Social Security Disability Lawyer in Staten Island
Are you seriously or permanently disabled in a way that leaves you unable to earn a living? Do you have difficulty paying your bills? Social Security Disability benefits could ease your financial troubles and one of our Social Security Disability lawyers in Staten Island can help you apply for these benefits, and can even help with parts of the appeal process if you’ve been denied.
Getting Disability Benefits with Legal Assistance
The process of applying for disability benefits is not always easy. A Social Security Disability lawyer in Staten Island can help you by:
Determining Which Benefits Are Right for You
Most people apply for either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). A small number of applicants may qualify for both kinds of benefits. We can make sure you apply for all the benefits you are eligible to receive based on your medical history, work history, and income level.
The SSA will want solid documentation verifying your condition if you are to qualify for the benefits you are seeking. We can review your information to see if you meet their standards to render a favorable decision. Your application and evidence should include:
- An official diagnosis of your disability
- A statement from your doctor discussing the disability’s origin, length, and effect on your ability to work
- A list of your previous employers and descriptions of the work you did for them
- Tax information that confirms how much you make per year
- Evidence of any other benefits you may receive, such as workers’ compensation
You may also need proof of marriage, particularly if your spouse is also seeking benefits, and proof of citizenship or legal residency.
Lack of evidence is one reason your claim could be denied, so it is important that you submit sufficient information to establish your need for benefits. We can review your case file thoroughly before we send it in.
Appealing Your Case
If your claim is accepted, our work is done. Regretfully, a lot of initial application claims are denied, but it doesn’t have to end there. If your request for benefits is denied, there are still steps you can take to try to get disability benefits. These steps are:
- A reconsideration: This step of the appeals process allows someone who does not know your case to look at your application with fresh eyes. Prior to the reconsideration, we can review your initial application and the reasons you received a denial. From there, we can advise you on the additional documentation to include with your reconsideration.
- A hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ): If you receive another denial during the reconsideration, this step allows you to explain your case and present evidence in person or via video conference with an ALJ.
- A review by the Appeals Council: The third step available to contest a denial is to have your case reviewed by the Social Security’s Appeals Council. They will evaluate your case themselves. Based on their review, they may uphold the previous reviews and deny your request, make a new decision on your request, or hand your case to someone else for yet another reconsideration
To start the appeals process, you would need to request a hearing within sixty days of the denial, or your case could be closed, and it is possible that you would have to start over again. You must also let the SSA know if you move or change phone numbers during the appeals process, which can be quite long.
A Social Security Disability attorney from our firm can help you stay on track throughout the above portions of the appeals process. We can represent you at hearings and send in any extra information the SSA wants to see.
Working With You
Our goal is to make it easier for Staten Island residents to apply for (and receive) necessary benefits. We can work closely with you to:
- Figure out the best way of handling your case, such as advising you on the evidence your application may need
- Respond to any questions you have about our actions or about how Social Security Disability works
- Keep you updated about your case’s progress
We understand how stressful it is to have to apply for disability benefits and then wait months or even years for an answer. Shulman & Hill can be there to provide solid legal counsel and guidance every step of the way.
What Types of Disability Benefits Are There?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two distinct types of benefits to those in need. These are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
How Are SSDI and SSI Alike?
Both SSDI and SSI provide monthly checks to those who meet their respective requirements. These checks can make it easier for recipients to support their families and themselves.
In addition, both SSDI and SSI allow the spouses and children of qualifying applicants to apply for benefits as well.
How Are SSDI and SSI Different?
The requirements for receiving SSDI and SSI are distinct. To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA), you must:
- Work at a job that pays into Social Security for at least ten years
- Receive a diagnosis of a qualifying disability that will keep you from staying gainfully employed for at least a year and/or cause your death
- Be unable to make more than a given amount per year (the SSA adjusts this amount annually to account for the rising cost of living)
- Be unable to perform your previous job duties and/or any job duties that would allow you to earn more than the given amount set by the SSA
To qualify for SSI, you must:
- Have a qualifying disability and/or be over 65 years of age
- Be unable to earn more than a given amount set by the SSA (this amount differs from the maximum allowable income set for SSDI)
- Have limited or no access to other resources, such as real estate, stocks, or other government benefits
Unlike SSDI, SSI does not require applicants to have paid into Social Security before they can receive benefits. Even disabled children can apply for these benefits.
What Types of Disability Are Covered?
The SSA offers benefits for disabilities caused by all kinds of events, including:
- Birth injuries or conditions you were born with
- Diagnoses of many severe illnesses
- Workplace accidents
- Motor vehicle collisions
- Slip and fall accidents
The SSA’s Listing of Impairments, also known as the Blue Book, has many of the conditions they consider disabling, including:
Physical disability can include amputated limbs, arthritis, heart failure, or liver ailments. It can also refer to illnesses that affect your body, like lupus or cancer, or congenital conditions, like Down syndrome.
Mental health problems can be every bit as debilitating as a physical disability. If you have depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or any other mental illness that makes it difficult to work, you have the right to apply for disability.
Problems with the brain and/or the nervous system can also cause disability, especially if they get worse over time. Epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis are examples of conditions that could qualify you for benefits.
For the SSA’s purposes, blindness, while a disability, is considered separately from other kinds of disabilities. For example, the maximum amount you can earn per month is different for blind people than it is for people with arthritis or schizophrenia.
Conditions Not Listed
SSA’s Listing of Impairments covers a wide spectrum of disabilities and conditions, but you may be concerned if yours is not shown. If your conditions are not listed, you can still apply as long as you can show how your condition has affected your life and ability to work.
If you have any questions about whether you qualify for benefits based on blindness or any other disability, Shulman & Hill can help. We are always happy to tell our clients what they are entitled to receive and how they can get it.
Even if you are still weighing your options and have not yet decided to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, we can help you evaluate your options.
WE WORK WITH YOU
TO GET YOU COMPENSATED
Everyday working people often struggle to afford top-tier legal representation. To ensure equal access to justice, we work on a contingency-fee basis. You pay no attorneys’ fees unless we achieve a settlement or verdict in your case.
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