Before you attend a disability appeal hearing, you should always consult with a Greenwich Social Security disability attorney. The lawyers at Hermann Law Group understand how daunting the challenges associated with a disability claim and appeal. We also know how much is at stake. This is why we take our job — advocating for and empowering disabled New Yorkers — so seriously. Learn more about Social Security disability below.
Social Security’s Five-Step Disability Analysis
While there are two types of Social Security benefits: Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), their legal analysis is similar. Once you meet work or income-based eligibility criteria, you must prove that you:
- Are not engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA),
- Have serious medical impairments that will last at least 12 months,
- Either meet or equal one of Social Security’s “listings” (checklists of severe symptoms that are associated with a condition), or
- Cannot perform your past relevant work, and
- Cannot perform other work.
In most disability claims, this five-step analysis involves a complicated assessment of your medical conditions, supporting evidence, and the applicable legal rules and criteria.
Additionally, your age, education, work history, and skill level will impact your claim. If you are a younger person or have significant transferable skills, these factors will complicate your disability claim. If you have questions about how the five-step analysis applies to your claim, contact a Greenwich Social Security disability attorney at Hermann Law Group for more information.
Filing a Social Security Disability Appeal
Once you file a Social Security disability application, the Administration will investigate your claim and either grant or deny your benefits. If you receive a denial, don’t give up hope. Social Security denies a very high percentage of disability claims at the application level. Instead, consult with an experienced Greenwich Social Security disability attorney about a possible appeal.
To file an appeal, you must first complete a Request for Hearing and a Disability Appeal Report. If you do not file these forms within 60 days of your denial, you must refile for benefits. For this reason, it’s always in your best interest to promptly schedule an appointment with a Greenwich Social Security disability attorney. If the attorney agrees to represent you, her or she will help you complete and submit these forms properly.
Once you file your appeal paperwork, Social Security will refer your claim to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). You or your Greenwich disability lawyer will also review your entire administration file (which might contain thousands of pages of evidence) and submit any important, missing information. Social Security typically handles appeals on a first-come, first-served basis. However, some New Yorkers qualify for expedited hearings or on-the-record decision. If you are potentially eligible for a faster hearing or a decision without a hearing, your lawyer should notify you.
Important Questions to Ask a Greenwich Social Security Disability Attorney
It’s important to choose the right Greenwich Social Security disability attorney. Before you sign a lawyer’s fee agreement, ask him or her:
- Are you a licensed attorney?
- Are you familiar with my ODAR office and its judges?
- Do you have familiarity with my medical conditions?
- How often do you communicate with clients?
- Who will appear at my Social Security hearing? (You or someone else?)
- Do you handle Appeals Council and federal court appeals?
- How do you bill for attorney’s fees and legal costs?
Social Security appeals are time-intensive and stressful. For this reason, it’s always best to hire a Greenwich Social Security lawyer that you both like and trust. If, for any reason, you aren’t comfortable with a lawyer, seek a second opinion.
At Hermann Law Group, we value our clients. We’ll spend time with you, making sure we understand your clam and goals. And, we apply over 50 years of combined experience to fight for your rights. If you’re interested in more information about our approach to Social Security claims, schedule a free appointment.
What to Expect at a Social Security Hearing
At your Social Security hearing, both the judge and your Greenwich Social Security disability attorney will ask you questions. These questions will focus on your:
- Medical conditions and symptoms,
- Daily activities,
- Education and work experience,
- Ability to work, and
- History of substance abuse (if applicable).
While some of these questions might seem intrusive, it’s important to answer them honestly. The judge is assessing your credibility, and any dishonest or evasive answers might damage your claim.
Because so much is at stake, you should prepare for your hearing. This might involve reviewing your medical records, symptom diaries, and other information. And, if you have a Greenwich Social Security disability attorney, he or she can answer your questions and concerns.
Consult With a Greenwich Social Security Disability Attorney
A Greenwich disability attorney from Hermann Law Group is ready to talk with you. Contact us for a free and confidential evaluation today. And, you will not pay an attorney’s fee unless we win your claim.