Social Security Disability Lawyer
Social Security Disability Attorney
Social Security Disability (SSD) is available to people with disabling conditions who meet the requirements of the Social Security Administration (SSA). Applying for SSD can be frustrating and complicated. Many initial applications are denied, but many claimants are ultimately successful in the appeals process.
The experienced Arizona SSD attorneys at Matt Fendon Law Group can guide you through the application process, and fight for your rights on appeal if your SSD claim has been denied.
For more than a decade, the skilled Arizona disability attorneys at Matt Fendon Law Group have helped disabled Arizonans seek the SSD benefits they deserve. Our social security disability lawyers will review your case, answer all of your questions and help you pursue the benefits you deserve.
Call us now to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
How an SSD Attorney Can Help With Your Case
At Matt Fendon Law Group, our social security disability lawyers help SSD applicants throughout Arizona pursue the benefits they need and deserve. Here’s how our Arizona SSD attorneys can help you:
- Inform you about the benefits you are entitled to. The process of applying for disability benefits is complicated. The two programs offered by SSA are SSD/SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a needs-based program for disabled people with limited income and resources. SSD, on the other hand, is for people who have worked and paid into the system. SSD is not means-tested. Determining whether you qualify for SSI or SSD can be challenging. Some people qualify for both SSI and SSD.
- We have experience handling these claims. Our SSD lawyers fully understand the application process. At Matt Fendon Law Group, we know how to present your case in a way that makes your disability evident. We can help you obtain the required medical documentation from the doctor who treated you. We can also help you understand the Blue Book listing, making sure you meet the criteria. An SSD attorney can assist in all steps of your application to give you the best chance of approval. As with most tasks, handling an SSD claim is much easier if you have done it many times before. Our Arizona lawyers deal with the SSD application and appeals processes on a regular basis. We have professional relationships with agency employees, including the administrative law judges (ALJs) who preside over SSD hearings. The attorneys at Matt Fendon Law Group know what needs to be done to secure a favorable outcome for our clients.
- Most SSD applications are initially denied. The majority of disability claims are denied. An experienced SSD attorney will greatly improve your chance of being approved. An experienced SSD attorney will make sure that your application is complete, accurate and in the correct format.
- Many applications are denied for technical reasons. Many SSD applications are rejected for reasons that have nothing to do with the applicant’s disability. Applications are rejected because of “technical denials.” This happens before the medical condition is even considered. Having a skilled attorney on your side can ensure your claim is not denied over a technicality.
- Represent you at appeals. If your claim is denied, our lawyers are prepared to represent you at hearing proceedings. Your lawyer can submit relevant medical evidence and communicate with your doctor or any other health care professionals who have treated you. A lawyer can help prepare you for questions that the ALJ may ask. Your lawyer will also guide your testimony so that the ALJ has an understanding of how your disability has affected your ability to work.
Who Is Eligible For Social Security Disability?
In order to qualify for SSD benefits, most people require 40 work credits. Twenty of those credits must have been earned within the last 10 years. If you qualify for SSD, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Benefits of up to one-half of your disability amount can be paid monthly to your spouse or children.
In some situations, ex-spouses may qualify for SSD benefits if they meet Social Security requirements. Survivor benefits may be available for surviving spouses and children. The Arizona SSD lawyers at Matt Fendon Law Group will help you understand the benefits you could receive.
What Kinds of Benefits Are There?
The SSA administers two programs that pay out benefits: the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.
- SSDI is provided to disabled people between the ages of 18 and 65 who have worked enough to qualify for the benefits. A claimant’s income and assets do not affect eligibility.
- SSI is provided to persons who are disabled or blind or over the age of 65 and with limited financial resources. SSI benefits also cover children under the age of 18 who have a qualifying medical condition.
SSDI benefits are based on your age and your income history over the past 10 years of work. The more money you have earned, the more you will have paid into Social Security, and the more you could be able to claim each month.
SSI is a means-tested program that provides compensation to disabled people who fail to qualify for SSDI. Eligibility for SSI benefits does not depend on work history. Rather, it is paid to disabled individuals who fall into one of the following categories:
- Over the age of 65
An SSI applicant must show a financial need. SSI protects people who may not have any other means of paying for basic necessities. Common examples of likely eligible candidates for SSI include:
- A senior citizen who has not earned enough work credits to meet requirements for SSDI benefits, and who has not earned retirement benefits.
