Social Security Disability Lawyer Roanoke, VA

Social Security Disability Lawyer Roanoke, VA

Our Social Security Disability lawyer, Roanoke, VA residents rely on from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt knows that when you receive a phone call from the Social Security Administration (SSA) it can make you feel extremely stressed or it can make you excited. Social Security is a crucial program that benefits many people who have disabilities. When people with disabilities need additional financial support, Social Security benefits can be highly valuable. There are times, where people are either born with disabilities, or they end up getting them later on in life. This could be due to an accident involving a truck, bike, etc, a severe work accident, or an attack that left someone paralyzed. Moreover, old age can factor into disabilities too. Now, when people become disabled, they will sometimes need others to be their caretakers. Of course, this is not black and white, and the amount of care needed, depends on how disabled the individual is. However, one of the most common ways that those with a disability can be provided for, is through financial means. 

When the SSA calls to let you know they would like you to go in for a consultative exam, you may be very happy that you are progressing to the next step. That said, when it comes to the consultative exam, it means that there was not sufficient evidence within the medical records that you provided to show you have a disability. It is another measure to confirm that you have a disability. If your disability has changed, sending updated medical records also helps to ensure that you receive the right amount of disability benefits. There may be additional steps you have to wait for to determine whether you can receive your benefits. However, this does not necessarily mean that your application is denied. Instead, they want another opinion that will show whether you need Social Security benefits or not. When this is the case, you may be wondering what you can expect from the exam.

 

Can my own doctor perform this exam?

When applying for Social Security benefits, one of the requirements may be to see a doctor, so you have a medical record that confirms your disability. Usually, you are only allowed to see a doctor from an approved list.

Your primary doctor can perform this exam. They need to have the required tools, equipment, and skills to do so. Additionally, they may choose not to perform the exam. If this is the case, another doctor will be required to perform the exam. On the other hand, the Disability Determination Service (DDS) may prefer to go with another doctor altogether if they are concerned about your doctor’s results. The DDS has the discretion to choose an approved doctor to perform your exam, so there is no guarantee that your primary doctor will be the one to conduct it. 

What can I expect from the exam?

You may be nervous about taking the physical exam to verify your disability. The exam itself probably will not be too out of the ordinary for you. It should follow a similar structure to the routine physical exams that you regularly experience. The goal of the exam is to determine how your disability impacts you. They will look closely for symptoms or for any changes that have occurred. When you go in for your appointment, you can expect:

To provide your medical history to the doctor

  • To discuss the onset of your illness or injury
  • To receive a thorough physical examination
  • To have any additional testing done specifically to the consultative examination
  • To discuss what tasks are necessary for your job and if you can complete them

Our Roanoke, Virginia Social Security Disability lawyer knows that preparing to go in for your exam can be stressful. Still, it is vital to state the facts and listen to what the doctor says during the examination. Stick to basic information without exaggerating claims. Any false statements you make about your disability can put your application at risk of being denied, so make sure you provide clear and straightforward answers.

What if my application is denied?

It is possible to appeal a decision, and if you believe you have been wrongly denied, we are here to help. It is not common, but legitimate disability applications are sometimes denied because of errors. If you would like to learn more about the Social Security Disability application process and the consultative exam, please reach out to the trusted Social Security Disability lawyer in Roanoke, VA, from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt. They will help you file an appeal if necessary. 

There are many reasons your application for social security may have been denied. Still, a social security disability lawyer in Roanoke, Virginia, can help you provide the necessary information for a successful claim. Applications can be denied for several reasons, but some of the most common are as follows:

  • No proof of qualification: Before you receive social security benefits, you need to prove that you qualify for the help in the first place. This can include providing proof of employment and more detailed evidence of your injury. Make sure you are of the most up-to-date requirements, so you submit the proper documents. 
  • Insufficient doctor testimony. While on the subject of proof of injury, to qualify for social security, you’ll also need to have a proper, formal statement from your doctor that backs up your disability claim. Without a doctor’s statement, your claim may be rejected. 
  • Inadequate medical records. As with your doctor’s testimony, you’ll need to provide a detailed medical record that documents your injury and how long you’ve been struggling. Providing an incomplete medical record is sure to raise some eyebrows: It’s always better to provide as much information as possible. 
  • Personal information hiccups. This is possibly the most frustrating reason for a denied application. When you think you have completed your application correctly, only to find out there was a problem related to your name or other personal information. Having your application rejected because of inaccurate personal information may seem like a rare possibility, but it does happen. The reasons for denial can be as small as misspelling errors, alternative legal names, incorrect addresses, grammatical errors, or other slight inaccuracies. Your application is complicated, and everyone makes mistakes. Before submitting your application, double-check all of your information and ensure that your information aligns with the requirements. 

