Social Security Disability Lawyers Helping Clients Obtain Benefits in New York and Long Island
Are you unable to do your regular work because of a physical or mental impairment or a combination of both? If your condition is expected to keep you out of work for 12 months or more, or your condition is terminal, you may qualify for federal Social Security Disability benefits. You should talk to the experienced Social Security disability lawyers at Turley Redmond & Rosasco, L.L.P. about filing for benefits — or appealing your denied claim.
Social Security Disability can pay you a monthly benefit of over $2,600 per month, depending on how much you paid into the system during your working career. If you have dependents, your benefits could total more than $3,000 per month for your entire family. In addition, if you are granted Social Security Disability benefits, you are also entitled to receive the same Medicare health insurance that people age 65 and over receive from the federal government.
Turley Redmond & Rosasco is recognized as one of the leading Social Security Disability firms in the New York metropolitan area and Long Island. Our firm has a successful track record, securing over 10,000 claims in the last 25 years. We handle cases from initial applications to administrative law judge (ALJ) hearings and federal court appeals. Moreover, our attorneys are highly knowledgeable in Social Security Disability law, actively sharing their expertise by teaching courses at local law schools and delivering presentations to fellow attorneys at national conferences.
Our strategy is simple – unlike some other firms, we personalize your claim rather than treating you like a widget in a “disability factory.” This takes a little more work – but our results speak for themselves.
Contact us today for a free consultation at any of our Long Island locations — including Nassau County and Suffolk County. Our social security disability lawyers have secured benefits for all types of impairments, from back injuries to heart disease to mental illness.
Our Social Security Disability Lawyers Are with You Every Step Through the Disability Process
You will never be alone when you hire Turley Redmond & Rosasco, L.L.P. to help you win your disability claim. The Social Security Administration (SSA), just like the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is a massive federal bureaucracy that can easily intimidate claimants with disabilities. Thankfully, we have had great success guiding our clients through the “disability maze” for over 25 years throughout New York City and Long Island — with offices in Manhattan, Nassau County, Suffolk County, and more.
Unlike many law firms, we assist clients with the initial application for benefits. We carefully listen to clients and document their symptoms and treatment, then develop an appropriate strategy for the case. We have been successful at every level of the process:
- Initial claims
- Administrative law judge (ALJ) hearings
- Appeals Council review
- Federal court appeals
Our goal is to control the claims process by knowing more than the Social Security Administration and the ALJ assigned to your case. The key is diligent research (especially for rare or uncommon conditions), proper documentation and presentation of medical evidence, and sitting down with clients to prepare them to tell their story at the hearing. We break out the medical textbooks when we have to.
We treat every case individually, based upon the specific facts of the case. For example, we will prepare an application for a construction worker with a bad back much differently than we would for a bank manager with heart disease or a teacher with depression, or a nurse with cancer.
Qualifying Impairments for Social Security Disability Benefits
A diagnosis, or even a visible injury or impairment, is not enough to win Social Security Disability benefits. You must meet specific medical criteria and demonstrate that your medical condition causes serious physical or mental restrictions that prevent you from working. You must prove your disability claim. That’s where experienced Social Security Disability lawyers come in.
At Turley Redmond & Rosasco, L.L.P., we have a reputation for results even in hard-to-win categories of impairment, such as fibromyalgia and mental illness claims. Over the past 25 years, our social security lawyers have won benefits for more than 10,000 clients in disability claims, hearings, and appeals.
Our Social Security disability law firm represents individuals from Suffolk County, Nassau County, and the New York metropolitan area. Contact us today for a free consultation for assistance with your claim.
Success With Physical And Mental Impairment Claims
- Spinal disorders — Herniated disk, spinal stenosis, compression fractures, spinal fusion, artificial disk replacement, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis
- Mental illness — Depression and bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, ADD/ADHD
- Orthopedic disabilities — Shoulder surgery, hip surgery, knee surgery, hand surgery
- Heart disease — Congestive heart failure, ischemic heart disease, heart attack, enlarged heart, heart transplant, valve disease
- Neurological disorders — Stroke, seizures, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, myasthenia gravis, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Alzheimer’s, brain tumor, dementia
- Inflammatory disease and immune system — Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, HIV/AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Cancers — Breast, lung, prostate, stomach, pancreas, kidney, liver, testicular, ovarian, colon, skin, throat, esophagus, melanoma, bladder, brain, bone and blood (leukemia)
- Diabetes and complications — Diabetic neuropathy, diabetic retinopathy, brittle diabetes, thyroid disease, peripheral vascular disease, hypertension, morbid obesity
- Gastrointestinal — Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, diverticulitis, pancreatitis
- Lung ailments — Asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep apnea, asbestosis, black lung, lung cancer, sarcoidosis
- Liver and kidney disease — Hepatitis, chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, renal failure
- Skin disorders — Scleroderma, burns, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, melanoma
- Blood and lymph disorders — Sickle cell disease, anemia, hemophilia, Raynaud’s, lymphoma, polycythemia
- Addiction — Dual diagnosis, alcoholism, prescription painkillers, heroin
- Vision and hearing — Macular degeneration, vertigo, tinnitus, pierced eardrum
Social Security Disability Initial Applications And Hearings
We assist clients in “putting their best foot forward” on the initial application. However, the majority of claims are turned down even with legal representation at the initial level. We have a very high success rate at the next level — disability hearings before an administrative law judge (ALJ). This is the first time you will actually meet with a decision-maker “face to face” to explain why you can’t work. We will always send your judge a “pre-hearing legal memo” explaining why we think you should win your case so he/she is not surprised at the hearing.
