Social Security Disability

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Queens Social Security Disability Lawyer

SSDI & SSI Claims in New York City

Individuals who are unable to work due to a disability may be eligible for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. There are two main SSD programs offered by the federal government: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). While SSDI benefits are available to those who have worked in the past and earned the appropriate work credits, SSI is available to low-income individuals regardless of work history.

If you need help with SSD, from determining if you are eligible for either program to filing a claim to appealing a denied claim, reach out to the Harris Firm, LLC. Our Queens Social Security disability attorneys have extensive experience navigating this complex system and can assist you with every aspect of your claim. We provide personal attention and dedicated, one-on-one assistance to every single client. You will work directly with your attorney throughout the entire process and will receive consistent access to our team.

Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help with your SSD matter. Call (718) 487-8669 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.

What Is Social Security Disability Insurance?

Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is a federal program that provides monetary benefits to people who suffer various impairments and disabilities. SSDI is available to those who have worked in the past; if you have never been able to work due to a disability or impairment, you do not qualify for SSDI. However, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), another form of SSD provided by the federal government.

To be eligible for SSDI, you must:

  • Meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of being disabled
  • Be unable to work due to a disability or medical condition
  • Have a disability or medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death
  • Be younger than your retirement age (typically, 65)
  • Have earned enough “work credits” through previous employment

If you meet all eligibility requirements, you can receive monetary benefits on a monthly basis for the duration of your disability.

What Is Supplemental Security Income?

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is another type of federally funded Social Security disability. Unlike with SSDI, which requires individuals to have worked in jobs covered by Social Security for a certain amount of time, you do not need to have earned any work credits to be eligible for SSI.

Instead, you may be eligible for SSI benefits if you:

  • Have limited income and resources
  • Are 65 or older, blind, or disabled
  • Are a U.S. citizen or qualifying immigrant/alien

There are strict income and resource limits when it comes to SSI eligibility; if you make too much money or have too many resources, you may not qualify for SSI benefits. The same is true if your medical condition (i.e., age, blindness, or disability) does not meet the government’s standards for eligibility.

Why Was My SSD Claim Denied?

SSD claims can be denied for a variety of reasons. Here are some common ones:

  • Insufficient Medical Evidence: One of the primary reasons for denial is a lack of medical evidence to support the claimant's disability. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires substantial evidence to demonstrate that the disability meets their criteria for being unable to work.
  • Failure to Follow Treatment Plans: If the claimant has not followed prescribed treatment plans without a valid reason, the SSA might deny the claim. They may assume that the disability could have been mitigated or improved with proper treatment.
  • Engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA): If the claimant is engaged in substantial gainful activity, meaning they are earning over a certain amount per month, their claim may be denied. The SSA considers this as evidence that the individual is not disabled according to their criteria.
  • Disability Not Expected to Last Long Enough: SSD benefits are for individuals with long-term disabilities, generally expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. If the disability is not expected to meet this duration requirement, the claim may be denied.
  • Failure to Cooperate: If the claimant fails to provide necessary information or cooperate with the SSA's requests for medical records or other documentation, their claim may be denied.
  • Improvement in Medical Condition: Sometimes, the SSA denies claims if they believe there has been an improvement in the claimant's medical condition, making them capable of returning to work.
  • Not Following SSA Guidelines: Claims can be denied if they do not meet the specific criteria outlined by the SSA. This can include technical errors in the application or not meeting the eligibility requirements.
  • Ineligibility: Claimants who do not have enough work credits or who have not worked recently enough to qualify for SSD benefits may have their claims denied.
  • Failure to Appeal in Time: If the claimant does not appeal a denied claim within the specified timeframe, they may lose the opportunity to have their case reconsidered.
  • Substance Abuse: Disabilities resulting from drug or alcohol addiction may lead to denial unless the claimant can demonstrate that they would still be disabled even if they stopped using substances.

Can You Appeal a Denied SSD Claim?

The Social Security Administration denies the majority of first-time SSD claims. It is not uncommon to have your SSDI or SSI claim denied the first time you submit. The good news is that you have the right to appeal the SSA’s decision. It is strongly recommended that you appeal a denied SSD claim rather than restart the process. The chance of success is much higher when you appeal than when you submit a new claim.

We also recommend that you work with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney if you wish to appeal a denied SSD claim. At the Harris Firm, LLC, our Queens SSDI and SSI attorneys are prepared to help you understand your legal rights and options, including your right to request an appeal. We have extensive knowledge of the SSD system and have successfully helped many clients recover their rightful benefits, even when their initial claims were denied.

Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our Team Today

At the Harris Firm, LLC in Queens and the Bronx, we are committed to standing up for the rights of injured and disabled workers, individuals, accident victims, and their families. Founded in 2003, our firm has earned a reputation for aggressive client advocacy and a results-oriented approach. Our Queens Social Security disability lawyers have nearly 30 years of experience, as well as a long and proven record of success in recovering compensation and benefits for our clients.

When you turn to our team, you will receive personal attention and direct communication from your attorney throughout the entire legal process. We will handle every last detail so that you can focus on moving forward with your life. We have two offices conveniently located in the city, but we are also able to travel to your home or the hospital if your personal injuries or disability prevents you from coming to us.

Contact us online using our simple and secure submission form or call us at (718) 487-8669 now to get started with a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

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