How an Attorney Can Help You Apply for SSI & SSDI Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is an enormous government agency that processes millions of Social Security Income (SSI) and Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) applications every year. To the SSA, you are literally a number. Turley Redmond & Rosasco puts a name and story to that number to prove that you are eligible for SSD benefits. Each social security lawyer at our firm has helped people with disabilities file successful SSD applications in New York. Together, we have close to 30 years of experience with social security disability claims and know what you need to obtain your rightful benefits as quickly as possible.
The SSD Application Process
While you concentrate on overcoming the new challenges that can arise from living with a disability, an experienced social security lawyer at our firm will help you get the benefits you need to move forward. During your free consultation, we analyze whether you are eligible for SSD and other benefits, then help you collect evidence of your medical condition, income, and work history.
We also guide you through the SSD application process, outlined below:
- File a claim with the appropriate local Social Security Administration field office in the New York region
- After verifying information, the local SSA field office sends your application to the Disability Determination Service (DDS), a federally funded New York state agency tasked with determining whether your medical condition meets the SSA definition of disability
- The DDS reviews the doctors’ reports, hospital treatments, diagnostic test results, medications and other medical evidence
- If the DDS requires additional medical information, the agency arranges for a consultative examination
- Upon deciding that you are disabled, the DDS sends your file back to the SSA field office to complete your eligibility determination
- The SSA calculates your benefit amount and pays you
- If the DDS finds you are not disabled, your file is maintained at the SSA and our attorneys will appeal the decision
What Do You Need to Apply for SSD?
Evidence of your income and disability must accompany your SSD application. To determine your eligibility and file your application, our social security disability lawyers help you produce documents pertaining to:
- Qualifying medical conditions
- Doctors, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and medications
- Current and past two years of employment
- Other sources of income
- Job history and duties for the past 15 years
- Education and training
- Military service
- Spouse and dependent children
- U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
A social security lawyer at our firm will provide you with a complete checklist of what you need and help you obtain these important documents. We meticulously gather and organize compelling evidence to support your application.
Apply Immediately to Avoid Delays in Receipt of Your SSD Benefits
We understand the importance of receiving your benefits as soon as possible. Our attorneys work quickly to file a successful SSD application backed by sufficient evidence. However, your SSD benefits do not kick in until six months after your disability began. Your waiting period starts at the first full month after your disability, which can further extend the delay by precious weeks. We urge you to apply for SSD benefits immediately so you can receive your first payment as soon as the SSA rules allow.
Top 6 SSD Application Mistakes That Can Result in Benefit Delays or Denial
Unfortunately, Social Security disability applications are often denied because of a simple, avoidable application error. Below are the top six reasons that clients have retained us after their application was denied:
- Continuing to work
The Social Security Administration (SSA) sets a maximum limit to the amount of income you can earn to qualify for SSD. In 2017, your maximum earnings could not exceed $1,170 per month. This limit increases only slightly every year.
- Accepting your settlement outright
Your personal injury settlement is considered income and can disqualify you for SSD benefits. Consider using a legal mechanism that allows you to recover insurance or litigation damages without jeopardizing your SSD eligibility. For example, deposit funds into a special needs trust, which you can use for other expenses besides food and lodging.
- Not following your treatment plan
You want your health to improve, but sticking with your treatment plan can pose a challenge. In addition to affecting your recovery, failing to abide by your doctor’s recommendations can also jeopardize your SSD eligibility.
- Not submitting adequate medical evidence
You must prove that 1) your medical condition is severe enough to interfere with your ability to perform your job or adapt to other professions and 2) that the condition has lasted or will last more than a year or is terminal. If you fail to submit compelling medical evidence, you may be required to undergo a consultative exam, which can hold up your application, or you may be denied benefits.
- Missing the appeals deadline
Application denial is not the final say. You may just be lacking a minor piece of evidence or the SSA may have made the wrong decision. In fact, the SSA denies about 70 percent of initial claims, many of which are approved on appeal. However, you must file your appeal within 60 days of receiving the denial letter. If you miss that deadline, you have to start the process over again.
- Failing to obtain experienced representation
A social security lawyer can help you avoid mistakes that cost you time and additional money. Our firm helps you prepare a successful application so you can obtain your rightful benefits as soon as possible.
Learn How a Social Security Lawyer Can Successfully Guide You Through the SSD Application Process
Obtaining Social Security disability benefits involves a rigorous application process. At Turley Redmond & Rosasco, we offer you a free consultation so you can learn more about the steps required in applying for SSD and how we can help you collect your rightful benefits. Contact us today to speak with an experienced social security lawyer. We assist clients throughout New York and Nassau and Suffolk County. Our office locations include Shirley, Ronkonkoma, Riverhead, Garden City, and New York City.