For the residents of Rochester & Monroe County, being faced with a disability is a frightening prospect. How will you take care of yourself and your family? For many people, the answer is disability assistance. The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a benefits program to assist the disabled in our community. While the SSA has provided benefits for millions in our state, it’s not always a simple process to apply for these benefits. The Rochester & Monroe County Social Security Disability Attorneys at Duke Law Firm, P.C. fight hard for the rights of the disabled, and clients in Livingston, Wyoming, Steuben, Wayne, Ontario, Allegany, Genesee, and Orleans counties in New York state know they have access to legal advocates ready to work hard to obtain the disability support to which they are entitled.
At Duke Law Firm, P.C., we understand that obtaining Social Security benefits is confusing, frustrating, and complicated. When your financial security depends upon you receiving Social Security Disability payments, our experienced legal team will evaluate your application fairly and make the process as timely and smooth as possible.
If you are considering applying for Social Security disability benefits, contact Duke Law Firm, P.C., to book your free consultation by calling the office or using the scheduler on this site. We will assess your case and offer individualized advisement on how best to move forward based on your specific needs and circumstances.
On the other hand, if you’ve already applied for Social Security disability benefits and your application was recently denied, you have a short window where you can qualify for an appeal. Scheduling a consultation with an experienced attorney is the best way to protect your legal rights. We offer free consultations at Duke Law Firm, P.C., and our attorney can meet with you today to discuss your options. Our Social Security advocates serve in Livingston, Wyoming, Monroe, Steuben, Wayne, Ontario, Allegany, Genesee, and Orleans counties.
At Duke Law Firm, P.C., we provide social security disability assistance for clients filing applications or appeals, so call (585) 449-4987 today to get started.
For the purposes of managing benefits and determining eligibility, the SSA defines disability in § 404.1505 of the Social Security Code of Federal Regulations.
The agency defines disability as:
The law defines disability as the inability to do any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment 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. To meet this definition, you must have a severe impairment(s) that makes you unable to do your past relevant work (see § 404.1560(b)) or any other substantial gainful work that exists in the national economy.
Adults and children seeking disability support can refer to the SSA Blue Book, which outlines the physical and mental health problems that qualify as disabling conditions. You may be entitled to SSA disability benefits if you find your condition listed.
The type of SSA disability benefit you qualify for will be determined by the agency.
The following are the two types of disability programs offered to disabled persons:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): Disability support through the SSDI program is provided for those who have paid into the Social Security system through payroll deductions. Workers who’ve earned credits are considered “insured” according to program guidelines. SSDI insurance is paid to qualifying persons regardless of their financial situation.
Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI): Disability support through the SSI program is reserved for adults and children with limited or no financial means. It also covers disabilities for those who are not considered to have earned coverage in the program. The program has income thresholds for qualification in addition to physical and mental impairment guidelines to qualify.
Many disabled persons apply for SSDI and SSI benefits every day only to find out they’ve been denied coverage. The program has very specific requirements and guidelines that can be confusing, complicated, and bureaucratic. At Duke Law Firm, P.C., we provide guidance for those submitting requests and assessments for those who have been denied coverage. We can review the details of your case to determine whether you qualify for coverage or an appeal.
Applying for SSA disability benefits can be a complicated and cumbersome process. The agency requires a significant amount of paperwork and proof before approving anyone for benefits. Applicants are required to submit doctors’ reports and medical records with testing and diagnosis information. Many SSDI applications are rejected for insufficient documentation, which can be frustrating for those suffering health challenges.
According to the SSA, the SSDI or SSI disability process progresses as follows:
As many as 2 in 3 applicants will have their SSDI application rejected, making the need for a knowledgeable legal representative even more vital. Qualifying for SSI is a more straightforward process, but many do not qualify for this program as it is limited to senior citizens, children, and persons with extremely limited resources.
If your disability application is denied, you can appeal the decision. The disability appeal process is very formal and has a number of phases.
To start the process, you must submit a request to have your case reconsidered within 60 days of being denied coverage. Your requests will be reviewed by a separate SSA review board consisting of an examiner and consultant unfamiliar with your case. They will review your case to provide a second opinion. Many times, these secondary reviews are denied except in cases of new evidence of advanced illness or additional diagnosis.
If a secondary request is denied, applicants have another 60 days from the secondary denial to request a hearing before the administrative law judge (ALJ.) ALJs are SSA attorneys responsible for hearing appeal cases and determining how to proceed. They can uphold the decision or overturn the denial.
If the ALJ upholds the denial, applicants can request a review by the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council will review the case and decide if it should be denied again, returned for reconsideration to the ALJ level, or approved. The Appeals Council is the last level within the SSA, and any subsequent appeals would have to move into the federal court system.
Appealing an SSDI or SSI disability denial can be a daunting task without legal representation, which is why the Rochester & Monroe County Social Security Disability attorneys at Duke Law Firm, P.C. fight tirelessly to provide residents throughout the area with access to legal representatives with experience navigating these types of cases.
Whether you’ve been injured or been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition, being unable to work and provide for yourself and your family can be a terrifying experience. Not knowing how you will make ends meet can put even more stress on you during a challenging time in your life. We understand the difficult decisions you are facing, and our compassionate social security disability lawyers serving Rochester & Monroe, Wyoming, Steuben, Wayne, Ontario, Allegany, Genesee, and Orleans counties in New York state can review your case and help you determine how to proceed. If you haven’t applied for disability, our capable attorneys can help you get your documentation in order to put you in the best position for success.
The legal team at Duke Law Firm, P.C. provides social security disability assistance for clients in Livingston, Wyoming, Monroe, Steuben, Wayne, Ontario, Allegany, Genesee, and Orleans counties in New York state. We specialize in applications and appeals, so call (585) 449-4987 today or schedule a consultation to get started.