Lead Counsel independently verifies Social Security Disability attorneys in Mansfield by conferring with Massachusetts bar associations and conducting annual reviews to confirm that an attorney practices in their advertised practice areas and possesses a valid bar license for the appropriate jurisdictions.
Social security disability benefits are meant to help people who are unable to work due to a long-term disability. Unfortunately, proving your disability and eligibility for assistance can be complicated. It is best to contact a skilled Mansfield social security disability lawyer to help you with this process.
There are several options for disabled people to receive assistance from the Social Security Administration. Individuals who have worked paid into the Social Security system may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). These claims are often denied if not done properly.
There is also a federal income supplement program called SSI which is based on financial need and not on whether the person has worked or not. There are several other programs for disabled widows and widowers as well as disabled adult children.
To qualify for SSDI, you need to have a valid work history. To determine if your employment record is sufficient, social security reviewers will assign “credits” to different factors of your previous work experience. You need 40 credits to become eligible. Credits are assigned based on your income, your age, and how long you worked. The threshold for each of these factors may change each year. For example, you may earn one credit for each $1,000 you made the last year you worked. If you’re within a certain age bracket, they’ll expect that you worked a certain number of years to earn credit. So if you’re say, under 30, you may be required to work only eight years to earn credits, and will get more credits per year than a person over 40 who may be expected to have worked longer and will also get fewer credits per year of work.
It is possible for a person to receive SSI and SSDI. If you have a sufficient work history and limited finances and other resources, you could be eligible to receive payment through both programs. You’ll need to meet the minimum standards for each program, or else you may be denied one or both.
Why take a chance on having your claim rejected? Find an attorney who understands the ins and outs of SSD laws and benefit applications. Search for an attorney with experience in cases like yours and ask them tough questions to make sure they are the right fit. Many experienced SSD attorneys are out there waiting to help advocate on behalf of clients.
If your SSDI application is denied, you have the option to appeal. You’ll only have 60 days to begin your appeals process, so it’s important not to wait too long. You can begin the appeal process by applying online, and you’ll have a few options for what kind of appeal to do. If you disagree with their assessment of your disability, you can request reconsideration and you’ll get a new review completed by different people. You could also opt to have a hearing before an administrative judge, an appeals council, or in some cases, a federal court, to explain why you believe your case was wrongly denied.
The SSA says that applicants should expect it to take three to five months before they receive a decision about their case. If you send incomplete or incorrect information in your application, that could delay your decision. You should send in all the requested materials as soon as possible to decrease your wait time. In some cases, you may be asked to provide follow-up information for a review, which may also add a few more months before your case is approved or formally denied. If they accept your application, you can generally expect to start receiving payments in one to two months.
If you’re required to complete a Social Security Disability Review, they’ll usually send you a short-form or a long-form review application. The process for the long-form usually takes four to six months, though it may a bit shorter or longer depending on the circumstances. The short-form review often takes one to three months, give or take. For both versions of the review you’ll need to provide some requested documentation about your identity and disability, and information about your work history. In the long-form version, you many need to provide more extensive medical records and will have additional forms to fill out. In both cases, you may be asked to participate in periodic follow ups.
Social Security Insurance (SSI) differs from SSDI in a few ways. SSDI typically pays more, but has stricter eligibility criteria. Whereas SSDI generally only applies to people who have worked before and have severe disability, SSI can apply to people who are over the age of 65, legally blind, or who have a severe disability. However, people who meet those qualifications aren’t eligible for SSI unless they’re also on very limited income. Those who receive SSI will usually qualify for Medicaid soon after they’re approved for SSI, but SSDI recipients may need to wait about two years for Medicaid.
To qualify for SSDI, you’ll need to demonstrate that you have a severe disability as defined by the Social Security Administration (SSA). This may include physical limitations like an inability to lift things, stand, walk, or sit, or mental limitations like significant memory problems. Having these kind of conditions may not be sufficient to receive benefits; they must also hinder your ability to do basic job functions.
If you have a strong work history and a physical or mental disability that prevents you from working anymore, you could apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). You’ll typically need to have your disability for at least six months before you can apply. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online or over the phone if they can, but there may be in person options near you if virtual applications aren’t accessible. You’ll need to provide various identifying information and details about your disability. They may ask you to submit documents like your birth certificate, prior W2’s, and an Adult Disability Report that you can get online or at a social security office.
In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.
The goal of an initial consultation is to find an attorney you are comfortable working with and someone who can help you understand your options under the law. Seek to understand the relevant legal experience the attorney brings to your case. While it is not realistic to expect an attorney to resolve your legal issue during an initial consultation, you should gain a level of comfort with his/her ability to do so. A good consultation can clarify issues, raise pertinent questions and considerations for your case, and help you make an informed decision towards resolving your legal issue.
Bill by the hour: Many attorneys bill by the hour. How much an attorney bills you per hour will vary based on a number of factors. For instance, an attorney’s hourly fee may fluctuate based on whether that hour is spent representing you in court or doing research on your case. Attorneys in one practice area may bill you more than attorneys in a different practice area.
Contingent fee: Some lawyers will accept payment via contingent fee. In this arrangement, the lawyer receives a percentage of the total monetary recovery if you win your lawsuit. In sum, the lawyer only gets paid if you win. Contingent fee agreements are limited to specific practice areas in civil law.
Flat fee: For “routine” legal work where the attorney generally knows the amount of time and resources necessary to complete the task, he/she may be willing to bill you a flat fee for services performed.
Plaintiff – a person or party who brings a lawsuit against another person(s) or party/parties in a court of law. Private persons or parties can only file suit in civil court.
Judgment – A decision of the court. Also known as a decree or order. Judgments handed down by the court are usually binding on the parties before the court.