The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers disability benefits through two programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
SSD and SSI differ greatly in eligibility requirements and available benefits, and many people considering applying for disability benefits are confused about which program to target. The Cincinnati Social Security disability lawyers at Young, Reverman & Mazzei have an extensive record of success helping disabled individuals from the greater Cincinnati tri-state area—including those in northern Kentucky and eastern Indiana—get the benefits they need.
Our attorneys can also lead your appeal for a denied benefits claim. Please call us today at 513-854-8885 or contact us online for a free consultation to learn how we can help you
Who is Eligible for SSDI Benefits?
You are entitled to receive Social Security Disability Income when your disability has met up with 3 qualifications that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has set out. These include:
- When your disability is preventing you from performing your role in your job.
- You are unable to do other job types due to your disability.
- Your disability is going to have an effect on you for a period of 12 months or longer or it will result in death.
If you have a disability that features on the impairments list set out by the SSA, then you are automatically eligible for benefits. A few of the disabilities that are present on the list include:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Bipolar disorder
- Hearing impairment
- Spinal cord injuries
If you have a disability that is not featured on this list, the SSA will then evaluate the claim according to your education, work history, your age, and impairment level that your disability has caused.
While the majority of claims that are denied are due to claimants that do not match up to the SSA’s definitions of disabilities, others are denied due to the work record of the claimant. The claimant must be able to prove a regular work history, even when it was only part-time. If you receive your wages in cash or you have only just recently started working, you might run into issues satisfying these requirements.
When you are not able to qualify for SSDI in regards to your current work history, then you might still be eligible for SSI (Supplemental Security Income). This is a separate program from SSDI and is designed for individuals that have a qualifying disability and they have limited assets and income.
The individuals that are eligible for SSI will have under $2,000 in assets, while their income on a monthly basis is under the FBR (federal benefit rate) of $733. Couples will qualify when their assets do not exceed $3,000 and their income on a monthly basis is under $1,100, of the Federal Benefit Rate for couples.
However, it is also possible to earn over the FBR, and you will still qualify for benefits. For example, if you are earning an income from your job, the SSA will count under 50% of the money you make towards the overall income limit.
In addition, Social Security provides you with a choice to deduct a portion of what you earn from counting towards eligibility for SSI. For instance, if you are earning $1,500 every month, you are allowed to subtract $65 of your earned income, $20 for unearned or earned income and then 50% of what remains. This will leave you with $710 that is counted towards the FBR.
Our disability lawyers in Cincinnati, Ohio, are able to assist you in reviewing your personal situation, to determine whether you qualify for SSI or SSDI benefits.
Related: SSD Benefits in Cincinnati: Can You Work While Getting Them?
Are There SSDI Benefits for Family Members?
The SSA will also grant SSDI benefits to children, spouses, and divorcees, that meet up to specific criteria. These include:
- Spouses over the age of 62.
- Spouses that currently care for children under the age of 16 or for a disabled child or children.
- Stepchildren, unmarried children, grandchildren, or adopted children under 18 years of age or 19 years of age that are still attending either secondary school or elementary school full-time.
- Unmarried children over the age of 18 who have received a diagnosis for a disability before they turn 22.
- Unmarried divorcees 62 years of age or older who were married for 10 years or more.
If you are unable to work or you think you might qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, call our personal injury lawyers to let them know about your situation.
We are able to assist you with the initial application process and we are backed by the skills and resources to help you through an appeals process should they deny your application.
Related: Can Children Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?
Why Should You Hire a Cincinnati Social Security Disability Attorney?
We have a team of highly skilled attorneys that are qualified to guide each of our clients through every step involved in the process to obtain Social Security Disability benefits. We have already successfully helped countless others through these processes.
To begin with, we will assist you in preparing the correct claim so that you can qualify for benefits. Our team of experienced Social Disability attorneys knows about all the documentation that you need that will prove the level that your disability has limited you to.
Even when your first application has been accepted, we will carry on working on your behalf until you receive every benefit that you deserve. We will also go over the approval of the application to ensure no errors have been made.
However, in many cases, your first claim will probably be denied. This is when we come prepared to assist you with your appeal.
Our Social Security Disability lawyers in Cincinnati are here to ensure that an appeal request in writing contains every relevant piece of information and that the appeal has been sent within 60 days to the SSA from receiving the decision letter.
If a claims examiner fails to overrule your first denial, you are able to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. At these hearings, our lawyers are offered the opportunity to present any new evidence, or question experts and witnesses to assist in bolstering your claim.
If in the hearing your lawyer is unsuccessful, they can still request for a second hearing. If the SSA doesn’t grant a second hearing, your lawyer may still go ahead with filing a federal lawsuit in order to overturn the denial of your benefits.
