Social Security Disability Attorney Okeechobee
Helping Members of the Okeechobee Community Get the Full Disability Benefits They Deserve
Our Attorneys Can Appeal the Social Security Administration on Your Behalf
Social Security was initially created in 1935 to help those who were past working age still have a form of income. However, Social Security offers protection to more than just retirees. There are certain programs that provide income for those who are disabled or otherwise unable to work. For many residents of Okeechobee, Social Security is their only (or at least the main) form of income.
Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has strict limitations on who can receive benefits. Because of these restrictions, the majority of initial applications for benefits are denied. If you are denied benefits, you may not know what to do next. In some cases, being denied benefits means you may not have enough money to pay your everyday expenses.
It’s important to know that you are able to appeal the SSA’s decision. In fact, they provide a wealth of resources to do so, since appeals happen so often. However, the appeals process can be complex and full of red tape since the SSA is a federal agency. If you want to appeal their decision, having the assistance of Social Security lawyers in Okeechobee can make the process much easier on you.
At Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, our experienced legal team has been helping members of the Okeechobee community get the disability benefits they deserve for over 30 years. We know how to navigate the SSA to help you get your full benefits quickly. To speak with one of our Social Security lawyers, call us at 866-460-1990 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Qualifications for Disability, According to the SSA
Not every disability qualifies for benefits from the Social Security Administration. Essentially, you must be able to show you aren’t able to work because of your disability. In order to qualify, you must be considered eligible based on the following five questions:
- Are you currently working? The SSA considers making at least $1,220 a month on average through income as “working.” If you aren’t working, you may qualify for disability benefits. However, if you do make that level of income, you cannot be eligible for benefits.
- Is your condition considered “severe”? For a condition to be considered severe, it must limit your ability to complete simple work-related tasks. These include remembering, standing, sitting, walking, lifting and more. In addition, this limitation must be expected to last for at least 12 months. If this does not apply to you, you will not qualify for disability benefits.
- Is your condition on the SSA’s list of disabling conditions? In order to more easily help people figure out if they have a “disabling condition,” the SSA has a published list of such conditions. However, if your condition isn’t on the list, it may still be considered disabling. The SSA will evaluate your condition and decide if it’s disabling.
- Can you still do the same kind of work you did before? If your condition doesn’t keep you from doing the same type of work you did before, you don’t have a qualifying disability. For instance, if you have a disabling respiratory disorder but you can do office work like you did when you were younger, you probably won’t qualify for disability benefits.
- Can you do other work? Similar to question four, if there is other work you qualify for and can do, you probably won’t qualify for disability. To make this determination, the SSA will look at your age, medical conditions, work experience, education and transferable skills. If you can’t do other work, you’ll be considered disabled. If there is other work you can do, you won’t be eligible for benefits.
There are other qualifications for people with blindness or low vision. For those considered legally blind (or in some cases, just below that threshold), disability benefits are available. The income threshold is raised to $2,040, as of 2019. There are also programs available for disabled children and for wounded warriors and veterans.
What Happens If Your Disability Claim Gets Denied
Over half of all initial disability claims get denied. This may be caused by the fact that your condition isn’t on the SSA’s list, or you may not have filed all the necessary paperwork to apply for disability benefits. No matter the reason, if your claim is denied, or you receive less than you should in benefits, you can appeal the decision.
In Florida, the first step is to file a Request for Reconsideration. If your initial claim was denied, you will file for a reconsideration of the original claim. This process is a review of your entire claim to determine if you’re eligible. However, if you have been receiving benefits, but they stop for whatever reason, you would request a reconsideration of continuing disability. Regardless of the type of reconsideration request, it’s a good idea to hire a team of Social Security disability lawyers in Okeechobee.
If you are denied again after the reconsideration process and you wish to consider the appeals process, you will need to request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ) within 60 days of your second denial. If the ALJ denies your claim as well, you may be able to gain a hearing with the Appeals Council. However, they randomly select cases to review, so you may not be able to get a hearing.
Your final option is to take the case to federal court. If you haven’t hired an attorney by this point, it’s crucial that you do now. The federal judge may approve your claim, but more likely than not, they’ll send the case back down to the SSA, saying all the evidence wasn’t considered. While federal court can be effective, it’s a costly and time-consuming process. So, your attorney will try to take other steps to resolve the case if possible.
Speak with Social Security Lawyers in Okeechobee Today
Dealing with the Social Security Administration is often a daunting, frustrating task to do on your own. At Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, we have been helping members of our community get the benefits they deserve for over 30 years.
For a free, no-obligation consultation with our team of Social Security lawyers in Okeechobee, call us today at 866-460-1990 or contact us online.
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