Maryland Social Security Attorney
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the number people who applied for disability in the United States in 2013 was 2.6 million. Only 884,894 people were actually awarded disability payments. Those statistics may be startling for some. The make the point, however, that more than half of the individuals who apply for disability benefits for the first time are initially denied. A Maryland Social Security lawyer will be well-versed in this process and is best-suited to helping you if you need to pursue such a claim. He can calmly and thoroughly walk you through the application process, and can help you build a strong claim and an equally strong appeal, should one prove to be necessary. Your lawyer can answer any questions you may have, and can help prepare you for the daunting process of fighting for your social security benefits. Don’t be intimidated by the statistics, use them to arm yourself with the best legal advocate for your specific needs.
Why are Some People Denied Social Security Benefits?
There are many reasons that a person may find they are initially denied in their application. These reasons include:
- An incomplete application.
- Failure to completely follow all medical orders, such as undergoing psychological and/or physical therapy.
- Your disability wasn’t permanent. This means that you may be able to return to work in a short time rather than being permanently disabled.
- The SSA can’t confirm you paid into the system.
- You didn’t fully cooperate with SSA. For instance, you might have refused to release some medical records out of fears or concerns.
All of these situations serve as examples as to why a Maryland social security lawyer is a vital necessity when applying for disability benefits. No attorney can guarantee that you will receive benefits just because you have retained legal representation. Statistics, however, show that you are more likely to be successful in your social security benefits claims if you have a well-qualified legal professional pursuing your application. For instance, when filling out your application you may miss vital information. It’s not because you are doing anything wrong or intentionally withholding information. Filing for Social Security disability benefits is a time-consuming and daunting task and it can be very easy to overlook a portion of the forms or part of the process. Your Maryland social security attorney will known precisely what information and proof is required for a successful claim and will work to ensure that you meet all the requirements and applicable deadlines.
Proving You’re Disabled in Maryland
The SSA requires each applicant to prove he or she is disabled to qualify for disability payments. On the surface this may seem like an easy thing to do. However, the SSA defines those as eligible for social security benefits as people who are severely disabled. “Severely disabled” refers to you having a mental or physical condition that prevents you from performing any substantial activity for a period of a year or more, if not for the rest for of your life.
Your physician can restrict or prohibit you from working. That doesn’t mean that you automatically prove you are disabled. The Administration relies on its own medical experts to prove your disability. Also, not every impairment is considered a disability. The SSA list specific medical conditions that apply for disability such as those involving the:
- Musculoskeletal system.
- Skin disorders.
- Respiratory system conditions.
- Immune system disorders.
- Hematological disorders.
- Genitourinary impairments.
- Mental disorders.
- Malignant neoplastic conditions.
- Congenital disorders that targets multiple areas of your body.
- Neurological disorders.
- Endocrine disorders.
- Speech disorders.
- Special senses conditions.
If your disability doesn’t qualify in one of the above categories, your claim may be denied. For instance, the SSA may deny your application if alcohol or drug abuse contributed to your disability.
Qualifying for Disability Payments in MD
In addition to proving disability, the SSA requires you to have enough credits to qualify for case payments. The number of credits you need depends on:
- The year you became disabled
- Your age
Another requirement is the amount of time you’ve worked. The Administration requires you to work, either full- or part-time, for at least five out of the 10 years prior to applying for disability.
What does the SSA Consider in Determining My Claim?
Each question is a step in the process of approving or denying your disability application. For instance, the first question involves are you working at the time you apply. If the answer is yes, and your earnings are over a specific amount, you can’t be considered disabled by the SSA’s guidelines. A Social Security lawyer who has experience pursuing claims in Maryland will be able to tell you if you fall within the eligibility guidelines.
Is My Condition Severe Enough?
As discussed above, your condition must be so severe that you cannot perform basic work tasks. If your disability has only a minimal effect, you may be considered able to work and therefore ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Is My Disability on the SSA’s List?
You can have a severe disability and yet it’s not on the SSA list. In these instances, you may be deemed able to work according to the Administration and therefore denied your claim. It all depends on the type of disability and the finding of medical professionals. A qualified Maryland Social Security lawyer will known which disabilities are recognized by the federal agency and which are not and can provide you with a straightforward assessment of your claim based on those qualifiers.
Did You Perform Work-Related Tasks Prior to Your Disability?
Let’s say your disability isn’t on the list, don’t assume that the SSA will automatically deny you. It will still likely investigate your claim to determine whether your disability actually interferes with your ability to work. An attorney is best-suited to representing your interests during such an investigation.
Can You Work in Another Occupation?
You may no longer be able to do the job you have performed for years, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t work at all. The SSA will investigate your claim to determine whether you can enter a new or different profession. These factors include:
- Medical condition
- Any transferable work skills
- Prior work experience
If the SSA deems that you are able to do another job, it may deny your claim. If you disability claim is denied, you do have the right to appeal. Many denied claims have been overturned after an appeal. Whether you are applying for disability for the first time or need help with an appeal, contact a Maryland Social Security lawyer to give yourself the best possible advantage in your claim.