Social Security Disability

3 Reasons Social Security Disability Claims Are Denied

by Staff Blogger | May 27th, 2016

Social Security Disability exists to help Americans who are disabled and can no longer work. It is an extension of the Social Security Act of 1935 that designates funds be put aside for those who can no longer work due to an injury or disability. However, getting benefits can be difficult. In fact, two-thirds of all initial applications are denied, leaving many Americans wondering how they’ll make ends meet.

So why are so many people denied? Here are 3 main reasons:

  1. The definition of disability—The Social Security Act defines disability strictly. According to SSA.gov, a person is disabled if “he or she can’t work due to a severe medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year or result in death.” In addition, that person must not be able to do work they’ve done before or adjust to other types of work. In other words, if your disability keeps you from doing any job, you may qualify for benefits.
  2. Increased number of applicants—Over the past couple decades, the number of people applying for disability has skyrocketed. This creates stricter requirements and longer processing times for applications, thus leading to more denials.
  3. Complicated process—If you’ve applied for benefits, you know just how complicated and complex the application process can be. If you miss one step or deadline, you’re more than likely going to face a denial, and the appeal process can be just as complicated. That’s why it’s important that you have an experienced advocate on your side to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.

If you’ve been denied Social Security Disability benefits, don’t try to go it alone. Call our experienced Nashville Social Security Disability lawyers today for a free evaluation. We’ll do everything within our power to get you the benefits you deserve.

Social Security Disability Statistics

by Staff Blogger | April 18th, 2016

You’ve worked hard your entire career, paying into Social Security the entire time. Now that you’re disabled and can’t work, you expect Social Security will be there for you, but that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, more than two-thirds of initial applications are denied by the Social Security Administration, leaving hard-working people like you with few options.

That scary statistic negatively impacts thousands of people every year—folks just trying to make ends meet for their families after a debilitating injury. The good news is there’s another statistic that could change your life. The vast majority of those who hire a lawyer to represent them after being initially denied Social Security Disability will secure benefits in their appeal. At Ponce Law, our Social Security Disability attorneys have spent years adding to the number of people who get the benefits they deserve, and we’d love to add your name to that list as well.

If you’ve been denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, call us today for a free consultation. We’ll help make sense of the complicated appeal process and do everything within our power to secure benefits for you. Your SSDI benefits are too important to your family’s future for you to try and go it alone, so call us today.

Social Security Disability Benefit Criteria

by Staff Blogger | April 8th, 2016

Social Security Disability benefits exist to help disabled people who can no longer work. It’s an important program that makes a substantial difference in the lives of thousands of people across the country. Unfortunately, more than two-thirds of initial applications are denied. This is because the process can be complex and confusing. Just one misstep can delay your claim or result in a denial.

The more you know about the process, the better chance you’ll have of securing benefits the first time around. The entire process can be distilled into a simple question: Do you fit the criteria defined by the Social Security Administration (SSA)? For instance, the SSA considers you disabled and potentially entitled to benefits if you:

  • cannot do the work you did before.
  • cannot adjust to other work because of your medical conditions.
  • have been disabled, or are expected to be disabled, for at least one year or your disability will result in death.

That’s the first set of criteria to consider. If you pass that test, you may have a SSD claim, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your claim will be accepted. As stated before, learning everything you can about the process before filing a claim will give you the best chance of securing benefits.

Our website has a wealth of information about the SSD process to get you started. If you have additional questions, we’re always here to provide answers absolutely free of charge. Just give us a call anytime.

How Disability Benefits Are Calculated

by Staff Blogger | February 19th, 2016

Social Security Disability benefits exist to help those who are unable to work due to injury or illness make ends meet. They are some of the most important safeguards our government offers citizens, but benefits can be difficult to secure. If you’ve been injured and are considering applying for Social Security Disability, you probably have a lot of questions, including how much you can expect to receive.

