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Social Security Disability: Tips on How To Apply.

If you are ready to apply for social Security disability benefits, there are a few tips you should know to increase your chances of receiving benefits:

  • First, make sure you meet the basic requirements to be deemed disabled. There is no reason to go through the application process if you fail to satisfy the most basic requirements. For example, if your injury or illness will not last a year, you are not disabled. Also, your injury must be “severe” and limit your ability to do basic work functions, like lifting, sitting, and standing.  So, if you have asthma, for example, but can still sit at your desk and perform your job, you will likely not be considered disabled. You can click here to learn more about the basic requirements that must be met to be considered disabled before you take the steps to begin your application.
  • If you are not currently seeing a doctor, make an appointment. Current medical treatment is key to proving your claims. The Social Security Administration has a hard time believing you are unable to work if you have not seen a doctor in years. Recent medical records establishing your claim are a must.  This is especially true if you are claiming a mental disability.
  • Make sure you have all the information necessary to accurately fill out a disability application. Failure to accurately and thoroughly fill out your application can lead to a good claim being denied. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration provides a checklist, that can be found here, of all the information you will need to apply for benefits.
  • Use an attorney when applying. A qualified disability attorney improves your chances of winning your claim.  Also, you do not have to pay the attorney anything up front to get help with the application.  Attorneys are only paid if you win, and attorney fees come out of any back pay you are entitled to receive.  Increase your chances of winning without out of pocket costs- there is no reason not to us an attorney.
  • If you do not want to use an attorney, apply online. Actually getting help from a Social Security employee at a local field office, especially during COVID times, can be difficult. At a minimum, you will have to wait a long time before you can get an appointment. By applying online, you can apply immediately and fill out the application at your convenience.  And again, if you need help to fill out the application, an attorney is the best option.

These basic tips can help you navigate the application process and increase your chances of getting the benefits you need. If you have additional questions, call our qualified Social Security disability attorneys today. We are ready to help you from the initial application for benefits through hearings and appeals if necessary.

Dallas Social Security Disability Attorney

Will The Social Security Administration Approve Your Claim For Disability?

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits can be a long and difficult process. As such, it makes sense for you to get a general understanding of whether or not you will be considered disabled by the Social Security Administration. Whether the Social Security Administration will consider you disabled can be a complicated question. However, here are some basic rules you need to understand so that you can decide whether to invest your time and effort in trying to get disability benefits:

Disabled For 12 Months

The disability you are claiming must be expected to last more than 12 months. If you are severely disabled, say from a stroke, but it will improve in less than a year, you will not be deemed disabled.

Medical Records Are Key To Proving A Disability

You need documented medical evidence showing that you are disabled. Just saying you are disabled and cannot work is not enough. Medical records supporting your disability are necessary. So if you have not seen a doctor in a long time, make an appointment immediately to start building your evidence. Objective tests- like scans, diagnostic tests, and blood work- that support the disability you claim are very helpful. And if your doctor agrees that you are disabled and cannot work, have the doctor fill out a medical source statement stating so.

Credible Testimony

If you have good documents showing your disability, your testimony and statements showing how this prevents you from working can be very helpful. So, keep a journal and write down how your illness or injury affects you and keeps you from working.

Currently Working? That Might be A Problem

Your disability must be so severe that it keeps you from performing “substantial gainful employment.” This is a technical legal term, but in short it means your illness or injury keeps you from working entirely or prevents you from working and earning an amount that the Administration considers too much. A good rule of thumb, however, is if you are working while applying for disability, the Administration likely will not find you disabled.

Can You Do Past Work?

Your disability keeps you from doing any of the work you did in the prior 15 years. In other words, if you were an electrician, your disability must prevent you from doing the work of an electrician.

Are There Other Jobs You Can Do?

Your disability must also prevent you from being able do other jobs. This can be very tricky, but there are some general rules to guide you. For example, the younger you are and the more educated you are, the less likely you will be considered disabled because there are other jobs you may be able to perform or learn to perform despite your disability. On the other hand, the older you are and the less education you have, the more likely there aren’t other jobs that you are able to perform because of your disability. So the general rule of thumb here is the younger you are- specifically under fifty years of age- the more difficult it is to be considered disabled because the Administration is likely to say there are other jobs you can do despite your disability unless you can show your disability keeps you from performing any type of work.

Knowing All This, Do You Think You Qualify For Disability Benefits?

These general rules should help you think through whether or not filing a claim with Social Security at this time is right for you. If after reading this, you believe you are likely to be considered disabled, give our Social Security attorneys a call to discuss your claim. With offices in Austin and Dallas, we handle Social Security disability cases throughout Texas and the United States. And remember-  a qualified and experienced Social Security attorney greatly increases your chances of getting the benefits you need.

Social Security Administration Expands Compassionate Allowances Program

The Social Security Administration recognizes that some diseases are so severe that evidence of a diagnosis alone is enough to grant disability. This is known as the Compassionate Allowance program. This program drastically shortens the time it usually takes for an applicant to receive disability by months or years.

The administration just announced the addition of five more diseases to be added to this program. These diseases are:  Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumors, GM1 Gangliosidosis – Infantile and Juvenile Forms, Nicolaides-Baraister Syndrome, Rubinstein-Tybai Syndrome, and Secondary Adenocarcinoma of the Brain.

There are currently two hundred forty two diseases identified in the Compassionate Allowance program.  If you or a loved one was diagnosed with a terminal or debilitating illness, it is important to check the list of diseases included in the Compassionate Allowances program. An application along with medical records confirming the diagnosis can get needed benefits in your hands quickly without the need of a lawyer to help you get through the normal drawn out disability process.

