If you cannot work because of an injury or illness, you may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. SSD provides monthly payments that individuals with disabilities can use for food, household bills, and other living expenses. These payments can be essential to keeping you and your family financially stable while you focus on your health. Unfortunately, securing SSD can be challenging, with many initial applications resulting in denial.
If you want help to pursue SSD or fight back against a denied claim, a Florida Social Security denials and reconsideration lawyer with the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can manage every detail of your claim or appeal. Our SSD attorneys will go the extra mile to ensure you get the economic resources you need and deserve. We take cases on contingency and offer free, no-obligation consultations.
Are You Eligible for Social Security Disability?
Social Security Disability is available to individuals who cannot maintain gainful employment due to a medical condition. SSD is the umbrella term for two separate Social Security Administration (SSA) programs, each with distinct eligibility requirements:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI recipients qualify for benefits based on earned work credits through employment contributions. According to the SSA, you can earn up to four credits per year, and you usually need 40 credits to become eligible for SSD payments. However, younger workers may need fewer.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is for individuals with disabilities who have limited resources and income. You do not need earned work credits to qualify.
Some individuals can receive SSDI and SSI concurrently, but you must apply separately for benefits. Our Florida SSD lawyers can help you file the appropriate applications.
Do You Have ф Qualifying Condition?
You must have an injury or illness the SSA recognizes as disabling to secure SSD benefits. The administration lists conditions it presumes are severe enough to prevent you from working in the Blue Book. Qualifying ailments include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Chronic heart failure
- Chronic kidney and liver disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Organ transplant
- Mental health conditions
- Immune system disorders
- Blood disorders
If your condition is not in the Blue Book, our Florida Social Security denials and reconsideration lawyers can use medical evidence to prove your health problem is as severe and debilitating as those listed.
Does Your Condition Prevent You аrom Working?
The SSA considers your medical problem a disability only if:
- Your condition prevents you from performing basic work-related activities (e.g., walking, standing, remembering) for at least 12 months.
- Your condition prevents you from performing your current job duties or any other type of work.
- You earn less than the average monthly substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit – $1,470 ($2,460 for blind individuals) in 2023.
Even though you only become eligible for benefits after being out of work for one year, you can and should file your SSD application immediately. If you still must complete an initial application, our Social Security Disability attorneys can assist you.
Why Was Your Florida Social Security Claim Denied?
You are not alone if you do not receive a favorable decision from the SSA. The Social Security Office of Retirement and Disability Policy reports that 67 percent of initial SSD applications were denied as of 2020, up 10 percent from 2010. Common reasons for denial include:
- The SSA believes you earn too much money.
- The SSA does not believe your condition is severe or will last 12 months.
- The SSA does not know how to contact you.
- You did not supply enough medical evidence.
- Your application contains errors and clerical mistakes.
- You did not respond to additional requests from the SSA.
- You did not submit to a consultative examination (CE).
- You have previous claims denials (you cannot resubmit your application – you must appeal).
Our lawyers can review your SSD claim and determine why you received an unfavorable decision. We can then begin gathering evidence and preparing your appeal. If you still must file an initial application, we can guide you through doing so and help you avoid mistakes.
How Much SSD Should You Receive?
SSDI payments depend on your work credits, with more credits amounting to higher benefits. The SSA sets the annual federal SSI rate based on economic indicators. In 2023, the monthly rate is $914 per individual or $1,371 per couple. In addition, Florida administers its own SSI supplement. We can help you seek state benefits.
Other benefits and earnings you currently receive will affect your SSD amount, including:
- Workers’ compensation benefits
- Veterans’ benefits
- Retirement benefits and pensions
In addition to appealing SSD denials, we also help clients who disagree with their benefit amounts. We can review your claim if you believe you qualify for a higher monthly payment.
Our Florida Social Security Denials and Reconsider Lawyer Can Manage Your Appeal
If the SSA denies your claim, we can help you appeal the initial determination. You must begin the appeals process within 60 days of receiving notice of the SSA’s decision. From there, you have 60 days between each stage of appeal to move your claim forward.
Our Social Security denials and reconsideration attorneys can help you navigate the stages of appeal:
- Reconsideration. We can start by asking for a review of your initial claim. We can also help you submit additional evidence and documentation not included in your original application.
- Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing. This is an official proceeding during which the Judge will review the evidence. We can represent you during the hearing, gather and submit additional proof of your eligibility, and present witnesses and case experts to testify. We can request that the hearing occur in person, online, or over the phone.
- Appeals Council review. If the ALJ does not rule in your favor, we can ask the Appeals Council to reexamine their decision.
- Federal court. We can file a case in the U.S. District Court and pursue your claim all the way to trial if necessary.
Contact The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine About Your SSD Claim Or Appeal
Contactthe Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today for a free consultation. Our Florida Social Security denials and reconsideration lawyers can help you seek benefits for no upfront or out-of-pocket fees. A team member is available 24/7 to help you get started.
We Can Help.