There are other reasons an application may be denied. Still, you shouldn’t give up – instead, reach out to a social security disability lawyer in Roanoke, VA, who can help you gather the necessary information and paperwork. Don’t assume that nothing can be denied if your application is denied the first time. It may have gotten denied because of a minor error or other processing issues. A lawyer will know how the appeals process works, and they can guide you through each step. They will provide you with assistance so that the error can be fixed right away. If you are informed of a mistake on your application, don’t wait to correct it. A small error on your application can be fixed if you act at the right time.

What Is the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) runs two programs for people who are disabled. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI). SSDI is for people who have worked at least five of the last 10 years. SSI is a need-based program for people who are disabled and have not worked that much. A social security disability lawyer in Roanoke, VA, can help you apply for both SSDI and SSI.

Can I Return to Work While Getting Social Security Disability Benefits?

In a word, yes. If you’re receiving SSI, the amount of your benefits will be reduced by the amount you’re earning that’s over their income limit. If you’re receiving SSDI, your income can’t exceed the SSA’s substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit, which changes from year to year. There are programs to help you transition from receiving SSDI to working again:

  • Plan To Achieve Self-Support (PASS). PASS lets disabled individuals set aside money or property to pay for services or items they need to achieve a specific work-related goal.
  • Trial Work Period. Any month when you earn more than the amount set forth by SSDI counts toward your nine-month trial work period. The idea is to see if you’re able to return to work. After nine months working in a rolling 60-month period, you are considered to be no longer disabled.

What Is Substantial Gainful Activity?

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) is any work you do, whether paid or not. It’s the level of work a person without a disability can perform. Substantial activity means that you’re doing some amount of physical or mental work, either in a job, as a volunteer or in criminal activity. Gainful activity is work that you could be paid to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re actually getting paid or not. If it’s work someone might pay someone else to do, it’s gainful.

 

SSD and SSI infographic

 

What Is a Social Security Disability Technical Denial?

A technical denial looks at non-medical reasons to deny your SSDI application. For example, if you’re currently working and earning more than the SSDI income limit, you wouldn’t qualify for disability. A social security disability lawyer in Roanoke, VA, from the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt can help you determine whether you might experience a technical denial.

Does the SSA Consider Mental Illness Disabling?

Yes, mental illness can be considered disabling. There’s a long list of qualifying mental illnesses covered, including anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Your social security disability lawyer in Roanoke, VA, at the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt can help you figure out if your mental illness might qualify.

Living with a Disability

Whether you have just developed a disability or have lived with one for years, life can present you with many challenges. You may have to adapt to new changes, such as changes in the treatment plan or financial support; financial support is often implemented, through social security benefits.  This provides financial aspects, such as yearly payments, to the individual’s life. What this does is it aids the disabled person in getting benefits for work that would not be possible at the time, due to limitations. Now, it is also important to note that sometimes, disabled people are not treated fairly. As such, at times, they may not end up getting the benefits that they deserve. When this happens, it is important to take legal action. A good example of this would be taking action, through a social security disability lawyer.

Learning how to live your life with a disability is a long and often frustrating journey. Adapting to your disability can take months or years, and it can be a lifelong journey. There may be times when you feel confident and feel like you have gotten the hang of it. In contrast, there might be moments where you feel like you have just started over, and it can be discouraging. If you were injured because of an accident – whether on a jobsite, because of a car accident, or anything else – you might be completely overwhelmed by what lies ahead.

There are many steps to take to make sure you have a meaningful recovery and so you can live your best life possible. However, immediately after your life-changing injury, you might be wondering if you can ever get started forward: Expensive medical bills, invasive treatments, and potentially even losing your job. These uncertainties can make it difficult to imagine what life might look like for you in the future.

Once you’re finally out of the hospital, your challenges don’t just disappear. As soon as you battle through one hurdle, ten more can take their place – and you may be weighed down by uncertainty. How will you care for yourself? And how will you care for the people you love? Where can you get the financial support you need?

This is what makes applying for disability so important. There are resources set aside expressly for individuals with disabilities, so you should take advantage of them and at least apply. If your life has been drastically changed because of an accident, you should know your rights and be aware of how you can get the quality care and financial support you deserve. You must understand what benefits you are entitled to and how to obtain them. But when you’re struggling to get disability checks, you can count on the right legal assistance to help. Even after finding out that you are eligible to receive disability benefits, receiving them can be difficult. 