- A disabled person who was unable to qualify for SSDI based on his or her own work credits or those of a family member.
Can I Receive Both Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Benefits?
How to Apply for Disability Benefits in Arizona
You may submit an application for SSD benefits on paper or online. According to the SSA, you may apply for SSD benefits if you:
- Are 18 or older.
- Do not already receive benefits under your Social Security number.
- Cannot work due to a medical condition that is expected to last over a year or to cause death.
- Have not been denied benefits in the past 60 days.
To apply for SSD, you will need:
- Personal information (date, place of birth, information about your spouse and children)
- Employment data
- List of your medical conditions
- Contact information for your healthcare providers and places that have copies of your medical records
- Your work history, education and training history
You must submit a completed initial application for SSD benefits. Many are denied disability benefits because they failed to submit the required information. An experienced Arizona SSD attorney can help you to submit a complete application. That will substantially increase your chances of securing benefits. The highly skilled and compassionate lawyers at Matt Fendon Law Group will follow up on your application to move the process along as quickly as possible.
Appealing a Denied Claim
If your application for SSD benefits is denied, you should appeal that denial within the 60-day deadline. You can request that the initial denial be reviewed again by phone and mail. Call SSA at (800) 772-1213 and tell the SSA official that you want to appeal. The SSA will send you the form you need for your appeal.
Request a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
You must request a hearing before an ALJ within 60 days. Having an experienced disability attorney can make a significant difference at this stage. A skilled and knowledgeable Arizona disability attorney can help present the facts about your disability in a way that helps get your claim approved.
Request Review by the Appeals Council
If your appeal is denied after a hearing with the ALJ, you may file an appeal with the Social Security Appeals Council. The help of a lawyer is crucial when you request an appeals council review. A skilled and experienced Arizona disability lawyer will point out legal errors made by the ALJ during the hearing. If you are not able to show that the ALJ made an error, you will not win your appeal.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
At Matt Fendon Law Group, we hear many questions from clients about their SSD claims. Below are a few of the commonly asked questions. This information is not legal advice, but we hope you will find it relevant to your case. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a free initial consultation.
Social Security’s definition of disability states that an individual must have a serious impairment that has lasted (or can be expected to last) for at least one year or is expected to end in death. The medical condition must be severe enough that it prevents you from engaging in what is known as substantial and gainful activity.
Under that definition, your medical condition must be 100 percent disabling, and your medical records must show that you will be disabled for at least one year or your disabling condition will result in death. The disability qualifications for SSD and SSI are not for short-term or temporary disabilities. Future evaluations will be done periodically to determine if your condition still satisfies the requirements.
The primary differences between SSDI and SSI relate to eligibility. SSDI is available to those who have paid into Social Security through taxable income. SSI, on the other hand, functions as a safety net for people who do not qualify for SSDI and have limited financial means. SSDI is intended for people who used to work but can no longer do so due to an impairment, while SSI assists those with low income or who have not worked enough to earn the credits needed to quality for SSDI.
You should apply as soon as you believe you qualify for disability benefits. To be eligible for benefits, you must be unable to be gainfully employed because of a physical or mental impairment that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. You do not have to wait until you have been disabled 12 months to apply for benefits. If your disability is expected to last at least 12 months, you may apply.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to say exactly when you will begin receiving disability benefits. SSD benefits depend on whether the claim was approved after submitting the initial application or approved after a hearing or appeal.
The time it takes to receive disability benefits can also depend on how the application was processed. If issues arose during processing – for example, the examiner had difficulty accessing your medical information – further delays could result. You should expect it to take at least six months to begin receiving benefits.
Talk to a Social Security Disability Attorney in Arizona Now
Allow the Arizona Social Security benefits attorneys at Matt Fendon Law Group to handle every aspect of your SSD claim. We are ready to take care of everything and lift the burden from your shoulders. Our attorneys have worked extensively on these cases, and we can anticipate any issues or problems that may arise.
Our goal is to put you in the best position to receive the benefits you deserve. We can also help you with a disability appeal.
Contact us now to schedule a free and confidential consultation.