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Social Security Disability Lawyers
Social Security Disability Lawyers help disabled people receive the disability benefits they deserve. Suffering from a disability can be extremely painful, stressful, and frustrating to say the least. And, when someone is unable to work due to a disability, the last thing they should have to worry about is receiving social security disability benefits.
Unfortunately, many people who are entitled to social security disability benefits are denied. When someone is denied disability benefits, the help of a knowledgeable and experienced social security disability lawyer is key to obtaining a favorable outcome.
When disability benefits are denied, Gold, Khourey & Turak’s social security disability lawyers can help. If you’ve been denied disability benefits in West Virginia or Ohio, our social security disability lawyers have the skill necessary to get you the benefits you deserve. Even more, GKT’s social security disability lawyers know how stressful the social security disability appeals process can be. That’s why our disability lawyers do everything possible to make the appeals process as stress-free as possible.
If you’ve been denied disability benefits, call GKT’s social security disability attorneys today. Whether you’re in West Virginia or Ohio, our social security disability lawyers are available to provide immediate help. Consultations are always free and without obligation, and there are never any upfront costs or fee charges unless we win your case. Contact our social security disability lawyers at any time by calling (304) 845-9750, by live chat 24/7 at GKT.com, or online.
About Gold, Khourey & Turak Social Security Disability Lawyers
Since 1978, GKT’s disability attorneys have successfully represented thousands of people who have been denied social security benefits. Our disability attorneys work tirelessly on behalf of their clients to obtain the disability benefits they deserve.
However, GKT’s social security disability lawyers know that success is measured in more than one way. While the results of a social security disability appeal are always our attorneys’ number one focus, our social security disability lawyers know that the appeals process can be fraught with anxiety and uncertainty. That’s why GKT’s social security disability attorneys also measure success by how satisfied our clients are with the overall process.
After all, our clients aren’t just clients—they’re our neighbors, friends, and family.
Contact a GKT social security disability lawyer today to schedule a free consultation!
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Versus Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits
The U.S. Social Security Administration administers two separate but related disability benefit programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Incomes (SSI).
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Social Security Disability Insurance, more commonly referred to as SSDI, provides benefits to disabled people and their families as long as they worked long enough and recently enough.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income, more commonly referred to as SSI, provides benefits to disabled people, including children, who do not meet work-related requirements, but meet certain income or resource thresholds.
Thus, while both SSDI and SSI provide disability benefits, their goals are different. SSDI is a program disabled people qualify for based on their work history. SSI is a program disabled people qualify for based on their income or access to other resources.
What is a Social Security Disability?
Determining whether a medical condition qualifies as a disability may seem like an easy task. However, the Social Security Administration requires that a person applying for SSDI or SSI must show that they are disabled according to their 5-step process:
Step 1: Are You Working?
Simply stated, if you’re working full time, you’re not disabled. However, if you’re not working or working and earn less than a certain, average monthly income (part-time work), you may still be considered disabled for social security purposes.
Step 2: Is Your Medical Condition “Severe”?
The term “severe” is defined by the Social Security Administration and generally means that your medical condition significantly limits your normal work activities for at least 12 continuous months.
Normal work activities may include, among other things:
- Mental abilities such as memory, understanding, and socialization
Step 3: Is Your Medical Condition on the Approved List?
The Social Security Administration maintains a list of medical conditions it considers severe enough that if you meet the criteria, they prevent substantial gainful employment. While the list is voluminous, it is split among the following categories:
- Musculoskeletal Disorders (joint abnormalities, non-healing fractures, etc.)
- Special Senses and Speech (loss of vision, loss of speech, etc.)
- Respiratory Disorders (cystic fibrosis, chronic pulmonary hypertension, etc.)
- Cardiovascular Disorders (ischemic heart disease, congenital heart disease, etc.)
- Digestive Disorders (chronic liver disease, IBD, etc.)
- Genitourinary Disorders (chronic kidney disease, nephrotic syndrome, etc.)
- Hematological Disorders (bone marrow disorders, thrombosis and hemostasis disorders, etc.)
- Skin Disorders (dermatitis, photosensitivity disorders, ichthyosis, etc.)
- Endocrine Disorders (thyroid and pituitary disorders, diabetes, hyperglycemia, etc.)
- Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems (Down syndrome, etc.)
- Neurological Disorders (Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, etc.)
- Mental Disorders (anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders, depressive, bipolar, and related disorders, etc.)
- Cancer (leukemia, multiple myeloma, soft tissue sarcoma, etc.)
- Immune System Disorders (arthritis, vasculitis, sclerosis, etc.)
It’s important to note that just because a person suffers from any of the above illnesses, disorders, or diseases does not mean that they automatically qualify for social security disability benefits. The condition must meet all the criteria under the listing and be severe enough to prevent significant gainful employment. An experienced social security disability lawyer can help determine whether a condition meets these conditions.
