Articles Tagged with Boston attorney SSDI

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Once an application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits has been rejected by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA), the next thing which will happen in the appeals process is claimant must complete and submit what is known as a Request for Reconsideration. This is done by filing form SSA-561, and there is a very decent chance this written request for reconsideration will also be rejected as nearly all of them are.  At this point in the long process, claimant can request an hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ).  While it may take a year or even two for this hearing to occur, ALJ will likely hear testimony from a Vocational Expert or “VE” as they are often called by SSA.

SSDI Cases BostonA Vocational Expert is an employee of SSA who is supposed to be an expert on what jobs people are capable of working when they have various disabilities or a combination of disabling conditions. The VE becomes an expert by being trained in how to use and interpret a guide book called the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.  This book, which was written decades ago and not updated all too often contains what the drafter believed to be nearly every job in Boston and the rest of the nation (they use the terms local or national economy), and whether people with mental and physical disabilities can attain and hold those jobs, with or without accommodations.  Continue reading →

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As 2017 ended and another year began we found ourselves watching congress fight over the federal budget to the point of months without a finalized budget, a series of temporary continuing resolutions and at least one relatively short partial government shutdown and the possibility of future shutdowns to come. Many people are wondering what happens if the government is shut down and whether they will be paid Social Security disability benefits during a time when the government is far less than fully operational.

SSDI and SSI Benefits During A Government Shutdown

Boston SSDI Cases While people often use the term government shutdown, what we really have is a partial government shutdown. This means while most federal employees will be on a furlough, others will be required to work as they are considered essential employees. This may sound like good news for those employees still on the job, but since they do not get paid until after the government reopens, it’s not all great news. These essential employees work on essential functions and this includes the military and some aspects of the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA).  Continue reading →

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The Need for Strong Medical Evidence in Boston Social Security Disability Insurance Cases

Medical evidence often plays a crucial role in disability cases. Most Boston Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applicants will not be successful when they initially apply for benefits.  This has less to do with whether claimants are  disabled and more to do with how the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) runs the program due to political reasons and budgetary constraints.

Following the initial application is summarily rejected as is the next step in the process, which involves a written request for reconsideration, the claimant will have to do have hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). It is in this hearing when a claimant must prove they are actually disabled within the meaning of the SSA regulations, and this is where the use of medical evidence by the claimant is of utmost importance.

The Weight of Medical Evidence During Boston SSDI ALJ Hearings

Boston SSI casesIn Wellington v. Berryhill, a case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, claimant applied for SSDI benefits as well as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. SSI benefits are a different type disability benefits under a program also administered by SSA.  In some cases, there is little chance of obtaining SSI benefits, but claimants who are often unrepresented when they first file the application will check every box in hopes of obtaining some much needed benefits. In other cases, such as this one, they are relevant to the matter at hand.  Continue reading →

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Proving you are disabled is not always as easy at is should be. even when your treating physician agrees you cannot work due to your disability.  The reason it’s often such a challenges is it is not your doctor, but an administrative law judge (ALJ) has the power to decide. The ALJ can overrule the opinion of treating physician based upon other evidence. While they are able to do this, they are technically only able to do this when the evidence on record fully supports the decision.  In some cases, an ALJ may fail to establish there was sufficient evidence detailed in the record of benefits to justify denial. In these cases, an appeal is often necessary. The first appeal can be made the SSA Appeals Commission. However, that appeal is discretionary, so commissioners can decide not to hear it.

SSDI Claims BostonIf this happens or a commissioner hears claimant’s appeal and affirms the denial of benefits, the claimant can either submit a new application (starting the process all over again) or appeal to the U.S District Court.  In cases that originate in Massachusetts, the proper court is the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, which is located on Boston’s waterfront.  This will be a hearing before a federal magistrate.  If that does not go in the claimant’s favor, the next appeal would but the U.S Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Continue reading →

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) has been without an appointed commissioner for around two years.  The previous commissioner stepped down at a time when there were many issues being reported about the federal agency, the operations at some of its locations around the nation, and the problems pertaining to the agency’s administrative law judges (ALJs).

SSDI lawyerSSA is the federal agency that administers the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits program, as well the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The agency also administers the Old Age and Retirement benefits program.

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For a court to hear any case, it must have what is known as subject matter jurisdiction. This is the authority of the court to hear cases of a particular type or cases relating to certain subject matter.

This is as true in a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) case as it is in an auto accident lawsuit. In an SSDI case, the process begins by filling an application at the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). This application will probably get denied so this will require filing a request for reconsideration with SSA. Following a denial of a request for reconsideration, claimants must request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ) at the SSA Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. If claimant is not successful at this point, he or she can appeal to the SSA Appeals Council. This is a discretionary review, meaning the council can deny to hear the appeal from an ALJ.

Boston SSDI LawyerIn most cases, however, SSA will agree to hear the appeal of a denial from an ALJ since it can save them money in the long run.  Many people will drop off along the way in what has unfortunately become a long and difficult process to get SSDI or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits,  so the more steps that are put in place, the more denials there will be and this means that an unrepresented claimant may see things as even more of an uphill battle.  When a claimant decides not to continue with the process. They can always file another application process all over again, and sometimes this is the only option, but that also starts the clock over again. Currently, it is taking those who apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in Boston two years or more to get benefits if they are eventually successful.   Continue reading →

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Despite what the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) would have you believe there is nothing easy or quick about the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application process. The wait in many areas, including Boston is approaching two years and it seems this problem is getting worse rather than better.

SSDI Claims BostonA recent news article from the Orange County Register is asking whether SSA is using this delay the to cheat disabled Americans out of well-deserved and much needed Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Continue reading →

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When an unrepresented claimant applies for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, they often have no idea how long the process will take and how difficult it will be to qualify for disability benefits. They have no idea because the average person does not know that even with a legitimate disability that prevents them from working and a letter from a doctor supporting such a position, their application will get rejected at least twice over the course of year and then they will have to get  on a wait list for a hearing before an administrative laws judge. That could take another year or two to get.

Boston SSDI LawyerAccording to a recent news article from the Washington Post, one claimant has been waiting nearly two years for such a hearing, and this is completely expected since the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) is dealing with a massive backlog for cases that will need to have that hearing before an ALJ. Continue reading →

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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 →

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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 →