Our New York and Long Island social security disability lawyers will fully prepare you for your testimony prior to this hearing and sit next to you during the hearing. At the hearing, we will explain to the administrative law judge (ALJ) our “theory of the case” and why you should be approved for benefits. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have experience appearing before almost every ALJ in the New York area and Long Island. Our attorneys have a solid reputation for integrity and legal knowledge before these judges. Unlike some firms that have a reputation as “disability factories,” we know how individual judges conduct hearings and what evidence they each require to approve claims. We tailor your claim to the individual judge hearing your case so you have the best chance of winning. If you fall within the small minority who lose at the ALJ hearing level, Turley Redmond & Rosasco, L.L.P., is fully prepared to appeal your case as far as the federal courts if necessary.
Let Our Social Security Disability Lawyers Help You Avoid Mistakes When Applying for SSDI
While it is not necessary to hire a disability attorney to apply for SSDI benefits, doing so can not only increase your chances of approval but can also keep you from making mistakes that can be fatal to your application. Below are some of the most common mistakes claimants make when applying for SSDI benefits. For more information about any topic presented here, please contact a Long Island Social Security disability law firm like ours.
1. Applying for SSDI Benefits While Receiving Unemployment Benefits
There is no strict prohibition on applying for unemployment benefits while you wait to receive a decision on your SSDI claim. However, it can significantly complicate matters. When you apply for SSDI benefits, you are telling the SSA that you are disabled and unable to work for at least 12 months. However, when you apply for unemployment benefits, you certify that you are able and willing to work should you find the appropriate position. Thus, while not necessarily fatal to a disability claim, your certification to your state unemployment board that you can work may harm your case at the SSA.
2. Earning Too Much Money
The SSA considers individuals disabled and not able to work if their disability prevents them from pursuing “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). If your monthly income is below the threshold dollar amount the SSA considers SGA, you may continue working. However, if your income is more than the threshold, you may want to consider quitting your job. As of the date of publication, the SGA amount for non-blind individuals is $1,260 per month.
3. Discontinuing Medical Treatment
Eligibility determinations for SSDI benefits require a great deal of documentation, which comes mainly in the form of medical evidence. If you have discontinued treatment with your physician, your medical documentation may be too old for the SSA to make an accurate determination. For some conditions, the SSA also requires evidence that your symptoms have not improved despite following your treatment plan, and such failure could harm your eligibility.
4. Not Including Psychological Illnesses
When evaluating your eligibility for benefits, the SSA wants a complete and accurate picture of your health, and that includes your mental health. While mild to moderate mental illnesses — such as depression or anxiety — on their own may not be enough to qualify for benefits, they can strengthen your claim when considered alongside your physical injuries or illnesses.
5. Not Appealing a Denied Claim
Applying for SSDI benefits is a long, drawn-out process that often involves multiple levels of review. Most SSDI applications are denied at the initial level of application, but the approval rate rises significantly for those who appeal their denials. If your initial claim is denied, it does not mean that you cannot receive SSDI benefits — only that it may take more effort.
The Importance of Legal Representation in Social Security Disability Claims
Hiring an experienced Social Security disability lawyer is one of the best moves you can make when filing a Social Security disability claim. While being represented by an attorney is not required to file a claim, doing so can significantly increase your chances of success in obtaining benefits. This is because Social Security disability lawyers know the filing process inside and out and forward and backward.
