Tucson Social Security Disability Attorneys
If you were denied Social Security Disability benefits, you may be able to overturn the decision by filing an appeal. It can be very beneficial to have a licensed attorney managing your appeal, as he or she can help to bolster your application and be your guide through the process.
The licensed attorneys at Phillips Law Group have been helping families throughout Arizona recover compensation for over 27 years. Our founder, Jeffrey Phillips, is a premiere member of the American Academy of Trial Attorneys and a member of the National Trial Lawyers Association – Top 100. He and his firms have successfully recovered over $750 million.
In a free consultation, you can discuss your unique situation with an experienced Tucson Social Security Disability lawyer and find out if we may able to help. We work on a contingency fee basis so you will not be charged any upfront fees. We only get paid if you do.
Free, no-obligation consultation. Ph: 1-800-706-3000.
Social Security Disability Eligibility Requirements
When you apply for Social Security Disability you must prove your situation satisfies certain requirements:
- You must have a disability that is expected to last a minimum of one year or be life-threatening.
- You cannot do the work you used to do or any other type of work.
- You are so physically limited from your disability that you cannot do basic work (standing, walking, sitting, lifting, remembering, etc.)
- Your disability or symptoms match one of the conditions listed in the Social Security Administration (SSA) Blue Book.
- You will not earn more than the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit for the year in which you are applying.
- Minors may be eligible if their disability severely limits them from participating in certain activities.
The Tucson Social Security Disability attorneys at the Phillips Law Group have extensive knowledge of eligibility requirements.
Unsure if you may be eligible? Schedule a free, confidential legal consultation. Phillips Law Group: 1-800-706-3000
What Do I Need to Apply?
Since your application could be denied for missing information or minor mistakes, it is important that you have everything you need before you start your application. Some of this documentation could include:
- Social Security number
- Birth certificate
- W-2 or copy of latest tax return if self-employed
- Notes and dates of your work history
- List of medications prescribed and dosages
- Medical records from any type of treatment you received for your disability (names and addresses of doctors and therapists and dates you saw them)
- Marriage certificate if your spouse is applying as well
You can apply for Social Security Disability benefits in three different ways. You can fill out the application online, call 1-800-772-1213 or you can visit your local Social Security office.
The experienced legal team at the Phillips Law Group is ready to help you obtain these documents if you are having difficulty doing so. If you hire us, we are ready to take on the process on your behalf so you can focus on dealing with your medical issues.
Our attorneys are here to help.
What Programs Can I Apply For?
There are four main programs you may be able to apply for, based on your income, assets, age and work history.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
If you have been working for several years and have been diagnosed with a disability and can no longer work, you may qualify. Generally, applicants need a minimum of 40 work credits to qualify. The amount of credits needed may vary depending on your age and past income. You must also have worked in five of the past 10 years. These requirements are in addition to proving you have a qualifying disability.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
This program was designed to financially assist children and adults that have very little work history and a limited amount of income and assets. For 2019 applications, you cannot have more than $2,000 in assets as a single individual and $3,000 in assets as a couple. However, there are many different rules about what is considered an asset and is not counted against the asset limit. This is one of the many things a Tucson Social Security Disability attorney may be able to sort out.
Disabled Adult Child Benefits
This program is available for people who become disabled between the ages of 18 and 22 and earn less than the SGA limit. The adult child must have a disability that severely limits his or her ability to participate in everyday activities. The parents of the adult child must be alive and if deceased, the parents had to have contributed to Social Security for a certain amount of time.
Widows and widowers over the age of 60 may be able to obtain these benefits. If you have a qualifying disability, you may be able to receive these benefits at the age of 50, however, the amount you receive may change once you turn 62 years of age. You must also have worked long enough and contributed to Social Security to qualify for these benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) can provide you with your work history so you can determine if you have reached the minimum requirements.
If you are unsure about your eligibility for any of these programs or if you need help with an existing application, feel free to contact a Tucson Social Security Disability lawyer at the Phillips Law Group today.
Phillips Law Group: 1-800-706-3000.
