If you have lost the ability to work due to a disability, you may be eligible to obtain Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Contacting an experienced Green Bay Social Security Disability lawyer to help review your claim and determine if you are eligible can be an important step in the application process. Many first-time applications are denied, while other applicants may have their benefits stopped or suspended, and not understand why.
Our firm has been practicing in the area of Social Security Disability for over 35 years. Whether your application has been denied or if you are having issues with your current benefits, we may be able to help. Attorney Ana Burkham has been handling Social Security Disability cases for more than 12 years and currently holds a professional membership with the Wisconsin Association for Justice.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your legal options and our team are ready to help you today.
For more information, call (877) 888-5201.
Am I Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?
You cannot obtain benefits unless you have a medical condition that meets the definition of disability. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), you are considered disabled if:
- You are unable to do the work you did before because of your medical condition
- You cannot adjust to other work because of your current medical condition(s)
- Your disability is expected to last or has lasted for at least one year or is expected to result in death
Children who are under the age of 18 and are suffering from a mental or physical condition that will last at least a year or lead to death, and are severely limited in their activities because of that condition, may meet the SSA definition of a disability.
There is a list of conditions that often qualify for disability benefits on the SSA website. It is divided into adult and child listings, and if you have one of the conditions listed and your symptoms fit the criteria listed under that condition, you may be eligible for benefits.
There are many factors that go into eligibility for disability benefits, and you can greatly benefit from discussing your specific situation with a trusted lawyer. The Green Bay Social Security Disability lawyers at our firm have helped many people with disabilities recover benefits. We have extensive knowledge of eligibility requirements and can represent you throughout the process.
Do not hesitate to call us to discuss your situation. Call (877) 888-5201.
How Our Firm Can Help With the Application Process
If you have a valid claim for disability benefits, there are many ways our attorneys can assist you throughout the process. If you are unsure if you are eligible, call us today to learn more about how we may be able to help you. Ph: (877) 888-5201.
Preparing Your Claim
You will be required to submit a number of documents about your disability and finances. Our legal team can help to gather these essential documents on your behalf - such as medical records, IRS forms, medical history, and employment history. It's common for applications to be denied due to inaccurate or incomplete information, therefore our team perform a thorough examination of the documents and filing forms on your behalf.
Handling All Communications
Your attorney may handle communication with SSA representatives and may answer questions about your application. We want to ensure that you are not burdened with the tedious process and can focus on your health.
Finalizing Your Claim
If your application is approved, your attorney can help ensure that the SSA did not leave out any pertinent information or make any errors that may affect the amount of benefits you receive.
Appealing if Your Claim is Denied
If your application for benefits is denied, your attorney can initiate the appeals process on your behalf. At Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham, we have experience handling denied claims and understand what is necessary to overturn the denial of an application - in addition to the many steps involved in an appeal.
You can complete a free online form now to set up a free consultation.
Common Reasons Disability Claims are Denied
Some common reasons claims get denied include:
- Lack of medical evidence: Most claims are denied due to lack of sufficient medical documentation that states the severity of your disability and how the disability prohibits you from working. It is not enough to show that you have a disabling condition. Your primary care physicians must provide medical records that excuse you from working, so it is important to share with your doctor how your disability has impacted your life.
- Your income: If you are applying for SSI benefits and make more than the monthly maximum, your claim could get denied.
- Prior denials: It is better to appeal a denial than to file a new disability claim. In most cases, when a Social Security representative sees that you were already denied benefits, he or she will most likely deny again.
- Failure to cooperate: It is important to follow your Social Security representative’s instructions. If he or she requests additional documentation that you do not provide or you miss a scheduled medical exam, your claim will likely be denied.
- Failure to follow treatment: When applying for disability benefits, it is important that you follow any medical treatment prescribed by your doctor. If you fail to follow treatment, the Social Security examiner will not be able to accurately determine if your condition actually prevents you from working. They need to see that you are trying to improve your condition and it is not working.
Need some help? Call (877) 888-5201.
Appealing a Denied Claim
If your SSD benefits application is denied, or you feel that you are not being properly compensated, you may be able to move forward with an appeal. Generally, you must file a written request within 60 days of receiving the SSA’s decision letter.
Our firm may be able to help with this process to make sure that your appeal is filed correctly and promptly. There are four levels to the appeal process:
- Reconsideration: Your attorney may file a request for reconsideration. At this stage, a claims examiner who was not involved with your application may reconsider your application and may use additional evidence provided by your lawyer that gives more detail about your situation.
