Disability Lawyers in Charleston WV
The federal Social Security Act provides that if you have a disability that prevents you from performing substantial gainful employment, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration often denies truly disabled claimants. In this case, disability lawyers in Charleston WV can help you.
SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME (SSI) OVERVIEW
WHAT IS SSI?
SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. Social Security administers this program. We pay monthly benefits to people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. Blind or disabled children may also get SSI.
HOW IS SSI DIFFERENT FROM SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS?
Many people who are eligible for SSI may also be eligible for Social Security benefits. In fact, the application for SSI is also an application for Social Security benefits. However, SSI and Social Security are different in many ways.
- Social Security benefits may be paid to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured” meaning you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. Unlike Social Security benefits, SSI benefits are not based on your prior work or a family member’s prior work.
- SSI is financed by general funds of the U.S. Treasury–personal income taxes, corporate and other taxes. Social Security taxes withheld under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) or the Self Employment Contributions Act (SECA) do not fund the SSI program.
- In most States, SSI beneficiaries also can get medical assistance (Medicaid)- to pay for hospital stays, doctor bills, prescription drugs, and other health costs.
- Most States also provide a supplemental payment to certain SSI beneficiaries.
- SSI beneficiaries may also be eligible for food assistance in every State except California. In some States, an application for SSI benefits also serves as an application for food assistance.
- SSI benefits are paid on the first of the month.
- To get SSI, you must be disabled, blind, or at least 65 years old and have “limited” income and resources. addition, to get SSI, you must:
- be a resident of the United States, and
- not be absent from the country for a full calendar month or more or for 30 consecutive days or more; and
- be either a U.S. citizen or national, or in one of certain categories of qualified non–citizens.
HOW IS SSI LIKE SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS?
- Both programs pay monthly benefits.
- The medical standards for disability are the same in both programs for individuals age 18 or older. For children from birth to age 18 there is a separate definition of disability under SSI.
- SSA administers both programs.
An experienced social security disability lawyers in Charleston WV at The Law Office of G. Patrick Jacobs will help you file your disability claim with the Social Security Administration or will help you with your appeal if your claim has been denied.
Unfortunately, disabled people often are confronted by a complicated and uncaring government bureaucracy which provides little assistance or information by which to understand the claims process. Claimants become very frustrated by the poor assistance received from Social Security Administration personnel.
If you have become disabled and have not filed a claim, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to receive information from your local district office and information concerning making a claim. If you are unable to travel, a claim can be made over the phone. For persons with Internet access, you may wish to log on to www.ssa.gov to obtain initial information. As you will discover, these government resources are quite limited. In order to obtain better assistance, you may wish to consult with counsel from the beginning. Legal assistance will always help a Claimant to a better understanding of the claims process and with gathering the necessary documentation by which to prove a claim for disability benefits.
The claims process proceeds in several steps. The process begins when a disabled person makes an initial claim for social security disability benefits. These claims are routinely denied unless the person suffers from a serious or life-threatening illness. Most persons will need to file a reconsideration of benefits, which, often, is subject to routine denial unless very strong evidence of a serious work disabling illness or injury is submitted for consideration. Following reconsideration denial, the Claimant will need to request a hearing before an administrative law judge.
As with all other steps in this process, administrative delays of several to many months can occur due to inefficiency in the Social Security Administration or failure by the Claimant to comply with many application requirements. Under no circumstance should a Claimant attend a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge without assistance of skilled legal counsel. Without such assistance, a Claimant is inviting a ready denial of benefits, which can be difficult to overturn. Should the Claimant be unsuccessful at the hearing, appeals to the Appeals Council and/or Federal Court are available. Again, if your claim is denied at any level, you should seek the advice of a disability lawyers in Charleston WV. It is not uncommon for persons who have been denied several times to be subsequently approved when they receive assistance of an experienced counsel.
Many times, claim files will be incomplete due to missing medical and employment information or absent/incomplete forms. Claimants are often disturbed to learn that the Social Security Administration employs physicians who “review” files and make findings of non-disability without ever examining the Claimant (or, for that matter, ever treating patients for illnesses). In other cases, outside doctors are hired by Social Security to perform examinations.
These examinations tend to be very short in duration and involve little or no testing. Even more disturbing is the chronic failure of the Social Security Administration to secure the necessary medical records documenting the treatment of a Claimant by which to conduct any meaningful claims review. Due to this poor and inefficient system of claims review, it is absolutely essential for the Claimant to submit documentation to the claim file. The assistance of a skilled lawyer cannot be underestimated in the case file development process.
Disability decisions by the Social Security Administration are based on a complicated scheme of government statutes comprising the Social Security Code which is supplemented by numerous Social Security Rulings and an extensive body of case law developed over many years. Knowledge of these volumes of codes, rulings and cases are what separate a skilled disability lawyers in Charleston WV from other practitioners who merely say that the engage in Social Security Disability representation.
An easy way to verify a counsel’s experience is to request information concerning the practitioner’s record in federal court. This can also be verified easily by conducting a Lexis or Westlaw search under the attorney’s name. Federal practice requires a practitioner to be familiar with the emerging case law and recent changes in Social Security statutes and rulings, all of which change with surprising frequency. The skill of your advocate is essential given the importance of receiving disability benefits becomes a Claimant’s sole source of income due to disability.
Definition of Disability According to the SSA
“Disability” is defined by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a person’s inability to perform any kind of work because of an injury or a medical condition. The disability should be expected to last for at least one year, or result in death. The disability can be a result of a physical or mental condition, or a combination of a number of such conditions.
Have you been denied Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits? Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.
Disabled persons or their families are eligible to collect SSDI. Once benefits begin, they will continue as long as the person remains disabled.
It sounds like a simple process, yet the SSA often denies truly disabled claimants by making the process very difficult. First, there are thousands of people who apply for SSDI each year. The lines are long and the forms are complicated. Benefits for legitimate claims are often denied-not only once, but twice and sometimes even more times. As a result, many people who apply on their own become discouraged and intimidated. So they give up when they are genuinely entitled to benefits.
That’s where an attorney experienced in Social Security Disability law is necessary. An disability lawyers in Charleston WP can help you get the benefits that you are entitled to in a timely manner.
Pat Jacobs Law Firm is an experienced Social Security Disability/SSI attorney. He is a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR). The Law Office of G. Patrick Jacobs has an experienced and highly trained staff dedicated to the preparation of your Social Security Disability/SSI claim.