If your medical condition does not appear on the Social Security Administration’s list, that does not mean you cannot qualify for disability benefits. It simply means that the Social Security Administration will determine whether your condition is as severe as the conditions on their list. Again, the help of an experienced social security disability lawyer is key to maximizing your chances of a favorable outcome.
Step 4: Can You do the Work You Previously Did?
If you can perform your work as you had previously, the Social Security Administration will determine that you do not have a qualifying disability. Here, they give special consideration to jobs you have past experience in preforming.
Step 5: Can You Perform any other Type of Work?
The Social Security Administration will consider your medical condition, age, education, work experience, work skills, and other factors to determine if you can perform any other type of work. If you can’t perform your previous work but can perform a different type of work, the Social Security Administration will determine that you do not have a qualifying disability.
Are You Disabled? Putting It All Together
As you’ve likely gathered, determining whether you are disabled is not a quick and easy matter. There are many, many shades of gray in making that determination, and the Social Security Administration closely scrutinizes each and every application it receives. That’s why it’s always a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable social security disability attorney.
How Long Does It Take to Receive a Decision on my Disability Claim?
While times vary, the estimated time to receive an initial decision from the Social Security Administration for disability benefits claims is approximately 6 months. However, if you need to appeal your claim to the administrative law judge level it may take as long as 18-24 months.
Why was I Denied Social Security Benefits?
Denied. Unfortunately, most people who apply for social security disability benefits will receive that response. According to the Social Security Administration’s latest Annual Statistic Report, 66% of disability claims are denied.
That makes many people wonder: why was my social security disability claim denied? The following are a few of the leading reasons why the Social Security Administration may deny a disability claim:
- Insufficient Medical Records: medical conditions must be well-documented, and evidence must be presented that the medical condition prevents a person from working.
- Failure to Follow Medical Treatment: if a person does not follow medical advice, the Social Security Administration may determine that the medical condition is not severe and does not prevent the person from working.
- Failure to Provide Additional Information: the Social Security Administration may ask for additional information or documentation to help make a determination. If the requested information or documentation is not received in a timely manner, the disability claim may be denied.
- Previous Denials: some people are denied and then make a second disability claim on the same grounds. The Social Security Administration will deny these claims.
- Exceeding the Income Threshold: a person may still work and be considered disabled by the Social Security Administration as long as they do not have income exceeding $1,310 per month (2021). If a person’s income exceeds that amount, their SSDI claim will be denied.
What can I do if my Social Security Disability Claim is Denied?
If your social security disability claim is denied, you have 60 days from the date you receive your initial claim denial to appeal. In social security language, an appeal from an initial denial is called “reconsideration.” A decision typically takes 4-5 months at this stage.
Hearing before an ALJ
If the Social Security Administration denies your request for reconsideration, you have 60 days from the date you receive your reconsideration denial to request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. A decision typically takes 1-2 months at this stage. Unfortunately, the wait time from requesting a hearing to the actual hearing can be a year or more.
If the administrative law judge denies your disability claim, you have 60 days to file an appeal with the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council will review the judge’s decision to determine whether it was in accordance with the law. Typically, the Appeals Council will make a decision in approximately 1 year.
Should I Hire a Disability Lawyer?
If you’ve been denied social security disability benefits, the answer is undoubtedly yes!
Again, according to the Social Security Administration’s own statistics, approximately 66% of initial disability claims are denied. That means most people who apply for disability benefits will be denied. Just because your initial application is denied does not mean you are not entitled to disability benefits.
The truth is that the best chance to obtain social security disability benefits, whether SSDI or SSI, is at the hearing stage before an administrative law judge. A knowledgeable and skilled social security lawyer will maximize your chances to obtain the disability benefits you deserve.
The best social security lawyers know how to distill hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of medical records and other evidence into a compelling and persuasive presentation for the judge. Perhaps more than that, the best social security lawyers understand that the appeals process can be long and stressful and will do everything possible to make it as easy as possible.
How Much do Social Security Lawyers Charge?
Most social security disability lawyers work on a contingency fee basis and don’t charge a retainer or any upfront costs. That means the social security attorney only collects a fee if and when they obtain disability benefits on behalf of their client.
Our social security lawyers’ fee is 25% of the disability benefits obtained since the initial application. The Social Security Administration caps these fees at $6,000.00, at least through the hearing level. Further, in most cases you will not need to worry about this fee as the Social Security Administration will pay us directly out of the benefits awarded.
Our Disability Lawyers Get Results
Since 1978, GKT’s social security lawyers have been fighting to obtain the disability benefits their clients deserve. GKT social security lawyer, Taylor D. Potts, focuses his practice almost exclusively on social security disability appeals. You can be assured that your social security disability appeal is in good hands with the knowledge and experience Taylor provides.
Consultations with our disability lawyers are always free and without obligation. GKT’s social security lawyers are available to provide immediate help. If you’ve been denied social security disability benefits, contact us today by phone at (304) 845-9750, by Live Chat 24/7 at GKT.com, or online.