Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability is a federal disability benefit program which provides a sick or injured individual a monthly check when they are unable to work. Eligibility is determined by a person’s contribution to the social security system through weekly payroll deductions. Generally an individual who has contributed to the social security system for five out of the ten years prior to the onset of disability will be eligible for social security disability benefits.
Attorneys at Karsner & Meehan, P.C. have decades of experience representing clients in claims for social security disability benefits.
The Social Security Administration requires that a person have a disability or illness which has lasted for twelve months or is expected to last for twelve months. Disability can stem from any injury or illness whether work-related or not. Some examples of disabling conditions include back injuries, neck injuries, knee injuries, stress related or psychiatric injuries, repetitive stress injuries and neurological conditions.
The process begins with the claimant filing an application for benefits with the Social Security Administration. Representation at this initial application stage is highly recommended. Attorneys Meehan and Shea very often assist individuals in filing the application. Recently the Social Security Administration has streamlined the process by providing the application on line at www.ssa.gov. The initial application is lengthy and quite detailed. Upon submission to the Social Security Administration, medical records are gathered and an initial determination is made. This is the first information that the Social Security Administration will review on the applicant therefore accuracy and thoroughness are vital. Early representation by Karsner & Meehan, P.C. can insure a complete application.
The Social Security Administration reviews the application and makes a decision. If benefits are awarded, then the claimant will receive monthly checks. If the application is denied, then an appeal must be taken within 60 days, called a “Request for Reconsideration”. Attorney representation at that time is also very, very important.
If the Request for Reconsideration is denied, then the disabled individual has the right to present his claim to a Social Security Administrative Judge at a hearing. This involves testimony by the claimant and the submission of evidence by his or her attorney. This is actually the first time that a person can present his side of his or her side of the story to a judge. The chances of success are greatly increased if that individual is represented at a hearing.
Individuals found entitled to social security disability benefits receive a monthly check from the government. The amount of the check depends upon a person’s earnings in the years leading up to disability. The amount of the monthly benefit runs from several hundred dollars per month to over $2,000.00 per month. In addition, recipients are entitled to Medicare coverage after being disabled for a sufficient period of time.
Karsner & Meehan, P.C. represents social security disability claimants on a regular basis. Consultations are always free. In addition, an attorney’s fee is only payable upon a successful award of benefits. Generally the attorney’s fee is paid at 25% of any past due benefits up to a maximum fee of $6,000.00. Quite often the attorney’s fee is paid directly by the Social Security Administration from the arrearage of benefits.