Glendale Social Security Disability Lawyer
Many Social Security Disability applications are denied, leaving applicants unsure of what to do next. Contacting an experienced lawyer is an important part of finding out how to continue pursuing benefits to help support yourself and your family.
The Glendale Social Security Disability attorneys at Phillips Law Group can review your claim in a free, no-obligation legal consultation. We can discuss how the appeal process works and what you can expect during each step, if you have a valid claim. Our firm has been helping Arizona injury victims for nearly 30 years and has recovered hundreds of millions in compensation on behalf of our clients. Jeff Phillips, our founding partner, is a member of the National Trial Lawyers Association – Top 100.
We do not charge any upfront fees for representing you, because our firm does not get paid unless our clients receive compensation. We are available any time by phone or by completing our Free Case Evaluation form.
Call us today at 1-800-706-3000.
Eligibility for Social Security Disability
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will not award you benefits unless your medical condition meets their definition of a disability.
Under this definition, someone may be considered disabled if he or she has a medical condition that is expected to last 12 months, has already lasted 12 months or more, or is expected to cause death. Applicants also need to show they are unable to do the work they used to do and cannot adjust to another type of work.
The SSA has a listing of medical conditions that qualify for benefits. Each listing has specific criteria and if you can prove your condition fits those criteria, you may be awarded benefits. You may still be able to obtain benefits if you have a condition that is not listed. However, you must show your disability meets the criteria in one of the listings.
Minors may be able to obtain benefits if they can prove they have a physical or mental impairment that will last a minimum of one year or lead to death and the condition causes a severe limitation in their activities.
Eligibility for benefits is a complex issue, which is why you could greatly benefit from talking to a licensed attorney from Phillips Law Group. We can help you determine if you may be eligible for benefits.
Schedule your free legal consultation with a Glendale Social Security Disability lawyer today. Ph: 1-800-706-3000
Programs You May Qualify For
There a few federal programs that provide benefits to people with disabilities who meet the criteria discussed above. Our knowledgeable attorneys can discuss your claim and determine the one that may be right for you.
Social Security Disability Insurance
When someone is diagnosed with a disability and can no longer work, he or she may qualify for this program. You must have a condition that meets the definition of a disability and have a certain number of work credits based on your age. Generally, applicants for SSDI benefits need a minimum of 40 work credits. However, the number of credits each applicant needs depends on his or her age.
Supplemental Security Income
This program is reserved for people with very little work history and limited assets – individuals with a qualifying disability cannot have more than $2,000 in assets while couples are limited to just $3,000 in assets.
However, there are many rules about what is counted as an asset. You may think you have more than the allowed amount of assets, but certain things are excluded. This is why we recommend contacting our Glendale Social Security Disability lawyers today for a free legal consultation.
Disabled Adult Child Benefits
If a child becomes disabled between ages 18 and 22, he or she may be eligible for benefits. The child cannot work or earn more than $1,220 per month. The child needs to have a disability that severely limits the activities he or she can perform, and the disability must last one year or be expected to result in death.
If the child worked and earned enough work credits, he or she may qualify for SSDI benefits. This is something to discuss with a qualified attorney.
Benefits for Widows and Widowers
If your spouse passed away, you may be able to obtain benefits if you at least 60 years old. If you have a qualifying disability, this requirement is lowered to 50 years of age. You will still need to prove you have a disability that meets SSA criteria. The amount widows or widowers receive may change when they reach 62 years of age.
You can call us any time, 24/7. 1-800-706-3000
Documents You Need to Complete an Application
If you think you may be eligible for benefits, our Glendale Social Security Disability lawyers recommend getting started on your application as soon as possible. Pursuing social security disability benefits takes longer than you may think, so it could be months before the SSA decides whether you are eligible.
You can get the process started by calling the SSA (toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213), completing an application online, or visiting the nearest Social Security office in your area.
