Articles Tagged with Boston attorney SSDI

Published on:

The majority of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claimants will be required to go to a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) at the Social Security Administration (SSA) if they are eventually to be awarded benefits. These hearings can be very difficult, if not seemingly impossible for an unrepresented claimant, as there are rules of procedure and evidence that will come into play, and the claimant will need to have a good grasp on trial practice skills, which is not likely the case.  Ultimately, proving a Social Security Disability Insurance claim is not easy.

Boston SSDI CaseThere is no reason though that an SSDI claimant should not be represented by an experienced attorney.  The system is also set up in such a way that there are no legal fees unless and until the claimant is successful and recovers disability benefits. If the claimant is successful, and obtains retroactive benefits, the legal fees will be paid by SSA as a percentage of the benefits award, but there will be no out of pocket costs to the claimant.  If the claimant is not successful, there will be no fees owed to the SSDI attorney. Continue reading →

Published on:

When it comes to Social Security Disability Insurance claims, it all comes down to evidence. In many cases, the question of disability is somewhat subjective, so having ample and compelling evidence to prove your position is crucial. Your attorney can help you from the very beginning of this process – identifying what evidence will be necessary, how it should be collected and how it will be presented.

The Social Security Administration outlines Evidentiary Requirements for SSDI claimants. As the agency notes, medical evidence is “the cornerstone of the disability determination” for SSDI benefits. The burden of proof is on the claimant to provide ample medical evidence showing he or she has an impairment and detailing the severity of that impairment.

SSDIUnrepresented claimants find themselves at a steep disadvantage because they don’t know what to do during the trial, what evidence to present or the process of calling and examining key witnesses.  When you have an SSDI attorney who knows exactly what type of evidence is needed, you’re ahead of the game.  Continue reading →

Published on:

Filing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is often the only option one has if they are disabled due to something other than a work-related injury. This is particularly true if the claimant lacks private long-term disability insurance.

While it may seem simple, the process tends to be tedious and drawn out. It can be months or even years before claims are approved.

SSDI Claims BostonThe typically claimant will go to their primary care physician (PCP) or other specialist when they are no longer able to work due their respective disability and get a letter stating the doctor’s opinion that they are disabled. Many doctors are familiar with the letter-writing process and will use the appropriate terms like the claimant is unable to lift items of a certain weight and the doctor may even say the claimant cannot engage in substantial gainful activity due the disability.  The doctor has no question his or her patient is genuinely disabled so they have no issue writing such a letter in many cases.  The definition of  not being able to engage in substantial gainful activity means that a claimant is unable to earn a certain amount of money each month.  This amount changes from year to year but is around $1,120. Continue reading →

Published on:

When a claimant is disable and applies for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, they will typically submit an application, which will be denied.  The vast majority of all applications are denied.  At this point the claimant is required to file a request for reconsideration if claimant wishes to continue with the process.  While the Social Security Administration (SSA) would not state this is a policy, the agency probably hopes that some claimants will drop out at this stage in the process as the agency does not have enough money in the disability fund to pay benefits for all disabled claimants.

SSDI Claims BostonWhile claimants could hire an attorney at this point, many decided to try to handle the matter on their own and this is probably not the best idea.  The system is set up in such way that it is very difficult for an unrepresented claimant to succeed. Continue reading →

Published on:

One of the most common questions our Boston disability attorneys are asked is, “How long it will take to get approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits?”

The reality is a successful award of SSDI or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits often takes more work – and more time – than most people initially realize. The reason is because of the how the system was designed.

The Social Security Administration reports the average wait time for an SSDI hearing in Boston is 12.5 months. That’s more expeditious than in many other areas of the country. For example in the Buffalo, NY, the wait time is 25 months. Folks in Akron, OH wait 18 months. In Newark, NJ, it’s 24 months.

Boston SSDI LawyerWhen the Social Security disability program was established over six decades ago, there was no money in the fund.  The way this program works is the Social Security Administration (SSA), the federal agency tasked with overseeing the two disability programs and the Old Age and Retirement benefits program, collects money from everyone’s pay checks.  If a taxpayer was to take a look at their paystub, they will see that there is money taken out for federal and state taxes as well as for Medicare and Social Security.  The Social Security withholdings are further divided into money for the disability programs and money for the Old Age and Retirement Programs. This is the money workers get when the reach the age of retirement. Continue reading →

Published on:

Vanproyen v. Berryhill

In a recent case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Social Security Disability Insurance claimant was prescribed Xanax in 2009. Xanax is a fairly powerful (depending on the dose) benzodiazepine medication that is commonly used to treat various types of anxiety disorders and their symptoms. In this case, claimant was being treated for panic attacks, bipolar disorder, depression, and a general anxiety disorder.

Boston SSDI LawyerOne of the problems with Xanax and other benzodiazepines is that they are very addictive. We often hear a lot about how there is a major problem with opioid addiction in this country, and that is certainly true.  However, opioids are either synthetic or natural derivatives of the opium poppy.  This includes heroin, morphine, fentanyl, Vicodin, OxyContin, and many others. Benzodiazepines are not derived from natural or synthetic opium, but they are also very addictive as described above. Xanax was heavily prescribed in the 1980s, and that is when many were addicted.  However, benzodiazepines are still prescribed today, and some patients do become addicted. In this case, claimant became addicted to Xanax, and this was noted in her court records as well as her medical records. Continue reading →

Published on:

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application process –  from the time you file until you get a final decision – can be a long time.  It is quite common for these cases to take more than year.  It is also very difficult for an un-presented claimant to get a favorable outcome because the system is set up in such a way that the average claimant is very much at a disadvantage even though their respective medical doctors may have no question claimant is disabled.

SSDIThe first question you may be asking is why is it so hard to get approved for SSDI benefit?  The answer to this question basically comes down to the fact that the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) simply doesn’t have enough money in its budget to pay all benefits for all of the people that are truly disabled in this country.  As of now, there are around 11 million Americans who depend on SSDI or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to make ends meet. This number is actually expected to increase, but some in congress feel that it is not the job of government to help disabled people who are unable to work and refuse to allocate the correct amount of money to properly fund this program. Continue reading →

Published on:

On the campaign trail, then-candidate Donald  Trump promised to make a lot of cuts to domestic programs. However, one program he promised to shield was the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.  But now, as discussed in a recent article from the Huffington Post, Mr. Trump’s latest budget plan his administration released to Congress and the American public calls for massive cuts.

Boston SSDI LawyerSpecifically, the new budget calls for $72 billion to be cut from the Social Security disability budget over the next 10 years, and this amounts to around a 4 percent reduction.  This is part of the administration’s stated goal of balancing the federal budget while at the same time, massively increasing military spending. Continue reading →

Published on:

In the past few decades, autism has been getting a lot more attention, as the number of cases has grown exponentially. Research and related therapies have followed.

Boston SSDI LawyerWhile there are more services in place now than in years past to help children with autism and their families, including components of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), those attending school will either graduate or age out. For those who are on the severe end of the spectrum and their families, this can raise a host of new challenges.  A recent article from Disability Scoop discusses how the U.S. Department of Education needs to start transitioning students earlier than they do now, with a current start at the age of 16.
Continue reading →

Published on:

College is more expensive than ever. Undergraduate tuition has risen to seemingly astronomical amounts in the past couple of decades to where most students will have no choice but to borrow huge amounts of money to attend college.  Just to get an idea of the numbers, tuition at Boston College for undergrad is just under $50,000 a year, with the cost of total attendance estimated to be more than $65,000.  People who also go graduate school are incurring around half a million dollars in debt on average, and that trend does not seem to be slowing anytime soon.

Boston SSDI LawyerThis seems okay at the time, because the plan is to go to school and then get a job that allows the borrower to pay back the loan one month at a time for the next thirty years.  However, things don’t always go as planned.  What happens to a person who takes out $250,000 in loans and then becomes disabled? There is no way a person can live on Social Security Disability Income of around $1,200 a month and still make loan payments.  One might think that this would mean you default on your student loans and don’t have to pay until you can, but that is not how it works in many cases. Continue reading →