The Law Office of Eddye L. Lane, P.A. assists adults and children who have been denied Social Secuity disabiilty benefits from the Social Security Administration. Usually our clients are applicants who have applied for Social Security Disability income (SSDI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSI)and have already been turned down.
Think of Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) as an insurance policy with the federal government. Remember the FICA deductions that came out of your check while you were working? Part of that payment was your disability insurance premium. If you are able to prove that you are disabledwithin the meaning of the Social Security Act and that you are vested or have enough Quarters of Coverage, then you will be able to receive disability benefits which may be a lump sum and/or a monthly cash payment. The amount of your monthly benefits depends upon your past earnings and will be calculated by the Social Security Administration.
There are persons who have not worked or do not have a sufficient work history (children, homemakers, etc.), who do not qualify to receive SSDI, but may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients also qualify for Medicaid. The SSDI hsa a waiting period before Medicare my be available, however the SSI recipient does not have a waiting period for the Medicaid benefit. In some cases, a person may qualify for all four benefits: SSDI, Medicare, SSI and Medicaid.
Most applicants can apply online at www.ssa.gov. I suggest that you immediately call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to apply by phone, or apply online. Applications for children benefits must be made in person at your local Social Security office. Be sure to take a birth certificate and any other documents requested.
Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing can call the toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778. You may be given a telephone appointment on your first phone call. Someone at Social Security will call you at an appointed time. Be sure that you are available to receive the call from the Social Security representative at the time scheduled and at the telephone number that you provided. If entitled to retroactive benefits, the amount of the lump sum payment may be calculated from the date you call in to submit your application. Don't delay your application!
What if I get turned down?
This is where we step in to help! If you are turned down, appeal, appeal, appeal! You have sixty (60) days to appeal to the next level if you are denied Social Security disability benefits. Don’t miss your deadline! If you get to my office before you appeal time is up, we will help you with the appeal forms and process. If you miss the deadline and too much time has not passed, you may be able to have your application reopened for good cause.
It is very difficult to get approved for benefits on the first level of the process. Generally, you must be considered "presumptively disabled" or have a medical condition that clearly meets Social Security’s definition of disability in order to be approved at the first level of the application process. The definition for disability for Social Security Administration is rather strict and is very different from the definition used by other agencies or employer disability plans. We want to help you understand the process and develop your case, so that all of your pertinent information is submitted to the Social Security Administration.
There are three additional levels of appeal in the administrative process. If you are turned down on your initial application, then you must request a Reconsideration. If you are turned down on Reconsideration, then you must apply for an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Hearing. Thereafter, you may request the Appeals Council in Virginia to review the judge's decision if denied at the ALJ level.
We will be happy to discuss additional options with you if you have been turned down by the Appeals Council.
Things you should have handy for your initial visit with us:
A copy of your application for benefits
Denial letter from the Social Security Administration
Names and addresses of all doctors, clinics, hospitals visited within one year before your application date.
List of your current medication and Information regarding any recent medication changes
List of places you have worked, and the type of work you performed within the past fifteen (15) years.