At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we understand the challenges you may be facing, and we know you don’t want a handout: You want a hand up. Through our legal services, we can help you get the results you need most efficiently. Our goal is to make sure that your needs are taken care of. We provide personalized case management to each of our clients. We’re dedicated to providing you with the information and legal counsel you need to get the most out of your disability claim. We will use our full resources and work diligently so that you can get the highest benefit amount you are entitled to. 

We understand how frustrating it can be to go through the disability application process. There is a lot of confusing language to read and navigate, and it can be hard to understand exactly what you need to do. When you have submitted all the required information and followed all the steps, the last thing you want to deal with is a last-minute obstacle. While it might take a longer time, taking the time to do the application right the first time can save you from going through the inconvenience of trying to fix an application with errors. Submitting a disability benefits application can be tedious, but obtaining benefits can greatly help you. When you are at risk of losing your disability benefits, it can impact your life in more ways than one. However, with our help, you can get peace of mind. It is better to find out more about all of your options than wonder if you could have taken action later. It costs nothing to obtain more information from a top lawyer. You can count on us to assist you so that you do not have to be worried about the possibility of having your application denied. 

Take action sooner rather than later. You do not want to wait to explore your legal options. There is limited time to submit a Social Security disability benefits claim, so don’t wait too long. If you are not sure if you qualify for disability benefits, schedule a risk-free consultation with a top lawyer who is highly knowledgeable about the Social Security program and its requirements. Their specialized skills and experience can assess your case and help you fill out the application. You want to do everything you want to optimize your case to obtain the maximum benefit amount. Boost your chances of getting the disability benefits you deserve. Do not wait until the last minute. Contact us today, and see how a social security disability lawyer in Roanoke, VA, can help you rebuild your future.

Understanding The Process of Obtaining Social Security Benefits

A disability can seriously impact a person’s life if their physical or mental health prohibits their ability to sustain, which may call on the assistance of our Roanoke, VA, social security disability lawyer. Disabilities can take on several forms depending upon the severity. Treatment may be intensive, and they may not be able to live whole lives due to disparities. Having an inability to make a living, as a result, can make it challenging to care for themselves, and as a result, life can be complicated. Those experiencing such issues will likely require social security disability benefits to cover treatments and their cost of living. However, applying for social security disability can be cumbersome and complicated. Still, fortunately, The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt have the experience, resources, and capabilities to support the application process. 

Initiating the Application Process

There are a few different ways to initiate the application process for social security disability benefits. You can either:

  1. By calling the US Social Security Administration office to start the application by phone. 
  2. Scheduling an appointment with a representative from your local office. 
  3. Conducting the application process online

The process for completing an application can be cumbersome, and for someone whose cognitive functioning is impacted, it may feel impossible. The application alone can be challenging, making it imperative to consider the assistance of social security disability lawyer in Roanoke, Virginia, for help. 

Determining Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits

To qualify for social security benefits, your ability to earn an income is limited or non-existent. Qualifying applications must be able to show the following:

  • No longer have the ability to continue working
  • Having a condition that qualifies under the Social Security Administration
  • Have earned enough work credits
  • Income must be below a certain standard

Again, having representation from a professional can help by reviewing your situation and determining if you can qualify for SSDI. 

Gathering Key Documents

The tedious process of completing the application for SSDI will require that you supply a substantial amount of paperwork. Sometimes, the process of gathering the documentation alone can take some time. It’s best to compile the following before initiating the process:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Proof of Citizenship
  • Proof of Military Discharge
  • W-2s
  • Medical Records such as:
    • Doctor’s Reports
    • Testing Results
    • Evaluations
  • Proof of Any Other Benefits

In addition to this, you may also need past employment information, dates of employment, and more. Plus you may need some help along the way, which is why you should consider hiring an attorney. A social security disability lawyer would want to know:

  • the kind of disability the person in question has,
  • the benefits that they would be looking to receive,
  • how long the person wants to have the benefits for
  • whether the individual has been treated poor in the past in relation to their disability and to what extent
  • how long the person has had a disability for

These aspects would help to break the case down in a specific manner.  Moreover, social security disability cases can go beyond just the financial aspect. An example of a legal business that does this, is The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt. In a legal business that relies on disability lawyer work, assessment factors, should include workers compensation, the injury that causes the person to become disabled, and more. This kind of work aids in branching out the kind of disability cases that are handled and beyond, in order to create a strong audience with different needs. Contact our law offices today for help!

What Is Substantial Gainful Activity?

The Social Security Administration has its own definition of disability, which is different from other agencies’ and organizations’ definitions. It is very strict and firm.

