Social Security Disability

Social Security

Social Security Disability is defined by the Social Security Act as “the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death, or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” If you have such a disability and are not gainfully employed, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits.

You do not need an attorney to help you appeal a decision denying your claim for benefits, but it is recommended. More than half of all claims for benefits are initially denied. This is not the end of the process, however. At this point an attorney can help you file a request for reconsideration, and request a hearing before an administrative law judge. It is at this hearing, in fact, that your claim has the greatest chance of success.

THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS PROGRAMS - SSI & SSDI

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) was created by Title II of the Social Security Act in order to provide benefits to those disabled people who have earned sufficient credit thorough their Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax withholdings to qualify. Generally, you must have worked for five of the past ten years to qualify for this program.

Even if you do not qualify for SSDI, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) which was created in Title XIV of the Social Security Act as a needs-based program that provides financial aid to low income disabled people.

The Social Security Administration will not find you to be disabled simply because your doctor says that you are. In order to ensure that your request for benefits has the best chance of success it is important to request and submit all of your medical records.

HURRY UP AND WAIT DURING THE APPEALS PROCESS

There are strict deadlines in order to preserve your filing date (the date your back pay benefits will begin if and when your Social Security Disability Appeal in San Antonio is successful). In fact if your application is denied, your Request for Reconsideration must be filed within 60 days. If this Request for Reconsideration is unsuccessful, your Request for a Hearing must be filed within 60 days. If you don’t meet either of these 60 day deadlines, and are unable to show a good cause for the delay, your only choice will be to reapply for benefits and lose your original filing date.

It generally takes several months to make a decision on your Request for Reconsideration. It takes much longer to see a judge after your Request for a Hearing is filed. In fact, the average wait for a hearing is often over a year. In this sense, it is really a game of hurry up and wait. You must hurry up and avoid missing a deadline, but then you will need to wait quite a while for a decision, or a hearing.

During the delay in your Social Security Disability Appeal In San Antonio, we recommend that you use a notebook as a journal. In this journal, document: all medical visits, any new diagnoses, changes in medications, and any new developments in the way in which your impairments are impacting your activities of daily living.

If you would like our help and live anywhere in the United States, please contact us at (210) 807-4444 to schedule your free consultation.

CLIENT TESTIMONIAL

"I went to my SSI hearing without representation. The judge didn’t grant my benefits, but he did schedule me for a supplemental hearing so I could find a lawyer. I called some of the big firms in town but nobody would take my case. Finally, I met with Jeramie Gertz nine days before my hearing and they took my case. Mr. Gertz had my doctor complete some medical questionnaires. He represented me at my hearing and I was granted a fully favorable decision!"

- Isaac Rodriguez of San Antonio, Texas

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