Our attorneys can assist you with completing your application if you have a valid claim. This includes helping you to gather the following documents you will need to complete your application:
- Most recent W-2
- Records from hospitals, clinics, caseworkers, doctors and therapists
- Proof of your age
- Social Security number
- Summary of work history
- Medical test results
- Contact details for health care professionals who treated you and the dates you visited them
- Dosages of medications you are taking
- Proof of marriage, if your spouse is applying as well
- Proof of age for any family members who may be qualified
There are a lot of documents you will need, and the process can be confusing, which is why we strongly encourage you to consider seeking legal representation. Our Glendale Social Security Disability lawyers can review your situation in a free consultation. There is no upfront cost to hire our attorneys.
Reasons Applications are Often Denied
Many applications are denied, and some of the most common reasons why include:
The Applicant Did Not Follow His or Her Treatment Plan
It is important to show you are doing what you can to treat your disability to help establish that it is simply not working. If you are not getting treatment, the claims examiner may think your condition might improve. You need to show them that even with treatment, you cannot work.
Your Disability Will Only Last a Short Time
You may be severely disabled, but if it will only last a few months, you will not qualify for benefits. You must have a condition that will affect you for at least a year or result in your death.
In many cases, claims are denied because applicants simply did not provide enough evidence about the severity of their condition and how it is keeping them from working.
You need documentation from doctors, particularly your primary care doctor, stating you cannot work or detailing a modified work schedule. This is why it is important to discuss your disability with your doctor in great detail, including how it affects your ability to do your job.
Lack of Cooperation
When applicants do not provide the SSA with the documents they request, do not show up to medical exams, or do not comply in some other way, the application is probably going to be denied. Keep in contact with the SSA representative to ensure he or she has the information he or she needs.
You Were Denied in the Past
If you file a new claim after being denied, the claims examiner will find out about it. If you were denied once before, they may be more likely to deny your claim once again.
Lack of Work Credits
You cannot qualify for SSDI unless you have earned a sufficient number of work credits based on your age. You also need to have earned a certain number of work credits in the last several years. You can earn up to four work credits in a year – one work credit is equal to a certain amount of earnings.
You Make Too Much Money
It is possible to still work and obtain benefits, but you cannot earn more than the monthly maximum. You also cannot have assets that are valued over a certain amount if you are applying for SSI benefits.
Our Glendale Social Security Disability lawyers know the reasons applications are often denied. We know how to prepare an application and work with claims examiners to try to prevent an application from being rejected.
Our attorneys are here to help. Fill out our Free Case Evaluation form now.
What Should I Do if My Claim was Denied?
Our attorneys may be able to file an appeal of your claim if it was denied. However, you generally have just 60 days from the date you receive a decision letter in the mail. This is why it is important to contact us as soon as possible so we can find out if we can help you. We can manage each step of the appeals process, ensuring forms are filled out correctly and in detail.
There can be four stages of the appeals process, depending on how many times you appeal a decision:
- Request for reconsideration – This is the first thing you can do to try to overturn a denial. Another claims examiner who did not review your initial application reviews the application and can consider new evidence your attorney provides.
- Administrative law judge hearing – If the reconsideration does not result in your claim being approved, your attorney can ask for a hearing with an administrative law judge. Your attorney can help you prepare to be questioned by the judge about medical treatment, employment and other issues. There may also be expert witnesses called.
- Appeals council – The next step is to request a review by the Appeals Council. However, the council decides if it wants to hear the case. If it believes the decision by the judge was correct, it may deny your request.
- Federal court lawsuit – The last chance for overturning a denial is to file a federal lawsuit. However, your attorney will not be able to present new evidence or documents.
Our attorneys are prepared to guide you through each step of the appeals process, pursuing the benefits you may be eligible for.
Our phone lines are always open at 1-800-706-3000.
What to do if Benefits Were Cancelled?
Generally, the SSA will review your eligibility every so often to determine if your condition still meets disability criteria. These are called continuing disability reviews and they usually happen every three years. If your condition was placed in the category of “unlikely to ever improve,” the review may only happen once every seven years.
