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About Social Security Disability
Has a sudden accident or a long standing medical issue left you unable to work? If you or a family member are suffering from a disability that is expected to last for a long time, you are likely anxious about your future financial security. Prolonged medical issues are often serious and require costly medical attention. With no sources of income, your budget could be heavily strained. In that case, the solution may be to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
SSDI vs SSI – What’s the Difference?
Both Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income are federal programs designed to provide financial assistance. Specifically, assistance for those who are unable to work due to a disability. Both programs are managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, while SSDI is funded by the Social Security trust fund, the funds for SSI come from the U.S. Treasury general fund.
This seemingly technical difference has practical consequences for people who would like to apply for one of the two programs. Because SSDI is funded from Social Security, one of the requirements to obtain those benefits for the applicant to have had a strong work history prior to becoming disabled. In order to be eligible for SSDI, he or she must have worked at least 5 to 10 full years during which they paid into Social Security.
The Supplemental Security Income program, on the other hand, does not require applicants to have paid into Social Security. Rather, in order to be eligible, the applicant must be unable to work due to a long term disability, and must have few personal assets and very low or no income.
How to Apply?
Even though the application process can be complicated and involve multiple stages, the first part is relatively simple – you need to file a formal application. There are three ways to do this. You can fill out an online application, apply by calling a telephone number, or apply personally at one of the local Social Security offices.
Is There a Way to Increase Your Chances?
On average, 70% of all applications for Social Security Disability benefits are denied. There are two conclusions that you should make from this statistic.
First, if you are denied benefits on the first try, there is no reason to despair. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t deserve SSDI or SSI, and there are many levels of appeals you can make after that first decision.
Second, the fact is that not everyone who applies will obtain benefits. Therefore, you need to do all you possibly can to increase your chances of getting the benefits you deserve. Is there a proven way to do so? Yes, there is! Statistics show that those who choose to be represented by an experienced Social Security Disability attorney have much higher chances of winning their cases. You can choose to employ the services of an attorney at any stage of the application or appeals process. However, it is advisable that you do so from the very first application you submit. After all, your financial future and security is not something that should be left to mere chance.
Marasco & Nesselbush SSD Attorneys in Quincy, MA
Marasco & Nesselbush Social Security Disability lawyers in Quincy, MA, are committed to delivering outstanding results for those looking for help in obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. We have helped thousands of people win their SSDI cases. Having us at your side will increase your chances of successful resolution of your case at every stage of the application process. Even if you have just submitted your first application, are preparing for a hearing before an administrative law judge, or if your application has been denied before – Our Quincy disability attorneys will be able to assist. We offer each case and each applicant not only the best of our abilities and experience, but also a personal and empathetic approach. Please don’t leave your financial future and security to chance – contact us today to obtain a free consultation on your case and a thorough analysis of all the options available in your unique circumstances.
How Can an Attorney Help You?
There are many ways a Social Security Disability Lawyer can help your case and increase your chances of being granted benefits. You can start working with one right away in the first step of the process – submitting the application. Your attorney will help you present your situation in the most convincing and professional way possible. Thanks to his or her expertise, you will not miss out on your chance to be awarded benefits right at this stage due to some simple procedural error or omission in your application.
If your initial application is denied, you need to prepare yourself for the appeals process. You have sixty days to file an appeal. The appeals process starts with the reconsideration stage when your application is reviewed again by another Social Security worker. You can also present new supporting medical evidence. Your attorney can help you collect and choose additional medical documentation or opinions of health care experts and present it in the most favorable light.
Reconsideration stages quite often result in denial too. If that happens to your application, again, you will have sixty days to appeal. This time you will need to present your case in a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. During the hearing a medical expert and a vocational expert may also be present and testify as witnesses. On average, of all the stages of the application and appeals process, the approval rate at the hearing stage is the highest. In other words, this is your best chance of obtaining the benefits and you should take advantage of all help available. If you are at this stage of the appeal process and haven’t yet consulted an SSD attorney, this is definitely the time to do so. Your attorney will not only prepare you for the questions of the ALJ, but can also elicit favorable testimony from you during the hearing itself. In addition, your attorney will cross-examine the medical and the vocational experts and counter their arguments.
