Applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be a frustrating task which can end with a denial of your claim. If your initial Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim has been denied, or if you’re preparing to file a Social Security Disability claim, contact an attorney with Social Security law experience.
At Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen, L.P.A., Co., our knowledgeable Social Security Disability and SSI lawyers can guide you through the complexities of Social Security law to assist in filing your appeal and receiving appropriate disability benefits. Our disability attorneys are familiar with the local Social Security Administration officials, the office of hearings and appeals and with members of the U.S. District Court who have authority over Social Security Disability matters.
Knowing the complexities of the Social Security system is not an easy task. Given the wide scope of Social Security, such complexity is understandable. In 2017 alone, the U.S. government paid out Social Security benefits to about 62 million people.
It is important to bear in mind that Social Security, in general, was not intended to be a person’s sole source of income after retirement. It was meant to replace a portion of earnings. This percentage is based on what a person earned throughout their working career. The allocation is also based on what year they choose to begin receiving benefits — a person starting at age 75 will receive a higher percentage than a person starting Social Security income at age 68.
And while the disability benefits from Social Security have a different set of considerations, these benefits are related. These disability benefits are pulling from the same pool. Some of the same concerns and questions will face a 70-year-old retiree as well as a 50-year-old person who has sustained career-ending (or career-pausing) injuries and/or medical conditions.
Our Social Security Disability and SSI attorneys assist clients at every stage of the disability claim process, including:
- Developing initial filings
- Preparing an impairment list and medical documentation
- Submitting requests for reconsideration and/or hearings before the appointed administrative law judge
- Managing all Social Security Disability appeals work
Read more about Social Security and disability on our website:
- Understanding Disability Laws
- How is Social Security Insurance Different from Social Security?
- What Kinds of Benefits Should You Expect?
- How Do I Apply for Disability Benefits?
- Benefits for Children with Disabilities
- Understanding the Disability Appeals process
- How Does Workers Comp Affect Social Security Disability
- Do I Need a Lawyer for Social Security Disability?
At Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen, L.P.A., Co., we pride ourselves on the quality of work that we perform on behalf of individuals seeking benefits from the Social Security Administration. Our disability attorneys have been practicing in the area of Social Security for many years, and we are very experienced in handling claims at the Initial Determination, Reconsideration, hearings in front of the Administrative Law Judge, and at the Appeal Council levels. We will assist you with filing your appeals and completing any forms that you receive from the Social Security Administration. We will also obtain medical evidence from your doctors documenting the physical and/or mental impairments that you have which limit your ability to work.
Definition of Disability
The Social Security Administration defines a disability as an inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically documented physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve (12) months. If you believe that you will be out of work for more than one (1) year, you can file your application immediately. That application can be filed at any Social Security office, by telephone (1-800-772-1213) or online at www.socialsecurity.gov
Types of Benefits
A. Social Security Disability Insurance: The Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSD) pays benefits to you and certain family members if you have enough credits for working a specific amount of time and earning a specific dollar amount during the ten (10) year period immediately preceding the onset of your disability. An adult child may also qualify for benefits on your earnings record if he or she has a disability that started before age twenty-two (22).
B. Supplemental Security Income: The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a federal welfare program for the disabled, blind and those over age sixty-five (65). Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is similar to Social Security Disability (SSD) except that is does not require participants to have been employed to qualify for benefits. However, there are both income and asset limitations for eligibility. individuals seeking Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments usually lack work experience.
Determination of Disability
The Social Security Administration uses a five (5) step process to determine if you are disabled:
1. Are you working? Even though you may have a severe impairment, if you are working and your monthly earnings average more than $1000.00 in gross wages, before taxes or any other deductions, that work activity will be considered Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), and you generally cannot be considered disabled. However, if you have Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWEs) which allow you to work, or if your work is not competitive, your work may not be considered SGA. If you are not working, go to step 2.
2. Is your condition severe? Your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered. If your condition does not interfere with basic work-related activities, the Social Security Administration will find that you are not disabled. On the other hand, if your condition does interfere with basic work-related activities, go to step 3.
3. In order to be found disabled at step 3, the medical signs, findings and symptoms of your condition(s) must meet or medically equal one of the set of medical signs, findings and symptoms for the conditions found in the Listing of Impairments. If you are found disabled at step 3, there is no inquiry about your ability to perform past work or other work. If your condition(s) does not meet or medically equal one of the medical conditions found in the Listing of Impairments, go to step 4.
4. Can you do the work that you did before?
If your condition is severe, but it does not meet or equal the level of severity as a medical condition found in the Listing of Impairments, the Social Security Administration must determine if the condition interferes with your ability to perform your past relevant work. In other words, you must prove that you are incapable of performing any of the work that you performed during the last 15 years or in the 15 years before your insured status expired. If it does not, your claim will be denied. If it does, go to step 5.
5. Can you do any other type of work? If you cannot do the type of work you did in the past, the Social Security Administration will determine if you can adjust to other work in the national economy. The Social Security Administration will consider your medical conditions, your age, education, past relevant work experience and any transferable skills you may have. If you cannot adjust to any other work, your claim will be likely approved. If it is determined that you can adjust to other work, your claim will be denied.
In most cases you only have 60 days from the date of the disability determination to file an appeal. If you or a family member has had an application for benefits denied by the Social Security Administration, we urge you to contact us immediately for assistance. This will allow us ample time to prepare an appeal to the denial of benefits issued by the Social Security Administration. There is no fee to assist you in filing the appeal or for your initial consultation with our SSI lawyers.
If you’re suffering from depression, fibromyalgia, chronic back pain or other debilitating injuries that are shutting you off from gainful employment and you need to file a Social Security Disability or SSI benefits claim, the disability attorneys of Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen, L.P.A., Co. in Cincinnati will work with you to determine the best approach for pursuing your disability claim.
Call our office at 513.721.6500 or contact us online, and we will respond to you promptly.
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The law firm of Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen, L.P.A., Co. represents families and individuals in greater Cincinnati and throughout southwest Ohio and the tristate region with concerns in workers compensation, Social Security Disability, malpractice and personal injury. The communities that we serve include Cincinnati, Loveland, Fairfield, West Chester, Hamilton, Norwood, Colerain, Milford, Middletown and Batavia.
Clermont County — Hamilton County — Butler County — Warren County