Salem, VA Social Security Disability Lawyer for SSD Applications & Appeals

Salem, VA Social Security Disability LawyerServing Clients in Salem, Roanoke, Vinton, Cave Springs, Hollins, Elliston, New Castle, and throughout Southwestern Virginia. 

In Virginia, Social Security Disability is awarded to eligible workers who have sustained injuries or disabling conditions which prevent them from working for at least one year.  Applying for and being awarded benefits is a complex process, requiring significant medical documentation and intensive paperwork.  Applying is so complicated that over 70% of initial applications are denied, despite many claimants having qualifying disabilities.

At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we represent clients at every stage of the Social Security Disability (SSD) claim process, from filing an initial application for benefits to appealing the denial of a claim, to providing representation at appeals hearings.

If you are unable to work because of a debilitating condition and would like to apply for benefits or appeal a disability denial, call our offices to schedule a complimentary consultation.  By working with an experienced attorney, there is less of a chance of making an error on an application that can potentially hurt a claim and a substantially higher chance of winning an appeal.  Our knowledgeable SSD team can assist in gathering medical records, communicating with doctors, submitting forms, and monitoring deadlines.

If an administrative hearing is necessary, firm founding attorney Mark Hurt can explain the process, provide insights on the questions that the judge is likely to ask, and fight tenaciously in seeking to obtain the full benefits to which you are rightfully entitled.

There is Never A Fee for Our Services Unless We Win Your SSD Case!

What Types of Disability Cases Do You Handle?

We handle a wide range of Social Security Disability claims and have helped many clients obtain the benefits they deserve after suffering an illness or injury.

The following are some of the types of disability claims for which we provide representation:

  • Circulatory System (coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular disease)
  • Intellectual Challenges (includes developmental disabilities)
  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
  • Other Mental Disorders (generalized anxiety, borderline personality)
  • Endocrine Disorders (diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus, hyperthyroidism)
  • Injuries (fractures, contusions, burns)
  • Mood Conditions (depression, bipolar disorder)
  • Musculoskeletal System and Connective Tissue (osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, spinal cord injury, carpal tunnel, degenerative disc disease, amputations)

If you are considering about applying for SSD benefits, or need to file an appeal, contact our offices at 276-623-0808 for a free disability evaluation.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire an SSD Lawyer?

At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we accept cases on a contingent fee basis, meaning that we are only entitled to a fee if compensation is obtained.  While law firms generally charge contingency fees of 33% or more for injury cases, by law, our fees are usually limited to 25% of the back benefits owed or $6,000, whichever is less.

As a result, if you retain us at the outset for your initial filing, our fee will be significantly limited if the claim is approved because the “back pay” benefits will be limited.

Additionally, because we accept cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not need to pay us a fee at the outset (although you may be responsible for any payment required to get copies of medical records).  Further, the SSA typically pays our firm directly, lessening the burden on our disabled clients.

What Types of Disabilities Qualify for Social Security Benefits?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines “disability” as:

“the inability to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”[1] 

The SSA maintains a book of impairments (the “Blue Book”), which details dozens of conditions that are automatically considered to be disabling.  Qualifying disabilities exist in each of the following categories:

  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Special Sense and Speech
  • Respiratory Disorders
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Digestive System
  • Genitourinary Disorders
  • Hematological Disorders
  • Skin Disorders
  • Endocrine Disorders
  • Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Mental Disorders
  • Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
  • Immune System Disorders

If an impairment is not explicitly listed, the SSA will make an individual eligibility determination.  To be considered a disability, a condition must be as severe as another impairment in the Blue Book and prevent an applicant from working for a minimum of one year.

How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability?

Even though the SSA approves less than 30% of initial claims, the stronger an application, the better the chances for success both initially and, if necessary, on appeal.

In addition to having a qualifying disability, applicants must have enough work credits to be eligible for SSD.  As individuals progress through their careers, Social Security taxes are paid, which goes towards disability benefits.  The SSA tracks this information in the form of work credits.

Up to four work credits can be earned each year, but the amount of earnings needed for one credit fluctuates yearly.  For example, in 2019, $1,360 in income was required for one credit, whereas, in 2020, $1,410 must be earned.[2]  For most people, a minimum of 40 total credits must be accumulated, 20 of which must be earned in the ten years preceding the date of disability.  However, it may be possible to qualify with fewer credits if disability happens at a younger age.

