Social Security Disability Lawyers
If you suffer from a medical condition that prevents you from returning to your job, contact the Law Offices of David L. Powell today. You might qualify for benefits through the Social Security Administration. We represent injured clients in Oklahoma and Arkansas who need assistance filing a claim or appealing a denied application.
Social Security disability benefits can replace lost income when an employee can no longer earn an income due to a disabling condition. At the Law Offices of David L. Powell, our Fort Smith Social Security disability lawyers will be your advocate and fight for your rights to benefits while you’re unable to earn a living. You shouldn’t face financial strain due to your disease or injury. Our legal team can help you complete an application for benefits and guide you through each step of the claims process. You won’t have to go through this devastating experience alone.
Call the Social Security disability attorneys of the Law Offices of David L. Powell today at 479-222-6773 for your free case evaluation to learn more about how we can help you.
Medical Conditions that Qualify for Social Security Disability
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a disability refers to a person’s inability to participate in substantial gainful activity due to any mental or physical impairment determined by a medical provider expected to last continually for at least 12 months.
Common eligible medical conditions include:
- Skin Disorders
- Burn injuries
- Bullous disease
- Neurological Disorders
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cardiovascular System
- Chronic heart failure
- Coronary artery disease
- Hematological Disorders
- Sickle cell disease
- Aplastic anemia
- Multiple myeloma
- Genitourinary Disorders
- Hypertensive nephropathy
- Chronic obstructive uropathy
- Hereditary nephropathies
- Chronic kidney disease
- Endocrine Disorders
- Graves’ disease
- Thyroid cancer
- Growth hormone deficiency
- Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
- Mental Illnesses
- Bipolar disorder
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Digestive System
- Chronic liver disease
- Gastrointestinal hemorrhage
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Respiratory Disorders
- Cystic fibrosis
- Chronic pulmonary hypertension
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Immune System Disorders
- Type 1 diabetes
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Musculoskeletal System
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Difference Between Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income
Social Security disability (SSD) and Supplement Security Income (SSI) are federal programs injured and sick workers can apply to when a medical condition prevents them from working. Applicants must meet various requirements to apply for benefits.
Social Security Disability
SSD benefit payments come from an employee’s payroll taxes. There is a five-month waiting period before you’re eligible for SSD. That means you won’t receive your first payment until the sixth month of your disability. The five-month waiting period begins on the date the SSA determines your disability started.
You must have worked a specific number of years during particular time periods to be eligible for SSD. The payment amount will depend on the number of years you worked and your average wages before the diagnosis of your injury or illness. The longer you maintained employment, the more taxes you paid, which could result in higher benefits.
Supplemental Security Income
General fund taxes supply SSI benefits to people with disabling conditions and to people 65 and over, all of whom must meet financial qualifications. Qualifying for benefits doesn’t depend on a person’s employment history. The Social Security office will review your income and assets to determine eligibility. If you meet the requirements, you could receive payments through SSI.
Individuals must not have assets over $2,000 and can earn only minimal income to be eligible for SSI. Couples applying for benefits must have $3,000 or less in assets.
You could also qualify for Medicaid and food stamps while collecting SSI payments. You don’t have to go through a significant waiting period before benefits begin. Typically, you can receive your first payment within a month of applying.
How to Apply for Social Security Disability
Your disability must last longer than one year to qualify for benefits through Social Security. However, you can apply before then. It could take some time for the Social Security Administration to review and approve your application. Application errors and other complications could arise, so submitting the required documentation immediately after sustaining the injury or illness could prevent significant delays in the process.
After you file your claim, the U.S. Social Security Administration will review everything and determine whether you’re eligible for Social Security disability. The representative handling your claim will forward the documents to the state’s agency for review. Various contributing factors could influence the agency’s decision about your application, such as:
- Whether you have a job
- Whether your medical condition is serious enough to prevent you from working
- Whether your illness or injury meets the definition of disability according to the Social Security Administration
- Your experience and skills that might allow you to perform other work
- Whether you have the ability to complete any of the tasks required by your employer
Upon completing its review, the agency will return everything to the Social Security Administration. They will also advise whether they deny or approve the application for benefits. If the Social Security Administration agrees with the agency’s decision, you should receive a letter notifying you of whether you qualify for coverage.
Methods for Filing a Social Security Disability Claim
You have multiple options for filing a claim. You should contact the Law Offices of David L. Powell and discuss these options with one of our Social Security disability attorneys in Ozark, AR. We can help you fill out the application, gather the available evidence of your medical condition, and file your claim on your behalf.
The different methods for filing a Social Security disability claim are below.
You can schedule an appointment with a representative at a Social Security field office in your area. You will meet with the representative and receive assistance with the application. You should bring all necessary documentation to your appointment, such as your medical records.
On the Phone
Call 1-800-772-1213 if you want to discuss the application process with someone over the phone. A representative will obtain basic information from you so they can mail you the application and instructions on how to apply. They can also answer any questions you have and walk you through each step as you fill out the necessary forms.
You can also file your claim online. This is the most convenient method. The Social Security Administration website provides detailed instructions for each step.
When you submit your application, you must include your medical records. You need to show evidence of your injury or disease and its effects on your mental or physical abilities. You should ask your physician to write a statement explaining why your medical condition prevents you from returning to your job.
Providing the Social Security Administration with complete and accurate records is vital. You could also sign a form authorizing the representative to request copies of your records while reviewing your claim.
Call Your Lawyer
Finally, you could hire the Law Offices of David L. Powell to help you with your application. We have filed many applications for others, and we can help you, too.
How to Appeal a Denied Application for Benefits
If the Social Security Administration denies your claim, you have a right to appeal the decision. Most people don’t realize that a denial isn’t the end of the process. If you believe you are entitled to Social Security disability benefits, you should take immediate action.
The denial letter you receive should include an explanation for the denied application and your options for filing an appeal. There are four appeal levels available depending on the circumstances of your claim.
You could pursue a reconsideration appeal if either a medical or non-medical reason caused the Social Security Administration to deny your application. You could file your appeal online and submit supporting documents to show you qualify for disability benefits. Alternatively, you could file your appeal by mail or fax.
Administrative Law Judge
If you appeal your denied claim and don’t agree with the Social Security Administration’s decision during reconsideration, you could request a hearing. The administrative law judge must be someone who didn’t review your initial application.
After you submit the request for a hearing, you should receive confirmation and the date you must appear. The judge will listen to your arguments and review the evidence to determine whether they agree with the initial decision or believe you qualify for benefits.
Appeals Council Review
You can request a review by the Appeals Council if you disagree with the administrative law judge’s decision to uphold the denied claim. The council will review the appeal and determine whether they believe the judge made the right decision to deny your application for benefits. However, they might make a decision themselves or send the application back to the original judge for another review if they think your claim deserves a second look.
Review by Federal Court
You could file a civil lawsuit if the Appeals Council upholds the denial. You have sixty days from the date of your denied appeal by the Appeals Council to initiate a Federal Court Review.
The Law Offices of David L. Powell understands the importance of receiving full and timely Social Security disability benefits. You need those payments to afford your daily living expenses when you can’t earn a living.
Our Social Security disability attorneys in Fort Smith, AR, will provide the personalized attention and quality representation you deserve. We will aggressively pursue the benefits you’re entitled to and remain by your side until the end.
If you can’t work due to your medical condition, call us at 479-222-6773 for a free case evaluation. We can file your Social Security disability claim or assist you with appealing a denied claim.