Tucson Social Security Disability Attorney

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Social Security Disability Lawyer

 

Frequently Asked Social Security Disability Benefit Questions

 

1. What's the difference between SSD and SSI?

 

SSD benefits are designed to support individuals who are disabled and cannot work, while Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are designed to support disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. SSI benefits are also available to people aged 65 and older without disabilities who meet financial limits.

 

2. How can a lawyer help me with my claim for benefits?

 

Magid Law Firm can help you with all aspects of your claim, including:

  • locating medical, work, and military records,
  • submitting your appeal,
  • representing you during your hearing, and
  • much more.

Having an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer on your side may increase your chances of getting benefits.

 

3. Why was I denied SSD benefits?

 

If you applied for SSD benefits and were denied, you did not meet the SSA's definition of a disability. You could be denied for a number of reasons, including:

  • you are convicted of a crime,
  • you commited fraud,
  • you could not be located,
  • you failed to follow prescribed therapy,
  • your disability is based on a drug addiction,
  • your income and resources exceed limits, or
  • some other reason.

4. What should I do if I'm denied SSD benefits?

 

If you are denied SSD benefits, you have 60 days from the date you received the denial letter from the SSA to file an appeal. In most cases, you must file a written appeal.Magid  Law firm can help.

 

5. Can I receive SSI benefits if I'm working?

 

Through programs provided by the SSA, such as Ticket to Work, you can return to work while still receiving SSI benefits; however, once your income exceeds SSI requirements, you will no longer be qualified for benefits.

 

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6. Am I disabled?


According to the Social Security Administration, you are disabled if you are unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment.  The disability must have lasted or be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 month, or be expected to result in death.



7. How do I qualify for SSDI?


Your earnings record and work history must be fairly recent and you must have several years of recent work.  If you are in your forties or fifties, for example, you need to have worked for at least 5 out of the past ten years.  You can earn up to 4 credits for each year and the amount of earnings you need for one credit adjusts yearly.  For 2006, for example, you need $970 to earn one credit.  Once you have earned $3,880 in 2006, you qualify for all 4 of your potential credits.

If you look at your earnings over the past 10 years and you see around $3,000 a year for five of those years, you are probably insured.


For younger claimants, you may qualify for SSDI with a smaller number of earnings credits.  One of the things I do when I take a case is to request your  earnings and benefit statement - this will tell me if you have paid enough  Social Security taxes to be "insured" for Disability. Again, the general rule (there  are many exceptions) is that you must have worked and paid Social Security taxes  for five out of the last ten years.

 


8. When should I apply for SSDI?


If you have a medical condition that is severe enough to prevent you from working and earning over $1,000 a month and is expected to keep you from working for a period of at least 12 continuous months, then you should apply right away.



9. I have already been denied, now what should I do?


You have 60 days from the date of your denial to file an appeal.  It is very important that you file within this time or you may have to start over with a new application.  This could mean hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost benefits.  If you have less than 10 days left before the appeal deadline, I would advise you to go to your local Social Security office and file in person.  If you have more than 10 days, now is the time to contact an attorney.

10. Do I need an attorney?


The short answer is no, you don't need an attorney.  However, studies have shown that claimants who are represented by an attorney have a greater chance of receiving a favorable decision. 


11. Should You Hire a Social Security Disability Lawyer or Go It Alone?

 

Statistically, the vast majority of Social Security Disability (SSDI/SSD) and SSI claims are denied at the initial claim and reconsideration levels, and this typically happens regardless of whether or not a claimant is represented by an attorney or non-attorney disability advocate.

 

For this reason, most SSD and SSI claims will need to go to a hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ) before a claimant can hope to receive disability benefits.


It is at the level of an ALJ hearing that having a disability attorney or non-attorney claimant's representative, a.k.a. disability advocate, can really help win a claim. While a disability attorney or non-attorney advocate representative can't guarantee that a claimant will be awarded Social Security Disability or SSI benefits, a Social Security lawyer can guarantee that a case will be properly "developed" prior to a hearing date.


12. Social Security Disability Benefits


The Social Security Disability Process is long and somewhat complex. This is particularly difficult when you are having major medical issues and often times financial issues to deal with at the same time.




Free consultations with the Tucson, AZ law firm of Ruth M. Magid

If you think we've said enough here, please pick up the phone and give us a call. We promise courteous, ethical, aggressive legal representation.

We represent people in Tucson and throughout Arizona. Or call 1(520) 477.1441 for a free consultation.