If a disability prohibits you from working, Social Security disability can help you survive financially until you get back on your feet.
Unfortunately, many people with legitimate disabilities struggle to get their disability benefits approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA regularly denies original disability claims as well as appeals. A Social Security disability lawyer in West Palm Beach, FL at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine understand how to navigate this complex and frustrating process to give you the best possible chance of getting your benefits approved.
Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help you get the disability benefits you deserve.
How to Qualify for Social Security Disability
The process for disability qualification can vary depending on the type of benefits for which you qualify.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Each week that you work, you pay into and accumulate eligibility credits for SSDI. Once you accumulate the necessary credits to qualify, you can apply for SSDI as a worker, divorced or widowed spouse, or an adult child.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
If you have not contributed sufficiently or accumulated the necessary credits for SSDI, you may qualify for SSI. You can attempt to qualify for SSI if you have a disability (as defined by the SSA) or if you are age 65 or older.
Disability Guidelines of SSA
If you have a condition or impairment (mental or physical) that prevents you from working, you may have a valid claim for disability. However, the SSA requires that your impairment be provable based on their standards. The impairment must either be life-threatening or has kept (or will keep) you out of work for at least 12 months. If your injury occurred at work you may be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits.
SSA publishes a list of established, acceptable impairments — such as traumatic brain injury — in a publication. If the publication lists your condition, application and approval can be easier. If it does not list your condition, the SSA can still approve your claim, as long as you present the required proof.
Documenting a Social Security Disability Claim
If you qualify to receive SSDI or SSI, you can submit your claim to the SSA. However, your claim must adhere to the SSA standards for format and content.
An incomplete or incorrect claim submission is the reason most applicants receive a denial of disability benefits from the SSA. Having a Social Security disability lawyer in West Palm Beach, FL who understands how to construct an acceptable claim submission will help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
A medical evaluation — known as the Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment — will form the foundation of your claim. However, depending on the nature of your disability, a complete claim requires a wealth of supporting documentation.
Some of the factors that can affect your disability claim approval include:
Inexperienced doctors: If the doctor you see for your RFC assessment lacks specific experience in preparing this document or conducting assessments for Social Security disability claim, they may not provide you with what you need for approval. This will lead to the denial of your claim.
Unqualified doctor: The SSA imposes specific standards of qualification for the doctor or medical professional performing the RFC. If your doctor lacks those qualifications, the SSA can use this as a basis to deny your claim.
Incorrect claim format: To obtain SSA approval, you must submit your claim in accordance with their formatting requirements. Failure to comply will lead to a denial of your claim.
Submitting incomplete medical records: The medical records required by the SSA depend on the nature of your impairment. However, if you fail to submit everything they require, they will deny your claim.
Submitting extraneous medical records: If you submit more records or information than the SSA requires, it can also lead to a denial of your claim. If the SSA can site other conditions or factors that could contribute to your inability to work, they may use this as grounds to deny your disability benefits claim.
A Social Security Disability Lawyer Understands the System
Understanding and providing what the SSA needs to approve your claim requires an extensive background and knowledge of the system. Here at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, our legal team routinely assists clients in getting their disability benefits approved – even after the SSA denies your claim.
Our team will assemble the appropriate records for your claim and ensure you see a doctor who is qualified by SSA standards and knowledgeable about conducting and reporting the RFC examination.
In addition to the RFC report, we may include other medical documentation such as:
- Doctor treatment reports
- Surgery reports
- Lab test reports
- Imaging test reports
- Treatment history
- Medication history
- Therapy reports
- Treatment plans
Once we submit your claim, the SSA may contact you to request additional documentation. They may also demand that you report for a compulsory medical exam or CME. Because the SSA sometimes uses this as a reason to deny your claim, contact our office immediately before you respond or report for a CME exam.
Appealing a Denied Social Security Disability Claim
Our legal team will help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case. However, the SSA initially denies a large portion of Social Security disability claims. If you received a denial, we can help.
You only have 60 days to file your Request for Reconsideration (RfR). Consequently, you must contact us as soon as possible upon receiving your denial. We will prepare your RfR based on the cited reason for the denial and include any additional documentation requested.
Requesting An Administrative Hearing
If you receive a denial of your RfR, we can request an administrative hearing, where a judge can grant approval of SSA disability claims. If the judge denies your claim at the hearing, we can appeal his or her decision to an entity known as the Appeals Council.
If the Appeals Council fails to overturn the administrative law judge’s ruling, we have one final option, which involves appealing to the Federal Court.
As you can see, we have multiple options for getting your SSA disability claim approved.
Free Case Review From a Social Security Disability Lawyer in West Palm Beach FL
Applying — and getting approval for — Social Security disability (SSI or SSDI) requires extensive knowledge and a thorough understanding of how this exhausting process works.
At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, we will work tirelessly on your behalf to get you the disability benefits you need. Even if you already received a denial of your claim, our legal team can help.
To schedule a no-cost consultation with a Social Security disability lawyer in West Palm Beach, FL contact us today at 1-800-747-3733.