Are you in need of applying for Social Security Disability?
When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you are dealing with the Social Security Administration, a powerful and complex bureaucracy that handles and denies a high volume of legitimate applications. Facing off against a federal entity is not something to do on your own.
At Gregg Harrison, Attorney at Law, we dedicate our efforts in securing much needed compensation and medical coverage for our clients. Specific areas of our legal practice include:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) vs. Supplemental Security Income (SSI):
Depending on your circumstances, you may be qualified to collect either SSDI or SSI. We evaluate each client’s individual circumstances to ensure they pursue the appropriate benefits to prevent claims from being denied and benefits being delayed.
Social Security Disability Insurance:
Disabilities that restrict you from being employed can qualify you for disability benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a payroll tax-funded, federal insurance program providing temporary or permanent income for those suffering physical and mental disabilities. Much like a life insurance policy, applicants have paid money into the system, expecting that money to help them when they are unable to work.
Supplemental Security Income:
Our law firm can help clients with the complex process of applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Unlike SSDI benefits, an applicant does not have to pay in a certain amount of payroll taxes to collect benefits. SSI is a government program for people with physical and mental disabilities which provides financial assistance if the individual does not have assets or resources.
Qualifying for SSDI or SSI can be difficult. Unfortunately, most claims are denied. By working with our law firm, you can help ensure your application is completed correctly the first time, clearly demonstrate your need for disability benefits, avoid common pitfalls and guide you through the process in the most efficient manner possible.
SSDI and SSI Appeals:
A denial of benefits at a hearing and the appeals council is not the final verdict in securing disability benefits. Appeals before the U.S. District Court remain an option, allowing the claimant an opportunity to identify errors made by the Administrative Law Judge which substantially affected the outcome of the case, and which should result in a reversal and an award of benefits.
Things to keep in mind with your Social Security Disability Claim:
- Defining Disabled: To be considered disabled, a person must have an impairment that is either medical or psychological in nature. The disabled person’s impairment must meet the definition of disability, which essentially states that the impairment must be severe enough that it keeps the person from being able to work and the person is unable to earn above a certain amount for at least twelve months. If you believe you are disabled or you have been diagnosed with a disability, call us today to discuss.
- You must first file: Regardless of what anyone tells you, if you are disabled and unable to work, you should file for benefits to pursue a claim for Social Security Disability. If you do not file, you will never receive approval on a disability claim. It is important to get your claim filed as soon as possible. The sooner you get in line with the Administration, the better. Unfortunately, it can take a substantial period of time to process and obtain an approval on a disability claim. However, in some cases, the Administration can act with expediency. If you need help filing for benefits, call our law firm. We will help you fill out your application for benefits with no out-of-pocket expense to you.
- You may get denied – Don’t Stress!: If you are denied or have been denied on a claim for benefits, it’s a good idea to call our law firm as soon as possible. The sooner you get legal representation and legal help on your claim, the better. For claimants who have an attorney on their side, their chances of being approved increase significantly. Unfortunately, you only have a limited period of time to appeal. Also know that the government is not singling you out when they deny your claim. Understand that the government denies almost all initial applications for disability benefits filed in the United States. If you have been denied benefits, call our law firm so we can help you.
- Compassionate and Hard-Working Lawyers: Having a knowledgeable Social Security lawyer on your side is key to obtaining a good result. Our law firm will evaluate your disability claim and/or your Appeal for free and without obligation. Our law firm will not charge you any fee or expenses unless and until we win your case and you are paid benefits. If you need help obtaining disability benefits, contact us today.
- Correct and Accurate Documents are a Must: If you are uncertain as to which document or documents need to be filed, you should call our law firm to discuss. A high number of claimants and/or those filing an appeal fail to properly complete their paperwork or fail to submit the correct forms in a timely manner. Call our law firm so we can assist you in completing the correct documents.
- Time is of the Essence: It is important to understand that your appeal for disability benefits, if and/or once denied, must be filed within 60 days of the date of your most recent denial. We recommend you contact our law firm the day you receive the notice of denial.
- Accurate and Detailed Medical Records: It is important to understand that the decision of the Social Security Administration will be based, in part, on your medical records. Your medical records must document your injuries and/or disability. The more detailed and up to date your records are, the better your chances of winning. Updated, complete and current records will better present your case, and your medical records should help convince the Administrative Judge of the seriousness of your condition.
- Keep Your Medical Appointments: It is recommended that you follow up on a regular basis with your medical provider before and while your disability claim is pending. It is important that you continue with your medical care on a regular and ongoing basis. Even if your past medical records indicate that you are disabled, a judge may not be able to approve a claim for continuing benefits if you do not have current records or they are not available for review. If your current medical records are not available or you have not continued with care, it may be difficult to substantiate your claim.
- Doctors – Doctors – Doctors: Some doctors and medical providers may not be willing to ensure that your needs for detailed medical documentation are met. Better records detailing your disability will improve your chances of winning your disability claim. Additionally, if you have not seen your doctor recently, it may increase the difficulty in obtaining supporting medical statements from your doctor. And, if you do not cooperate with your doctor, you may have difficulty getting your physician to cooperate with you. If you lose your medical coverage before your claim for benefits is approved, as is sometimes the case, try your best to be seen by your doctor. If he or she will not see you, then you should go to a free clinic, county health department or emergency room. While these treatment sources are not the best, they are better than nothing.
Gregg S. Harrison, Attorney at Law, PLLC
Houston and Northwest Houston Social Security Disability Attorney
Call for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION