Social Security Disability Attorneys in Memphis
We’ve Helped Thousands of Clients Get Paid Since 1970
Even though it’s supposed to be user-friendly, the Social Security Disability (SSD) claims process usually isn’t. The rules are complicated. Clear explanations are hard to come by. It’s easy to become frustrated.
At Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, we can help you get the disability benefits you need. We can explain the law, your legal rights, and the various steps that usually have to be taken before claims are approved. We understand the rules, what kind of proof you need, and how you can avoid making mistakes.
Have you already been denied Social Security Disability benefits? Don’t give up. Denied claims happen. It doesn’t mean that you’re not disabled or that you can’t get the benefits you need. We can help. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Social Security Disability attorneys in Memphis, call (901) 526-2126.
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Are You Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?
If you’re disabled, can’t work, and previously paid into the Social Security system for five out of the past 10 years, you may have questions about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This program, administered by Social Security Administration (SSA), supports the worker when he or she can’t earn income because of disability. Both employers and employees must contribute to the program by paying FICA taxes. These Social Security taxes are withheld from current earnings so that employees pay into the Social Security system.
In theory, every person who becomes disabled is eligible to receive SSDI benefits if he or she has paid FICA taxes in the past. In reality, being unable to work and being eligible for disability benefits are two different things in the eyes of the Social Security Administration.
Generally, your ability to secure SSD benefits will depend on the following:
- You need a qualified doctor’s opinion that a physical disability, illness, or mental health issue will prevent you from working for at least 12 consecutive months.
- You need to have earned enough work credits (based on your employment history), and to have earned at least half of those work credits recently.
Age, education level, and current physical and mental capacity are also factored into SSA’s assessment. A Memphis SSDI lawyer can help you prepare your application and guide you through the process.
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The Difference Between SSDI and SSI
Those filing for disability benefits often do not understand the differences between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). While it is acceptable to file a Social Security Disability Insurance claim online, this is not necessarily the situation for Supplemental Security Income.
It is usually necessary to visit the local Social Security office for your region if the potential exists that an SSDI claim will not be available. SSI claimants are awarded in a shorter time frame and are not required to wait six months before being approved, as SSDI claimants must do before being qualified.
SSI recipients are approved for one year, and many will be reviewed annually for reevaluation. There are also limitations on personal assets in order to qualify for SSI since it is an actual welfare program.
Completing the Initial Application
Most initial applications are denied. However, you should still make sure your claim is as strong as possible. This can help you in the appeals process later on. Our lawyers work closely with you and your doctors to make sure that all of the information that supports your claim is contained in the record. We can even file claims online, right from our office. We have a second office location in Olive Branch, Mississippi.
We can help you with an SSD review, so you can:
- Make sure you are eligible to receive benefits
- Understand how to file your application
- Gather the evidence you need
- Provide proper supporting documentation
We work closely with you through every phase of your application and claims process. We demystify the process and help you fully pursue the benefits you need. Don’t give up on the benefits you are owed; filing for SSD benefits is complicated but absolutely necessary. Our firm can work with you every step of the way.
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Why It’s Important to Work with an Attorney
Waiting on a Social Security disability determination ruling from the Social Security Administration can be a very frustrating experience. Individuals who have a debilitating condition are often already incapable of working long before they file, and managing to get through the waiting period is difficult for practically everyone filing. Many people also file for Social Security benefits long before they qualify by age and often by necessity. And, many claimants need benefits as soon as possible because of personal finances.
The combination of personal situations and the extreme due diligence regarding disability determination by the SSA means that making sense of a disability case can become as difficult as surviving through the bureaucratic process. That is why it is crucial to have an experienced and aggressive Social Security disability attorney – like those at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC – representing your case to the SSA.
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Why Was I Denied SSDI Benefits?
Many disability claimants are obviously disabled when they apply, but the federal disability agency still takes as much time as possible before issuing a ruling. Sometimes this even occurs when the claimant has a condition that is listed as an approved disability. These conditions should automatically qualify a claimant for disability benefits, but the agency still routinely sends claimants to agency doctors to validate claims.
Of course, this takes additional time, allowing the SSA to wait until the final days of the allowed response period to make a ruling. And, very often, the ruling will still be another denial. If you do not have a condition on the pre-approved list, your SSD attorney can still take your total disabilities and begin a process that compares specific medical conditions to other conditions that are on the approved list of disabilities.
Administrative Law Judge Review
It’s possible to lose your SSA appeal for SSDI benefits. If that happens, you can request a disability hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ is a representative of the SSA.
In a hearing, you will need to explain or offer:
- Why you need Social Security Disability Insurance benefits
- Doctors’ testimony about your current medical/mental condition
An ALJ won’t solely rely upon your written medical records at an administrative hearing. If your request for SSDI benefits is denied again, you can take your case to SSA Appeals Council.
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Claims Involving Multiple Medical Conditions
Many claimants do not necessarily file for Social Security disability benefits based on one medical condition alone. Oftentimes, filers will have several health issues that impact each further, contributing to their general inability to earn a living as a result. You should always remember that a disability ruling is not as much of a ruling on your disability status as it is a claim that you cannot earn a living because of medical issues.
While independent medical problems may not constitute disability alone, when all conditions are presented in a combined evaluation, the SSA can begin the process of evaluating overall health with respect to total disability. Social Security does not recognize partial disability as other benefit programs do, and all approval decisions are usually permanent unless the claimant is awarded Supplemental Security Income benefits.
One Call, That’s All. Dial (901) 526-2126 Today
We handle Social Security Disability claims on a contingency basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid. Fees for disability representatives are limited by law and must be approved by the SSA in advance. You can rely on our Social Security Disability lawyers in Memphis to fight for every dollar you deserve.
Whether your disability started with a work injury, a serious illness, or something else, your consultation with us is free — no strings attached. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day.