Tenacious SSD & SSI claim denial lawyers are on your side
Dealing with a federal government bureaucracy is almost always a long and frustrating process, whether the issue is a passport or visa problem, an income tax dispute, or an administrative complaint. These roadblocks are even more pronounced when it comes to Social Security Income and Social Security Disability claims, because, although they are nearly always sympathetic, the people who review these cases do not represent the claimants’ interests. In fact, close to 70 percent of SSI/SSD claims are denied, and the reviewers may slash the benefits of accepted claims by up to 40 percent.
At The Golden Law Group, our experienced Brandon SSD/SSI attorneys tenaciously navigate your claim through the system, and fight for your benefits at every opportunity. Hard work is a key to success in any endeavor, and our Social Security disability lawyers use proven methods to deliver results that exceed your expectations.
What is the SSD/SSI claims process?
Although filing the claim is a rather simple matter, proving the extent of your disability requires a great deal of skill, as does convincing the administrative judge to award maximum benefits. Most claims follow the following timeline:
- Disability Determination Services: The DDS officer reviews claims and receives medical information; typically, these doctors are employed by the Social Security Administration. The vast majority of claims are rejected at this phase.
- Reconsideration: Within 60 days of the denial, a claimant can request another review by a different officer. Once again, these officers deny most of the claims they review.
- ALJ Review: The Administrative Law Judge conducts a full hearing on the merits of the claim. For the first time, claimants can be represented by an attorney that makes arguments and calls witnesses on their behalf. For many practical purposes, the ALJ review is the claimant’s one chance to obtain maximum benefits.
- Appeals Council: This body is within the SSA, and it reconsiders unfavorable ALJ decisions. The Appeals Council can send the case back to the ALJ with instructions on how to proceed.
- Federal Court of Appeals: In Florida, these matters go to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Although the judges cannot review new evidence, they do have the power to return the case for a redetermination.
Despite the high rejection rates, claimants cannot bypass either the DDS or Reconsideration stages. Furthermore, once the claim is approved, the judge or ALJ typically awards retroactive benefits.
Will my claim be denied if I’m working?
In a word, no. It is a popular myth that any job or income stream serves as an automatic disqualifier for SSI/SSD benefits. That being said, many judges look unfavorably on employed applicants. They often state that employment constitutes “substantial, gainful activity” that precludes a benefits award.
But there is a floor: if the claimant earns less than $1,000 per month, such income has no effect on an award. Moreover, an attorney can offer evidence about the substantial accommodations an employer gives to disabled employees, such as frequent breaks, a light-duty assignment, or frequent days-off for doctor visits.
Partner with an experienced Brandon Social Security Disability attorney to secure the benefits you need if you have been denied
A determined Brandon Social Security attorney often wins the day, especially in SSD/SSI cases that have been denied. To get the benefits you deserve, contact The Golden Law Group today at 813-375-0098 or online for a free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available if you are unable to come to our Brandon or Bradenton offices.