Were You Denied SSD Benefits in Pinellas Park?
Unfortunately, most claims are denied at the initial and reconsideration level. Claims are evaluated by a state agency at those levels. State examiners do not have the broad discretion available to an Administrative Law Judge at the hearing level. About 50% of the cases taken to hearing result in an award of benefits.
Barry Salzman will guide you through the entire claims process from start to finish and through all appeals necessary to obtain a favorable decision, including litigation in federal court.
Overview of Your Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration administers two benefit programs: disability insurance benefits (DIB) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
DIB also includes benefits for your children if you are disabled, benefits for your survivors, and benefits for certain disabled children. DIB requires that you have sufficient earnings credits through the payment of social security taxes on earned income. Without sufficient earnings credits you are not insured for DIB.
SSI is a welfare benefit that is not based on whether you have earned sufficient credits or whether you have ever worked at all. SSI requires the same proof of disability as with DIB, but also requires that your financial resources be quite limited. SSI also provides benefits for disabled children when the parents have limited financial resources. The basis for determining disability in children is very different than the basis for determining disability for adults.
Barry Salzman will help you determine which benefit you will qualify for (or both).
Need Help With Your Social Security Disability Claims in Pinellas Park, FL?
You may file your application by contacting your local SSA office, which will provide the application forms, or you may take your application over the phone. You may also file your application online at www.ssa.gov and follow the instructions. You may also get information about your earnings credits and the monthly amount of your disability benefit by creating an online MySSA Account. Instructions are found on the SSA website.
If you need a consultation about your claim in Pinellas Park, Attorney Barry Salzman is here to help you understand whether you have a claim to make and to guide you through the difficult and lengthy process. Representation is provided on a contingent fee basis. There is no reason not to get the assistance you will need.
Your claim is important enough to be done right with an experienced attorney. Help is a phone call away.
Frequently Asked Questions
You will have 60 days to appeal the denial of benefits at the initial level. The appeal is called a request for reconsideration. If that appeal is denied, you will have 60 days to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge for SSA at which you have the right to appear and present your testimony. If the judge denies your claim, you will have 60 days to request review of the judge’s decision by SSA’s Appeals Council in Washington, DC. If the Appeals Council denies your appeal, you may file suit in federal court to obtain judicial review of SSA’s final action denying your claim.
Yes, however, the amount of money you can earn is limited. Each year SSA determines the level of “substantial gainful activity”. In 2023 the SGA threshold is $1,470 per month in earned income. You are not eligible for benefits if you are engaged in SGA. While your claim is spending, SSA will not consider earnings over SGA if it qualifies as an unsuccessful work attempt (UWA). A UWA is a bona fide work attempt that does not last more than 6 months because of limitations caused by your medical conditions.
As an adult, Social Security considers you disabled if you have one or more medically determinable (diagnosed) medical conditions that preclude your ability to engage in substantially gainful activity. Disability is not based solely on diagnosis; instead, SSA considers the functional limitation caused by your medical conditions and their impact on your ability to perform work activities. SSA considers your entire medical condition, both mental and physical.
Age is an important factor in determining the criteria for determining disability. The standard is very low for persons under the age of 50, and it becomes easier to meet those above the age of 50. Your past work, acquired skills, and education are also factors. Individuals with particularly severe conditions may meet the medical standards for disability based solely on medical findings. These standards are the same for both DIB and SSI as an adult. SSI is available for children; however, the standard of disability is very different for children and is dependent on a wide variety of factors.
I recommend consulting a lawyer before filing to get a realistic assessment of your case. You may acquire representation at any time; however, waiting until just before your hearing may limit your lawyer’s ability to properly prepare your case.
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