First, let’s discuss how Social Security Disability benefits are calculated. If you apply and are approved to receive benefits, you will start receiving disability payments on a monthly basis. These monthly payments are based on two factors: your salary before you were disabled and the number of years you’ve paid Social Security taxes. If you are like most Americans, you’ve paid into the Social Security system on every paycheck since you started working. That means your ending salary is the main component that will determine your benefits.

Determining the exact amount is best left to a professional, but you can get a good idea of what your monthly benefit might be by taking a look at your annual Social Security statement. Under “Your Estimated Benefits” you’ll find a line item entitled “Disability.” If you were to become disabled at the time that statement was issued, you would be entitled to an amount close to the figure shown on the right side of the column. Depending on your personal situation, that number can fluctuate, but it’s a good starting point for estimating benefits.

Getting Social Security Disability can make all the difference for Nashville families with a disabled loved one. However, securing those benefits can be tricky. In fact, more than two-thirds of initial applications are denied. An experienced Social Security Disability attorney can help navigate the application and appeal process to give you the best chance of getting benefits. Give us a call today for a free consultation. We’d love to hear from you.

Social Security Disability Appeal Process

by Staff Blogger | February 1st, 2016

If you’ve been denied Social Security Disability benefits, you are not alone. More than two-thirds of initial applications are denied. You can always appeal, which we would advise you to do, but it’s a good idea to have a decent understanding of the process first. The appeal process consists of four stages:

  1. Reconsideration—If you’re denied benefits, you must request reconsideration in writing within 60 days of the date you received your denial notice. Your appeal will be considered by someone who did not take part in the review of your initial application. Most often you do not need to be present for this stage of the appeal process.
  2. Administrative Law Judge Hearing—If your initial reconsideration request is denied, you or your representative can request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Again, you must request this hearing within 60 days of the date you received your reconsideration denial notice. This hearing may require you to have additional medical exams or tests done to determine the extent of your disability.
  3. Appeals Council Review—If the ALJ denies your request, your next course of action is to request an Appeals Council review. The Appeals Council will do one of three things: grant your request for review and decide the case itself, grant your request for review and send it back to the ALJ to decide, or deny your request altogether.
  4. Federal Court—Your final course of action is to file a civil action with the U.S. District Court. It’s vitally important that you have an attorney represent you during this stage. An experienced Social Security Disability attorney can help protect your rights and give you a better chance of securing benefits.

If you’ve been denied Social Security Disability benefits, give us a call immediately. We’ve helped people throughout Tennessee get the benefits they deserve, and we’re ready to help you too.

Types of Social Security Disability Benefits

by Staff Blogger | November 9th, 2015

When Americans suffer a mental or physical health condition that prevents them from working, they may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. But before applying, applicants should know that there are several different types of Social Security Disability benefits. Understanding who is eligible for each type can help you determine the types of benefits you may be able to receive.

Disability Benefits

Social Security Disability benefits are paid to roughly 60 million Americans who have been unable to work for longer than a year. These individuals have also paid into the program long enough to qualify for these benefits.

Child Benefits

If you’re currently receiving Social Security Disability benefits, your child may also qualify for children’s benefits. The Social Security Administration outlines the requirements and coverage on their website.

Supplemental Security Income

Even if you don’t qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you may still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income. These benefits are paid to citizens who have limited resources for income. Some of the conditions that can qualify for these benefits include being over age 65 or suffering from vision impairment or another type of disability.

Get Help

The staff at Ponce Law suggests speaking with a Social Security Disability lawyer about your case prior to filing a claim. Doing so can help ensure your questions are answered and your case is filed in the proper manner.

 

Americans With Disabilities Act Celebrates 25 Years

by Staff Blogger | September 25th, 2015

On September 14, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. For 25 years, these regulations have helped countless individuals with mental or physical disabilities receive and hold employment. However, experts and officials say there continues to be room for improvement when it comes to preventing discrimination against the disabled.

The Knoxville News Sentinel discusses how many businesses have worked to stay in compliance with rules outlined by the ADA. Some structures have required upgrades in order to accommodate those with disabilities. In cases where accommodations for the disabled cannot be made, the law now requires products and services to be made available to the disabled through other means.

