Abingdon SSD Lawyer – What You Need to Know About Social Security 

Serving the Residents of Abingdon, the Surrounding Communities, and Throughout Southwest Virginia.

If you are unable to work due to a chronic injury or illness, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability Income (“SSDI”) benefits to help living expenses.  Disability benefits are available to those who worked and paid enough into the Social Security system through taxes, and who have developed an incapacitating medical condition that prevents them from continuing to work.  If you would like to find out if you are eligible for disability payments, call our office to schedule a free consultation.

Firm founding SSD attorney Mark Hurt can assess your work history and advise as to whether you may qualify for disability payments.  If you meet the requirements, we can prepare an initial application, compile medical records and documentation, file an appeal (if benefits are denied), and fight tenaciously to get you everything to which you are entitled.

What is Social Security Disability?

Social Security Disability is a government program that provides monetary support to individuals who are “insured” under Social Security and unable to work for at least one year due to an injury or illness, or who have suffered a condition that is likely to lead to death.[1]  The monthly payments that are provided (referred to as “social security disability income” or “SSDI”) is intended to partially replace income that otherwise would have been injured by the person becoming disabled.

Unfortunately, the amount of income paid is often much lower than the income that otherwise would have been earned by the disabled person.  For example, in 2020, the maximum monthly payment is $3,011.  Fortunately, much of this income is not taxable. In general, monthly benefits are paid until an individual is able to work again on a regular basis or until the individual reaches retirement age.

Calculating Social Security Disability Credits

The Social Security Administration (the “SSA”) calculates benefit eligibility based upon a system referred to as “credits”.  Workers can earn one credit for each $1,410 in wages, up to a maximum of four credits each year.

The number of credits needed to qualify for SSDI depends on the age at which a disability arises.  Generally, forty credits must be accumulated, twenty of which must be earned within ten years before a disability.  However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.[2]  Once we meet with you and learn about your work history we can advise as to whether you meet the work requirements.   

Why Are Disability Claims Often Denied?

Without knowledge of the Social Security process, many applicants run into frustrations and pitfalls that result in claim denials.  Historically, over 70% of initial applications are rejected, often for non-medical reasons, such as minor application errors or omissions.

People often believe that in connection with the submittal of a disability application SSA personnel will be there to assist with the application and to help them get approved.  This is not really the case.

While SSA personnel may help to answer some questions about the approval process, once a claim application is filed, it must “stand on its own” with respect to being approved or denied.  In this respect, the SSA has strict guidelines and requirements that must be exactly followed.  Basically, if the claim does not satisfy all of the guidelines and requirements, the claim must be denied – even if it generally appears that the applicant in fact is medically disabled.

When a claim application is denied, the applicant must go through the appeals process, which typically takes months or longer.  Unfortunately, the SSA regulations do not allow any claim deficiencies to simply be fixed, such as by correcting a mistake or providing supplemental information about medical disability.

Claim denials, then, place applicants in difficult financial positions.  They cannot work, but yet they continue to have bills to pay.  How, then, will they come up with the necessary funds to pay their bills with no income?

As an experienced Abingdon Social Security Disability lawyer, we want to do everything possible in seeking to have a claim approved at the outset.  Firm founder Mark Hurt understands what is needed to obtain benefit approvals, as well as what is required to successfully appeal denials.  He can help you avoid common mistakes to provide the best chances of securing benefits as soon as possible.  If you were denied benefits, we can request an application reconsideration or represent you at a disability hearing, so you do not suffer any unnecessary delays in receiving much-needed compensation.      

We Help Abingdon Residents Through the SSD Appeals Process.

At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we assist individuals with all types of mental and physical disabilities whose benefits were denied, including (but not limited to):

  • Brain injuries
  • Major anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Digestive disorders (such as Crohn’s Disease and Hepatitis)
  • Degenerative back disease
  • Endocrine system conditions
  • Genitourinary impairments (such as dialysis and renal disease)
  • Hematological disorders (such as anemia and sickle cell disease)
  • Immune system conditions (such as HIV and Lupus)
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Skin disorders (such as cellulitis and hidradenitis suppurativa)

In general, it is helpful to understand that almost any type of injury or medical condition that results in a person not being able to work for at least 12 months potentially can qualify a person for social security disability income benefits.

If you are disabled, navigating the appeals process on your own can be daunting and challenging.  However, it is not necessary for you to face the process alone.  We can put our over three decades of legal experience to work for you and assist in gathering critical documentation, filling out forms, and preparing you for an administrative hearing or appeal.

How Can an Abingdon SSD Lawyer Help Me?

At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we can help clients in the Social Security Disability process by:

  • Filing forms for an initial application, reconsideration, or hearing;
  • Coordinating appointments with official Social Security physicians;
  • Reviewing disability files to identify possible weaknesses and determining how to fix these deficiencies when possible in order to increase the chance of obtaining a favorable determination;
  • Preparing you for questions that may be asked at an Administrative Law Judge at an appeals hearing;
  • Obtaining critical work and medical records;
  • Appealing a case before an Appeals Council or in federal court; and
  • Fighting tenaciously to secure the maximum benefits to which you are entitled.

Individuals who are represented by an attorney are 300% more likely to receive timely approval.  If you would like to increase your chances of securing disability payments, call our office to schedule a free consultation.

How Much Does a Disability Attorney Cost in Virginia?

Being disabled invariably means suffering lost wages as well as dealing with lifelong, mounting medical bills.  At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we understand the physical, financial, and emotional ramifications caused by debilitating illnesses and injuries.  As a client seeking social security disability benefits, you won’t need to pay us a retainer or any fees while you claim is ongoing, as we represent clients in social security claims matters on a contingent fee basis.  Under this representation, we are only entitled to a fee if you obtain benefits; there is no fee to us if benefits are not obtained.

Under federal law, our fee is capped at 25% of the past-due (or “backpay”) benefit amount or $6,000, whichever is less.[3]  Backpay is the amount of pay that accrues between the date that a person become disabled and eligible for SSDI and the date that a claim is approved; this amount is usually the first payment that a successful claimant will receive.

When we represent clients in social security claims, the SSA usually pays us our 25% fee after a claim approval is made (up to $6,000), and the remaining amount is paid directly to the claimant.  After our payment is received, we are not entitled to any fee on future benefits paid to a claimant.

Because you will not have to worry about up-front legal fees, the best decision you can make to protect your interests is to contact our office today for a complimentary case evaluation.

Contact Our Abingdon, VA Disability Benefits Law Firm Today for a Free Consult!

At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we handle all aspects of the Social Security disability benefits process, from submitting initial benefit applications to requesting reconsiderations and appealing denials.  Over the course of more than 30 years of representing clients, firm founder Mark Hurt has gained a reputation for being a fierce and experienced advocate for clients in fighting for their rights.


[1] Disability Benefits | How You Qualify, SSA.

[2] Disability Benefits | How You Qualify, SSA.

[3] In some limited circumstances, an attorney may be entitled to a fee higher than the $6,000 limit.