If your claim for disability benefits has been denied, consider reaching out to Disability Advocates Group. Our disability attorneys are deeply familiar with navigating disability appeals in Florida. Having consistently achieved favorable outcomes, we have built a reputation as champions of disabled rights. As our client, we’ll be dedicated to getting the benefits you rightfully deserve.
At Disability Advocates Group, we understand that facing a disability can drastically change one’s life. The consequent loss of income combined with escalating medical bills can swiftly turn overwhelming. The Social Security Administration (SSA) does offer two essential financial programs for those with disabilities. However, there are strict eligibility requirements, and many initial claims face rejection.
Fortunately, applicants can apply for an appeal of a disability decision, but the key to getting benefits involves collaborating with an experienced disability attorney. Our legal team has a comprehensive understanding of the eligibility criteria for disability benefits. They will be your guide throughout the entire disability appeal process. Most importantly, we will address your benefits claim with utmost dedication and strive endlessly to uphold your rights.
Do I qualify for disability benefits?
To qualify for disability benefits, you must possess a recognized medical condition. Furthermore, this ailment should be of such magnitude that it hinders you from engaging in any significant paid work.
While this might seem straightforward, the evaluation process encompasses multiple steps. Apart from meeting the specific criteria of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), reviewers assess the medical documentation accompanying your claim, and often the outcomes from one or more evaluative medical examinations. Working with a disability attorney can help you establish a detailed medical history, which not only bolsters your claim but also lays a solid foundation for a successful disability appeal.
Why are disability benefit claims denied?
Like many government initiatives, seeking Social Security disability benefits involves navigating several administrative challenges. The application process demands comprehensive personal and medical details. Any errors or omissions can lead to the rejection of the application.
There are foundational criteria for SSDI and SSI. SSDI, being supported by deductions from income tax, requires applicants to have made contributions to the Social Security system. Additionally, applicants should have sufficient “work credits,” which largely depend on the duration and recency of their employment.
SSDI caters to those with disabilities between 18 and 65 years of age; the higher your age, the more work credits are necessary.
In contrast, SSI is sustained by general tax collections, making its benefits accessible even if an individual hasn’t contributed to the Social Security system. These benefits cater to those who are blind, disabled, 65 or older, with stringent financial conditions in place. Children with disabilities also qualify for SSI if their family’s financial situation meets the established criteria.
Moreover, the SSA might reject your claim if they deem that your condition doesn’t significantly limit your capacity to work. The evaluation process involves intricate regulations that can sometimes seem at odds with the medical documentation submitted alongside your claim. Should your claim face rejection, Disability Determination Services (DDS) will send a letter explaining the denial and informing you about your appeal rights.
Disability Appeals in Florida
Navigating the disability appeal process demands a strict commitment to set timelines, making it vital to work with an attorney. Here’s a breakdown of the disability appeals progression:
The initial step is the “Reconsideration” phase. Here, you’ll need to file a Request for Reconsideration within 60 days from the date of the denial notification. A disability examiner, unassociated with the initial assessment, will review the claim.
If the Reconsideration phase doesn’t yield a positive outcome, the subsequent step is to seek a disability hearing, which should be filed within 60 days of the prior denial.
In this hearing, questions about your medical history, professional background, and the constraints your ailment imposes on daily tasks will be posed. It’s pivotal to be accompanied by a knowledgeable disability attorney during this hearing. Their skill ensures that critical questions are posed and the most impactful testimonies are documented. You might also encounter experts, such as a medical professional to examine your condition after reviewing your files, or a vocational specialist discussing your employment trajectory and potential job openings in the market. A decision, in writing, will be available between 30 and 120 days post-hearing.
- Disability Appeals Council
Should the ALJ rule against your appeal, they will petition a review by the SSA Appeals Council. The Council holds the authority to either reverse the decision, redirect it to the ALJ for additional analysis, or uphold the initial verdict. If the Appeals Council dismisses your plea, our advice might be to initiate a federal court lawsuit to challenge the ruling.
Why Is SSDI Reconsideration Taking So Long?
Several factors can contribute to lengthy SSDI reconsiderations:
- High Backlog: Florida offices, like many nationwide, face a large backlog of claims, leading to extended processing times.
- Medical Evidence Gathering: Obtaining complete and recent medical records from various providers can take time, delaying the review process.
- Staffing Shortages: Limited staff within the Social Security Administration can further slow down case progress.
Remember, every case is unique. If you’re concerned about your reconsideration timeline, seeking guidance from a qualified disability attorney is recommended.
Contact Our Florida Disability Appeals Lawyer
Disability Advocates Group stands firmly in defense of the rights of those with disabilities. Facing a denial on your disability claim can be upsetting, leaving you uncertain about the next steps. Rest assured, we’re here to guide and support you. Our team of dedicated appeals attorneys will accompany you throughout the appeal journey, ensuring you secure the benefits you’re entitled to. As our client, attorney fees only apply once we’ve successfully obtained benefits on your behalf. Reach out to our office now to arrange a free consultation.