Calculating work credits and navigating the application or appeals process can be extremely complicated.  As a knowledgeable Salem SSD lawyer, Mark Hurt helps individuals and families throughout Virginia apply for and obtain Social Security Disability benefits from the SSA.  We can evaluate your medical condition and work history and advise you of your eligibility and options.  We can assist in preparing an initial application or file an appeal if you are denied benefits.

How Long Do I Have to Wait for an SSD Decision?

After submitting an initial application, it can take three to five months or more to receive a decision either approving or denying a claim.  If a claim is denied and an appeal(s) is needed, wait times can increase by months or more for the appeals process to take place.

It is therefore critical for applicants to do everything possible in seeking to have a claim approved at the initial filing stage.  If an appeal is required, such as if the original application does not contain the documentation necessary to support a claim, it is not as though a claimant can quickly supplement the claim with additional information.  Instead, the claim must go through the appeals process, which will significantly delay benefits.

When applicants are denied benefits, the SSA offers four levels of appeal:

  • Reconsideration
  • Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Hearing.
  • Review by the Appeals Council.
  • Federal Court Review.[3]

The higher the level of appeal needed to secure benefits, the longer a claimant must wait.

For instance, in Virginia, the current average wait time for an appeals hearing is 15 months, and it takes roughly 515 days to process a case.[4]  However, if the ALJ issues a denial, benefits will be delayed for additional months or years.

If you are disabled and desperately need SSD benefits, it is vital that you reach out to our office as soon as possible.  The sooner we apply or file an appeal, the quicker you may be able to begin receiving disability compensation.

What Can I Do If I Am Denied SSD?

While over 70% of all initial claims are denied, claimants who appeal a case to an administrative law judge have a more than 50-50 chance of winning.  Thus, the most critical rule for applicants is never to give up. In most cases, the initial applications for benefits simply failed to provide the requisite information required for an approval, as typically the applicant’s medical condition will qualify the individual as being “disabled.”

If the SSA denies a claim, a request for reconsideration – the first step in the appeals process – must be filed within sixty days from the denial date.  If an appeal is not timely filed, a reconsideration will typically be denied.  Although, if the appeals deadline passes, it may still be possible to pursue an appeal if “good cause” for missing the deadline can be shown.

The SSA specifies that the following may constitute “good cause”:

  • Emergencies or Impending Circumstances (a death in the family, a car accident, etc.)
  • “Confusing or Misleading” Actions (incorrect, incomplete, or confusing information from a government agency that causes an applicant to miss the deadline)
  • Mental or Physical Limitations (chronic, severe conditions)
  • Educational or Linguistic Impairments (inability to understand appeal requirements due to mental limitations or language barriers)

If the SSA finds good cause, then an application can proceed to reconsideration.  However, if a valid reason does not exist, the SSA will dismiss the appeal, and an applicant must re-file.

Whether you would like to appeal or need to file a good cause statement, we can help.  Our experienced SSD team can evaluate your claim, help collect documentation, monitor deadlines, and file on your behalf.  If a hearing is required, firm founding attorney Mark Hurt can fight tenaciously in seeking to obtain the full and fair benefits to which you are entitled.  

Do I Need a Lawyer to Apply for Social Security Disability?

According to Social Security statistics, you are more likely to be awarded benefits if you have representation.  At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we help qualifying individuals in Virginia obtain the SSD benefits they are entitled to receive.  We can help if:

  • You need to apply for benefits
  • You applied but were denied SSD
  • You have an upcoming hearing

Attorney Mark Hurt is experienced in disability law and can evaluate your claim, explain your options, and help you file an initial application or appeal for benefits.  You will not pay a fee unless you are awarded benefits.

Contact Our Firm Today for a Free Case Evaluation and to Learn How We Can Help!


[1] Disability Evaluation Under Social Security, Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/general-info.htm.

[2] Social Security Credits, Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/planners/credits.html.

[3] The Appeals Process, Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10041.pdf.

[4] Virginia ODAR Offices, Disability Judges, https://www.disabilityjudges.com/state/virginia

Client Review

“Great job of communicating throughout the entire process. Rhonda and staff were very professional, with great knowledge, and results.They were able to get my speeding ticket completely dismissed.”

