Social Security Disability
The word “disability” is a very scary word. Those who become disabled often do not like to admit, even to themselves, that they are unable to provide for themselves, and are often reluctant to seek the help that they need. For those who are disabled – due to a serious accident, or due to a severe illness – the Federal government, as well as the State of New York and the City of New York, offer government benefit programs to assist the disabled who cannot support themselves financially due to their disability. The attorneys at Jesse Minc Law Group have considerable experience representing people who are dealing with injuries or illnesses that prevent them from supporting themselves, and in helping the disabled properly apply for important benefits that can help improve their quality of life.
Our network of experienced and knowledgeable attorneys can help you determine if you qualify for disability benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. We also can help you apply for benefits, and in the event of a denial by the Social Security Administration (SSA), we can help you obtain lawyers to guide you through the appeals process. The Bronx Social Security Disability lawyers in our network have received recognition from their peers for excellence in their fields. In order to be certain that each client receives the attention that they need and deserve, we limit the number of cases that we accept. Clients of Jesse Minc Law Group always have direct access to the lawyers handling their cases, and our attorneys maintain contact with social security disabiltiy lawyers to whom we refer clients for assistance to make sure that our clients are receiving the help they need and deserve.What Is Social Security Disability Insurance?
SSDI is a benefits program run by the SSA. It is funded by federal payroll taxes, part of which are deducted from employees’ paychecks, and part of which are paid directly by their employers. Benefits are available to individuals who meet certain qualifications, which include the following:
- They must be under the retirement age of 65;
- They must have a condition that meets the SSA’s definition of “disability” and that completely prevents them from working;
- The disability must be expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death;
- They must have accumulated enough “credits,” meaning that they must have worked and paid payroll taxes for a minimum period of time; and
- Their residual functional capacity (RFC), meaning their continued ability to perform some form of work, if any, must be less than the capacity that they previously possessed.
The Social Security Disability lawyers in our network have the experience and knowledge required to help you prove that you meet these important criteria, thus establishing your right to benefits. In order to ensure that you have the best possible chance of obtaining benefits, you should always consult with a lawyer before applying. It is important to be aware that there are many organizations out there that advertise themselves as “Disability Advocates”, but which are not lawyers. It is recommended that you make sure you are speaking with an attorney, rather than a non-attorney “Disabiltiy Advocate”, if you believe that you have a claim for disabilty benefits and require advice and assistance in this process.Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits
In order to qualify as a “disability,” the person’s injury or illness must prevent them from engaging in “substantial gainful activity” (SGA), which essentially means the ability to work enough to support oneself. Unlike in personal injury claims, an applicant for SSDI benefits does not need to prove that their inability to engage in SGA resulted from any specific event. Instead, the applicant must show that one or more injuries or illnesses prevent them from working for at least 12 months, or in the case of terminal or incurable conditions, until the applicant’s death. Our network of Social Security Disability attorneys can help Bronx residents and other injured people in New York City gather evidence to document a disability. Our firm has assited victims of serious construction accidents, car accidents, truck accidents and many other types of serious accidents obtain Social Security Disability benefits when they are permanently disabled from working due to negligence.
The SSA maintains an extensive list of injuries and conditions that could constitute a disability. It also identifies five “exertional levels” of work in order to assess an applicant’s RFC: Sedentary, Light, Medium, Heavy, and Very Heavy. Essentially, these “exertional levels” refer to the amount of physical activity required to perform a particular type of work. If an applicant’s RFC matches their previous work, they are usually denied. If an applicant previously performed “very heavy” work but now can only perform “sedentary” work, they might still be able to qualify for SSDI benefits.
The number of credits that a person must have starts at 20 during the 10 years before becoming disabled. This is the equivalent of 20 calendar quarters of work, or five years. If an applicant can show that their disability began before the age of 22, however, the credit requirement is waived. After the age of 42, the required number of credits increases by one for each year. The amount of benefits that a person may receive is calculated based on their prior wages. Contact our team today at (718) 354-8000 to learn more about this important aspect of the application process relating to Social Security Disability benefits.The Process of Applying for SSDI Benefits in New York
Various “disability advocates” can help a person apply for SSDI, but our network of Bronx Social Security Disability attorneys are particularly well equipped to prepare an application and present it to the SSA. As mentioned earlier, lawyers are different from “advocates”, and we advise that you speak with an actual disability attorney before applying, as lawyers may have better and more intricate knowledge of the system and thus may be better equipped to help you achieve success in obtaining benefits. An application must include detailed descriptions of the alleged disability, various statements from the applicant, and information from one or more treating physicians.
Once completed, a Social Security Disability application first goes to the Disability Determination Service (DDS), which only gives initial approval to a small percentage of applications. If DDS denies the SSDI application, an applicant in New York can appeal by filing a “request for reconsideration” with an administrative law judge (ALJ). That results in a second examination by DDS. Additional appeals are available through the ALJ, the Appeals Council, and the federal court system.Contact a Social Security Disability Lawyer in the Bronx Today
At Jesse Minc Law Group, we offer a wide array of resources to help our clients obtain SSDI benefits, and can also help you bring a negligence claim – whether relating to an accident case, or a medical malpractice case – to seek additional compensation in addition to that which might be provided by SSDI if you are disabled due to the negligence of another person. We have a former NYPD officer available to conduct investigations, as well as a network of experts in numerous medical fields to help our clients make out their cases. Our experience and resources have contributed to our greater than 95 percent success rate in obtaining favorable outcomes for our clients in medical malpractice a serious accident lawsuits over the years. You can contact us today at (718) 354-8000 or through our website to schedule a free and confidential consultation. We also represent people throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties who are bringing personal injury claims or pursuing workers’ compensation benefits.