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Common Social Security Disability Questions

SSD Attorneys Representing Norfolk, Newport News, Roanoke & Nearby Areas of Virginia

Am I disabled?

In order to be eligible for Social Security Disability or SSDI benefits, you must be able to prove that you have mental or physical health problems, or a combination of both, severe enough that it has prevented you from gainful employment for at least one year. When making a decision, the Social Security Administration will take into account your age, medical condition, abilities, work experience, and training. The administration evaluates whether you are capable of doing jobs available in the national economy, not whether you are able to go back to your old job or whether you have been able to find a job lately.

What do I do if I’ve been denied benefits?

Don't give up! You may request a reconsideration of your case.

You may be surprised to learn that two-thirds of new applicants are initially denied benefits, and unfortunately, some become discouraged and do not take any action to appeal the decision. If you have found yourself in this situation, you should immediately contact your Social Security office and file for reconsideration. You have 60 days from the day you received the denial notice.

Will I be approved on reconsideration?

Probably not, but don't be discouraged. If you are denied at this point, you should request a hearing within 60 days.

What is a SSD hearing?

Social Security Disability hearings are conducted by the Office of Hearings and Appeals of the Social Security Administration. Private and generally informal, this hearing gives the applicant an opportunity to present their case for reconsideration. This hearing is attended by the judge, the judge’s assistant, the applicant and his or her lawyer, and any other relevant parties. The judge will ask the applicant about his or her present condition, abilities, medical history, training, education, and work experience, as well as how the disability has placed limitations on his or her daily life. This hearing is a critical part of the appeals process where the applicant stands the best chance of a successful outcome.

How Long Do Social Security Disability Benefits Last?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits generally last as long as you remain disabled. This means you can continue receiving benefits until you reach full retirement age, which is currently between 66 and 67 depending on your birth year. At that point, your SSDI benefits will automatically convert to regular Social Security retirement benefits.

However, there are certain situations that can cause your benefits to stop before reaching retirement age:

  • Improvement in your medical condition: The Social Security Administration (SSA) will periodically review your case to ensure you still meet the disability criteria. If your health improves enough that you can return to work, your benefits may cease.
  • Work activity: If your earnings exceed a certain amount (known as the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit), which is adjusted annually, your benefits may be suspended. There are also trial work periods and other provisions that allow you to test your ability to work without jeopardizing your benefits.

I already lost my hearing. Now what?

Depending on the circumstances, it may not be too late. If you are still within 60 days of the date of receipt of a hearing decision denying benefits or even a denial decision from the Social Security Appeals Council, you should contact Kalfus & Nachman PC immediately. It may still be possible for an experienced Social Security attorney to find a way to win your case!

What information will my Virginia Social Security Disability lawyer need?

There are several pieces of documentation you will need to bring with you to your initial consultation with your attorney. Make sure you have copies of your medical records, as well as any appeal forms, decisions, and denial notices.

Please also be prepared to provide the following helpful information:

  • The names and addresses of your employers during the past 15 years
  • Dates of employment with your employers
  • A description of your job duties with each employer
  • The names and addresses of any doctors you have seen in relation to your medical condition
  • The number of times and the dates you saw those doctors
  • The names and addresses of any hospitals where you have received treatment
  • The names and dosages of any medications you are currently taking
  • The names of the doctors who have prescribed you medication

Do I need a Virginia Social Security Disability attorney?

Statistics have shown that people represented by Social Security disability lawyers have been successful more often than people without attorney representation. You should consider the advantages by examining what Kalfus & Nachman PC would do in your case.

What would Kalfus & Nachman PC do to represent me in my social security case?

Every case is different. Your Virginia Social Security Disability attorney's role depends on the particular facts of your case. However, a few of the things an attorney does are:

  • Gather medical and other evidence.
  • Analyze your case under Social Security regulations.
  • Contact your doctor and explain Social Security regulations to obtain a report consistent with those regulations.
  • Refer you to additional doctors for further medical reports to answer questions raised by Social Security regulations.
  • Send you to a vocational expert for a report on your ability to work.
  • Suggest that the Social Security Administration send you to a doctor for consultative examination.
  • Obtain documents from your Social Security file.
  • Review actions taken by the Social Security Administration.
  • Ask that a prior application for benefits be reopened.
  • Seek waiver of a time limit.
  • Request subpoenas to insure the presence of crucial witnesses or documents at your hearing.
  • Advise you how best to prepare yourself to testify at your hearing.
  • Protect your right to a fair hearing by objecting to improper evidence and procedures.
  • Cross-examine Social Security Administration witnesses at your hearing.
  • Present a closing statement at your hearing arguing that you are entitled to benefits under Social Security Regulations.
  • Submit a written summary of the evidence and a legal argument to the Administrative Law Judge.
  • Review, suggest changes or make legal objections to written questions which are sometimes sent to a doctor by the Administrative Law Judge after a hearing requesting an additional medical opinion.
  • If you win, make sure that the Social Security Administration correctly calculates your benefits.
  • If you lose, request a review of the Hearing Decision by the SSA Appeals Council.
  • If necessary, represent you in a federal court review of your case.

When should I contact Kalfus & Nachman PC to represent me?

The sooner the better. However, the place where representation most often makes a difference in the outcome of your case is at the hearing stage. So, it is crucial that you seek counsel as soon as possible to allow ample time to prepare for your hearing.

It is best to call Kalfus & Nachman PC as soon as you receive notification that your claim has been denied. The earlier our firm is able to start preparing for your hearing, the better.

How much does it cost to hire Kalfus & Nachman PC?

Our firm will accept most Social Security cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that our fee is taken as a percentage of past-due benefits (25%). With this arrangement, you are not charged a fee if we lose your case, however you will be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses your attorney incurs while representing you (usually this involves charges for medical reports or copying medical records). In a few cases, we use a different method of calculating a fee.

If you're having trouble getting the social security disability benefits you need, call (855) 880-8163 or contact our Virginia Social Security Disability lawyers online for your free legal consultation. We serve clients in Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, Roanoke, and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

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