Marasco&Nesselbush personal injury lawyers

Rhode Island
Social Security Disability Lawyer

The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers a safety net to disabled individuals by providing monthly income when disability creates a barrier to work. Unfortunately, many eligible people are unable to access their benefits due to the complexities of the application process. In fact, as few as 22% of new disability applicants are approved during the initial application, and even fewer are approved upon appeal.

The attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush understand the stress and pressure of being wrongfully denied. Our deep understanding of the process and dedication to our clients drastically increase your likelihood of approval so you can receive the assistance you deserve.


If you think you may have a social security disability case, contact us now for a FREE consultation

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A Social Security disability law firm provides representation and advocacy to ensure your claim meets the Social Security Administration’s strict eligibility requirements. A lawyer must provide a fee agreement to the Social Security Administration and receive approval before charging for services.



To qualify for disability benefits, you must satisfy the SSA criteria for disability

  • Inability to work due to a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death 
  • In minors, physical or mental impairment that causes marked and severe functional limitations, which are expected to result in death or last for at least 12 months

In addition, you must meet program requirements for one of the two programs Social Security offers: SSD and SSI.

social security disability insurance

Social Security Disability
Insurance (SSDI)

Social Security Disability Insurance is available to people who have worked and paid Social Security taxes. Eligibility depends upon the number of work credits you have earned. This is based upon how many years you have worked and how much you earned.

Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security
Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income is paid to disabled people and to people over the age of 65 who have not earned enough work credits to be insured under SSDI. These individuals must have very low income and fewer than $2,000 in assets ($3,000 for couples). The state of Rhode Island also pays SSI recipients a state supplemental payment.

Marasco & Nesselbush provide representation for SSD and SSI claims. While these programs have similar medical requirements, the programs vary. Here is a helpful resource providing more information the differences between SSDI and SSI.


The Social Security Administration offers online, telephone, and in-person options to apply for disability benefits.

In addition to the information from the Social Security Administration’s checklist, you will need original copies of the following documents:

  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status
  • Military discharge paperwork if discharged before 1968
  • W-2 forms or self-employment tax returns for last year
  • Medical evidence in your possession, including records, reports, and test results
  • Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements, or other proof of workers’ compensation benefits you have received


The SSA frequently denies new applications. The reason is provided in your denial letter. Applications are most often denied because of incomplete information.

The Social Security Administration has high standards of proof that you are disabled and unable to work. This is determined in large part by medical reports. The Social Security Administration may contact your doctor or order additional medical consultations. If the results do not satisfy the administration’s standard of proof, you could be denied.

If you have worked since becoming disabled, the SSA may see this as evidence that your disability does not prevent you from working.

Your application can also be denied if you fail to meet deadlines or provide all the information requested. This process can be confusing and overwhelming, which underscores the importance of hiring a Social Security disability attorney to ensure each step is properly undertaken.


Few setbacks are as discouraging as a denial after waiting months for a decision. If you receive a denial letter, all is not lost. You have the right to appeal, but you must act quickly. The Social Security Administration gives you 60 days to appeal.

When your initial application is denied, you will have an opportunity to appeal at the first level. If this appeal is denied, you can appeal at the next level, up to four levels, as follows:

  • Reconsideration – a complete review of your claim, including the initial file and new evidence you offer, by someone at Social Security who was not part of the initial decision to deny your claim
  • Hearing – an official hearing — in person or via video — before an administrative law judge who did not take part in your reconsideration appeal, where you will have the opportunity to present new evidence and witnesses 
  • Appeals Council review – a request for review by the Social Security Appeals Council, which can deny the request for further review, hear the case, or send the case back to the administrative law judge with instructions
  • Federal court – the final appeal option, where you present your case to a federal district court, usually within 75 miles of your home



The high rate of denial shows that the application process for Social Security Disability is complex and exacting. The Social Security Administration places the burden of proof of disability squarely on the applicant. Meeting this burden requires extensive knowledge of the process. 

A Social Security disability attorney has the experience and resources needed to ensure that your application satisfies the necessary requirements. At Marasco and Nesselbush, LLP, we know that you have paid for disability insurance through years of payroll taxes, and we are dedicated to making sure you receive your well-deserved benefits.

Disabilities are not always clear-cut. Everyone experiences disability differently. Marasco and Nesselbush, LLP has a long track record of helping clients receive approval for disability benefits, even in cases where the disability is unusual or less obvious. 

Examples of Benefits Recovered for Our Clients

  • Past-due benefits for the widow of a veteran after 30 years
  • Benefits awarded to a single mother who was diagnosed with rectal cancer and follicular lymphoma
  • Benefits awarded to a young woman with a highly unusual condition that resulted in vision loss in a case that required aggressive cross-examination and extensive evidence
  • SSDI awarded to a teacher who suffered from significant psychological impairments

Our offices are conveniently located throughout the state for easy access to our attorneys.


685 Westminster Street Providence, RI 02903
(401) 281-8552


231 Old Tower Hill Road #206 Wakefield, Ri 02879
(401) 783-0000


51 Jefferson Boulevard Warwick, RI 02888
(401) 738-7700


603 Park Avenue Woonsocket, RI 02895​
(401) 762-9800

We know what it takes to win disability claims. If you have a disability that is preventing you from working, the compassionate, hard-working attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush will provide competent and aggressive representation. Contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation.


How much does a Social Security lawyer cost?

We charge nothing unless and until your disability application is approved and you receive your benefits. When you are approved, you may receive past-due benefits, commonly known as back pay, for the months between the date you became eligible and the date your benefits began. Our standard fee is 25% of this amount. After that, you will receive your monthly benefits with no further obligation to us.

How long does it take Social Security to make a decision on disability?

It generally takes the Social Security Administration three to five months to review an application. This time frame can be longer if your case is complex or there are delays in getting information to the Social Security Administration. If your case is denied and you have to appeal, the time frame can be substantially longer. A Social Security attorney can help you minimize delays so you receive your benefits as soon as possible. Keep in mind that you are not eligible for benefits until you have been disabled for five months.

How much can I receive for Social Security disability?

This varies depending on your individual circumstances and on which type of disability you receive. If you receive Supplemental Security Income, the maximum benefit in 2022 is $841 for an eligible individual or $1,261 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse.

For Social Security Disability Insurance, the amount you can receive varies based on your work history. You can obtain estimates based on your personal work history by setting up an online account at the Social Security Administration’s website.

Can a Social Security lawyer help me if I have already been denied SSD or SSI benefits?

The experienced attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush can provide a free case evaluation even if you have already been denied benefits. We can troubleshoot your file and address the reasons for your denial. Since the Social Security Administration gives you only 60 days to appeal, it is important to contact us as soon as possible.

How can I reach my nearest Social Security office?

Below are the telephone numbers for the local Social Security offices in Rhode Island:

  • Newport - 866-253-5607
  • Pawtucket - 866-931-7079
  • Providence - 877-335-4113
  • Warwick - 866-964-2038
  • Woonsocket - 877-229-3542