Choosing the right Social Security Disability Attorney or Advocate: Part 2

Right Social Security Disability Attorney

It is very important to choose an Attorney who has a win ratio at least 75% for Social Security Disability cases.

It is very important to choose a Social Security Disability Attorney who has a win ratio at least 75% for Social Security Disability cases.  Make sure the Attorney is willing to work on your case until approved for SSDI benefits. When interviewing candidates be sure to ask the questions below:

  • How much experience do you have representing someone for SSDI
  • How long have you or your law firm been in business?
  • Are you an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau?
  • What are your fees for Social Security Disability representation?
  • Cam a law firm provide counsel to complete the necessary paperwork?
  • As a result your law firm track all forms and appeals on time? If so what documents will you provide for me?
  • Will your law firm attend hearings or any appointments with me? Is there any extra fee for this service?
  • Will your law firm contact all my doctors to get medical records for my file? Is so do you charge for this service?
  • Does your law firm have a limit number of times when I can call with questions?
  • Will I have some say about my case?
  • How often should I check the status of my SSDI claim with the Social Security Administration?
  • Will your law firm be responsible for confirming my claim file is up-to-date?
  • Can you give names and phone numbers of previous clients for references?
  • Can I submit my documents to the Social Security Administration on my own?

Getting Experience Representation Matters

However, there are a great number of Impairments Criteria by Social Security Disability Insurance. The Social Security Administration guidelines for strokes, AIDS, fibromyalgia, diabetes, and cancer. It is very important.

In conclusion, preparing for a case is very important to use the language specified in the disability type to prevent denials or delays.  Make sure your representation is utilizing the Social Security Administration Blue Book Listing to look up your condition.

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Choosing the right Social Security Disability Attorney or Advocate: Part 1

Social Security Disability Attorney

There are a growing number of Lawyers who are stepping up and providing early stage help for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Disability (SSI) initial claim..

Applying for Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be challenging difficult process. Today there are more than 1.3 million people in the queue, waiting to get approved for their SSDI or SSI. Many claimants do not know the disability process.  Have to wait an average 2 to 4 years for a court hearing.

Although some SSDI/SSI cases are clear-cut. Having unclear answers or incomplete details.  May move slow through the disability process. By the same token, a large number of disability applications get denied for the very same reasons. That’s when claimants seek legal representation. When choosing a good SSD Attorney or a self-help book it can help you navigate through the system faster. Always remember to look before you leap into hiring a Lawyer.

Get Help Early

Thus, claimants have no reason to seek help when filing an initial SSDI application. Because some attorneys will only accept SSDI or SSI clients who initial claim got denied. There are a growing number of Lawyers who are stepping up and providing early stage help. Complete the Activities of the Daily Living Questionnaire in detail on your application. This form level can be very intimidating to someone who is not familiar with the process. Do not hesitate to get help to complete the application. Because it can increase your chances of getting approved and to avoid the appeal process.

Finding a Good Representative

Seek an Attorney, Advocate, or an organization for SSDI or SSI appeal case.  Make sure the organizations have experience to handle Social Security Disability claims. The benefit of working with a law firm is the legal muscle to back your disability benefits claim.

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Help with Fighting your Social Security Disability (SSD) Benefits

Fighting your Social Security Disability

Need Help? Help is here!As the result,

As the result, I am so disappointed in people who need help with their Social Security Disability Benefits but do not take advantage of the book.  However, not utilizing all the help is available.  Not to mention, I spent $100’s of dollars in creating a website, hired a Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Professional.  In order to have maintenance for my website monthly.  I even paid to get my book copyrighted which makes me first-time author.  I wrote a self-help digital e-book called “How to win your Social Security Disability without an attorney” to help people with their case too.

This book, can help you fight your own Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Initial Claim, Reconsideration Appeal, Appeal Case, and Appeal Council Review.  The book can ensure your Attorney is doing everything in his or her power to get your SSD or SSI benefits approved. You can make sure your Attorney is not sitting around waiting for your scheduled appeal court date hearing.  Some Attorneys do nothing to your SSD or SSI case so they can get $6,000 cap for attorney fees.  But the book it will give you the steps to make sure your Attorney is working towards getting your SSD or SSI reviewed by a Decision Writer’s for a decision.

My mother always said to me “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”  Which means putting some of your eggs in different baskets?  Getting as much help as possible to increase your chances of getting approved for SSD or SSI.  It is like having a little more insurance.  However, the book helped one of my clients who had an Attorney.  Unfortunately, the judge he had, denied his appeal case.  After my client purchased the book, he sent me an email to ask additional questions about the SSD process.  My client wanted to know the next step of the SSD process.  I informed him the next step will be to call his attorney.  To ask if he or she will still represents him.  To answer his question further is to file Appeal Council Review.

His Attorney still kept him on as a client.  Then filed his Appeal Council Review.  Some Attorneys will not represent you after the judge denied your appeal case.  Since he used my book and questions I answered.  After my client read and educated himself of the SSD process.  He is able to make his Attorney get to work on proving his disability claim.  I talked with my client and did some research on his Social Security Disability case every day for a month. My client had to waited for 4 years for a court appeal hearing then an appeal council review.  He finally got approved for his SSD.  All of his hard work on his SSD case paid off for him.

The self-help digital book “How to win your Social Security Disability without an Attorney.” is available on the website just click on buy it now button. Book is only $19.99.  However, I priced the book at a reasonable price.  If you do not have the money to buy the book.  You can ask 20 friends and family members for $1.00 to have enough money to purchase the book.  Another payment method is all major credit cards and PayPal is accepted on the secured website.

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Information you will need to apply for Social Security Disability: Part 2

Social Security Disability Application Process

If you do not have all of your documents, do not delay applying for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income. Social Security Administration will help you get the documents.

Social Security Disability Application Process

More importantly, if you do not have all of your documents, do not delay applying for Social Security Disability or SSI.  Social Security Administration will help you get the documents.  Such as the following below.

  • Date of birth and place of birth (foreign country or State);
  • Was there a public or religious record made for your birth before age 5;
  • Citizenship status;
  • Did someone else every filed a Social Security benefits, SSI, or Medicare on your behalf.  If so, whose Social Security record you applied with;
  • Have you ever used another Social Security number;
  • Were you ever in the active military service before 1968, if so what are the dates of service?  Have you ever been eligible to receive monthly benefit from a Federal civilian agency or military;
  • Was you are your spouse worked for the railroad industry;
  • Have you ever earned Social Security work credits under another country’s Social Security system;
  • Will you qualify or expect to receive an annuity based or pension on your employment with the Federal Government of the United States. Or one of its State or local subdivisions;
  • Are you married, if so what is your spouse’s name, date of birth, age. And Social Security number if known;
  • Any former spouse name, date of birth, or age.  All Social Security numbers if known;
  • Provide the places and dates for each marriage.  How and when your marriage ended;
  • All of the names of any unmarried children under 18.  children who are 18-19 in college or disabled before the age 22;

Addition Documents

  • Do you have children under the age of 3 years old were living with you during a calendar year. When you had no income (earnings);
  • Did you have a parent who was a dependent with you for ½ of his or her support at the time you became disabled;
  • What was your earnings ever since 1978;
  • Include names of your past employers or information about your self-employment.  Also, the amount your earnings for this year and last year;
  • In any event, do you expected to receive any money from your employer.  Since the date you became unable to work;
  • Do you have any unsatisfied arrest warrants. Including an escape from custody or felony.  Nevertheless, ran to avoid confinement or flight escape from prosecution;
  • Give the date when you became unable to work due to your injuries or conditions.  List all illnesses that cause you to be unable to work;
  • Any information you have about worker’s compensation.  Like black lung, or similar benefits you filed or intend to file for. These benefits are listed below:

Provide information for workers’ compensation. Such as, black lung, and/or similar benefits you filed, or intend to file for. These benefits can be:

  • In any event, will it be temporary or permanent in nature;
  • List all annuities and lump sum payments that you received;
  • Provide who is the annuities and lump sum payments will be paid by your employer’s insurance carrier, private agencies, Federal, State or other government or public agencies, or employer;

Here are some examples below:

  • Black Lung Benefits
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Civil Service Retirement
  • Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation
  • Federal Employees’ Compensation
  • Federal Employees’ Retirement
  • Military retirement pensions base on disability
  • State Disability Insurance benefits

Important Note:

Most importantly bring your checkbook or other documents.  That will show your account number of your bank account, other financial institution or credit union.  In order to sign up for direct deposit to avoid worries about stolen or lost checks and mail delays.

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Information you will need to apply for Social Security Disability: Part 1

apply for social security disability

Apply Online for Social Security Disability Income Benefits. Social Security pays disability benefits to people who are unable to work due to having a medical condition that is expected to last 12 consecutive months.

Where you can apply: 

  • On the Social Security Administration website
  • In addition by calling the Social Security Disability national toll-free service at 1800-772-1213 (TTY 1800-325-0778)
  • If you are applying for Supplemental Security Income you cannot apply for benefits online.
  • In any case, you can make an appointment to apply for Social Security Disability for Supplemental Security Income. At your local Social Security Office. However, making an appointment is not required.

You can help your intake call by being ready to:

  • Have all needed documents ready; and
  • Answer all the questions with honesty listed below.

List of documents you may need to provide:

Social Security Disability will ask you to submit documents to verify eligibility such as:

  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or lawful alien status. If you were not born in the United States;
  • Birth certificate or other proof of birth;
  • W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns for last year’
  • S. military discharge papers if you had military service before 1968;
  • Collect detail information about your injuries or condition, work history, illnesses.
  • Pay stubs, award letters, any temporary or permanent worker’s compensation-type benefits you’re received, and settlement agreements;
  • Have your medical evidence ready in your possession. For example, recent test results, medical records, and doctor’s reports.

***Important***

However, Social Security Disability will accept photocopies of your self-employment tax return, birth certificate, and W-2 forms.  On the other hand SSA may want to see your original of most documents.  Such as your birth certificate.  Don’t worry Social Security Disability will return the originals back to you?

If you do not have all of your documents.  In that case do not delay applying for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income.  Social Security Administration will help you get the documents.

Questions the Social Security Administration will ask you:

  • Name, gender, and Social Security number;
  • Name at birth (if different for example maiden name);

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SSI Outreach Access & Recovery (SOAR) Project

SOAR Project

The Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) – SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery Project (SOCAR). It is designed to quickly secure Federal Disability Benefits.

The Homeless Advocacy Project – SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, Recovery Project (SOCAR).  It’s been designed to quickly get Federal Disability Benefits. For helpless men, women, and youth who are homeless and at risk of homelessness.  These individuals are too sick to work. They really need their monthly Supplemental Security Income disability benefits to survive.

In 2007, the HAP created the first SOAR Project in Pennsylvania.  The HAP project partnered with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability Determination (BDD).  In order to speed up the disability benefits application process for chronically homeless Philadelphians.  In fact it was copied after a federal initiative of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  The HAP developed and still continues to operate Philadelphia’s SOAR Project to this day.  It rapidly secures SSI benefits for disabled homeless adults and youth.  A lot of HAP’S SOAR clients are disabled veterans who are either ineligible for VA benefits.  Or without income while navigating through the slow process of VA claims.  That’s when claimants become homeless and living on the streets.

Since the HAP’s first SOAR Project’s SSI application filing was late 2007.  The project has maintained a 98% approval rate.  While rapidly getting SSI benefits for more than 1,800 clients.  With an average of only 52 days from filing date to the determination.  SSI claims for the homeless individuals outside the SOAR Project.  Only have an average approval rate of 10% to 15% of the time. This means most homeless claimants face a difficult and long wait for their appeal case.  Unfortunately, they have to wait two years until a decision is made on their SSI or SSDI claim.  The waiting period is when a person is too sick to work.  Then the claimants become trapped in homelessness, and trying to survive with no income on the streets. On the other hand,  the HAP’s SOAR clients quickly get their SSI or SSDI benefits.

This will enable them to solve their homelessness problems by renting a room. Claimants can apply and qualify for public housing programs.  They are able to move in with a family member.  Or a friend since claimants will have some money to contribute to the household.

The program’s success in clearing up homelessness through its SOAR Project.  However, the HAP has expanded their Project which means preventing homelessness even more.  It can help particularly for the helpless populations.  In 2009, HAP partnered with the Philadelphia Department of Human Services to expand SOAR for disabled youth transitioning from foster care and medical treatment facilities.  This will avoid them from being discharge to the streets.  The HAP Project further their extended scope tool for homelessness prevention when they launched the SOAR re-entry program in 2013.

The generous funding from Sam Fels Fund and Barra Foundation.  This program was created to secure a steady income for disabled prisoners who participate in the Philadelphia’s Mental Health Court.

SOAR representation is offered “behind the walls” so their SSI benefits can be approved upon their prison released. Re-entry SOAR participants are able to obtain stable housing.   SSI and SSDI will provide financial support to decrease the likelihood of re-offending.

For more information about HAP’s SOAR Project. Please contact HAP’s Managing Attorney Michele Levy at melvy@haplegal.org

Call the SAMHSA Headquarters at 877-SAMHSA-7 (877-726-4727) 800-487-4889 (TDD).  Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. to find your local SAMHSA office in your area.

https://www.samhsa.gov/homelessness-programs-resources/grant-programs-services/soar

You can also contact Homeless Advocacy Project at 215-523-9595 or 1800-837-2672. Or via email inof@haplegal.org.  Or write to Homeless Advocacy Project 1429 Walnut Street, 15th Floor, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102.

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Changes to Social Security Disability in 2017: Part 1

Social Security Disability Insurance Changes for 2017

Workers can earn four credits per year. For 2017 you now have to pay Social Security taxes on at least $5.200 in order to earn four credits. This is an increase of $160 compared from 2016. All SSDI recipients will get a 0.3 increase in their monthly SSDI payment in 2017.

Social Security Disability Insurance Changes for 2017. The Social Security Administration (SSA) conducts a financial review can affect disability payment amounts.  Also, qualification rules, and other areas of Social Security Disability every year.

Whenever a serious medical conditions occur from stopping you from working. Then you can apply for benefits through SSA’s disability programs.  The programs can help you get by with living expenses.  Sometimes it can be very tricky when qualifying.  That’s why it is a good idea to seek assistance. For example, a disability advocate or attorney even before starting your application process.

Social Security Disability Insurance Changes for 2017

In order to qualify SSDI. Requires a minimum of 20 to 40 work credits.  It dependents on your age when you became disabled.  Workers can earn four credits maximum per year.

In 2017 you must pay Social Security taxes on at least $5,200.  In order to earn 4 work credits per year.  The Social Security taxes have increased to $160 from 2016.  However, if you already sufficient work credits then this will not affect you.  But other adjustments will affect your SSDI.

  • All SSDI recipients will see a 0.3% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase in 2017.  The average person monthly benefit will be raised from $1,167 in 2016 to $1,171 in 2017.
  • Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) – in order to qualify for SSDI. An applicant cannot have an income from employment that exceeds the SGA level.  Changes in 2017 for SGA for the blind applicants is $1,950. However, the non-blind applicants can have an SGA of $1,170 per month.

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Can I ruin my Social Security Disability Case by working while waiting for a decision? Part 1

Can I ruin my Social Security Disability Case by working while waiting for a decision?

Social Security

How to win your Social Security Disability without an Attorney” self-help digital eBook for $19.99

Unfortunately, there is a long wait for a Social Security Disability hearing.  Which has a huge financial drain with some people.  With no incoming income or just welfare, many people are unable to pay for groceries, utilities, and rent.

A lot of people ask if they can get a job until they are approved for their Social Security Disability initial claim or appeal case.

Please keep this in mind Social Security’s definition of disability is you must miss 12 consecutive months of work due to your impairment.  However, if you attempt to go back to work while your disability case is pending then it may or may not be a problem.  Unfortunately, if you try going back to work for a few weeks or a few days. Then the judge will perhaps see it as unsuccessful work attempt that is due to your inability to work.  For example, if you stay working on a job for more than 3 months it will look like you have the capacity to substantial activity (work).

If you decide to go back to work a trial period then it will not count against your disability claim.

There are other problems you may need to know about deciding to go back to work.  Social Security Disability will examine your work ability and decides if you can work a full-time job.

Therefore you should have no problem with working a part-time. Correct?

WRONG!

Part-time work can cause a lot of problems on your Social Security Disability

Case:

If you can get and work a part-time job in a light duty type job. For example, a shelf stockier at a grocery store then Social Security may assume you are capable of working a full-time job at a less physical job requirement.  A part-time job work will be considered as a hard work level that may suggest you are able to work a full-time job at a lesser hard work level.

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Can I ruin my Social Security Disability Case by working while waiting for a decision? Part 2

Social Security Disability

By limiting your working hours could be Social Security Disability Fraud.

Don’t take a job that is going to limit your income

If you earn more than $1,170 per month before taxes and deductions it will be considered Substantial Gainful Activity Amount (SGA) for 2017.  There are Social Security Disability regulations with some exceptions which mean you are not disabled.

If you reduce your working hours in order to earn less than SGA amount, is that okay?

By limiting your working hours could be Social Security Disability Fraud.  Fraud is classified as being able to work and earn Substantial Gainful Activity Amounts. But if you decide to reduce your earnings in order to stay below the SGA levels to remain eligible for Social Security Disability. You can be found guilty and have the risk of being prosecuted.  So be smart and do not do it, please.

Does working disprove your Disability Benefits?

Below is a quick example:

If you suffer from social anxiety disorder, you will have a hard time being around people.  While waiting for your Social Security Disability Appeal court hearing, you can get a part-time job as a customer service clerk.

Here are some recognizable problems here below?

  • The customer service clerk job is not substantial gainful activity.
  • And, there will be no issue of being able to work a job with the less physically demanding job.
  • No limiting earnings in order to keep income below $1,130.00 SGA level.

Nevertheless…….Social Security will be presumed to believe you are not able to work because you are unable to interact with co-workers, supervisors, and public when your entire job is interacting with people.

Unfortunately, you will have to explain this to the Social Security Disability which makes it harder to make your case.

These are a couple of possible problems with working while trying to get approved for your Social Security Disability case.

I do not want to discourage anyone from working while waiting for your Social Security Disability Appeal Case scheduled court date hearing.

However, there is no simple answer to the questions whether you should work while applying for Social Security Disability Benefits.  Unfortunately, each Social Security Disability case require a review of your job and individual impairments, so watch out for possible problems.

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How to Answer Questions at a Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) Hearing: Part 5

Steps to successfully apply for Social Security disability
Feb 1, 2016 … Roughly one-third of applications for Social Security disability benefits are ultimately approved. How to make sure yours is among them.

Unfortunately, if the Administrative Law Judge believes you are overstating your symptoms, you will lose your credibility and if the Judge does not believe you then you will most likely lose your claim for stance, if the Administrative Law Judge ask you to rate your pain on a scale one to ten on an everyday average, it would not be a good idea to answer your daily pain is at a ten.  State your daily pain is five, six, or even seven is more believable than 10.  Now if your pain escalates at times then should state at times my pain level goes up to a nine or ten, then provide an explanation as to what is your worse symptoms like grocery shopping, sitting too long, cleaning, walking upstairs, etc. When explaining you symptoms avoid phrases like constantly, every day, all the time, unless it is absolutely accurate.

Having multiple impairments, be careful about accuracy in your descriptions for each symptom.  If you inform the Judge that all of your impairments are extremely severe and painful this can compromise your reliability of truly severe impairments diagnoses rely solely or partly on self-reported pain levels.

Having Representation at Your Hearing

Having an experienced disability lawyer or non-attorney representative can help you to answer the questions to help support your disability claim than possibly undermine it.  A Social Security Disability advocate can help with pre-hearing preparation will help you avoid answering the judge’s question in a way that will not hurt your case and any fears you have.  However, a disability representative can answer many of the Administrative Law Judge’s questions that come up at a disability hearing.

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