WE WANT YOU TO GET THE BENEFITS YOU HAVE EARNED
One of the reasons your previous employers withheld Social Security contributions from your paycheck was to give you access to the Social Security Trust Fund in the event you become disabled. The Trust Fund exists precisely to provide income for disabled persons who can no longer work. If you have been suffering from a disability that prevents you from working, you owe it to yourself and your family to call us to see if you qualify for disability benefits.
WE HAVE THE EXPERIENCE
We have assisted thousands of clients across the U.S. to apply for and secure their Social Security disability benefits. If your case needs to be heard before a judge, we ensure that one of our attorneys will personally represent you in the proceeding – regardless of location. According to a GAO report, disability claimants who have representation have approval rates that are nearly three times the rate of those without representation. In the case of a hearing, disability applicants without a lawyer have a success rate of 40%. Our clients who have had their cases heard before a judge have an historical success rate of 70%. Our track record and client reviews are hard evidence of our commitment to helping you obtain a favorable outcome on your disability claim.
WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE
We don’t charge our disability clients a fee unless we win their case. Because we assume all costs of representation unless and until your claim is successful, you can be assured that our interests are completely aligned with yours. Acadia Disability works with you through the entire application process, including the initial application submission, petitions for reconsideration of denied applications, and hearings before an Administrative Law Judge to appeal denied reconsideration petitions. Our staff also works closely with your local Social Security branch office to ensure that they have all relevant employment, medical, and other records to ensure that your claim has the greatest chance of success.
When it comes to disability, looks can be very deceiving. There are many people who look quite healthy but who are quite disabled by anyone’s standard. For instance, many individuals who suffer from very severe psychiatric illnesses are physically healthy and able to do things such as outdoor chores and other physical activities.
After an individual files a Social Security disability claim, the case is sent to a disability examiner at the Disability Determination Service agency in your state. This individual, working with a doctor, makes the initial decision on the claim. If the claim is denied and you request reconsideration, the case is then sent to another disability examiner at the Disability Determination Service agency, where it goes through the same process. If a claim is denied at reconsideration, you then request a hearing. At this point, the case is sent to an Administrative Law Judge who works for Social Security and holds an in-person or video teleconference hearing. The Administrative Law Judge makes an independent decision upon the claim. This is the only level at which you and the decision-maker get to see each other.
Medicaid is a poverty program and Medicare isn’t. Many disabled people who get Medicaid get it because they are on Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To get SSI and thereby get Medicaid, you have to be very low income and disabled. Medicaid pays doctors at very low rates. People who only have Medicaid can have a hard time finding doctors willing to take them on as patients. Medicaid does pay for prescription medications. Medicaid can go back up to three months prior to the date of a Medicaid claim. It is possible to apply for Medicaid directly through a local Medicaid office without having to apply for SSI.
For Medicare, it does not matter whether you are rich or poor. If you have been on Disability Insurance Benefits, Disabled Widows or Widowers Benefits or Disabled Adult Child Benefits for 24 months, you qualify for Medicare. The good thing about Medicare is that it pays doctors at a higher rate than Medicaid. Almost all doctors are happy to take Medicare patients. A couple unfortunate things about Medicare is that it does not begin until a person has been on cash disability benefits for two years and it generally does not pay for prescription medications.
If you are approved for benefits, you will most likely qualify for either Medicare or Medicaid. Please contact us at 1-800-Let-Acadia-Help or (801) 878-8282.
Our fee is 25% of your “back benefits”– that is the checks you would have received while you were waiting for your benefits to be approved. This is a standard fee that is applied by law firms throughout the country. Social Security will withhold this fee from your back pay check for us, so you don’t need to worry about paying us directly, and you’ll keep all subsequent payments. We will only collect a fee if you win your case.
This question does not have a simple answer because there are so many variables that affect each individual case, such as your age, education, work skills, medical conditions, medical records, whether or not your doctor is supportive, and the Social Security adjudicator that is working on your case. You have a significantly greater chance of winning if you have doctors that see you on a regular basis and support your application for disability by providing input about your disabling conditions. It usually helps your case if you can get a letter from your doctor (a paragraph or two is all that is necessary) stating what your disabilities are and their degree of severity. With a supportive letter from your doctor, your chances of being approved go up substantially, to as high as 65-70%. However, there are no guarantees when dealing with Social Security, but with a letter from a supportive doctor; we believe it is far more likely than not that your claim will be successful.
The Social Security Act does allow for you to do some work and still be eligible for benefits. As a general rule, work activity of any type in particular, work activity that is similar to your prior occupation has the potential to negatively impact your case. As a general rule, the Social Security Administration considers “disabled” as meaning that you can’t work. With this in mind, you should be very careful to understand how the work you are doing (or want to do) may affect your case. Social Security will allow you to work 20 hours or less a week and make less than $1,000 a month and still keep your case open.