- Hearing: If your claim is denied again, your lawyer may request a hearing by an administrative law judge. Your lawyer may argue your case before a judge and prepare you for questions you may be asked.
- Appeals Council: If you are dissatisfied with the results of the hearing, you may be able to ask to be reviewed by the SSA’s Appeals Council.
- Federal Court: If you are still unable to obtain benefits, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit in federal district court. No new evidence or documents may be considered at this final stage.
At Sigman Janssen, we understand how complicated and overwhelming the appeals process may be. That is why we encourage you to seek legal help. Our attorneys may be able to fight for your rights and work aggressively to pursue the disability benefits you need. We have a track record of recovering benefits for individuals with disabilities.
What Program Might I Qualify for?
There are a few SSD benefit programs you may qualify for, depending on your financial situation and work history. These programs include:
Social Security Disability Insurance
This is for people who were working until developing a disability that prevents them from continuing to work. You may qualify if you have a condition that meets the SSA definition of disability and have a sufficient amount of work credits from paying Social Security taxes out of the money you earned from working. There are specific number of work credits you need to have accumulated based on your age. Many applicants need to have at least 40 work credits.
Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is available for individuals who have little to no work history and need financial assistance. Individuals who have a qualifying disability must have less than $2,000 in assets. Couples may be eligible if they have less than $3,000 in assets. There are complex rules on what is counted as an asset. Your Green Bay Social Security Disability attorney can discuss this with you and determine if you may be eligible for this program.
Disabled Widows and Widower Benefits
When an SSD applicant passes away, his or her spouse is eligible to their spouse’s benefits if the surviving spouse is 60 years or older. If the surviving spouse is also disabled, the eligibility age is lowered to 50 years old. However, the surviving spouse must prove that he or she has a qualifying physical or mental condition that prevents them from working.
Disabled Adult Child Benefits
These benefits are available to children over the age of 18 who have become disabled before age 22. For adult children to be considered disabled, they must meet the following requirements:
- Must not be working or earning more than $1,220 per month
- Must have a medical condition or combination of conditions that severely limits their activities
- Must have been disabled or expected to be for at least 12 months; or the conditions must be expected to result in their death
If you have any questions about your medical condition and if you qualify for one of these programs, do not hesitate to contact a Green Bay Social Security Disability lawyer to discuss your options. We want to ensure that you have the answers you need to decide what to do next.
Vital Information Needed to Apply for Disability Benefits
Our firm recommends that you apply for SSD benefits as soon as you become disabled because the process is long and tedious. It can take up to five months or more to hear back from the SSA on whether your application was denied or approved.
There are several ways you can apply for benefits, such as:
- Completing your application online
- Calling SSA’s toll-free number 1-800-772-1213
- Calling or visiting the Green Bay Social Security office located at 1561 Dousman St.
However, before you begin the process, there is some vital information you will need to apply:
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of doctors, hospitals, and clinics who treated your condition and the dates of your visit
- Your Social Security number and ID that shows proof of age
- Medical records from your doctors, therapists and caseworkers
- Information on types of medications you are consuming and amount of dosage
- Laboratory and test results
- Information on your previous place of employment
- Most recent W-2 form or federal tax return
You will also need to provide information on family members, such as Social Security numbers and proof of age for each family member who may qualify for partial benefits. You will also need your marriage certificate if your spouse is also applying for benefits.
Trying to obtain all these documents can be overwhelming to do on your own. Our skilled Green Bay Social Security Disability attorneys can help you with this process and ensure you have complete an accurate information.
Speak to a Green Bay Social Security Disability Lawyer Today
If you are applying for SSD benefits or seeking to appeal a denied application, the SSD attorneys at Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham are here to help. We understand that this may be a difficult time for you and your family. The process is long and frustrating and can take a toll on your well-being. Our skilled attorneys are knowledgeable about the SSD legal process and can handle the claim on your behalf.
Our legal staff is available 24/7 to schedule your free consultation. We welcome the opportunity to review your claim to determine how we may be able to help. Since we operate on a contingency basis, we do not charge any out-of-pocket costs or upfront attorney fees. We do not get paid anything unless we are successful in obtaining benefits for you.
Call our legal team now at (877) 888-5201.