The Social Security Administration (SSA), like most government agencies, is difficult to navigate. For individuals who are disabled and trying to obtain the benefits they need to get on with their lives, the process can be especially daunting. The discouraging fact is that nearly two-thirds of disability claims are initially denied, meaning that most people seeking disability benefits must go through a reconsideration request, and often progress to disability hearings, in order to succeed. Having a Social Security law firm working for you is not only helpful, but often essential to help achieve your goals. If you reside in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the Law Office of Carey Thompson is available to assist you with all of your Social Security Disability hearing needs. Our Social Security Disability attorneys are efficient and caring. We will work diligently to support you in your efforts to receive the benefits you deserve.
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
To qualify for disability benefits, you must meet the following requirements:  have a medical condition that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA)  the condition must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least one year, or to result in death  your condition must be a qualifying condition listed in the SSA Blue Book or  you must have paid a sufficient amount in income tax deductions to qualify you for benefits.
It should be noted, however If your condition is not listed in the Blue Book, the SSA may still determine that it is “medically equal” to one of the listed conditions and therefore covered by SSD benefits. Also, even if you have not paid a sufficient amount into the system during years you were working, you may, if you have a low income, qualify for Social Security Income (SSI). As a recipient of SSD, you are permitted to earn a very low income and remain eligible for benefits.
When Benefits Are Denied, Call Us for Disability Hearings
If your disability claim has been denied by the Disability Determinations Service (DDS), it is definitely time to contact a capable disability attorney. At the Law Office of Carey Thompson, we will treat you with compassion, knowing how disheartening and stressful having the government dismiss your disability claim can be.
The first step in the appeals process is to file a Request for Reconsideration within 60 days of receiving the rejection notice. This application will be reviewed by an examiner and a medical consultant who did not make the initial determination. About 80 percent of reconsidered claims are denied. Those that are approved upon reconsideration are usually those in which a new diagnosis has been made or your condition has worsened in the intervening months.
If your claim has been rejected under reconsideration, the next step is to request a disability hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), within 60 days of the reconsideration claim denial. It is worth noting that an ALJ is not a court judge, but rather an SSA attorney who has the authority to make a decision about disability benefits claims.
Carey Thompson is fully prepared to fight aggressively to obtain your disability benefits even when the government seems to have taken a hard stand against you. If your medical condition is not considered sufficiently restrictive of your ability to work by the SSA doctor, we have medical experts we can call on to plead your case. If, on the other hand, you have made mistakes or omitted necessary information in completing the lengthy questionnaires or submitting the required medical records and reports, we can help you remedy the situation.
What is involved in disability hearings?
Because it can be overwhelming to be the subject of a disability hearing, we will advise you prior to the meeting and be at your side during the proceedings. Basically, you will be questioned by the judge about your medical condition and how it affects your life. He or she will also inquire about any treatments you have undergone for your medical problems, any past employment, and your educational background.
Our experienced attorneys will encourage you to be completely forthcoming during the hearing and will assist you in preparing so that you don’t inadvertently leave out significant information. If need be, we can speak on your behalf during the hearing and ask you additional questions to make sure the judge understands all aspects of your case, bearing in mind that you may have more than one medical condition. As previously mentioned, we may also bring in expert medical or vocational witnesses to explain in greater depth how your medical issues prevent you from working. Typically, toward the end of the hearing, the ALJ will ask if you have any further questions. You should not expect the judge to make a decision at the time of the hearing. It typically takes 90 to 120 days for you to be notified about whether or not your claim has been approved.
If Your Appeal is Denied, Don’t Despair
If your social security appeal has been denied, our legal team still has further options. Our next action will be to request an SSA Appeals Council review. The Appeals Council may either overturn the ALJ’s decision to rule in your favor, remand the claim to the ALJ for further consideration, or simply deny your claim outright.
One of the reasons it is so important to have Carey Thompson at your side during this lengthy and difficult process, is that our attorneys have the persistence and tenacity to keep pushing the SSA to see the case our way. Even if your claim is denied by the Appeals Council, we still have the option to file a lawsuit in federal court where it is possible that the judge will find legal errors or other valid reasons for overturning the ALJ’s decision.
Texas Is Tough on Disability Claims
While recent statistics show that throughout the country Social Security Disability claims decided at the hearing level were approved 76 percent of the time, the rate of such approvals in Texas hovers on average just under 50 percent. With the odds stacked against you in our state, it is crucial to work with a highly skilled Texas Social Security Disability Attorney. As a matter of fact, individuals who attend disability hearings with skilled attorneys increase their chance of receiving benefits by at least 10 percent.
Call The Law Office of Carey Thompson Today For Disability Hearings
If you have been denied disability benefits, get in touch with our law office today. The sooner you reach us by phone or by filling out a contact form on our website, the sooner you will have our experienced attorneys working tirelessly to get you the benefits you are entitled to and deserve. Obtaining justice for you is our first priority.