People are often determined to be ineligible for working too much, experiencing an improvement in his or her condition or going above asset limits.
If they find you are no longer eligible, they will generally pay benefits for two months after making that decision, and then payments will stop.
Fortunately, you have the right to file an appeal, like you would if an application was denied. It is important not to wait to do this – if you appeal within 10 days of receiving your termination letter, benefits can be continued while your appeal is being processed.
Phillips Law Group’s Glendale Social Security Disability lawyers have extensive knowledge of reasons benefits may be stopped and how to pursue an appeal.
Benefits for Injured Veterans
Veterans who have disabilities may also be able to obtain SSD benefits on top of their benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). However, you are not automatically eligible for SSD benefits if you are already receiving VA benefits. These are two separate programs with separate eligibility requirements.
The main difference between the two programs is you need to be totally disabled to receive SSD benefits. This is similar to having a VA disability rating of 70 percent or higher. However, you can receive VA benefits if you are just 10 percent disabled.
Veterans who apply for SSD benefits can take advantage of an accelerated application process, if they became disabled while on active military service on Oct. 1, 2001 or later. If you have a 70 percent rating from the VA, you are more likely to be approved for SSDI benefits. You can also continue to receive military pay without it affecting your eligibility for disability benefits.
Can I Receive Benefits if I am Still Able to Work?
You can still receive SSD benefits if you work, but you cannot earn more than a certain amount each month. In 2019, the income limits were as follows:
- Non-blind SSDI applicants cannot make more than $1,220 per month
- Blind SSDI applicants can make up to $2,040 per month in countable income
- SSI applicants who are single cannot earn more than $771 per month
- SSI applicants who are couples cannot earn more than $1,157 per month
Generally, people who are awarded disability benefits are only working part-time, but the SSA does not put a limit on the number of hours you can work per week. They are more concerned with how much you are earning from your work.
However, the SSA may take a closer look at hours worked for self-employed people because they can put in a lot of hours without getting paid. That is the nature of being self-employed.
Ticket to Work Program
The SSA has something called the Ticket to Work program that helps people receiving disability benefits obtain employment and try to become more self-sufficient.
There are certain restrictions on who is eligible for the program. For example, people who have a condition that is expected to improve and have not had a continuing disability review are not eligible. However, people who have received benefits for three years without a review are eligible.
When you take advantage of this program, the SSA cannot do a continuing disability review, as long as you meet your timely progress requirements.
If you are suffering from a disability but are still able to work, you should consider discussing the situation with our licensed Glendale Social Security Disability lawyers in a free consultation. There are complex rules on what gets counted as income and assets. We know how to review assets and income to determine potential eligibility for benefits.
When Do Applicants Usually Start Receiving Benefits?
It can take one or two months after an application is approved for people to begin receiving benefits. It will probably take a lot longer to receive back pay for the time between when you applied and when your claim was approved.
If you gave the SSA your bank account information, you can monitor your account for a deposit from the government.
If 90 days pass between the approval decision and your receipt of benefits, you may want to ask your lawyer to talk to the SSA. Our attorneys are prepared to advocate for you if there are unreasonable delays in your receipt of benefits. We know how important those benefits are to you and your family.
Call a Glendale Social Security Disability Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Appealing a denied Social Security Disability claim is not easy, which is why many people hire an experienced attorney. The Glendale Social Security Disability lawyers at our firm have detailed knowledge of the process and eligibility criteria.
Our licensed attorneys are ready to assist you right now. Call us for a free legal consultation to review your claim and discuss how we may be able to help. There are no upfront fees, because our firm takes cases on contingency, so we do not get paid unless you do first.
Our office in Phoenix is about a half-hour drive from the Glendale Social Security Office, but if you cannot come to us, we can also come to you.
Call Phillips Law Group at 1-800-706-3000.