Social Security Disability Lawyer
How a Social Security Disability Attorney Can Help Your Disability Case
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is designed to pay monthly benefits to those people who are no longer able to work due to a prolonged or terminal illness or due to a physical impairment which results in the inability to work for at least a year. The benefits are paid by determining the disabled person’s past earnings and replace a portion of a worker’s income.
Eligibility to receive disability benefits depends on a few things including how old you are when you become disabled, and the nature of the disability. As of 2017, you are ineligible for benefits if you are able to work and earn more than $1,170 per month in income. You are also ineligible if you are not affected in a severe enough manner that your injury or illness disables you from doing normal, everyday activities in your regular working capacity. A skilled attorney can help you with both of these points. You may earn less than you think, and you may be physically disabled from work even if you believe your injury or illness isn’t severe.
When do I Get Social Security Disability Benefits?
Disability benefits don’t start right away if you become disabled. It can be a very long and arduous, time-consuming process. Even when eligible, benefits don’t start being paid until approximately five months after your disability began and they cease whenever you are able to resume your previous activities. The monetary amount of disability benefits you might receive is determined by a formula which calculates the average indexed monthly earnings over a certain period of time in your work history.
Only an attorney who is an expert in the language of the law, who has experience working with the Social Security Disability Insurance Department in claims of disability insurance, and who knows all the details of your case, can inform you of what you are required to do, how long it might take, and how to appeal if denied benefits. Most people upon first applying for benefits are denied.
According to the Social Security Disability SSI Resource Center, the national average for initial approval of disability benefits is only around thirty to thirty-five percent. The percentage varies slightly in each state but this percentage has been consistent for twenty years, and most people who apply must appeal their case.
A Brief History of Social Security Disability
The Social Security system was created in 1935 and was originally named The Social Security Board. Disability insurance as we know it today did not exist within the program. Lawmakers considered the inclusion of these benefits, however, it was thought to be too expensive to include and would encourage people to stop working and therefore, drive down the economy.
The Social Security Board was renamed The Social Security Administration in 1946. A growing number of government officials supported the inclusion of Disability benefits in the program and actively lobbied for it. It was not until 1956 that it was adopted into the Social Security program and initially was only for people between the ages of 50 and 65 who had a long work history. Disabled children and those people who were dependents of a retired worker, or one who was deceased, were also eligible.
In 1960, all age restrictions were removed from the program and it was available to all ages of qualifying people. Also amended was the rule that a person had to be disabled for a long or indeterminate period of time and was re-written that people were eligible even if their disability was expected to last one years or less.
How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability?
The process of applying can take months and in some cases, appeals have lasted for two or three years. It can be challenging and frustrating and there is a lot of paperwork involved that must be filed and requirements that must be met in order to determine a disability case. The SSDI department asks for many items of documentation. Here are just a few that may apply to you:
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of doctors, caseworkers, hospitals, and clinics
- Dates and names of all of your doctor visits
- Names and dosages of all the medicine you take
- Medical records from doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics, and caseworkers
- Laboratory, X-Ray and other test results
- A copy of your most recent W-2 Form and other financial information
The system is designed to make it difficult to receive benefits, in part, to keep fraud low and keep workers working. Just as 70 percent of initial claims are denied, winning the first appeal if denied benefits is very unlikely, with an average of 80 percent of first appeals denied by the Administration.
Who is Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?
The Social Security Administration determines your case by asking five questions:
- Are you working?If you are working and your earnings average more than the threshold amount each month, you are not considered disabled. If you’re not working, they look at your medical condition.
- Is your medical condition severe?To be considered to have a disability, your medical condition must greatly reduce your ability to do basic work activities for at least 12 months. If your condition is severe, they proceed to the list of “accepted” disabilities.
- Does your impairment meet or medically equal a listing?If your medical condition is not on the list of conditions, they look to see if your condition is as severe as a condition on their approved list. If the severity of your condition doesn’t meet the level of a listed impairment, they look to see if you can do the same work you’ve done prior to the disability.
- Can you do the work you did before?They will decide if your disability prevents you from doing your past work. If it does, they will see if you can do other work.
- Can you do any other type of work?If you can’t perform the tasks and duties you did in your work before becoming disabled, they will see if you are able to do different work. They consider age, education, past work experience, and skills to determine if you can do other work. If you aren’t able to do other work, they will determine that you are disabled.
Experienced Social Security Disability Attorneys
It is in the best interests of anyone filing for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or attempting to appeal a denial of benefits to seek the expertise of a Social Security Disability Lawyer.
The experienced attorneys at David Kohm and Associates are equipped with specialized knowledge in Social Security Disability law and are dedicated to obtaining the maximum benefit possible for our client. Our Firm offers:
- Over 20 years of Experience
- Free Consultations
- No fee unless you collect
The professional staff at the Law Offices of David S. Kohm and Associates understands that Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI or SSI) can be difficult to obtain. There are multiple obstacles, including deadlines for filing, endless paperwork to complete, and complex guidelines for determining whether or not you may be eligible to receive benefits. A few of the areas we can assist you with are:
- Social Security Disability (SSDI) Applications
- Social Security Disability (SSDI) Hearings
- Social Security Disability (SSDI) Appeals
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits
Here at David Kohm & Associates, we realize your ailment has kept you out of work and lack of money may be a huge problem in your life. You can rest assured that when considering our law firm, you will never have to pay out of pocket for representation, court costs or other expenses associated with our legal services on your Social Security Disability benefits claim. We do not collect unless you are paid benefits.
Help With Your Disability Claim
Our trusted attorneys have helped clients who are disabled due to a variety of medical conditions. If you are unable to work due to an illness or ailment or have been denied disability benefits, we are the attorneys that can help you get the benefits you deserve.
David Kohm and Associates are experts in Social Security Disability law and will work hard to assist you in obtaining the maximum benefit possible on your disability claim. We have over twenty years of experience and understand the complexity and obstacles you face in dealing with the Social Security Administration and the Disability Insurance program. David S. Kohm and Associates are waiting to serve your disability insurance claim needs.
Call our law offices today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.
You can also contact us online by using our quick contact form.
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