In these scenarios, a Federal Magistrate Judge will review the claim in order to decide whether any regulations or laws were violated. The majority of claims will not reach this stage, yet the ones that usually do are in most cases successful.
Is the Social Security Disability Application Process Difficult?
An application for disability benefits can either be filed by telephone, online, or in-person at one of the Social Security Administration field offices. The SSA suggests that individuals should file online to avoid waiting on a phone call or in a line. Our Social Security lawyers will work alongside you to collect all the required personal and medical information and then file your application for you.
If they deny your initial application, you are allowed to ask for reconsideration. If they still deny your application after reconsideration, then you can ask for a hearing that will be heard before an Administrative Law Judge. In the instance that the judge also denies the claim, you are able to ask for a review that will be heard before an Appeals Council. If an Appeals Council upholds the decision of the judge, your final resort involves filing a suit in a Federal court.
How Do You Prove A Disability?
At every step, you will be required to prove you are not able to participate in any significant gainful activity due to any type of medically determinable mental or physical impairment or impairments which could result in your death, or a disability that has lasted for a consistent period of 12 months or more. A field office or an Administrative Law Judge, or an Appeals Council, or a Federal court will conduct a successive evaluation, in the way of asking:
- Whether the applicant engages in gainful activity that is substantial?
- Are the problems or health problems of the applicant regarded as “severe”?
- Does the impairment of the applicant equal or match up to 1 that has been listed in the set of regulations?
- Is the applicant able to perform his/her “past relevant work”?
- Is the applicant able to perform any other type of work in the national and local economies?
If I Have a Disability Will I Be Entitled to Social Security?
Even in the instances where it has been proven you have a specific disability that falls under the Social Security regulations, you will be disqualified for benefits when you are still engaging in “substantial gainful activity” or when a vocational expert has found jobs within your set of limitation that are available in numbers regarded as significant in the national and local economy. You are still allowed to engage in limited amounts of monthly gainful activity, which changes on a yearly basis according to the National Average Wage Index.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire An SSDI Lawyer?
The Federal Laws require that the fees for lawyers are set at 25% of what your back pay is worth from your Social Security disability award, or to a maximum amount of $6,000. This will mean that you are not required to pay your legal fees upfront when you decide to hire a Social Security lawyer. In fact, you are not liable for any fees when your claim is denied. Your lawyer may petition for an amount that exceeds $6,000 when your claim involves several appeals or hearings, yet these are rare occurrences.
How Long Does It Take to Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?
Once you have made an application for benefits, the average time-frame to receive the first decision is between 4 to 6 months. A reconsideration could take another 4 to 6 months. If you have requested a hearing that is held before an Administrative Law Judge, it could take around 20 months in order to secure your hearing. In the cases where you have decided to take your denied application to a Federal court, it usually takes several months more in order to resolve the claim. The Social Security lawyers at Young, Reverman, & Mazzei, always work as efficiently and diligently as they can according to what the court systems and Social Security allow.
If My SSD Claim is Denied, Do I Have Any Options?
More than 60 percent of initial applications for SSD benefits are denied, but they may be resolved upon appeal. Instead of starting the application process over completely, applicants can request that the SSA reconsider a denied claim. If your SSD claim has been wrongfully denied, the SSA offers four levels of appeals to reverse the decision.
Applicants usually have a deadline of 60 days from the date the notice of denial is received to file an appeal. It’s important to file your appeal as soon as you receive a letter of denial to avoid missing this deadline. If you’re unsure on how to appeal the SSA’s decision, a knowledgeable attorney experienced in disability law can help you better understand your options for appeal. Applicants are much more likely to successfully appeal if they seek assistance from an attorney.
How Can a Social Security Disability Lawyer Help Me?
An experienced disability attorney can guide you through the process of applying for SSD benefits. They can help you understand the different disability programs available to you, how you may qualify, and whether other family members are eligible for dependent benefits. Although you are not required to hire an attorney to apply for SSD or SSI benefits, a knowledgeable disability lawyer can improve your chances for a successful initial application. A disability attorney can also lead you through the appeals process.
Contact A Social Security Disability Lawyer Today
The Cincinnati disability attorneys at Young, Reverman & Mazzei have decades of experience helping disabled individuals get the financial benefits they need to move forward with their lives. Whether you’re preparing to apply for Social Security Disability benefits or need guidance appealing a denied claim, our lawyers are ready to help.
Please call us today at 513-854-8885 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.
We welcome clients from the greater Cincinnati and Dayton areas in Ohio, as well as those in northern Kentucky (Campbell County, Boone County, and Kenton County) and eastern Indiana (Dearborn County). Please see our Locations page for a complete list of our offices and directions.