Social Security Disability (SSD) gives disabled Jacksonville residents a lifeline when they cannot return to work full time. However, obtaining approval for Social Security benefits can be a challenge.
It’s important to know that although the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies a large percentage of SSD claims, applicants can appeal and eventually be approved.
If you are considering applying for SSD, or have applied and notified of denial, a Social Security disability lawyer can help. At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we assist clients with both their initial SSD application and with the appeals process, if SSA denies the initial request.
We provide a free, no-obligation case evaluation for anyone in Jacksonville, Florida. Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 for help getting the benefits you deserve.
Social Security Administration Disability Standards
The SSA defines disability as lacking the ability to engage in gainful work activity due to a medically determinable (provable) physical or mental impairment.
To qualify for disability, you must submit a comprehensive claim that proves your disability qualifies under the SSA standards. Your disability must either be severe or life-threatening enough to preclude you from working for 12 months or more.
The SSA maintains a list called the Disability Evaluation under Social Security. The general categories of impairments listed by SSA are:
- Musculoskeletal system
- Special senses and speech
- Respiratory disorders
- Cardiovascular system
- Digestive system
- Genitourinary disorders
- Hematological disorders
- Skin disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Congenital disorders
- Neurological disorders
- Mental disorders
- Immune system disorders
In addition to considering the condition responsible for your disability, SSA will also take into account age, experience, education, and other related factors.
Applying for Social Security Disability
The process and requirements for applying for Social Security Disability depend on whether you need Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI pays disability benefits to disabled workers, disabled widowed or divorced spouses, and disabled adult children. You pay into the SSDI fund every week you work, through payroll taxes (FICA), earning credits toward eligibility. Once you accumulate the minimum number of credits, you are eligible to collect this benefit if you become disabled.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
The SSI program is for individuals who did not accumulate sufficient credits to earn SSDI eligibility and who have few or no assets. To receive this benefit, you must be at least 65 or meet the SSA standards for disability.
Your claim for SSA must comply with the required format, and it must provide specific and complete proof of your disability. Supporting statements from your doctor must illustrate not only that you have the condition in question but the way in which that condition prevents you from working. This report, known as the residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment, must meet specific and exacting standards. And, for SSA to approve your claim, the doctor performing the RFC assessment must meet the SSA’s required qualifications.
After evaluating your claim, SSA may request that you see a doctor of their choosing for a compulsory medical examination, known as a CME. Do not attend a CME exam until you talk to us first, as this can lead to a denial of your claim.
Handling a Social Security Disability Claim Denial & Appeal
The SSA routinely denies claims because they are incomplete, because the documentation does not support your claim or because your doctor is unqualified.
Your initial claim, when prepared by our legal team, has an increased chance of approval because we know what SSA wants to see. However, it is not unusual for them to deny a claim.
If you do receive a denial, we must get to work on an appeal immediately because SSA only allows 60 days to file what is known as a Request for Reconsideration.
We will determine our strategy for appeal based on the reason for SSA’s denial and submit the Request for Reconsideration along with any additional materials necessary.
If SSA denies your Request for Reconsideration, we will proceed to the next level of appeal and request a hearing before an administrative law judge. At this stage, we frequently prevail for our clients. If not, we will appeal your case to the Appeals Council, who will review the judge’s decision. If the Appeals Council denies your claim, we can file an appeal in Federal Court.
Whatever steps may be necessary to pursue your social security disability award, our legal team will work diligently and exhaust every possible option available to obtain the results you deserve.
How a Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help
Having a Social Security Disability lawyer can help you avoid the pitfalls that will likely lead to a denial of your claim. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can put our knowledge and experience to work for you, handling every aspect of your application to improve your chances of approval.
We will start by gathering your medical records and documentation to substantiate your claim. Some of the medical records we will assemble include:
- Medical test results
- Imaging scans
- Lab reports
- Medical treatment and surgery reports
- Medication history
- Proposed treatment plans.
We may refer you to a doctor who is best-suited to evaluate your condition and perform your assessment. If your doctor will provide this documentation, we will provide the necessary forms, format, and guidance.
Meet for Free with a Social Security Disability Lawyer in Jacksonville FL
Trying to navigate the SSA disability claim process alone can be confusing and exhausting. Our lawyers understand this complicated process and how to structure your claim to meet the SSA’s requirements.
Remember that denial does not necessarily reflect on the validity of your claim. We offer a complimentary case evaluation, to help you decide the best course of action for you. Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at 1-800-747-3733 to schedule your free appointment with a social security disability lawyer.