A Hackensack Social Security disability lawyer understands how stressful and overwhelming the disability claims process can be. Social Security disability applications and appeals require extensive information, medical and legal analysis, and attention to detail. When you’re living with chronic illness and pain, it is sometimes difficult to manage all these complexities on your own. Thankfully, the Social Security lawyers at Hermann Law Group are here to help. Learn more about the Social Security claims process below.
Understanding Social Security Disability and SSI Benefits
There are two different forms of Social Security disability benefits: Disability Insurance (sometimes called SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI). While these benefits are similar in many ways, there are some important differences between them, including:
Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Eligibility is based on your past earnings and the severity of your medical conditions.
- Your household income and financial resources do not impact your right to benefits.
- Recipients receive monthly payments and are eligible for Medicare.
- Your monthly benefit payment is based on your past earnings.
- Minor and disabled children can receive additional dependent benefits.
- Eligibility is based on your household income and the severity of your medical conditions. You can receive SSI even if you have never worked or haven’t worked in a very long time.
- If your household income and assets are over a certain threshold, you cannot receive benefits.
- Recipients receive modest monthly payments and are eligible for Medicaid.
- Additional benefits are not available for dependent children.
Depending on your work history and household income, you might be eligible for both forms of Social Security disability. If you need help determining your eligibility for SSDI and SSI benefits, contact a Hackensack Social Security disability lawyer at Hermann Law Group. We will review your earnings history, assess your claim, and educate you about your options.
Apply for Social Security Benefits in Hackensack
Before you apply for Social Security benefits, you should organize your information. You should compile:
- A list of your medical conditions and diagnoses,
- Employment information, including:
- Names of your employers,
- Dates of employment,
- Pay rates, and
- Job titles.
- The names and addresses of your doctors and other medical providers,
- The dates of any inpatient hospitalizations and major surgeries,
- When your conditions began to impact your ability to work,
- The last date you worked full-time or earned significant income, and
- Information about your living situation and financial resources.
Once you have the necessary information, you can file your application online or in-person at the Hackensack Social Security office. While you can apply on your own, a Hackensack Social Security disability lawyer can file an application on your behalf. A Hackensack Social Security disability lawyer will help you complete your Disability Report and other forms accurately — avoiding mistakes that might result in a denial of your benefits.
Appeal a Social Security Disability Denial
Don’t feel defeated if the Social Security Administration denies your application for Social Security disability benefits. The Administration denies the vast majority of applications — including some with very strong claims. For this reason, you should immediately contact an experienced Hackensack Social Security disability lawyer when you receive a letter denying your claim. If you do not appeal the denial within 60 days, you must restart the entire application process — and you might lose valuable benefits.
In New Jersey, there are several appeal stages. They include:
The first step to a Hackensack Social Security appeal is filing a Request for Reconsideration. While the Administration denies most reconsiderations, it is a necessary and important step in the appeal process.
If Social Security denies benefits at the reconsideration level, you can file a Request for Hearing. At the hearing, an administrative law judge will review your evidence, listen to testimony, and issue a decision.
If the judge denies your disability benefits, you can appeal to the Social Security Appeals Council. The Appeals Council will review the judge’s decision and decide whether his or her errors merit another hearing or the approval of your benefits.
Social Security disability appeals are highly technical and require attention to detail. Depending on the nature of your claim, this might involve:
- Reviewing your entire Social Security file and identifying missing information and inaccuracies,
- Submitting evidence supporting your claim, including medical records and vocational information,
- Seeking the opinions of medical and vocational experts,
- Drafting a written brief that details your legal theories and highlights important evidence,
- Presenting evidence and testimony at your hearing,
- Cross-examining witnesses, and
- Assessing your chance of success in subsequent appeals.
Most disabled people simply cannot do this on their own. Instead, they retain an experienced Hackensack Social Security disability lawyer.
At Hermann Law Group, we take the time to understand your situation. We will carefully review your case, provide honest and compassionate advice, and tirelessly fight for your rights. If your benefits were denied, contact us immediately for a free evaluation.
Discuss Your Claim With a Hackensack Social Security Disability Lawyer
When you’re fighting for your benefits, you need a skilled Hackensack Social Security disability lawyer at your side. At the Hermann Law Group, we specialize in disability-related claims and tirelessly fight for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation.