If you have a disability that makes you unable to work, you may qualify for two programs for disabled people that are administered by the Social Security Administration; Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program administered by the Social Security Administration for people who’ve worked for a number of years and paid into the system through federal withholding taxes. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is another program available to disabled people whose income and assets are very low. At the law office of Michael Monce, we can assist you in filing or appealing your claim and working with you towards a positive result and the benefits you deserve.
What conditions or injuries make me eligible for a disability claim?
The law defines disability as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.
If you are diagnosed by a doctor with a physical or mental disability or injury that is life-threatening, permanent, or long-term and that disability or impairment prevents you from working, then you are considered eligible for benefits. (see a list of common disabilities here)
However, receiving a diagnosis is only the first step. To get the benefits you need, you will have to apply for Social Security disability, and have your case approved. If you’re out of work due to a diagnosed disability, don’t wait. Call the law office of Michael Monce right away at (859)344-8090 to learn how to move your case forward.
How will I know if I qualify for disability?
If you are wondering whether your medical condition is severe enough to warrant a disability claim, here are some questions to consider:
- Have I received a diagnosis from a doctor? Is my disability medically determinable (that is, did my doctor diagnose me based on tests such as blood tests or MRI’s, or do I have other objective proof of my condition’s severity)
- Have I been unable to hold a job due to the condition that I was diagnosed with? Am I unable to work enough to meaningfully contribute to my household?
- Is this condition a life-long or long-term condition? Do my doctors expect my condition to be the same or worse for at least a full year (12 months)?
However, the best way to know whether you have a strong case for disability benefits is to speak with a qualified Social Security Disability attorney. If you are out of work due to a physical or mental disability or injury, and your doctors do not think you will be able to return to work, then call the law office of Michael Monce at (859)344-8090.
How do I apply for disability?
You will need to complete an application for Social Security Disability. In this application, you will be asked to provide information such as the medical providers you see, income and employment information, as well as identifying information for members of your household (such as a spouse or dependent children).
Filling out these forms can be complicated and time-consuming. When you are already suffering from pain or loss of mobility due to your disability, the process can seem overwhelming. Having a qualified attorney work with you from the beginning of your Social Security application can provide an immeasurable benefit because it allows you to have help and expertise available from the very start.
What happens once I apply for disability?
Once you apply for disability, you will have to wait for an initial determination. While you are waiting, a disability claims specialist will review your application, and request information from your doctors and review your employment history prior to becoming disabled. You may be contacted to undergo a consultative examination at the expense of the state.
Once all this information has been collected, it will be reviewed by a claims examiner at the state agency level and an initial decision will be made on your disability claim.
What happens if my claim is denied?
The majority of Social Security Disability claims are denied at the state agency level. But a denial isn’t the end of the story. There is an appeals process in place. If your claim is not approved at the initial determination, you can appeal in what is called a request for reconsideration. If you are denied at that stage, the next step is to request a hearing. This will allow you to testify before an administrative law judge (ALJ) where you can also present additional evidence or information about your disability. The law office of Michael Monce can assist you through every step of this process, including representation at a hearing, and possibly appeal your claim after that, if necessary.
How much will I receive a month?
This can vary depending upon your income prior to your disability, any income that is brought in by other members of your household (such as a spouse), and on any dependent children.
If you receive a favorable decision for your disability claim, you may also receive back pay or past due benefits from the date when you became disabled. This can help you catch up on bills that may have gotten behind while you were out of work. It is from this back pay that your attorney’s fees are paid.
A personal consultation with us when you are making your application can help give you a better idea of the benefits that you might be eligible to receive based on your personal situation.
What if my circumstances change?
The Social Security Administration may periodically check in on your medical and work history. If you have substantially improved in health or have returned to work, your benefits may be terminated. This might apply if your medical condition went into remission, or if new therapies or medication result in a marked improvement in your health. If that happens, and you are able to return to work, your benefits may end.
But if you condition has not substantially improved, and you are still unable to work, it is likely that your benefits will not be reviewed, or, if they are, they are likely to remain in place. Most people who receive Social Security disability will remain on it for life, or until they reach retirement age (when your benefits convert from Social Security Disability benefits to Social Security Retirement benefits).
Why should I use an attorney for my disability claim?
A qualified law team will help move your case through the twists and turns of the application process. If you are considering applying for benefits, it’s likely that your disability puts restraints on the amount of time you can spend making phone calls, filling out applications and tracking down records. But when you have representation, someone who knows the process inside and out and is doing many of those things for you, they will make sure that your application is as strong as possible.
Additionally, more than two-thirds of claims are denied at the state agency level. If you don’t have representation and you are denied, you must file your appeals yourself and prepare for a hearing by yourself. You won’t have anyone familiar with the process helping you to understand the next steps, or making sure that you are able to meet the crucial deadlines.
Michael Monce has been practicing from last 35 years in Northern Kentucky and Ohio. When you work with an experienced Social Security disability lawyer like Michael Monce, you have an advocate who knows the process and can help you through every step, from the first application to the final decision.
You know that your health works best when you have qualified doctors and physical therapists helping you get better. Think of hiring an attorney in the same way. A good attorney acts like a physician to your disability claim, diagnosing problems, and getting all the medical records and information needed to make sure you win your case. You can rest easy knowing that you’re getting the support that you deserve after all your hard work.
If you are considering a Social Security disability claim, don’t wait. Call the law office of Michael Monce today at (859)344-8090 or feel free to contact us here to get the representation you need to get the benefits you deserve.