Social Security Disability Insurance is often the only way to continue collecting income if you suffer from a medical condition that prevents you from working. This Social Security disability benefits program is open to workers who earned enough work credits, and whose health condition prevents them from working and making more than the current substantial gainful activity limit.
If the Social Security Administration (SSA) denied your initial claim, a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) lawyer in Florida at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you appeal the SSA’s decision. We are intimately familiar with the process and will ensure you have a strong case before going before the Administrative Law Judge at your appeals hearing.
Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 for a free case evaluation with a member of our team.
Suffering from a Qualifying Impairment
To get SSDI benefits from the SSA, you will need to show you cannot continue to work because of a permanent or long-term injury or illness. This impairment must last at least a year or be expected to last a year or end in death. There are generally two ways to prove you suffer from a qualifying impairment:
Qualifying Based on The Blue Book of Impairment Listings
The Social Security Administration publishes a list of qualifying impairments and the criteria you must meet to get benefits based on that impairment. This list, known as the Blue Book outlines the medical evidence you need to prove each impairment. This varies depending on the entry, but often includes documents such as:
- X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and other medical imaging
- Clinical and laboratory testing results
- Treatment notes and outcomes
- Information about hospitalizations, including length and frequency
Qualifying Based on your Residual Functional Capacity
You can get SSDI without meeting the criteria in an impairment listing. This is possible by undergoing an evaluation to measure your residual functional capacity (RFC). Your RFC looks at your remaining abilities to determine:
- The type of work you can do
- How long you can work
- How often you can work
If this evaluation finds you cannot regularly work any job you might qualify for, you will likely receive an approval for benefits.
There are three ways the SSA can evaluate your RFC:
- Someone from Disability Determination Services assesses your abilities based on your claim and supporting information
- Your doctor evaluates your RFC based on your records and their knowledge of your case
- You see an independent doctor for an exam paid for by the SSA
Meeting Technical Qualifications for Social Security Disability Insurance
While meeting the SSA’s definition of “disabled” is often the most challenging part of getting SSDI benefits, is it not the only criteria you must meet. There are also several technical qualifications for this program. The local Social Security field office evaluates your technical qualifications before it forwards your application to Disability Determination Services.
This means you could receive a denial before anyone even looks at your medical qualifications. This is a technical denial. Some common reasons for technical denials include:
- There was an issue with your application, often a blank question or an incorrect answer
- You earned more than the substantial gainful activity limit
- You did not have the required number of work credits
- You did not have recent enough work credits
Fighting a Social Security Disability Insurance Denial in Florida
The SSA denies more than half of all SSDI claims it receives. This means you will likely need to navigate the appeals process to try to overturn the denial and get the benefits you deserve. You can file an appeal if the SSA:
- Denied your SSDI claim; or
- Approved you for SSDI, but you disagree with your benefit amount
We have helped hundreds of claimants file their appeals, representing them to the Administrative Law Judge and arguing to have their denial overturned. You only have a short period to file your appeal, so we recommend giving us a call if you are not sure what to do or if you want a Social Security disability attorney by your side through this process.
While we only have 60 days to take action, it can take months before your hearing date arrives and your case goes in front of the Administrative Law Judge. During this time, we will:
- Review your claim and get to the bottom of why the SSA denied your benefits
- Build a strong case to show you meet all qualifications
- Collect any necessary evidence to prove your qualifications
- Keep you up to date about the status of your case and what to expect
Once your hearing date arrives, we will present your case to the Administrative Law Judge and ask them to approve you for benefits. We will also attempt to recover back pay going back to your original application date, and any available retroactive benefits.
If we cannot get the approval we are looking for in your appeals hearing, we have options to continue the process. We will discuss the best options based on the facts of your case if this becomes necessary. The next steps include:
- Appeals Council review; and
- Asking for your case to go to federal court
Talk to a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Lawyer in Florida
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, our team of Florida Social Security Disability Insurance attorneys will review your claim for free. We can help you understand why the SSA denied your claim and guide you through the appeals process.
Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 to get started.