This question is a difficult one to give a definitive answer. In order to receive unemployment compensation, you have to certify to the unemployment office that you are willing and able to work, but that you just can’t find a job. If you are capable of work, you are not disabled under the Social Security Act. To get disability compensation, you have to tell the government that you can’t work. You can, of course, see the contradiction and, if you apply for both disability and unemployment at the same time, the Social Security Administration will think that you are not telling the truth to either them or to the unemployment office. Nevertheless, the Social Security Administration will not necessarily reject your application if you are receiving unemployment, but please be aware that it can affect your case. Ultimately, the decision is yours as to whether you decide to simultaneously apply for unemployment benefits while seeking Social Security compensation.
The Social Security Act requires that you prove your case with medical evidence. That means you have to see doctors if you want your claim to be successful. However, we understand that doctors typically don’t work for free and, if you don’t have the resources to see the doctor, it puts you in a very difficult situation. There are two things you can do as we continue to work on your disability case. First, apply for aid with your local county assistance board, free medication programs, free clinics, etc. You can also dial 211 from a land line telephone and get in touch with United Way, who can help you find a free or low-cost clinic. Here are two websites www.freemedicalcamps.com and www.needymeds.org to help you find help. Second, document all of your attempts to receive treatment. The judge in your disability hearing will be a lot more understanding if you can show that you did all that you could.
Your benefits amount is based on a lot of factors, including how much money you have paid into the system, your current income situation and, in some cases, whether or not you have minor children. Our job is to help you prove your disability, so we focus not so much on your benefit rate, but rather on getting statements from your doctors and obtaining medical evidence. Because of this, Social Security does not send us information regarding your benefit rate. However, you can personally contact your local Social Security office and we can provide you the number. Nationwide, the average monthly payment for DIB (Disability Insurance Benefits) is $1,300, and for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) the maximum monthly payment for 2018 is $750.
Be honest and complete in giving information to your representative and Social Security about what is causing or has caused your disability. Many claimants, for instance, fail to mention their psychiatric problems to Social Security because they are embarrassed about them. In almost all cases, individuals who were slow learners in school fail to mention this fact to Social Security, even though this condition can have a positive effect on whether or not the Social Security disability claim is approved. Beyond being honest and complete with Social Security, the most important thing that you can do is just keep appealing and hire an experienced person to represent you. It is important to appeal, because most claims are denied at the initial level, but are approved at higher levels of review. It is important to hire an experienced person to represent you because you may not understand the way Social Security works. Statistically, claimants who employ an attorney or other professional representative to represent them are much more likely to win than those who go unrepresented.
Social Security is supposed to assess your medical records that you and/or your representative have supplied and carefully consider all of your health problems, as well as your age, education, and work experience. In general, Social Security is supposed to decide whether you are able to do your past work. If Social Security decides that you are unable to do your past work, they are supposed to consider whether there is any other work which you can do, considering your health problems and your age, education, and work experience.
You do not have to wait until the worker’s compensation period ends and you should not wait that long if you are disabled. You can file a claim for Social Security disability benefits while receiving worker’s compensation benefits. It is best to file the Social Security disability claim as soon as possible. Otherwise, there may be a gap between the time the worker’s compensation payments end and the Social Security disability benefits begin.
There are at least four major types of Social Security disability benefits.
– Disability Insurance Benefits is the most important type of Social Security disability benefits. It goes to individuals who have worked in recent years (five out of the last 10 years in most cases) who are now disabled.
– Disabled Widow’s and Widower’s Benefits are paid to individuals who are at least 50 and become disabled within a certain amount of time after the death of their husband or wife. The late husband or wife must have worked enough under Social Security to be insured.
– Disabled Adult Child Benefits go to the children of persons who are deceased or who are drawing Social Security disability or retirement benefits. The child must have become disabled before age 22. For Disability Insurance Benefits, Disabled Widow’s or Widower’s Benefits and Disabled Adult Child benefits, it does not matter whether the disabled individual is rich or low income. Benefits are paid based upon a Social Security earnings record.
– Supplemental Security Income benefits, however, are paid to individuals who are very low income and who are disabled. It does not matter for SSI whether an individual has worked in the past or not.
Under the Social Security Act, “disability” means “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
The national average is 17-19 months to get a hearing once you have filed a request. The reason that it takes so long is that there are tens of thousands of cases waiting for a hearing and only a small number of judges that are able to hear the cases. Unfortunately, there is nothing anyone can do to make the process go any faster. Please be aware that your prompt response to inquiries and supplemental documents is essential to keep your case on track. Otherwise, your case could take substantially longer.
Generally, no. There are hundreds of thousands of claims simultaneously pending and, unfortunately, the wheels move very slowly in the Social Security Office. Most everyone applying for disability finds themselves in fairly difficult circumstances and wants to be moved to the front of the line. The Social Security Administration only allows for this if you are homeless or unable to obtain life-sustaining medications. Dire need rarely does anything in the initial stages of your benefits application and, even if your application is set to have a hearing before a judge, it may only move your hearing up a few months. We work hard to process and follow-up on all paperwork and documents to insure the shortest wait times possible on your claim.