A New Orleans Social Security Disability lawyer at Wright & Gray can give you the help you need with your claim, even if you’ve already been denied.
While countless people are working in New Orleans at any given moment, many residents are unable to work due to hardships and physical disabilities. Unfortunately, you may be one of those people, and you may be suffering because of it.
Fortunately, you do have options: Social Security Disability (SSD) can help cover what you need so you can carry on with your life. But while employers might have posted pertinent information in your former workplaces, you may be in the dark about SSD benefits and what they can do for you. That’s where we come in.
When a person falls seriously ill or gets into an accident, they may require hospitalization and a lengthy recovery. During this period, they lose out on their daily income, and most of the time, this means people have to worry about their health and financial situation. The government has placed several safety nets for situations like these, one of them being Social Security Disability benefits.
Social Security Disability allows people to seek financial assistance to help with their medical bills and supplement lost income for daily expenses and bills. However, the application process itself may prove to be more stressful than necessary. In many cases, the anxiety that results from a denial can affect a person negatively.
We know that while recovering from your illness or accident, all you need to focus on is your health, both physically and mentally. Your best option is to hire a Social Security Disability attorney to oversee your disability claims application or appeal your denial.
Read on for more information, or give us a call whenever you’re ready to get started.
Common Reasons Why Social Security Disability Insurance is Denied
The Social Security Administration, or the SSA, receives thousands upon thousands of claims per year. Out of all the initial applications they receive, over 60% of them are rejected or denied because of the following reasons:
- Minimal Medical Evidence – Remember that the purpose of the SSD is to assist people who have been rendered incapacitated because of a medical condition or injury. This means that, most likely, the person is receiving medical treatment, and in many cases, doctors have not cleared them for release. Because of this, the best evidence to present for your disability application is medical records to show that you are indeed stuck inside the hospital recuperating. If you are resting at home after a short stint at the emergency room, it means that your condition probably isn’t severe enough to warrant SSD assistance. Unfortunately, many people try to avoid or shorten their hospital stay to save money, only to find later that they cannot claim their SSD benefits because they did not receive the medical treatment that justifies the gravity of their situation.
- Refusal or Failure to Follow Medical Advice – Aside from cutting short hospital stays to save money, many people don’t follow through with medical treatment to save money. However, the SSA interprets this as a refusal to follow professional medical advice, grounds for disability denial. This includes not showing up to physical therapy sessions, cessation of medication intake, and absence from subsequent doctor’s checkups and laboratory schedules.
- Substantial Gainful Activity – SSD benefits can be collected even once you return to work because it is understood that while you are well enough to start working again, your work hours will be cut short. Your tasks will be limited due to your disability. However, once you reach a point where you are earning around $1,310 per month, the SSA considers this as substantial gainful activity, which means you’re earning too much for someone with a disability. At this point, you’ve probably recovered enough to start working properly again. Remember that social security benefits are offered to disabled individuals who can’t make ends meet because of their disabilities.
- Your Condition Isn’t Severe Enough To Warrant SSD – SSD is for people with long-term disability. If you had a bad fall and fractured your shin, you may require up to 6 months in terms of recovery. However, this doesn’t mean you can avail of SSD benefits. The SSA won’t see your case as severe enough because, in those six months, you may start working at three months part-time while your shin is in a cast. Those who receive guaranteed acceptance are incapacitated applicants for a year or more due to their disability.
- Doesn’t Cooperate With The SSA – Once you submit your application, the SSA will investigate to see if your application will be granted or not. During this time, they may require you to submit additional evidence or lab work. Understandably, you may not want to do errands for the SSA while you are recovering, but failure to follow their instructions will result in a denial of your application.
In situations like this, it’s a good idea to hire legal representation to assist you with submitting documents and ensuring that you have fulfilled all the necessary evidence requirements. Having a lawyer by your side can help you focus solely on recovering while someone else takes care of the legal work.
