Yuma Social Security Disability Lawyer
Social Security Disability applications are often denied, which can have a huge impact on the applicant and his or her dependents who rely on these benefits. When this happens, discussing with an experienced lawyer is a very important step to take.
For over 27 years, the experienced legal team at Phillips Law Group has been providing legal counsel to residents throughout Yuma and the state of Arizona. We can guide you through the application process or help you appeal a denied disability claim to help you pursue the benefits you need.
Our Yuma Social Security Disability lawyers are standing by to review your claim. We offer free consultations and there are no upfront fees. If we represent you, you only pay us if we help you recover compensation. Our firm can be contacted any time, night or day, via phone, live chat or online contact form.
Give us a call at 1-800-706-3000.
What Are The Eligibility Requirements?
You must have a disabling condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of a disability, which says a person may be considered disabled if he or she:
- Cannot perform the work he or she did previously due to a disabling condition
- Cannot adapt to other work due to this condition
- Has a disabling condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death
Children under the age of 18 suffering from a disabling condition that creates severe functional limitations and is expected to result in death or last at least one year may also be eligible for disability benefits.
The SSA has a list of disabling conditions that often qualify for disability benefits. If you have one of the disabling conditions mentioned and your symptoms fit the criteria listed, you may be eligible for benefits. However, even if your condition is unlisted, you may qualify if your symptoms fit the criteria for one of the conditions on the list.
If you are considering applying for disability benefits, we recommend reaching out to a Yuma Social Security Disability lawyer from our firm for a free consultation.
Call 1-800-706-3000 now for our free consultation.
Four Main Social Security Disability Programs
There are four main programs people with disabilities may be eligible for, depending on their individual condition and circumstances.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI benefits are available to individuals whose disabling condition has prevented them from working. To be eligible for these benefits, you must have enough work credits (typically at least 40 work credits) and have worked at least five out of the last 10 years before becoming disabled.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI benefits are available for disabled children and adults who need financial assistance because they have little to no work history. Similar to SSDI benefits, you must show that your disabling condition is preventing you from being able to work.
Disabled Widow and Widower Benefits
These benefits are available to widows/widowers over the age of 60 who lost their spouse within the last seven years. The age may be lowered to age 50 if the surviving spouse is also suffering from a qualified disabling condition. To obtain these disability benefits, you must provide the SSA with your spouse’s death and birth certificates, you and your deceased spouse’ Social Security number, and most recent tax return.
Disabled Adult Child Benefits
These benefits are available to individuals over the age of 18 who develop a disability before turning 22 years of age. Parents of the disabled adult child must be alive and eligible for disability benefits. If the parents are deceased, they must have contributed to Social Security in some form for a certain time period.
If you have any questions about the application process or are unsure if you qualify for disability benefits, do not hesitate to reach out to our legal team to review your claim and help you decide your next steps.
How Our Firm Can Help with Your Application
Our legal team at Phillips Law Group is prepared to assist with your SSD application. We have many years of combined experience handling disability claims on behalf of our clients and are well-versed in the reasons why disability claims are often denied:
Lack of Medical Evidence
You must show that your disabling condition is long-term and prevents you from being able to work. If you have a case and decide to move forward, our lawyers can help collect detailed evidence of your disability and how it affects your life.
Failure to Follow Treatment Plan
Applicants need proof they have been consistently getting treatment for their condition. This helps make it easier for claims examiners to determine whether the illness is preventing you from working.
Income Exceeds Allowable Limits
If you earn more than a certain amount per month, you may be denied disability benefits. This limit is known as the substantial gainful activity allowance. For 2019, applicants cannot be earning over $1,220 per month or no more than $2,040 if the applicant is blind.
Using Drugs or Alcohol
If your disabling condition is the result of drug or alcohol abuse, your SDD application may also be denied. However, you may still be eligible for disability benefits if you have a disabling condition in addition to a drug or alcohol addiction. Claim examiners and judges are more likely to approve your application if you have recently stopped using drugs or alcohol. However, lying about quitting may hurt your credibility with the SSA.
Failure to Cooperate With the SSA
It is important that you cooperate with the SSA throughout the application process. Failing to keep in regular contact with the claim examiner, provide requested information or appear at scheduled medical exams could result in a denial.
The Yuma Social Security Disability attorneys at our firm understand how unique every application. We can help make sure your SSD application provides the kind of detail examiners are looking for.
Schedule your free and confidential consultation. There is no risk in calling us.
Applying for Disability Benefits in Yuma
If you are unable to work due to a disabling condition you have a few options for submitting an application:
- Submitting your SSD application online
- Speaking with an SSD representative over the phone
- Visiting your local Social Security field office
The SSA offers Disability Starter Kits for disabled adults and children under the age of 18. Both kits contain a fact sheet that answers common questions about the application process, a checklist of documents and other important information the SSA will ask for, and a worksheet to help gather and organize the information needed.
Some of the information you will need to apply for benefits includes:
- Social Security number and proof of birth
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful resident status
- Contact details of doctors, hospitals or other facilities who have treated your disabling condition
- Medical evidence such as medical records, doctors’ reports and test results
- Details about your work history that support an earned income
- List of prescription medications you are currently taking
- Most recent tax information, including W-2 forms or self-employed tax returns
Gathering this information can be difficult to handle on your own. This is why it is generally a wise decision to discuss your disability claim with our experienced legal team. We have a proven track record of obtaining millions in compensation on behalf of our clients. Read some of the reviews by our satisfied clients.
What to Do If Your Disability Claim Is Denied
If your SSD application is denied, you have the right to appeal. Your request must be made in writing no more than 60 days from the date you received the SSA’s decision letter. Our lawyers at Phillips Law Group may be able to help you throughout the four levels of the appeals process:
- Reconsideration for Reconsideration – A reconsideration request involves your disability claim being reviewed by someone one other than the claims examiner who initially denied your application. The claims examiner will go over all previously submitted documentation, as well as any new evidence submitted. Decisions are typically made between two to three months after filing the request.
- Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge – If your disability claim is denied again, you may ask for a hearing by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). You could be asked to provide new evidence and additional documentation. A lawyer from our firm can help prepare you for questions the ALJ is likely to ask about your disabling condition. Generally, a written decision will be available within 30 days from the date of the hearing.
- Appeals Council Review – If the judge does not grant you benefits, you may ask for the SSA’s Appeals Council to review your disability claim. The Appeals Council will make a determination on its own to either deny or approve your application or may refer it back to another ALJ to review it.
- Federal Court Review – The last chance to overturn a denial is to file a lawsuit in federal district court. At this stage, no new evidence or documentation can be submitted. The federal judge will review everything that has been submitted, including the transcript provided by the ALJ to make a decision in your case.
The appeals process can be both complex and time consuming, so it is important that you have qualified legal representation to guide you through the process and help build a strong case.
Contact a Yuma Social Security Disability lawyer to learn more: 1-800-706-3000.