Why Was My Claim Denied?
While there may be numerous reasons why your claim may be denied, here are some of the most common:
Not Enough Evidence
Your claim may be denied due to not having enough medical documentation indicating you are unable to work and earn more than the SGA limit.
Your Disability is Temporary
If your disability is expected to last less than one year or not expected to lead to your death, then you may not qualify for Social Security Disability. You may want to look into pursuing short-term disability or workers’ compensation benefits.
Failure to Follow Doctor’s Orders
The SSA must decide whether you can continue to work. One of the things claims examiners look at is if you have been receiving treatment and attending regular follow up appointments with your doctor. If you have not been actively seeking treatment and trying to improve your condition, the SSA may be more likely to deny benefits.
Failure to Cooperate
The SSA can deny your claim for not cooperating with their requests. Sometimes the SSA will request for you to appear at a medical examination or provide updated documentation. If these requests are not met in a timely manner, your benefits may be denied or revoked. Your lawyer can help by staying in contact with the SSA to make sure they have everything they need.
Not Enough Work History
You will not qualify if you lack the required number of work credits. The number of work credits needed depends on your age. You can earn up to four work credits per year and each credit is equal to a designated amount of earnings. You also need to have worked at least 5 of the last 10 years.
Alcohol or Drug Addiction
If your disability was the result of drug or alcohol abuse, you may be denied. However, you may still be eligible if you already had a disability in addition to a drug or alcohol addiction. If you can prove that you have stopped using drugs and alcohol, you may have a better chance of recovering benefits.
Your Income or Assets Exceed the Limit
If your income exceeds the SGA limit ($1,200 per month for non-blind and $2,040 for the visually impaired in 2019), you will most likely be denied. If your assets exceed $2,000 as a single individual and $3,000 for a couple, you may not qualify for SSI benefits.
Phillips Law Group has been helping people fight for their rights for nearly three decades in the state of Arizona. Find out how we may be able to help you.
Call us anytime to set up your initial consultation. Ph: 1-800-706-3000.
How Do I File for an Appeal?
If your claim was denied, you generally have only 60 days to file an appeal. However, this is just the first stage of the process, if your first appeal is denied:
- Request for Reconsideration: This involves a review by a different claims examiner than the one who reviewed your application. The examiner will also review any new information provided by your or your attorney. You should expect a decision to be made within two or three months after filing this request.
- Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge: If your claim is denied, you may request a hearing by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Expert witnesses may be requested to verify your condition and you may be asked to provide any new evidence or documentation related to your disability. Our attorneys know how to prepare for these hearings and build a robust case for why you should be awarded benefits.
- Appeals Council Review: If your claim is denied by the ALJ, you can try to have your claim reviewed by the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council can decide not to review your case if they agree with the decision made by the ALJ. However, if they disagree with the ALJ’s decision, they can either approve, deny or have your case referred to a different ALJ for review.
- Federal Court Review: The last option for appealing is to file a lawsuit in the federal district court. In this stage your case will be reviewed by a federal judge, however, no new information can be submitted. The judge will review all of the previous evidence along with the transcript from your hearing with the ALJ, and a decision will be made.
While the appeals process can be lengthy, our Tucson Social Security Disability lawyers are prepared to guide you through every step.
How Long Does It Take to Receive Payments?
After your application is approved, it can generally take 30 to 60 days until you receive your first payment. If you are owed backpay, it will most likely take a bit longer to receive the funds that are owed to you for the period between when you first applied until the date your claim was approved.
If you have been waiting for more than 90 days, you may want to ask your lawyer to contact the SSA. We understand the importance of receiving benefits in a timely manner.
Call to Discuss Your Situation with a Tucson Social Security Disability Lawyer
Having trouble obtaining Social Security Disability benefits for your medical condition?
We may be able to help you file an appeal. The consultation with our attorneys is free of charge and you have no obligation after meeting with a licensed attorney from our firm. If you want to move forward, there are no upfront fees.
Our Tucson office is located at One South Church Avenue on the Twelfth Floor, which is only blocks away from the Tucson Convention Center.