Home health aides are a vital, segment of the American workforce whose efforts help ensure that elderly and incapacitated individuals are properly looked after. In our practice we see how often these workers suffer their own injuries while helping their clients; in addition to having other medical impairments that can leave them unable to perform their jobs. Fortunately, the Social Security Disability benefits system provides an important safety net for home health aides and a wide variety of other employees in the event that physical or mental conditions prevent them from working.
In addition to benefits from Social Security Disability many home health aides are eligible for Workers’ Compensation if they are injured on the job.The interplay between Workers’ Compensation and SSD benefits is complex but the experienced attorneys at Hermann Law Group can explain the complex relationships between these and other sources of benefits available to home health aides and to any class of employee.
In some cases there may even be additional benefits from a Union or an employer’s disability plan that must be considered as well. To sort out and explain these various benefit sources you need an experienced attorney who is familiar with your case from its filing; not a non-attorney representative or an attorney you meet just before the hearing
Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are available to workers in any field who have paid into the program and are unable to do their jobs (or other jobs) for at least a year or more as a result of a physical or mental impairment or combination of impairments. A separate program, Supplemental Security Income, provides benefits to persons who have limited income and resources.
In order to obtain benefits under either program, you must file a claim with the Social Security Administration, the federal agency charged with managing the Social Security benefits system. An adult worker must clearly establish in the claim documents and attached evidence that he or she suffers from an impairment or combination of impairments that has left the person unable to work for at least a year.
Because the claim process can be slow and complicated, it is a good idea to file a claim if you think that you won’t be able to work for a year. The SSA can award retroactive benefits for the months between the onset of the disability or filing of the claim and the approval of the claim when warranted.
Unfortunately, the majority of claims filed each year are initially denied, including many which clearly have merit and should be easily approved. The key is not be discouraged if your claim is initially denied. You have the right to appeal the decision, and appear at a hearing before an SSA administrative law judge. In our opinion, this hearing is the best opportunity to prove the claim because the judge can observe the claimant and hear arguments as to why he or she is entitled to benefits.
For home health aides, it’s important to explain all of the various physical and mental requirements of the job and establish how the particular worker’s impairment impacts his or her ability to perform specific tasks. That means providing job descriptions and possibly witness testimony, as well as complete and accurate medical records and opinions.
Being represented by an attorney won’t guarantee that you’re approved for Social Security disability benefits, but an experienced disability lawyer’s expertise and assistance may very well be the difference between approval and denial of a claim. It can also speed up the claims process in some cases. If you or a loved one is considering filing a claim for SSD benefits, contact the New York Social Security Disability lawyers at Hermann Law Group, PLLC. We are dedicated to providing high quality, personalized legal services. Please call or contact us to set up an appointment.
Related blog posts:
What is The Value of Hiring an SSD Attorney?
What is the Timeframe From Filing a Claim to Receiving SSD Benefits?
The Importance of Treating Doctor Evidence in Social Security Disability Cases – Mussaw v. Commissioner of Social Security