Abingdon Disability Lawyer for SSD Benefits
The Social Security Disability (SSD) application process is challenging, as on average, over 70% of initial applications are rejected. Unfortunately, many rejected applicants have qualifying disabilities, meaning their claims were denied for minor clerical or documentation errors, not based upon need or disability. However, with the help of an experienced Abingdon disability lawyer, claimants are over three times more likely to be approved for benefits after an initial application submission.
If you need to file for social security benefits, we can help by preparing and filing your claim so that it is in the best position possible to be approved based upon the initial filing.
If your claim has been denied, don’t get discouraged – most claims are ultimately approved. We can help you in the appeals process and do everything possible in seeking to have your claim approved.
We invite you to contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
We proudly represent residents of Abingdon and the surrounding communities, including Bristol, Damascus, Chilhowie, Kingsport, Lebanon, Johnson City, Boone, Marion, Lebanon, and throughout Southwestern Virginia.
Why Should I Hire an Abingdon Disability Lawyer for My SSD Claim?
With years of experience in helping disabled individuals recover SSD benefits, firm-founding attorney Mark Hurt knows how to navigate the SSD process. He also knows what SSA examiners and Administrative Law Judges are looking for when they evaluate an application or appeal, including medical documentation, employment details, and other pertinent evidence.
When you hire our firm, you need not worry about tackling your initial application or appeal alone. Instead, our dedicated social security disability team is here to request information, gather documentation, file forms, and tenaciously advocate for the full benefits to which you are rightfully entitled.
We represent disability clients on contingency, meaning we only charge a fee if we are successful in helping you obtain benefits. In most cases, our fee will be limited to either 25% of the “backpay” amount or $6,000, whichever is less. Therefore, you will be able to keep 100% of all future payments that are not yet due.
Because the “backpay” amount will be less in the earlier stages of a claim, our fee typically will also be much less when we are hired early in the process (compared to being retained in an appeal). Thus your best chance for receiving benefits and paying a small legal fee will be to hire us at the outset of your claim.
What Types of Disability Cases Does The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt Take?
At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we are proud to represent disability claimants before the Social Security Administration (“SSA”), as well as before the United States District Court and the United States Court of Appeals.
We represent clients with all types of physical and mental impairments in cases involving the following types of Social Security benefits:
- Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits – paid to workers and/or beneficiaries who qualify based on work credits.
- Widow/Widower Disability Benefits. Widow/widower disability benefits are paid to a surviving spouse of an individual who paid into the SSA system. The surviving spouse must be 50 years of age and disabled.
- Adult Child’s Disability Benefits. If an individual is disabled and one of his or her parents received social security benefits, the person may be entitled to collect SSD based on the parent’s earnings record. However, the individual must be over the age of eighteen, cannot be married, and must have a disability that started before the age of twenty-two.
What Does the SSA Consider a Disability?
The SSA does not recognize partial or short-term disability. Instead, to be considered disabled for purposes of receiving disability benefits, an individual must have a disability that has lasted twelve months, is expected to last for at least twelve months, or is likely to result in death; and the condition, or the treatment for the condition, must interfere with the ability to perform any substantial gainful activity.
How Do I Prove That I Have A Qualifying Disability?
There are a few ways claimants can demonstrate they have a qualifying disability (i.e., can’t perform substantial gainful activity), including:
- Having a Listed Impairment. The SSA publishes a list of medical conditions and criteria that automatically qualify as a disability (referred to as the “Blue Book”). If an impairment is on the list (and the condition is severe), it means you will likely qualify as disabled for SSD purposes.
- Having an Impairment Equal to a Listed Impairment. If an injury or illness is not in the Blue Book, or if the condition does not meet the criteria for the listed condition, it is still possible to be found disabled if a condition is considered equivalent to a listed impairment.
- Having Limited Function. If an impairment is unlisted and does not medically equate to another condition on the list, the SSA will evaluate how much the condition reduces the ability to function to determine if other work can be performed. If an individual is unable to perform other work, he or she may qualify for benefits.
What Types of Conditions Qualify As a Disability for SSD Benefits?
The following are common conditions in the Blue Book that can justify the payment of disability benefits:
- Mental Disorders (e.g., mood disorders, PTSD, schizophrenia, autism, depression, etc.)
- Cardiovascular Conditions (e.g., angina, hypertension, heart disease, etc.)
- Nervous System Disorders (e.g., epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, etc.)
- Musculoskeletal System Issues (e.g., arthritis, fibromyalgia, degenerative back disorder, etc.)
- Other Conditions
Many other unlisted disabling conditions may entitle a person to receive SSD benefits. Call our office to learn more about other qualifying disabilities.
Do I Have Enough Work Credits To Qualify for SSD Benefits?
In addition to having a qualifying disability, an applicant must show they worked long enough to qualify for SSD benefits (i.e., meaning a person is insured). The SSA utilizes a system of work credits to track whether this requirement has been met. Generally, forty lifetime credits (twenty of which must be earned within the ten years preceding a disability) are needed to obtain SSD benefits.
Work credits are based on yearly earnings. For example, one credit can be earned for every $1,410 in wages (up to four annual credits); however, this amount changes annually. In some instances, younger individuals may collect disability payments if they have fewer credits.
Can I Appeal an SSD Benefits Denial?
Yes. If your application was denied, it is crucial to not be discouraged, as most initial applications (over 70%) are denied, even when individuals have qualifying disabilities. If you were recently denied SSD, you have the right to request an appeal at each of the following four levels:
- Administrative Law Judge Hearing;
- Appeals Council Review; and
- Federal Court Appeal.
Over 75% of applicants who appeal denials are ultimately awarded benefits. As an experienced Abingdon SSD benefits attorney, Mark Hurt can help. However, because there is a 60 day time limitation to file an appeal after a denial, it is important to contact an experienced social security disability appeals lawyer immediately. Even if you have missed this timeframe, please contact us as there may be circumstances under which a late appeal may be permitted.
Call Today to Schedule A Free Consultation to Learn How We Can Help
The chances of securing an early approval increase by over 300% when an individual is assisted by an experienced Abingdon disability attorney. At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we understand the requirements and the medical and other information that must be submitted, not only to substantiate a disability but also to comply with the SSA requirements.
Whether you need assistance preparing an initial application or appealing a denial, we invite you to call our office to schedule a free disability consultation.