Do you qualify for disability benefits? Was your claim denied?
Our Georgia attorneys can help you secure your disability benefits.
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Albany, GA 31707
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Helping Georgia residents secure their disability benefits for over 50 years
If you’ve been working for a long time, then you’ve likely been paying into the Social Security system for years (maybe decades) through taxes. So it’s easy to understand your dismay and frustration when you’re denied Social Security disability benefits after a serious injury or illness that leaves you unable to work. Isn’t that what Social Security is for, after all?
The government might claim that you didn’t submit the correct information, or they may say that your injury doesn’t qualify as a “disability.” Although this bad news can cause unneeded stress, it’s important to realize that you don’t necessarily have to take no for an answer. In fact, while approval statistics vary slightly by state, nationally about 67% of all disability claims are denied on the first application filed with the Social Security Administration. In comparison, the rate of denials is significantly lower after filing an appeal — only 35% of claims are denied during a hearing.With over 200 years of combined experience, our Albany lawyers have seen and done it all. When it comes to Social Security and disability, our team of experts knows how to secure your benefits effectively and efficiently. Whether you need to submit your application for the first time or wish to appeal a denial, let us help you.
“Mr. Pyles and Mr. Yazinski helped me with my employer disability benefits and my Social Security Benefits. Becki Hyatt always kept me informed and went above and beyond to help me. This law firm will fight for you when you are not physically able to fight for yourself!”
Who qualifies for disability benefits in Albany, GA?
Having a disability that qualifies you for Social Security benefits means you must have a particular condition or meet certain medical criteria listed in the “Blue Book,” or more formally known as the “Disability Evaluation Under Social Security.” This criteria is used in all 50 states to determine which individuals meet the requirements for receiving disability benefits.
If you or a loved one suffer from one or more of the following impairments, you may be entitled to seek disability compensation:
- Spine disorders, fractured femurs or tarsal bones, and soft tissue injuries such as burns
- Visual disorders, such as blindness, loss of speech, and hearing loss
- Respiratory disorders such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, and chronic pulmonary hypertension due to any cause
- Chronic heart failure, recurrent arrhythmias, heart transplant, and peripheral arterial heart disease
- Chronic liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic liver disease, short bowel syndrome, liver transplant, and weight loss due to any digestive disorder
- Genitourinary disorders such as chronic kidney disease from a transplant, nephrotic syndrome, and complications of chronic kidney disease
- Hematological disorders such as hemolytic anemias, disorders of thrombosis and hemostasis, disorders of bone marrow failure, and repeated complications due to hematological disorders
- Skin disorders including ichthyosis, bullous disease, chronic infections of the skin, dermatitis, and burns
- Congenital disorders that can affect multiple body systems
- Endocrine disorders including gland disorders, hyperglycemia, and diabetic ketoacidosis
- Cerebral palsy, epilepsy, benign brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome, and traumatic brain injuries
- Mental disorders such as schizophrenia, depressive and bipolar related disorders, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders, and eating disorders
- Cancers including lymphoma, leukemia, as well as cancers of the breast, lungs, nervous system, esophagus, stomach, pancreas and kidneys
- Immune system disorders such as systemic sclerosis, dermatomyositis, immune deficiency disorders, inflammatory arthritis, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
Can I get both social security disability and workers’ compensation?
When it comes to Social Security disability and workers’ compensation, receiving one typically will not negatively affect your chances of receiving the other. It is possible to be given both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and workers’ compensation at the same time if you qualify for both programs. These are separate programs run by different entities: SSDI by the federal government (Social Security Administration) and workers’ comp by the state — which in Georgia is the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
When a worker is injured, they usually initially receive workers’ compensation benefits until their SSDI kicks in. In order to receive both benefits at once, it must be estimated that injury or illness will take 12 or more months to fully recover from, if you’re able to recover at all.
How to file a Social Security disability application
Just like applying for a driver’s license or passport, there are certain documents and information you’ll be required to submit with your Social Security disability application. This information includes:
- A detailed work history
- A list of current and past employers
- A list of jobs you’ve held in the past 15 years
- Your current earnings, household income and list of assets
- Details about your bank or financial institution
- Other benefits you might be receiving
- Your status as a United States citizen
- Any discharge from the military (if applicable)
After you have gathered the appropriate documents, you can apply online or at your local Social Security office. If you are 18 years of age or older, not currently receiving benefits, and haven’t been denied benefits within the last 60 days, you can apply online through the official U.S. Social Security Administration website.
A thorough record of your condition is also required. Keeping track of every doctor’s visit, prescription, and treatment is essential. In addition, the Social Security Administration must be granted access to files concerning your current and past medical conditions, as well as regular check-ups from your primary care physician. You may also be required to undergo a physical examination or evaluation during the application or appeals process with a doctor who’s associated with the SSA.
Common reasons why disability applications are denied
The most common reason applicants are denied SSDI benefits is that they’re still able to work and make a living, even after they’ve been injured or become ill in the workplace. The SSA may deny your claim because they don’t award partial disability benefits.
There are also different qualifications that must be met for SSDI benefits compared to workers’ compensation, which means your claim can be accepted by one and not the other.If your disability application was denied, we strongly encourage you to reach out to an attorney near you who is experienced in Social Security disability claims. If you live in the Albany, Georgia area, contact us as soon as possible.
How to appeal a disability application denial
Even after submitting all the necessary documentation and undergoing extensive evaluations, it’s still possible that your application won’t be accepted simply because the SSA has a high denial rate. However, if you feel you should receive Social Security disability benefits, there is a proper way to appeal your claim.
- Submit a request for reconsideration. This allows a new disabilities examiner to review your information.
- Schedule a hearing. Your hearing will take place in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ).
- Appeal, again. If your first appeal fails, your next option is to request a review by the SSA’s internal appeals board.
- Go to court. Finally, if all appeals have failed thus far, you may request an appeal to the federal court.
The appeals process can take a long time, especially if you’re not familiar with the many loopholes you have to jump through. The good news is that your appeal can be approved at any stage of the process, which saves you from having to go all the way to the federal court if the decision is reversed. Having an experienced Social Security disability lawyer on your side, representing your best interests, can make all the difference.
Contact an experienced Albany, GA Social Security & disability lawyer
Whether you’re fighting through the appeals process or just getting started with the application, take comfort knowing that the lawyers at Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson have 200 years of combined experience helping Georgia residents secure the disability and workers’ compensation benefits they needed to improve your quality of life. Our expert Social Security & disability lawyers are located in Macon, Albany, and Warner Robins. We will sit down and look at your options with you during a free consultation. Don’t hesitate, call today.