Despite the focus that has been placed on creating businesses that are disability-friendly, data indicates that many disabled citizens continue to struggle to gain employment. In fact, 40 percent of homeless individuals suffer from a disability.

Many organizations have worked to raise awareness about this issue as we celebrate a quarter century of the ADA.

At Ponce Law, we have seen first hand how the ADA has had a positive impact on the lives of our friends and neighbors. Our Nashville personal injury lawyers are excited to celebrate the ADA’s anniversary, and we hope to see the law continue to have a positive influence on the lives of Americans.

 

What If I Haven’t Worked Long Enough to Get Social Security Disability?

by Staff Blogger | September 23rd, 2015

If a medical condition, illness, or injury prevents you from working for longer than one year, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. However, you must have worked and paid into the Social Security system long enough to receive these benefits.

This leaves many disabled Americans asking about their options if they haven’t earned enough credits to receive Social Security Disability benefits. The Nashville Social Security Disability lawyers at Ponce Law explain one of the best resources available to citizens is another program offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Supplemental Security Income is available to anyone with a disability and limited resources for income. To be eligible, you must make less than a certain amount of money per month and be:

  • Age 65 or older
  • Blind or vision impaired
  • Suffering from a disability lasting longer than one year or resulting in death

If you think you may qualify for benefits, you can take a more detailed look at the Supplemental Security Income eligibility requirements on the SSA website.

At Ponce Law, we have seen the impact financial assistance can have on the lives of those with disabilities, and we hope this information is useful in helping you to get the benefits you need.

 

 

New Bill Would Allow Terminally Ill Patients to Get Social Security Disability Benefits Immediately

by Staff Blogger | September 11th, 2015

If an illness leaves you unable to work for longer than a year, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. However, the law currently states that there is a five-month waiting period that must pass after an approval before benefits can be paid. So what happens if a disabled person is terminally ill and not expected to live beyond the five-month waiting period?

Under the current laws, there is still the same waiting period, regardless of the severity of an illness. The Social Security Disability lawyers at Ponce Law explain this may soon change though.

Several lawmakers have proposed a bill that would allow terminally ill Social Security Disability recipients to begin receiving payments immediately. According to cleveland.com, the proposed changes would allow those deemed to live six months or less by two independent certified physicians to immediately receive their Social Security Disability payments. They would only receive 50 percent of their total benefits the first month, followed by 75 percent of the total the second month. Then, beginning in the third month, the recipient would receive their full amount of benefits.

If a terminally ill recipient were to live longer than a year, their benefits in the second year would be reduced to what they received within the first five months of receiving payments. Those who live longer than the second year they get benefits would end up receiving 95 percent of their total payments.

Terminally ill patients should focus on living life to the fullest without having to worry about their finances. The legal staff at Ponce Law is hopeful lawmakers will approve the proposed changes to the laws regulating Social Security Disability benefits.

Will There Be a 2016 Social Security Disability COLA?

by Staff Blogger | June 5th, 2015

Social Security Disability COLA

Millions of Americans depend on Social Security Disability benefits as their main source of income, but many of these individuals continue to struggle to make ends meet. That’s why the Social Security Disability Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is so important.

What Is The COLA?

The Social Security Disability COLA is an adjustment to the amount of Social Security Disability benefits that disabled workers and their families receive. The adjustment is based on rates of inflation on certain products. When the costs of these products rise, Social Security Disability benefits tend to also rise.

What Will Next Year’s COLA Look Like?

Based on current rates of inflation, many experts believe there may not be a COLA in 2016. According to The Dallas Morning News, inflation rates were low in the first quarter of 2015 and may not be high enough to support a COLA. However, things may change if inflation rates tend to rise during the third quarter of the year. Experts say that during that time, inflation rates must rise 2 percent to justify a COLA in 2016.

Only Time Will Tell

At Ponce Law, we understand the uncertainty that comes with relying upon Social Security Disability benefits payments, and our Nashville Social Security Disability lawyers are following developments closely so we can share new information with you as it becomes available.