There is usually a long waiting time before the hearing. The national average wait is 18 months. However, the average waiting time in the state of Massachusetts is 14 months and various local hearing offices may differ. For example, at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) in Boston, Massachusetts, the average hearing waiting time is 12 months and average processing time is 424 days. Though, after reviewing your case, your lawyer may find that you may qualify for an expedited or faster decision.
Appeals Council and Federal Court
If an Administrative Law Judge denies your claim, you still have two ways of appealing the decision. First, you may appeal the decision of the ALJ to the Social Security Appeals Council which will check if the ALJ committed any procedural errors or omissions. The Appeals Council may remand your case for another hearing. If the Council denies your appeal then the last available appeal is to file a case with a Federal Court. You attorney will be prepared to represent your interests with the same level of commitment even at this stage.
Who Can Apply for SSDI or SSI?
As mentioned above, the specific requirements for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security income differ. When it comes to the former, the Social Security Administration states the following general requirements:
- be insured for benefits
- be younger than full retirement age
- have a Social Security-defined disability that may result in death and/or that is expected to last for at least 12 consecutive months
When it comes to the last requirement, the Social Security Administration provides 14 listings of physical and mental impairments that may become a basis for claiming disability benefits. However, the impairment must preclude a person from engaging in what is called substantial gainful activity. In simple terms, the disability must prevent a person from earning enough money to sustain themselves and/or their family.
The requirements for SSI eligibility are as follows:
- be legally blind or disabled
- have little personal assets (less than $2000 or $3000 in case of couples)
- have little or no income
If you are still unsure whether you qualify for one of the programs mentioned above, the best solution would be to contact a Marasco & Nesselbush Social Security Disability attorney in Quincy, who will review your circumstances and provide all the necessary information you need.
We Work on a Contingency Fee Basis
At our Quincy office the initial consultation is always free. But that’s not all – if you decide to work with us, there will be no out-of-the-pocket expenses for you throughout the whole SSD application process. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis which means that we will only collect our fees if you are awarded the benefits. Our payment, in accordance with Massachusetts law, will amount to either 25% of your insurance back payment or to $6,000 – whichever is less. Don’t leave your future financial security to chance, call Marasco & Nesselbush today!
Was Your Social Security Disability Claim Denied?
Some applications are turned down for technical reasons. The application may be filled out incorrectly or lack certain information, which may lead to a technical denial of the claim without any consideration of the medical evidence. Some applications lack the proper medical description of the disability that the claims reviewers are looking for to approve a claim. Our experienced attorneys work with your doctor and medical experts to obtain the evidence needed.
You must present evidence showing that you are permanently disabled or have a health condition that has lasted or is expected to last more than 12 months. Under the Social Security Administration rules, you also must show that your disability prevents you from doing any type of work. Your disability must prevent you from performing not only the duties of your previous job, but any type of gainful activity.
The process for seeking Social Security Disability benefits can be confusing if you are unfamiliar with it. Many people are uncertain what to do after a claim denial and unfamiliar with the appeals process. Let a knowledgeable Social Security Disability lawyer in Quincy review your application and discuss your chances of a successful appeal. Our experienced attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush understand the eligibility rules and definitions used by Social Security. We will pursue your claim relentlessly and guide you through the appeals process until justice is done. Our goal is to obtain extraordinary results for our clients.
Call us today to discuss your disability claim in a free consultation.
The Process of Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer in Quincy, MA
If you have been turned down for Social Security Disability benefits or have questions about how to file an appeal, our team at Marasco & Nesselbush are ready to help. Our Social Security Disability attorneys bring years of legal experience and resources to advocate on behalf of individuals seeking Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits in Massachusetts. Our knowledgeable attorneys have helped many individuals in Quincy obtain disability benefits after their applications were initially turned down.
You should not be discouraged if you have received a rejection letter in response to your application for disability benefits in Massachusetts. More than 60 percent of Social Security Disability claims are initially denied, according to the Social Security Administration.
Social Security Disability Field Office in Quincy, MA
Quincy is a city in Norfolk County in eastern Massachusetts. It is part of the Boston metropolitan area. There is a Massachusetts Social Security field office located in Quincy.
The address of the Quincy office is:
Social Security Field Office
1210 Hancock Street
Quincy, MA 02169
10 Tips to WIN Your Social Security Disability Case
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