If you suffer from a total, permanent, or long-term impairment that prevents you from working and earning a living, there are two Social Security Administration (SSA) programs that can help you make ends meet. It is difficult to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but a Social Security disability lawyer in Bohemia, Long Island, can give you the best shot possible. If you meet the SSA’s eligibility criteria, you will receive monthly cash benefits to help you pay bills.
The disability lawyers at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., help disabled New York residents get the benefits they deserve. We know what it takes to get approval for disability benefits and what the SSA is looking for during the determination process. This means we can ensure your claim is complete, giving you the best shot at meeting the strict eligibility criteria the first time.
If you already applied for benefits and received a denial, we can fight for you during the appeals process. This includes representing you in your appeal hearing and presenting evidence to overturn the denial. You can reach our office today at 631-600-0000. We offer free case reviews.
Do I Meet the Criteria for a Qualifying Disability Impairment?
To claim disability in New York, you must have a medical condition that does not allow you to work and earn a living wage. Your medical records need to demonstrate that your condition has lasted for a year, will last for at least a year, or is likely to cause your death. In addition, your medication records also need to show you suffer from a qualifying medical impairment. In general, you can qualify for benefits in one of two ways:
- You meet the applicable criteria under your diagnosis in the Blue Book of impairment listings; or
- You have a residual functional capacity (RFC) showing you cannot work even a sedentary job.
Once the SSA receives your application and medical information, it will contact your medical care providers and request copies of your medical records, test results, treatment history, and other documents. The SSA will then use these records to determine if you meet the criteria outlined in an impairment listing. If not, the examiner for your case will request an RFC assessment.
Most commonly, a doctor from the SSA or your own physician completes your RFC assessment based on the information in your medical records. Occasionally, you may have to see a doctor for a consultative exam to complete this assessment. The doctor will use the RFC to document your ability to complete a number of work-related and everyday tasks. To qualify for disability benefits, your RFC must show you are unable to work at any job.
Because of the importance of your medical records in this process, we encourage all of our clients to talk to their doctor about their disability application. If your doctor knows you need documentation of your full range of impairments, they can help ensure this information is in your medical records and treatment notes. We handle many appeals for clients who received a denial because their doctor did not include a full description of their medical condition in their records.
Are There Other Criteria to Qualify for SSDI or SSI Benefits?
Before your disability application ever leaves the local field office, SSA personnel check to ensure you meet all the technical criteria to receive benefits. If not, you will receive a technical denial. These are more common than you may think. They can occur even for simple mistakes, like failing to complete a question. You may also receive a technical denial you do not meet one of the qualifications of the SSDI or SSI program.
SSDI requires you to earn enough work credits in order to qualify for benefits. The number you will need to qualify depends on your age, but most people need to work at least part time for several years before applying. If you took considerable time away from work in the last decade, you may not qualify. If you are currently working, you must earn a monthly income that falls below the current substantial gainful activity limit. Other income does not count against you for this limit.
The SSI program helps those with little income and few resources. Therefore, you need to meet strict income requirements and asset limits to be eligible for benefits. The program looks not only at your earned income, but at income from investments and other sources as well. Your spouse’s income will also impact your eligibility. Qualifying for SSI benefits is difficult because of these strict limits. However, if you need this type of monthly cash benefit, we can review your financial statements to determine if you qualify.
Can I Appeal a Disability Denial?
Many people receive a denial letter in response to their initial disability application. Often times, these same people later end up getting the benefits they deserve. If the SSA denied your application, give us a call today. We have only a short time to request an appeal and schedule a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.
We often have several months to figure out why the SSA denied your claim before we have to present your case in front of the judge. This gives us time to investigate what led to your denial, help ensure your impairments have proper documentation, and take care of other issues standing in your way. We will present our findings during your appeal hearing and ask the administrative law judge to overturn your denial. This is frequently successful and we can recover your monthly benefits and back pay during this hearing.
How Can I Talk to a Disability Lawyer in Bohemia, Long Island?
At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., we can help you apply for the disability benefits you deserve. We will explain the process, prepare your claim, or fight for your benefits during an appeal. Call our office today at 631-600-0000 to schedule your free consultation.