What Should You Do if Your Application Was Denied?
You’ve just received word that your SSDI application was denied. In many cases, the SSA will let you know why your application was rejected, although you won’t get specific hints on how to make your next application more likely to succeed. And yes, you are allowed to appeal your denial, but the appeals council will reject you repeatedly if you don’t take the proper steps.
Review the Council’s Decision
Why did the administrative law judges deny your application? If it was because of a lack of medical evidence, you should go over your documentation one more time. In most cases, the SSA is very lenient and will not deny your application outright. If you lack medical evidence, they will ask for it. This means that you probably did not cooperate with their document request for additional medical records.
Understandably, it’s hard to know exactly how much medical evidence is enough because they look at each application on a case-to-case basis. You should hire a lawyer to help you figure out where you went wrong.
Double-Check Your Eligibility
Are you eligible for SSDI in the first place? Many individuals with disabilities are not aware of the evidence requirements for SSDI and send in an application when they get incapacitated. The ideal time of disability for SSDI is 12 months or more, except for blind people. If your incapacitation only requires three months of medical treatment before being pronounced fit enough to work, you won’t be approved for SSDI. Many financial programs offer disability payments, and your lawyer may help you figure out an alternative.
Hire a Social Security Disability Lawyer
If your first attempt was made entirely on your own and failed, maybe it’s time to bring in professional help. A lawyer will help you go through your application thoroughly to make sure you can overturn the initial denial. While the agency allows disabled persons to send in a request for reconsideration, too many applications that end in denial will only make things difficult for you. Once you get an initial claim denial, you must ensure that everything is in order before submitting your application again.
Other Alternatives to Social Security Disability Insurance
If you find that you are not eligible for SSDI, what is your next course of action? You can ask an experienced disability attorney what other avenues are available if you need financial assistance because of illness or injury. Here are some options that your lawyer can help you out with:
- SSI Benefits – Supplemental Security Income is similar to SSDI. When you send in your application for SSDI, it applies to SSI as well. If you find that you are not eligible for SSDI because of work credit insufficiencies or income limits, you can always hope to avail yourself of SSI benefits instead.
- DAC – Disabled adult child benefits are for adult children (over the age of 18) who have at least one parent under the Social Security benefits program. The applicant must have suffered an illness or injury resulting in disability before reaching the age of 22.
- DWB – Disabled widow/widower benefits are for people with disabilities between 50-59 who are rendered disabled within seven years after their partner’s death.
Should You Hire a Disability Lawyer?
In many cases, a lawyer is brought in only when an applicant’s disability claims have been denied, and they need to overturn the initial decision. However, it’s a fact that a lot of these denials would have resulted in acceptance had they hired experienced attorneys from the get-go. An experienced disability lawyer is not only there to overturn a decision that has already been made. They can handle all the legal legwork to ensure that you are eligible and your disability claims are accepted the first time around.
Here at Wright & Gray, we have a team of Social Security Disability lawyers working tirelessly to ensure that our clients, who are already down on their luck due to their condition, aren’t dealing with an even more significant blow in the form of a benefits application rejection. We ensure that they get the financial assistance they need so they can focus on their recovery.
Connect with a New Orleans Social Security Disability Attorney
Call a New Orleans Social Security Disability Attorney
Being permanently disabled or diagnosed with a debilitating disease can be scary. Not only are you worried about what to do for your family and loved ones, but you’ll also have to worry about an income when you’re unable to work. Fortunately, SSD can give you that peace of mind.
If you’re struggling with your claim, however, you may need to reach out to a qualified lawyer for help. Getting the coverage you need to support yourself and your family is vital, especially for long-term or chronic illnesses. Even if you’ve been denied, you still have a chance for compensation, but you’ll need to act.
At Wright & Gray, we’re committed to giving you solid, experienced legal representation so you can focus on dealing with your disability. If you have questions or concerns about your case, give us a call. We offer free consultations to get you on the right track.