Our government provides benefits to individuals who are disabled through a variety of programs offered by the Social Security Administration. Each of these benefits programs can bring challenges that our highly experienced attorneys can help you handle. Some of the most common programs that provide disability benefits are:
Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits(SSD), which is based on your work record and taxes paid
Supplemental Security Income (SSI), for individuals without a strong work history and who have minimal assets and resources
Child’s Disability Benefits
Disabled Adult Child Benefits, for children who were disabled before age 22 and have an opportunity to obtain benefits off of a deceased, disabled, or retired parent’s work record
Widow’s Benefits, for widows and widowers who were married at least ten years and who are 50 years old with a disability or 60 years old without a disability
The Process Can Be Exhausting
After filing an application at the initial level, you may have to go to an examination or two scheduled by Social Security, and you will likely be required to fill out and return several questionnaires.
If denied, an appeal must be filed within sixty (60) days, and your claim will be sent to the reconsideration level. This level is also a paper-driven level where you will not have an in-person hearing.
If denied at the reconsideration level, you have the right to request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. Again, the appeal must be filed within sixty (60) days of your reconsideration denial. These hearings can be extremely difficult for an individual to attend without the representation of an experienced attorney because of the many statutes, regulations, and other sources of law that govern how these cases are decided.
If denied at the hearing level, you have one more right to an appeal at the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council, however, does not look at your case and decide whether you are disabled, but focuses its attention on whether the Judge made a legal error in following the process to decide your claim. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with the regulations, this can be another very difficult and frustrating level of appeal.
Finally, if you are denied through all of these levels, you may file a lawsuit against the Social Security Administration in Federal Court. These lawsuits should be filed by attorneys with extensive knowledge of Social Security law, and who have experience with Federal Court Judges in the Court where the lawsuit is filed.
How We Can Help
Our office assists individuals at all levels of the Social Security process including filing lawsuits in Federal Court. Although an individual will not typically need an attorney at the first level, in certain circumstances it may be wise to consult with an attorney before filing your application.
All of our attorneys have experience at all levels of the Social Security Administrative appeal process, as well as Federal District Court, and the Federal Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (which hears appeals from Courts located in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Michigan).
If you would like a consultation about your Social Security application, appeal, or preparation for a hearing, please contact the Law Office of Michael A. Malyuk and ask to speak with one of our attorneys.
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