Kendrick Wiggins
Client Review

What Our Clients Say

A very professional team who understands the stress of being in an accident. Our paralegal, Courtney Cormier, made us always feel as if things were being taken care of and it was nice to be worry free.
Kristina Murray
Kristina Murray
18:29 03 Mar 21
Diana Phipps
Diana Phipps
13:46 03 Mar 21
After my car accident, Mr. Hurt and his team worked very diligently to get me a fair settlement. Courtney Cormier, a paralegal on the team, was an invaluable asset to me. She always kept me informed of everything that was happening. I couldn't have had a better experience.
Caleb & Kristina Murray
Caleb & Kristina Murray
21:54 22 Feb 21
I could not be more pleased with the service I received. He is a wonderful lawyer and he gets the job done.
Country living woman Mountains
Country living woman Mountains
05:52 22 Dec 20
This law firm has great people skills and are very professional and efficient I would definitely recommend anyone to this law firm.
Lucas Green
Lucas Green
18:06 06 Dec 20
Courtney done a very good job with my case at the abingdon va office very quick and efficient great job highly reccomended my auto accident was in may and alreadh we have settled for maximum amount thanks so much
James Smith
James Smith
06:57 05 Dec 20
I contacted the law offices of Mark T. Hurt regarding a traffic ticket I received. Initially I was concerned because I live between Florida and New York, and with Virginia being midway, handling my ticket would be a major inconvenience, and I wanted to keep my record free of any infractions.Choosing Mark T. Hurt to represent me was the best choice I made, and it was further improved with the assistance of Rhonda, who contacted me once they received my request. Rhonda is one of those unique people who has mastered the fine line between being perfectly professional and friendly. Every conversation we had, was made to feel as if I were speaking to a close friend. One of the most appreciated aspects of working with her was her understanding and respectful of my schedule and time.For my work, I have a hectic schedule and very few free moments, so being able to handle things quickly and effectively is a priority for me, and Rhonda understood that and took care of everything as if she knew exactly what I was expecting. I even got sick while working with Rhonda, and her first comment was to wish me well. She also went out of her way to find solutions regarding my traffic citation that worked around my schedule. The price was fair, and when considering the quality of work and more importantly, the quality of people you will be reliant upon to ensure the best possible outcome for whatever your situation is, they can ask for 10x more than what I paid and it would still be worth it.All in all, recommendation for this law office, and for Rhonda herself, could not be higher. If you are searching for someone to represent you in any legal matter whatsoever, this is the office to work with. Thank you again Rhonda.
Al Fortunatti
Al Fortunatti
00:47 07 Nov 20
My lawyer Courtney in charge of my case was very professional, and very responsive to my personal injury and auto claim. She had it settled in a timely manner very polite and I would recommend this office to anyone.
Samantha Mays
Samantha Mays
21:28 06 Nov 20
I would highly recommend this law firm! Courtney helped me with my personal injury case, she answered all my questions and was always responsive throughout the entire process.She advocated for me efficiently and strived for the best possible outcome.
SCTC-Kimberly Dickey
SCTC-Kimberly Dickey
17:16 27 Oct 20
I'm not a Virgina resident and had found this firm through Google. I have a traffic violation case in tennessee and was desperate to get awnsers. This law office's staff was so helpful even though I wasn't able to even be a client, I believe the person who awnsered was Ashley. After their direction on finding another attorney and my case I was able to push my court date back and will be able to find someone to represent me.I'm not even a client, they didn't have to help me at all! I just wish they practiced in the tri cities area! Would recommend this group!
Benjamin Smith
Benjamin Smith
18:34 22 Oct 20
I contacted the affordable Law Offices of Mark T Hunt regarding a ticket I received. They requested certain documents from me, went to court on my behalf and got the ticket dismissed! The entire process was easy, fast and efficient. When I emailed or texted them their response time was impeccable!I would HIGHLY recommend them if you are looking for a professional attorney!
Davina Waller
Davina Waller
16:41 22 Oct 20
Under the circumstances that I had to have an encounter with Mr. Hurt, if I needed another team to represent me, I wouldn't hesitate for a second. The sheer communication that I had with Ashley was phenomenal. I was informed every step of the way. I was directed to each step of the process. I thoroughly enjoyed working with this law firm and would HIGHLY reccomend them. They were able to have my ticket completely dropped with no points added. Thank you all so much for all your hard work you did for me.