You must meet the SSA definition to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. There are two parts to the definition. The SSA requires the disability to last for at least one year or more or to be something that will cause your death. In addition, because of the condition, you must be unable to do substantial gainful activity.

Because of this strict definition, a Social Security Disability lawyer in Roanoke, VA, can assist you with figuring out if you qualify.

Substantial Gainful Activity

SGA is a term describing your ability to work and make money. The SSA considers something SGA if you can earn money from doing it, and you must use significant mental or physical actions to do it.

It does not require you to work full time or to actually earn money from doing it. So, part-time work or volunteer work could be SGA. However, the SSA also considers how much money you earn. It has specific guidelines depending on your disability. The guidelines may change also from year to year, depending on inflation.

If the SSA determines you can do SGA, then you cannot qualify for SSD benefits. If you are already receiving benefits, then any SGA could lead to you losing the benefits. You should discuss any potential earnings with your Social Security Disability lawyer in Roanoke, VA, to avoid losing your benefits.

You should note that if your disability is blindness, there are special SGA requirements that fall outside these general criteria.

Blind Individual Special Rules

If you meet the SSA definition for a blindness disability, then you will have slightly different qualifications when it comes to the SGA requirement. To qualify as blind, your impairment must reduce your central vision to 20/200 or less when using correction or in the eye with the best vision, you must have a visual field at the widest diameter of no more than 20 degrees.

SGA criteria for you increases the amount of money you can earn through working before it becomes a qualifying SGA. Someone without blindness generally has a very low threshold for earnings before it turns into SGA, but yours is almost double that amount.

In addition, if you own a business, the SSA will determine how much you contribute directly to the business operations when considering that income.

Wrapping Up

Getting SSD benefits is not an easy process. You need all the help you can get from a Social Security Disability lawyer in Roanoke, VA. Meeting the SGA requirements can be tricky, but your attorney will be able to explain them to you and help you understand if you qualify for benefits.

4 Reasons To Work With a Social Security Disability Lawyer

Two out of three applications for Social Security Disability payments fail every year. If you believe you are entitled to this financial lifeline, it pays to understand why consulting with a Social Security Disability lawyer in Roanoke, VA may streamline the route to the assistance you have earned.

1. The Process Takes Months

Even with a letter-perfect application and proper documentation, approval for SSD takes a minimum of three months. If the administration denies your appeal, an appeal consumes more months. Consider that a single wrong answer to an ambiguous question may sink your application. These harsh facts build a compelling case for getting your application right the first time. Working with an attorney who has overseen many applications may improve your chances of a smooth approval. With these high stakes, consider a free consultation with a lawyer, such as an attorney with the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt.

2. The Applications Are Complex

The preliminary checklist for an online SSD application is six pages long. The required Adult Disability Report alone runs 15 pages. While Social Security will accept online submission of W-2 forms and tax returns, the administration requires original documents for birth certificates and several other categories.

As your application moves through the examination process, the Virginia Disability Determination Services may require you to submit additional forms. Maintaining consistent answers through this process is critical for your application’s success.

3. Effective Documentation Is a Tightwire Act

Legitimate grounds for SSD eligibility include blindness, musculoskeletal disorders and cardiovascular issues. Each disability thus requires tailored documentation to gain the administration’s approval. Most applicants understand that submitting inadequate documentation guarantees a denial. To avoid this fate, many applicants overcompensate and submit irrelevant paperwork.

Because each Social Security examiner works through hundreds of applications each workday, a blizzard of unnecessary paperwork heightens the risk of your correct documentation escaping notice. The advice of a Social Security Disability lawyer in Roanoke, VA may help you thread the needle with a right-sized documentation package.

4. Appeals Are Daunting

An application denial letter may not mean the end of the road for SSD benefits. Mistakes in the examination process happen, and roughly 13% of appeals end with benefit approvals. If Social Security denies two of your appeals, you may request a hearing before a Virginia Office of Disability Adjudication and Review judge. At this critical point in the process, you may benefit from legal representation by a firm with extensive SSD application experience, such as the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt.

Roanoke, VA Social Security Disability Infographic

How The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt Can Help

It’s always best to work with a lawyer early on to help manage the process with ease. For those in need of SSDI, chances are they don’t have time to wait months or even years for the help they need. However, you will likely experience various delays and hurdles without a lawyer, especially if you do not complete the application correctly or are missing documentation. The financial impact can be significant, leaving the person in need to suffer. 

If you are still unsure of the benefits that a lawyer can offer, consider scheduling a consultation with an experienced professional in your area. Our social security disability lawyer in Roanoke, VA, will be able to listen to your needs and discuss ways they may be able to help. 


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