Charleston Social Security Disability Lawyer
Most people associate Social Security payments with retirement security. Indeed, most Social Security benefits fall into this category. But these payments are also available for disabled people regardless of their age. Additionally, the disability doesn’t have to be a disease or inherited condition. People like disabled car crash victims might be eligible as well.
SSD claims are quite complex from a procedural standpoint as well. At the Gus Anastopoulo Law Firm, our diligent Charleston Social Security Disability lawyers pay close attention to the details in these intricate cases. At the same time, we never lose sight of the big picture, which involves our commitment to obtaining the best possible results under the circumstances.
No doctor ever tells a patient “You have a disability.” That’s because the D-word has more than medical implications. There are also economic, legal, educational, and other aspects. A condition or injury that’s disabling under some circumstances might not be under different circumstances. For example, if Sam is a coal miner, a lung condition might be disabling, unless he is adept at some other type of work. The Social Security Administration typically uses a three-part disability test:
- A disability prevents you from working,
- You cannot transition to another line of work, and
- The condition is either permanent or will last at least a year.
There are no degrees of disability in an SSD claim. Applicants are either completely disabled or completely ineligible for benefits.
Let’s look at these points in more detail. Applicants could be working and still be disabled for SSD purposes. The applicant must earn less than $1,310 per month. So, the disability must either sharply limit your hours or restrict you to a job like a school crossing guard.
This limitation must involve sitting, standing, walking, or another core work requirement. The one year requirement eliminates many injury-related claims.
Finally, the condition must usually be listed in the Blue Book. Such a diagnosis is basically a presumption of disability. The applicant must only prove severity. Alternatively, the applicant could have a condition that’s substantially similar to a Blue Book condition. Benefits are available in these situations, but since there is no presumption, they are a little harder to obtain.
The Benefits Process
Initially, a Claims Examiner looks at the medical and other records and makes an eligibility decision. As mentioned, this determination is either all or nothing. Frequently, Claims Examiners reject even valid applications. That’s especially true if, as is often the case, the applicant has a non-presumptive condition.
This denial does not reflect the strength or weakness of your case, at least in most situations. Such denials are simply part of the process. Claims Examiners hope that discouraged applicants will either abandon their claims or settle them for pennies on the dollar.
The next step is an appeal hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. At this trial-like hearing, attorneys can introduce evidence and make legal arguments.
Many applicants wait many months for appeal hearing dates. That lag is not necessarily a bad thing. The extra time gives attorneys time to collect new evidence and develop their arguments. Furthermore, if the ALJ rules in your favor, the ALJ usually awards retroactive benefits. That amount could be several thousand dollars.
Contact a Hard-Working Charleston County SSD Lawyer
All injury victims are entitled to fair compensation for their serious wounds. For a free consultation with an experienced Charleston Social Security Disability lawyer, contact the Gus Anastopoulo Law Firm. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we start fighting for you.