considers whether you can engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). This means that you can work enough to earn a level of income that puts you into the non-disabled category according to the SSA. The SSA imposes limits on how often a person can work and the amount of income he or she can earn to be considered non-disabled. As of 2018, that amount is $1,180 per month before any taxes or deductions.
It’s a common misconception that people applying for or receiving SSD cannot work at all. The SSA is more concerned with the number of hours you can work in a week and the income you can bring in monthly.
Before you apply for SSD benefits, you must meet the following three criteria at a minimum:
The SSA maintains a database of disabilities, and it requires applicants for SSD to meet at least one disability on its many lists. Although the entire database lists hundreds of potential disabilities, it groups them into 14 primary categories.
This social security disability law category list is current as of January 2017:
As you can see, qualifying and applying for SSD is not an easy undertaking and most people need legal representation. You also need to consider that the SSA receives over two million applications for SSD benefits every year. That means that its employees do not have the time to help applicants through the process. Additionally, approximately two-thirds of all applicants get denied for SSD benefits on their first try than those who receive an approval notice. It is after receiving their first denial that many people consider hiring a social security disability attorney.
One of the most common problems with first-time applicants is that they don’t fully understand the instructions and therefore don’t provide all the information requested. They may also include the wrong information that is not relevant to their case.
Some of these common social security disability law oversights include:
These errors are easy enough to make, but people often feel so discouraged by the time required to complete the application and the subsequent denial that they never follow through on speaking to Long Island disability lawyers.
After a serious injury or illness, hiring a Long Island social security disability lawyer is in your best interest. If you are applying for the first time, our experienced social security disability lawyers can assist you in gathering the required information and avoiding common mistakes. For those who have already received a denial letter, our team of experienced disability attorneys will help you prepare for your hearing. This takes place with a Federal Administrative Law Judge, a fact that many applicants for SSD find intimidating.
All applicants for SSD who have received a denial have the legal right to request an appeal and a hearing. However, you must inform the SSA of your intentions within 60 days of the date of your denial letter. If you choose Terry Katz & Associates law firm for legal representation, we will help you prepare for the hearing by making sure that you have all relevant medical records and you have organized them in an efficient manner.
Although you will probably feel nervous about the hearing, we want to reassure you that it takes place in a small and somewhat informal setting. Those present will include you and your social security disability attorney, the judge, and a hearing assistant. The judge will receive your medical records as evidence. You should also expect to give a testimony about the history of your disabling condition and how it prevents you from working. The judge may request someone known as a vocational expert to speak regarding whether you have the physical and mental capacity to receive training for a different type of job.
It is our job as your Long Island disability lawyers to demonstrate your specific limitations and how they affect you beyond the definition of your diagnosis. For example, you may be able to push yourself through one day of work per week and live with the consequences but it would be impossible for you to do this on a full-time basis.
You should not expect to receive a decision on your eligibility for SSD benefits at this hearing. That will occur in writing within four to six weeks to give the judge enough time to consider all evidence and testimonies. The good news is that you will begin to receive benefits shortly if the judge rules in your favor. If you get denied a second time, you may file an appeal with the Appeals Council within 60 days.
While this is your first time dealing with social security disability, the attorneys at our law firm are experts at it. We will carefully explain social security disability law to you and help you understand if you even qualify to apply for benefits in the first place. We will help coordinate your documentation, help you deal with medical bill collectors, draft a convincing letter to state your case, and much more. It would be difficult to impossible to accomplish these tasks on your own.
Whether you’re considering filing for SSD for the first time or have received one or more denials, the Long Island disability attorneys at Terry Katz & Associates law firm are here to give you the legal representation you need throughout the claim process. If you’ve suffered a physical or mental impairment that has put your financial future at stake, our disability lawyers understand NY social security disability law and can help get the benefits you’re entitled to faster, with less stress and fear of being denied.
Call 888-488-7459 or complete the form below to request a free consultation with an experienced disability attorney at our Long Island law firm. Conveniently located in Uniondale, New York City, we look forward to helping you fight for the disability benefits with the legal representation that you need to support yourself and your family after a serious workplace accident or illness.