Charlottesville Social Security Disability Attorneys
Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits
If you have a disability or medical condition that prevents you from working, you could be entitled to benefits through one of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Social Security disability programs. The SSA offers two programs, one for disabled individuals with sufficient work credits, and one for individuals who are 65 or older, blind, or disabled and who have limited income and resources.
Whether you need help applying for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits or appealing a denied claim, Reinhardt | Harper | Davis can help. With over 100 years of combined experience, our Charlottesville Social Security disability attorneys have the legal knowledge, resources, and skills to effectively advocate for you and the benefits you are owed. We can help you navigate the often complex and confusing SSD process, all while protecting your rights and prioritizing your best interests.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) vs. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two separate Social Security disability (SSD) programs. While both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) offer benefits to individuals who are unable to work due to age and/or qualifying medical conditions, these two programs have several important differences.
The main difference between SSDI and SSI is that SSDI is based on contributions to the Social Security trust fund via taxable income earned over one’s work history, whereas SSI is based on individual need. Additionally, there are different sets of requirements to qualify for SSDI and SSI.
Generally speaking, to be eligible for SSDI benefits, you must:
- Have earned the appropriate work credits by having a job or being self-employed and earning income that is taxable by Social Security
- Have an injury, disability, or medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of a “disability” and is expected to last at least 12 months or end in death
To be eligible for SSI benefits, you must:
- Be disabled, blind, or 65 or older
- Have limited income, means, and resources
Our Charlottesville SSD attorneys can help determine if you meet the eligibility requirements for either SSDI or SSI benefits. Note that, in some cases, it may be possible to qualify for both types of benefits. Contact Reinhardt | Harper | Davis to learn more during a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
How to Appeal a Denied Social Security Disability Claim
The Social Security Administration (SSA) denies most first-time SSD claims. If your claim has been denied, your best option is to file an appeal. We do not recommend that you refile a new claim, as this typically does not result in the awarding of benefits.
To appeal a denied SSD claim, you will typically need to take the following steps:
- Request a Reconsideration: The first step in appealing a denied SSD claim is filing a request for reconsideration. This must be done within 60 days of the denial of your initial claim. If your request is accepted, a new case processor will review your initial claim and any new evidence you have to support your application.
- Attend a Hearing: If the reconsideration results in a denial of your SSD claim, you may request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). During the hearing, you (and your legal counsel) will have the opportunity to restate your case, provide expert testimony, and present any new evidence you have in support of your claim.
- Request a Review by the Social Security Appeals Council: If the hearing results in the ALJ denying your claim, you may request a review by the Social Security Appeals Council. At this stage, the Council may review your case, return it to the ALJ for further review, deny your request for a review, or deny your appeal altogether.
- Pursue a Federal Court Review: The final step in appealing a denied SSD claim is making a final appeal before a federal court. This can only be done after the preceding steps have been completed and the Social Security Appeals Council either decides not to review your case or rejects your claim/appeal.
It is strongly recommended that you work with an attorney who has experience handling SSD appeals. There are numerous processes you must complete, as well as various hearings and proceedings you must attend during the SSD appeals process. Having an attorney by your side can help ensure that you do not make any mistakes during the appeal that could ultimately jeopardize your ability to recover the Social Security disability benefits you are seeking.
At Reinhardt | Harper | Davis, we bring more than 100 years of combined experience to our legal practice, as well as a long history of success in appealing denied Social Security disability claims. Our attorneys know how to navigate the is process and are here to provide you with the personal attention and support you need. We are available 24/7 to take your call, and our bilingual staff can assist you in English and Spanish.