The Social Security Administration (SSA) of the United States is responsible for distributing various types of Social Security benefits to American citizens. For example, some people receive Social Security retirement benefits once they reach retirement age, but others are eligible to claim Social Security Disability benefits if they have medical conditions that prevent them from working. In addition, if you or a loved one suffered an injury at work or experienced any catastrophic injury resulting in permanent disability, you could qualify to claim disability benefits.
The SSA pays Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to disabled Americans. SSDI is applicable to those who have worked and accumulated work credits by paying Social Security income tax. SSI is reserved for disabled Americans who are unable to work and have very limited financial resources. Most injured workers in North Carolina who are left unable to return to their jobs will qualify for ongoing benefits from their employers’ workers’ compensation policies, but Social Security Disability may also be available.
The right attorney can make it much easier for you to secure the Social Security Disability benefits you need to support yourself and your family despite your medical complications. Unfortunately, while the Social Security system exists to function as a lifeline and support system for the Americans who need it most, the SSA denies most of the claims received each year for technical and clerical reasons. Christina Rivenbark & Associates has a team of experienced attorneys who have helped many past clients with difficult Social Security Disability claims, and we are confident that we can assist you with your efforts to obtain disability benefits.
The SSA restricts eligibility to claim Social Security Disability benefits to those with qualifying conditions. The SSA regularly updates a comprehensive list of all the medical conditions that may make one eligible to claim Social Security Disability benefits. While the SSA is a federal agency, it coordinates with state-level disability determination offices across the country. Once you file your claim for Social Security Disability benefits, a local disability determination office will handle the next steps in your claim and determine whether you qualify for benefits.
It’s possible to have more than one diagnosis for a qualifying condition, but your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits hinges on the residual functional capacity you possess after your injury. If you are still able to perform any type of paid work or conduct gainful activity on your own, you would be unlikely to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. In addition, if you already receive other benefits, such as workers’ compensation disability benefits through your employer or state-level disability benefits of any kind, this could diminish the amount you receive in Social Security.
Most people filing their claims to the SSA for Social Security Disability benefits this year will receive rejection letters. Most initial claims for disability benefits are denied each year, mostly for technical, clerical, and administrative reasons. Some of the most commonly cited reasons for rejections include:
It can be incredibly frustrating and distressing for a disabled individual to receive a rejection letter in response to their claim, and many people in this situation have no idea what to do at this point. Working with an experienced Jacksonville Social Security Disability attorney can help you avoid common filing mistakes and reduce the chances of having your initial claim denied. Their legal assistance may also help you secure far better results than you could have hoped to see on your own.
When your Social Security Disability benefits claim has been denied, an experienced attorney can help you appeal your case and potentially have the SSA reconsider your claim. The Appeal process is lengthy and tedious, and you will need a legal representative you can trust to prepare you for each new phase of the process. If your claim was denied because of a clerical mistake, missing paperwork, or some other technicality, it’s possible to have the SSA reconsider your claim with missing documentation provided and errors corrected.
If you file for reconsideration after an initial denial, your claim may end there if the SSA approves your resubmitted claim. If they do not, and your amended claim is rejected again, you will need to file a petition for a hearing within 60 days of the second rejection to have your chance to speak before a Social Security administrative law judge. If you are rejected again, you can petition for reconsideration before a panel of judges. Finally, you can file your appeal in a federal district court as a last resort.
When you choose Christina Rivenbark & Associates to represent you after having your claim for Social Security Disability benefits denied, our team has extensive experience representing clients before administrative law judges, and we are often able to argue successfully on behalf of our clients at these hearings. Our team has experience navigating clients through all phases of the Social Security Disability appeals process until they secure the benefits they legally deserve, and we’ll put this experience to work on your behalf.
Once you are approved for Social Security Disability benefits, the SSA will send you a confirmation letter with its determination of benefits. The amount you receive can fluctuate based on various factors, and you will need a good Jacksonville Social Security Disability attorney to help you understand the finer details of your determination of benefits. In addition, some claimants will need to reconcile the benefits received from the SSA with workers’ compensation and other benefits programs. Your attorney will again be an invaluable source of guidance when it comes to ensuring you receive as much monthly support as possible from all available sources of disability benefits.