Of course, if you have any questions, give our Dallas Social Security disability lawyers a call.  We are happy to discuss your claim with you and assist you with your disability application.  And if your illness is not included in the Compassionate Allowance program, that does not mean you do not qualify for disability.  It simply means you need to go through the normal application process, and we are ready to help you do that.

Why Hire A Social Security Disability Attorney?

Getting Social Security disability benefits is often difficult, and doing it alone increases your chances of being denied. Hiring a qualified lawyer helps you avoid many of the common mistakes most people make. That is why hiring an attorney is a good decision. Yet, too many people still try to do it alone because they fear high lawyer fees will decrease their benefits.  There is no reason for such fears, however.

Social Security Administration rules are in place to protect your benefits from lawyer fees.  First, Administration approval of all lawyer fees is required.  This approval protects you from entering into a fee agreement that is unfair to you.  Second, the fee amount an attorney can charge is limited, generally to 25% of your back pay up to $6000.  So, if the back pay you are owed is only $6000, the attorney fee can only be 25% of the $6000.  These two rules keep lawyers from charging high fees and protect your future benefits.  With these rules, there is no reason not put an attorney to work for you and increase your chances of getting the disability benefits you need and deserve.

If you are ready to apply for Social Security disability benefits or if your application was previously denied, call our disability lawyers today.  We help people throughout Texas and the United States from our home office in Dallas, TX.

If you have any additional questions about attorney fees, click on the link below to learn more about your rights to representation.

https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10075.pdf

Difficulty Applying For And Receiving Your Social Security Benefits During Covid?

You are not alone. COVID has greatly slowed down the Social Security Administration. Field offices have been closed with only limited staff available for “dire situations.” This is making it harder for many to get their applications filed and for other’s to address issues they are having with their benefits.  That is because many people in greatest need of Social Security disability benefits rely on the field offices due to lack of internet as well as the need for assistance with complicated forms.  Fortunately, elected officials are beginning to notice these delays and difficulties, and they are starting to work on solutions.  Steps are being taken to get more Social Security employees back into field offices where possible, improve teleworking, and simplify forms, for example.  That process is just starting, however, and it is unclear how long before the Social Security Administration returns to the level of service necessary to treat citizens in need of help.

If you need help filing an application, call our Social Security disability attorneys today. In most cases, we can get the application filed out and filed without you needing to leave your home.

To learn more about how congress is responding to delays at the Social Security Administration, click on the link below

Senators growing frustrated with SSA’s closed offices, pandemic workarounds

Social Security Disability Recipients Get a Raise in 2021

Good news for people currently receiving Social Security disability. A cost of living increase will go into effect in 2021. Your benefits will increase by 1.3%. To see what that means for you, you can log into your my Social Security account online to see what your benefit amount will be.  If you have not set up a my Social Security account you can do so at https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/.  We understand that for our disability clients, every little increase in benefit amounts matters greatly.  You can read more on the cost of living increases by clicking on the following link:  https://blog.ssa.gov/social-security-benefits-increase-in-2021/?utm_source=social&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=smt-general-21&utm_content=education

Is The Social Security Administration Ready Life After COVID?

The short answer is probably not and plans need to be made to address what is likely going to be a massive influx of disability applications in the near future. This influx can be problematic because as the linked article below points out the high rate of denials at the application stage already result in applicants having to fight for years to get benefits they are entitled to, and during this time, tens of thousands of applicants die or file for bankruptcy. A massive influx of new applicants due to COVID will only make these terrible outcomes worse unless the Social Security Administration starts preparing for the inevitable. Click on the link below for more on this issue.

https://buffalonews.com/opinion/another-voice-congress-should-gear-up-to-avert-an-ssdi-crisis/article_405dcf6c-ff67-11ea-9b15-5b48d426521e.html

Social Security Administration Allowing Video Hearings

In March of this year, COVID caused the Social Security Administration to stop holding hearings. The Court then transitioned telephonic hearings in an effort to keep the process moving forward and to date has conducted over 120,000 hearings this way. Starting this fall there will be another change. The Social Security Administration will start allowing claimants seeking Social Security disability benefits to appear at their hearings by video. The Administration will conduct disability hearings through Microsoft Team platform, thereby allowing you to appear at hearings from your home computer or smart phone. Learn more about this change by clicking the link below.

https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/releases/2020/#9-2020

It Is Not Too Late To Receive Your COVID Stimulus Check

If you receive Social Security disability benefits and have not received a COVID stimulus check for you or your child, you still have time, but the deadlines are quickly approaching. Click on the link below to learn what you need to do to collect your money. And remember- the COVID stimulus money does not affect your benefits!! The important deadlines are as follows:

  • If you haven’t received your $1200 payment, the deadline to file is October 15 2020
  • If you received your check but did not receive a $500 check for a dependent, the deadline to file is September 30, 2020.

Click on the link below for instructions on how to get money you are entitled to.

https://medicaid.publicrep.org/wp-content/uploads/Stimulus-Payments-Fact-Sheet.pdf

Contact a Dallas Social Security Disability Lawyer

By personally reviewing and managing each case and working tirelessly throughout the disability process, our attorneys offer clients the best possible chances at successful disability claims. Contact Graves Law Group today at (214) 321-6940 to work with a Dallas Social Security disability lawyer you can trust. We serve all areas in and around Dallas-Fort Worth, TX.

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