You Have a Right to Representation
Social Security disability claimants have a right to representation in their dealings with the Social Security Administration (SSA). A representative can be an attorney or a non-attorney, although attorney representatives generally are preferable. Once you name a representative, the SSA will work with your representative on the same basis as it would work with you,
Your representative can act on your behalf by:
- Obtaining information from your SSA file
- Helping you obtain medical records or other information that can support your claim
- Attending interviews, conferences, and/or hearings with you or on your behalf
- Requesting a reconsideration, hearing, or Appeals Council review of your claim if it is denied
- Preparing you and your witnesses for hearing and questioning other witnesses
If your representative charges a fee for their services, the SSA must approve the fee arrangement before any fees may be collected.
Represented Claimants Obtain Benefits Earlier
Legal representation in Social Security disability claims has demonstrated benefits. A 2021 study commissioned by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that legal representation increased the probability of obtaining an award at the initial determination stage by 23 percentage points, while it reduced the probability of appeals by 60 percentage points. Obtaining benefits at the initial determination stage rather than at the appeal stage thus reduced the total case processing time by nearly one year.
What Social Security Disability Lawyers Do to Help Your Claim
As your authorized legal representative, your Social Security disability lawyer will handle every step of the claims process with the benefit of years of experience and hindsight. This includes:
- Completing your application: The initial application for Social Security disability benefits can seem daunting, given the amount of information and documentation the SSA requires. An experienced attorney can help you complete and file your application fully, accurately, and on time.
- Helping you meet the SSA’s definition of “disability”: The SSA defines “disability” very narrowly. To prove a disability, the claimant must present evidence that shows that their condition meets or exceeds the requirements listed in the Blue Book. An attorney can help you obtain the necessary documentation to establish that your disability meets the SSA’s requirements.
- Handling hearings and appeals: Experienced attorneys are likely to be familiar with the Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) who handle Social Security disability hearings in a particular area. As such, they know how each ALJ likes to conduct hearings, whether they have particular expertise about certain medical conditions, and what they tend to be “sticklers” about.
- Handling adverse information: Not every fact in your medical records will necessarily be in your favor. For example, a doctor at one point may have indicated that they believed you were exaggerating your symptoms. An attorney will know how to handle this kind of information to minimize the damage it may cause to your claim.
- Cross-examining vocational experts: Vocational experts (VEs) are hired by the SSA to testify at hearings as to whether they think a claimant meets the SSA’s qualifications. Their testimony carries significant weight in these hearings, and their conclusions may not always be in your favor. Your attorney can cross-examine the VE to cast doubt on or even reverse their adverse opinions.
No matter what issue comes up during your claims process, an experienced Social Security disability lawyer likely will have seen it before and will know the best way to handle it.
Appeals Process for Denied Social Security Disability Claims
Few Social Security disability claims are allowed at the initial determination stage. As such, most claimants will need to go through at least one level of the appeals process before successfully obtaining benefits. The good news is that experienced Social Security disability lawyers can shepherd your case through each stage of the appeals process to maximize your chances of obtaining benefits.
The first step of the appeals process, if your claim is denied, is to request a reconsideration. A reconsideration is an additional review of your initial claim by a person who did not take part in the first determination. The SSA will review your claim, along with any new evidence you submit, and make a fresh determination. You may request reconsideration for both medical denials and non-medical denials (e.g., insufficient work credits).
If your claim is denied after reconsideration, you may request review of your claim by an ALJ. A hearing is a quasi-judicial proceeding wherein the ALJ reviews the evidence and questions you and other witnesses. If the purpose of the hearing is to determine whether you are disabled, the ALJ may invite a VE to testify. You and your attorney will have the opportunity to question any additional witnesses who testify at the hearing.
If the ALJ denies your claim at your hearing, you may then appeal the denial to the SSA’s Appeals Council. The Appeals Council will review the ALJ’s decision to determine whether they committed any errors. It may then either decide the case itself or return the case to the ALJ for further review. Keep in mind that the Appeals Council can review and overturn any issues the ALJ decided — including those that were decided in your favor.
Federal Court Review
If you are dissatisfied with the result of the Appeals Council’s review, you may file a civil action against the SSA in a U.S. district court. This action moves your claim out of the SSA and into the federal court system. The district court will review the SSA’s decision making process to determine its compliance with federal law and, if it finds errors, send your claim back to the SSA for reconsideration.
Our Social Security Disability Lawyers Have the Experience and Commitment to Win Your Case
Our lawyers are familiar with a wide range of Social Security Disability impairments and the medical criteria under the Social Security Administration listings. We are also knowledgeable about alternative criteria, such as the Medical-Vocational Guidelines, and special consideration for claimants age 50 or older. The key to our success is working closely with clients and paying attention to the details that can make or break a particular case.
Call the experienced social security disability lawyers of Turley Redmond & Rosasco toll-free at 800-671-4927 or contact us online. We offer a free consultation with convenient office locations in Nassau County and Suffolk County.