SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS

Are you hurt and unable to work? Does your child have an impairment that interferes with his or her ability to function? Were you expecting to rely on a deceased spouse’s disability benefits?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.  There are two types of disability benefits for which an individual can apply: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  SSDI pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. SSI pays benefits based on your financial need.  

There are various ways to prove that you are disabled and should get paid.  If your medical records show that you meet a listing you qualify for Social Security benefits.  A listing is a specific impairment.  Depending on the impairment, the impairment may need to be diagnosed by specified medical testing.  Additionally, the Social Security Administration will find you disabled if all of your impairments, combined, prevent you from working.  To collect disability benefits for your child, your child’s impairment must equal a listing or cause marked or severe functional limitations. In addition, you may be able to collect disability payments if your deceased spouse was unable to work.

To receive Social Security Disability benefits, you must first apply for benefits.  Your application for Social Security Disability benefits is first reviewed by State Disability Determination Services personnel.  An attorney can walk you through the application process so you include information that is favorable to your case. 

In Maryland and the majority of states, if you are denied benefits you can appeal and have your case reconsidered by Disability Determination Services.  If denied disability benefits at the reconsideration level, the case goes before an Administrative Law Judge who will hold a hearing to determine whether you should receive disability benefits.  If the Administrative Law Judge denies your application for disability benefits there are two more levels to which you can appeal. 

When deciding your case, an Administrative Law Judge considers all information before him.  This information includes hearing testimony, your work history, allegations, Disability Determination Services’ opinions, medical records, income, and statements by third parties.  At the hearing, you will be asked to testify, as will experts that the Social Security Administration relies on. 

As your representative, at the hearing, I will ask you questions favorable to your case and challenge vocational experts and medical experts if their opinions do not support your application for disability.  In addition, I will thoroughly review all of your records and help you obtain medical records that may help you obtain a favorable outcome.  I can attend Social Security interviews and conferences with you, appeal unfavorable decisions on your behalf, help you navigate the early stages of the disability application process, and help you and your witnesses prepare for a hearing.  For more information and a free consultation, contact  (443) 961-7345 or phillip@attorneychalker.com for a free consultation.