Hundreds of thousands of Virginians suffer from debilitating illnesses and injuries that leave them unable to work and support their families. For many of these individuals, Social Security Disability (“SSD”) income can be a lifeline, helping to cover long-term medical care and daily expenses. Unfortunately, these much-needed benefits can be challenging to obtain, as the application and documentation requirements are daunting and complicated.
If you’re applying for social security disability benefits in Abingdon or the surrounding communities, it’s important to know that:
- Only 30% of initial disability applications are approved, meaning the chances of being denied are not only high, but likely. Despite having qualifying disabilities, many applicants are deprived of benefits because of minor application or documentation errors, or more significant medical evidentiary matters.
- If your application is denied, you will likely have to appeal and wait months or longer for a claim to be approved. In most cases, it’s not possible to simply submit additional information and get a claim approved.
- Retaining an experienced Abingdon Social Security Disability attorney can significantly increase the chances of the initial claim being approved.
- Our fees are typically 25% of the backpay – we do not receive a fee on future payments that are not yet due. Because the backpay is usually low if a claim is filed soon after a disabling event, our corresponding fees are usually also low, which is why it makes good sense to hire us and reduce your chance of a denial of your initial claim application.
When you hire The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we can help navigate SSD application challenges, so you can secure the benefits you deserve as quickly as possible! And, if your initial claim has been denied, we can represent you in the appeals process.
Call our offices to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION! Attorney Mark Hurt can explain your SSD options, answer any questions you may have, and assist in preparing an application or an appeal, all at no cost to you unless benefits are awarded!
How Much Does an SSD Lawyer Cost?
At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we understand how financially devastating living with a disability can be. As such, we only charge our SSD clients a fee if we are successful in obtaining benefits. If we cannot secure SSD through an initial application or appeal, we do not collect a fee.
There is no fee due at the outset to retain us. If compensation is secured, our fee will typically be equal to 25% of the backpay amount. In most cases, our fee will also be capped at a maximum of $6,000. Further, we never receive any fee based on future payments (which are awarded after the initial payment). Consequently, the quicker you get started, the less you potentially will pay, as there will be less time for backpay to accrue.
What Is Social Security Disability?
Social Security Disability is a government assistance program designed to provide financial compensation to those unable to work for at least twelve months due to a debilitating injury or illness. As long as a condition persists, most qualifying individuals are entitled to receive SSD benefits until they reach retirement age and begin collecting Social Security retirement benefits.
Do I Automatically Qualify for Disability If I Am Hurt?
No. Qualification requirements, based on how long an individual worked and paid into the Social Security system during their employment career, must be met to obtain benefits. Only individuals who contribute enough taxes to the Social Security systems are entitled to disability payments.2
The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) utilizes a work credit system to track disability eligibility. Credits are earned by paying taxes on wages, and the SSA determines the amount of income needed for one credit each year. For example, in 2019, one credit was awarded for every $1,360 earned, up to a maximum of four credits.
The number of work credits needed for SSD depends on an individual’s age at the time of disability. Generally, forty credits are required, twenty of which must be earned in the ten years preceding the disability. However, younger workers may be eligible with fewer credits. For instance, before the age of twenty-four, a worker can qualify with only six credits, as long as they are earned within the three years before the injury or illness.
It can be challenging to determine whether enough credits have been earned but, as an experienced Abingdon Social Security disability lawyer, Mark Hurt can review your employment history and assist in determining whether you qualify for benefits.
When Should I Apply for Disability Benefits?
Obtaining SSD benefits can be a long and arduous process; thus, it is crucial to apply as soon as you become disabled. Even if an initial application is approved, benefits will not begin until the sixth full month of disability. Further, the waiting period will not commence until the first full month after the date the SSA decides a disability began.
Can I Correct a Mistake I Made on My SSD Application?
If an applicant makes a minor application error, it is usually not possible to correct the submission. Instead, a denial of benefits will be issued. When this happens, an appeal (or multiple appeals) may be necessary to overturn the decision, which can take several additional months or even years. In the interim, those needing these benefits will need to figure out how to pay the bills, which could mean using credit cards and racking up thousands of dollars in interest fees (much in excess of the relatively small legal fee that could have been paid).
Because minor clerical errors and more significant medical evidentiary records can prevent benefits from being awarded for substantial periods, it is critical to ensure that all documents are appropriately submitted from the start. This provides the best chance of securing payments as expeditiously as possible. At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we can review your claim, prepare an initial application, compile medical evidence from physicians and other healthcare providers, and appeal a denial.
What Information is Typically Needed When Seeking Social Security Disability Benefits?
Before applying, the following documentation should be compiled:
- Social Security number;
- Social Security numbers for each family member who may qualify for benefits
- Proof of age;
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of medical providers, caseworkers, clinics, and hospitals that provided medical care;
- Names and dosages of prescriptions;
- Medical records;
- Laboratory and test results;
- Work history documents;
- Recent W-2s;
- Recent federal tax return; and
- Proof of marriage (if spousal benefits are being requested)
Securing SSD benefits often involves providing extensive medical evidence concerning the nature of the disability, the expected duration, and the effect that the disability will have on a person’s ability to work. Documenting these matters in the way required by the SSA can be challenging, which is why most SSD applications completed without the assistance of an experienced social security disability lawyer are denied.
As an experienced SSD law firm, we know what is needed to substantiate a claim and can help you assemble the documentation needed to demonstrate eligibility.
What Should I Do If My SSD Application is Denied?
Most of the initial applications that are denied on the basis that insufficient evidence has been presented for claim approval, or that an application is otherwise deficient – not that the applicant does not qualify medically for benefits. When a denial is issued, individuals have the right to request a secondary application review. We help those who have been denied through carefully reviewing their application and the information in the denial, compiling additional information needed for approval, and vigorously asserting for approval on behalf of our clients.
If you received a denial, it is critical not to give up, as rejections are common and appealed denials are often overturned. As an experienced SSD attorney, Mark Hurt can assess your claim and explain your options for requesting reconsideration or appealing a denial.
Get Help from Abingdon, Virginia Social Security Disability Lawyer Mark Hurt!
Making small clerical errors or omitting critical medical records can result in benefits being delayed for months, or even years. Do not compromise your chances of securing timely benefits by trying to take things into your own hands.
At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we know what it takes to obtain SSD successfully and can help qualifying individuals prepare applications that increase the likelihood of being awarded benefits. Call today to schedule a complimentary consultation to get started!
 Social Security: 2014 Virginia Quick Facts, AARP. In 2012, 211,535 Virginians received Social Security Disability benefits.).
 Work Credits, Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/thirdparty/materials/pdfs/educators/Work%20CreditsTP_2019.pdf
 Work Credits, Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/thirdparty/materials/pdfs/educators/Work%20CreditsTP_2019.pdf.
This law firm is excellent to work with and I highly recommend them. Jessica was great to work with for me filing a disability claim through the Social Security Administration. She answered all my questions and concerns quickly and efficiently.