Social Security Disability benefits can remain in place for as long as you are disabled or until you reach retirement age, at which point you will automatically switch to receiving retirement benefits from the SSA. For families who qualify for SSI, these payments will continue indefinitely as long as the supported individual remains disabled and unable to perform any gainful activity.
When you choose Christina Rivenbark & Associates to represent you in a Social Security Disability claim, we will immediately begin compiling your initial claim for benefits or reviewing the details of a denied initial claim. Once we have ascertained the scope and severity of your condition, we will guide you through the process of proving the true extent of your medical issues. In addition, our team can assist with medical record recovery, consult expert witnesses with medical backgrounds if necessary to support your claim, and prepare you for any appeal-related proceedings you may face if your initial claim is denied.
We know that no two clients have the exact same needs and concerns, and every claimant will face unique challenges in their efforts to secure Social Security Disability benefits. Our firm focuses on the client in every case we accept, addressing their unique needs as we craft their legal strategy and guide them through their claims. If you have recently been injured at work, our team excels at helping clients in the Jacksonville area with their workers’ compensation claims, and it’s possible for a severe injury to qualify a worker for both workers’ compensation disability benefits and additional support in the form of SSDI.
Ultimately, filing for any type of federal benefits can be incredibly challenging without legal counsel you can trust advising you. The right attorney can make a tremendous difference in the strength of your initial claim for benefits, and they can also be essential for resolving many of the common complications disabled claimants experience in their claims to the SSA. Whatever your situation entails, you can expect individualized, compassionate, and responsive legal representation from Christina Rivenbark & Associates through every phase of your case.
The truth is that it is difficult for anyone to qualify for SSDI anywhere in the United States. The SSA denies the majority of claims the agency receives each year for SSDI benefits. Additionally, many people with conditions that qualify for SSDI obtain benefits from other sources, resulting in them earning too much to qualify for SSDI. An experienced Jacksonville Social Security Disability attorney can help you determine whether you qualify and guide you through the filing process to have a greater chance of success.
The most an individual can receive in monthly SSDI benefits in the state is around $3,300. However, the amount of benefits a claimant receives hinges on many variables. For example, if they already receive benefits through a state-level program or workers’ compensation, this will reduce the amount they can receive in SSDI. Your Jacksonville Social Security Disability attorney can provide an estimate of how much you should receive and will help ensure the SSA handles your claim as efficiently as possible.
It’s natural to worry about the cost of legal representation when you are struggling to secure the disability benefits you need when you cannot work. Federal law limits how much an attorney can charge their client for representation in a Social Security Disability claim to $6,000 or 25% of the claimant’s recovered back pay, whichever is lower. Your attorney should carefully explain their billing policy, so there are no surprises in terms of your legal fees.
If your medical condition prevents you from working or consistently performing any substantial gainful activity, you likely qualify for disability benefits. You will need to submit a significant amount of medical records and undergo interviews and medical examinations as part of the approval process. An experienced Jacksonville Social Security Disability attorney is an invaluable asset for these efforts and can help you secure the documentation necessary for proving the extent of your condition.
While you may be concerned about legal fees if you’re thinking of hiring an attorney, it is vital to understand how difficult it is for the average person to successfully obtain Social Security Disability benefits, even when their medical need is clear. Hiring an experienced Jacksonville Social Security Disability attorney to help you file your claim can streamline your receipt of benefits significantly. Additionally, even after you account for the cost of hiring your attorney, the results you reach should more than justify the contingency fee.
Christina Rivenbark & Associates offers compassionate legal representation to Jacksonville area clients seeking the disability benefits they need to manage their lives. The Social Security system is an invaluable source of support for millions of disabled Americans and their families, but the actual process of obtaining Social Security Disability benefits is far more difficult than many people expect. If you’re ready to learn how a Jacksonville Social Security Disability attorney can help your situation, contact us today and schedule your consultation with our team.