Chris Sanders
Chris Sanders
16:56 21 Oct 20
Mark and his team were very professional and courteous. They done a excellent job with my traffic ticket. I would highly recommend them.
Shannon Hanes
Shannon Hanes
16:26 21 Oct 20
My son got a speeding ticket in Virginia going back to school in Alabama. We contacted Mark Hurts office and they were very responsive and handled the entire situation for us.
Mary Ellen Fennell
Mary Ellen Fennell
22:54 20 Oct 20
The Law Offices of Mark Hurt made the process of dismissing my ticket so effortless! They were told me all the steps I needed to take to make Mr. Hurt’s job easier, and he was able to dismiss my ticket! I’m so thankful I used Mark Hurt to represent me in court. I would highly recommend him to anyone I know.
Cristina Marie
Cristina Marie
16:33 15 Oct 20
Friendly. Efficient. Professional.I’m thankful!
Moody Witoutcoffee
Moody Witoutcoffee
03:56 09 Oct 20
Rafael Oliveira
Rafael Oliveira
11:13 06 Oct 20
Cleber Bandi
Cleber Bandi
00:06 06 Oct 20
Lindaura Williams
Lindaura Williams
23:47 05 Oct 20
Flavia Oliver
Flavia Oliver
14:48 05 Oct 20
T. O.
T. O.
19:55 03 Oct 20
anita R Oliveira
anita R Oliveira
15:25 03 Oct 20
I highly recommend anyone to choose The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their issues! They were extremely nice, helpful, and professional, especially Courtney! Every question and concern was always answered. I am thankful for all their help!!
Brittany Gobble
Brittany Gobble
17:35 29 Sep 20
They were very helpful, and answered all of the questions I had, and got great results from my court hearing, I would highly recommend!
Bodie Breitbach
Bodie Breitbach
15:49 21 Sep 20
This law firm is the best of the best and Courtney was just wonderful in every aspect. Extremely helpful and answers every question and always willing to help! Mark Hurt and his crew are the best! Thank you all for helping my family in a very difficult time. Highly recommend.
Tony Statzer
Tony Statzer
14:41 17 Sep 20
Late in July I was charged with a reckless driving ticket in Greenville County, Virginia. I got caught going 83mph in a 55mph zone. It was my first offense on my driving record and I did not need a misdemeanor which could hurt my career. I was assured by Mrs Rhonda Hurt not to worry and that her team would take care of it. On my end, the only effort I put in was taking a 12 hour defensive driving course and sending her my driving record. Two months later, the result of my hearing was a reduction to a defective equipment/non driving violation with 0 points off my record. The other good part about this case was I did not have to go to court. In court fees I paid $68 and a fine of $78 for my ticket. Mrs. Rhonda and her team put together a miracle in that county and I cannot give her enough credit. I sincerely recommend this firm because I know they worked hard on my case and will do the same for you. Thank you again!
Marqus Keith
Marqus Keith
14:54 15 Sep 20
I highly recommend this law firm! Rhonda answered all my questions regarding social security questions and she put my nerves at ease! Im so thankful for her kind spirit and her honesty!
Catina Ratliff
Catina Ratliff
17:51 05 Sep 20
The law offices of mark hurt was very good to me and my family great people great service and great results courtney was our paralegal that presided over the case could not have asked for more to be done.
Danny Kiser
Danny Kiser
18:34 31 Aug 20
I got a traffic ticket while I traveled passing through VA in May.It is a big deal if you have the Law Section: 44-1/46/2-862 and speeding excess of 80 MPH in your ticket. It is a Criminal Misdemeanor Reckless Driving Charge!I saw Mark T. Hurt's Law office simple letter, I decided to give a call and get a free consultation.From the call, Rhonda provided a detail explaining the criminal charge of the Misdemeanor Reckless Driving ticket is about. She is a very caring and honest person, no sale pressure to me to take their law office at all.Once I decided to use their firm to represent me in court, it didn't take an hour, I was told totake some actions and wait for cout day to see the result. That is that simple and no worry at all. On the court date, I received text messages from lawyer's office. Guess what? The lawyer did a miraculous and fantastic job for me in the court.The Reckless Driving Misdemeanor ticket has been reduced to an Improper Driving traffic ticket.Thanks to Mark T. Hurt's Law office team! They are not only very professional and transparent but also does the best quality job you can find. I strongly recommend them to be your lawyer if you need one in VA.
C.Y. Kuan
C.Y. Kuan
01:07 23 Aug 20
Having landed a Reckless Driving (99 in a 65) on my way back to FL from WV, I came across this law firm when searching something along "best reckless driving lawyers Virginia."Mr. Hurt's firm dropped my "Criminal Misdemeanor" to an improper driving. Which from my understanding is right next to a normal speeding ticket.All expenses accounted (payment, court cost, fine), I'm out roughly $1,100 ; but I'd much rather pay that once today, than every six months to an insurance company for the next... God knows how many years. I am extremely grateful and overjoyed with my outcome.As far as speaking with the great ladies at these offices, everyone was always kind, quick, and considerate. They answered all my questions, explained all my options and possible outcomes. I had a clean record, and had now experience dealing with courts or lawyers, so their patience and knowledge was especially helpful. If I ever screw up again (I pray to God I don't) I hope it's in Virginia, so I can call upon Mr. Hurt's offices.
Nomadic Wolf
Nomadic Wolf
21:06 21 Aug 20
I would like to thank Hope for helping me get my SSDI. She was a true professional a great help with my success. great asset to the law firm and honest lady could not ask for anyone better. Thank You, David
David Harden
David Harden
21:17 20 Aug 20
I had a miracle outcome
jose feliz
jose feliz
22:14 18 Aug 20
I got stop in wyth county saw good reviews on Law of Mark, i can say i highly recomend them, got stop 79mph on a 60mph, they all i had to pay was a low amounth of $200 fine plus court cost $76 and they got me out with zero point infraction, if you looking for lawyer on traffic tickets here its the place to go with! Very professional and representatives will be there to help any time!
Brisio Gaza
Brisio Gaza
23:12 15 Aug 20
This law firm is the up most professional and highly knowledgeable in it's field of work. Courtney is awesome and a pleasure to work with she is the best at her job. We highly recommend this law firm!
Christy Statzer
Christy Statzer
02:52 11 Aug 20
Courtney Cormier and the law office, was amazing! Courtney was very efficient, timely, and responsive. I had an issue with a previous employee, but due to that, Mr. Hurt wanted to ensure that I was completely satisfied, so he made adjustments on his fee, just to make sure I was happy! You couldn't ask for a better paralegal or law office! I highly recommend this firm!
Jessica Ann Roberts
Jessica Ann Roberts
20:10 30 Jul 20
I called seeking help with a traffic ticket I received. I spoke to the legal assistant, Ashley and she was very helpful.
Nathan
Nathan
13:54 30 Jul 20
my Attorney Courtney Cormier was amazing and very helpful and patient with me and the case and always keep me updated on all the steps and procedures of the process i would definitely recommend her and this office they are amazing
Branden Lewis
Branden Lewis
15:24 21 Jul 20
These guys got my reckless driving charge of a 94 in 70 down to a improper driving. You won’t regret hiring them to help you out!
Haley Walser
Haley Walser
23:22 20 Jul 20
Great experience with Courtney Cormier! Thanks for the professional help!
Alisha Fagan
Alisha Fagan
16:26 20 Jul 20
Thank you for doing the best you guys did an amazing job with my case I appreciate everyone that worked on my case I definitely recommend this law firm!!
Abdullah Shaikh
Abdullah Shaikh
14:56 16 Jul 20
Great people! Very helpful and professional.
Heather Foster
Heather Foster
21:53 15 Jul 20
Wonderful, family oriented law firm. The staff are very attentive and courteous especially Courtney. I highly recommend this legal establishment!
Duane Cormier
Duane Cormier
17:25 15 Jul 20
Amazing group of people to work with Courtney is fantasticI would highly recommend this group
Kara Ginter-Hensley
Kara Ginter-Hensley
21:41 14 Jul 20
Great firm!! Diana will walk you through everything you need to take care of a traffic ticket.
Braden Alexander
Braden Alexander
19:28 14 Jul 20
They are very professional, and respectful with everybody, including one of his employees, Rafael
Flavia Oliver
Flavia Oliver
17:01 14 Jul 20
The personnel who work here are constiment professionals. Rhonda Hurt kept me abreast of all proceedings and changes without the need for me to follow up, allowing me to maintain a piece of mind knowing that the Law Offices of Mark T Hurt were on the job (Rhonda kept me up to date through text and e-mail).During the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak all court dates were changed. I received a personalized letter from Mark assuring me that he and his team was on the job and was going to see my case through to the end while keeping me looped in.Thank you for all your help and persistence to see the great outcome I received.I highly recommend anyone to use the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their issues!
Jon H
Jon H
11:34 13 Jul 20
They are a hard working team that care about their clients.
Frederick Baker II
Frederick Baker II
05:13 26 Jun 20
Fast, professional, and friendly. One of the best we have had for our family case and would HIGHLY recommend!!
Jonathan Mora
Jonathan Mora
19:13 04 May 20
I had a summons to court for reckless driving doing 82/70, and they took care of it without a problem and got it dismissed for me! They also work with you on your payments! Rhonda is the sweetest person I’ve ever spoke too, she worked with me and helped me tremendously! I highly recommend you choose this amazing and sweet firm to help your cases! ❤️
Aleah Nicole
Aleah Nicole
13:46 11 Apr 20