Long & Short Term Disability Insurance & Social Security Disability Legal Help

The Social Security disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security income disability (SSDI) programs provide assistance to people who cannot work due to a disability. Benefits are paid by the Social Security Administration (SSA) on a regular, recurring basis for as long as the claimant is unable to work. In these claims, have to be “expected” to be unable to sustain full time employment due to your medical conditions for at least a 12 month period in order to be eligible for SSD or SSI. If however you have short term disability coverage from your employer, you do not have to be disabled for a 12 month period, it could be for a shorter period.

However, obtaining disability benefits is far from easy. If you were recently denied your Social Security Disability or your long term or short term disability insurance from your employer, by one of the following disability insurance companies:

  • Unum
  • Progressive
  • MetLife
  • Mercury
  • Travelers
  • The Hartford Cigna
  • Guardian
  • Prudential
  • Aetna
  • Northwest Mutual
  • and others…

DO NOT GIVE UP!

Our practice and associated law firms have successfully helped thousands of disabled clients in obtaining long-term disability, short-term disability, and Social Security disability benefits. How?

About two-thirds of all SSD and SSDI applications are initially denied by the SSA and insurance companies. While many claimants give up here, you actually have the option of appealing your claim. Since many initial applications get thrown out simply because of an error or a missing component, claimants tend to be far more successful on their second try.

To successfully appeal your case, however, you must act fast. There are very strict deadlines to appeal your case—typically, you have 60 days or so from the date you receive your denial notice (the exact information on how and when to appeal should be included in the notice).

Thousands of disabled people give up and don’t appeal when they could have eventually been granted valuable monthly benefits and health insurance coverage through Social Security had they taken the time to file an appeal. If you miss your deadline you may not be eligible, so make sure to stay on top of this if your claim has been denied.

While you do have the option of appealing your case on your own, if your claim has already been denied once it will likely benefit you to hire a lawyer. An experienced Social Security disability lawyer can ensure everything is filled out correctly, all the relevant medical records and other documentation are present, and everything is submitted on time. An attorney will also argue your case in front of a judge if a hearing is required. Having legal help on your side will practically guarantee you receive the benefits you need on your second try.

The bottom line is IF YOU HAVE A SEVERE MEDICAL CONDITION, PHYSICAL OR MENTAL, AND YOU TRULY BELIEVE YOU ARE UNABLE TO RETURN TO WORK, YOU SHOULD APPEAL YOUR CASE. Continue to go to your doctor and make sure you are tested! If your medical records show your disability prevents you from working, there is no reason you should not be entitled to federal benefits.

Our Philadelphia Social Security disability lawyers are prepared to fight for the benefits you deserve. There is never an upfront fee for our help—we are only paid when you win your benefits! Call today at (215) 708-1234 or contact us online for more information.Categories

How to Appeal a Social Security Disability Denial

If you are over 50 and were recently denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), DON’T GIVE UP! Receiving a notice that your claim for SSDI or SSI benefits has been denied can be disheartening, but you still have plenty of options to get help. Our Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyers explain how to appeal an SSDI or SSI denial.

The SSDI & SSI Appeals Process

Did you know that most SSDI and SSI applications are denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA)? In fact, two-thirds of all initial disability applications made in the United States are rejected. Reconsiderations are denied at an even higher rate—up to 87%.

This means that appeals are a regular part of the application process. Typically, there are four levels of the SSDI appeals process, which are:

  • Reconsideration
  • Hearing before an administrative law judge
  • Review by the SSA Appeals Council
  • A final Federal Court review

Now for the good news: The rate of SSDI application denials is much lower following a hearing—only 35% of all claims are denied at this stage. Why? There are a number of potential reasons, but perhaps the most influential is having the chance to enlist a qualified medical professional and/or a lawyer to argue your case in front of a judge.

If you have a serious physical medical condition that has been tested and confirmed and your doctor (especially a specialist) is willing to support that you are expected not to be able to return to employment for at least a 12 month period, there is absolutely no reason not to appeal your case. Based on disability laws, your chances of successfully making it through the appeals process are better when you are over 50 than when you are under 50.

If you have recently received a denial notice on your SSDI benefits application, here is what you can do to appeal your claim:

  • Within 60 days of receiving your denial notice, submit a request for an appeal in writing to the SSA
  • Wait to receive a decision from the reconsideration process, which will be mailed to your home
  • If your appeal is denied again, you can request a hearing by following the instructions given in the notice provided with the reconsideration verdict
    • You will also have the chance to submit new evidence that can help your claim
  • Attend the hearing on your own or with a qualified Social Security disability attorney
  • Wait to receive a decision based on the hearing, which will be mailed to your home
  • If you disagree with the hearing’s decision, you may ask for a review by Social Security’s Appeals Council
  • Wait to receive a decision from the Appeals Council, which will be mailed to your home
  • If you disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision—or if the Appeals Council decided not to review your case—you may file a lawsuit in a federal district court

You can read more about the SSA’s disability benefits appeals process here. While you can accomplish this process on your own, it can be streamlined with the help of an attorney.

How an SSDI Benefits Attorney Can help

Disability claimants should never give up on an SSDI or SSI claim. The sooner you appeal, the sooner SSA will schedule a hearing, giving you a better chance at winning your claim and promptly getting the benefits you deserve. However, we do recommend consulting with an experienced Social Security disability attorney before submitting your appeal.

Even if you ultimately choose not to attend a hearing or end up not needing to take legal action against the SSA, a Social Security disability attorney can provide you with insight into how to best file an appeal to increase your chances for success. Even better, most lawyers offer free consultations—including us!

An attorney can inform you of your rights and answer your questions about the appeals process during the initial consultation. If you choose to seek further assistance, a lawyer can also submit your appeal and any related documents on your behalf as well as represent you during a hearing. In fact, your chances for approval are generally higher at the hearing level, especially with legal representation. Our firm has also been successful in getting appeals approved even sooner at times as well.

Remember, DON’T LOSE HOPE IF YOUR INITIAL CLAIM WAS DENIED. Most claims are refused the first time around simply due to a lack of medical evidence or because of a small mistake. There’s a very good chance your appeal will be successful, especially if you have legal counsel on your side.

If you were recently denied SSDI benefits, you only have 60 days to appeal. We can help! Contact a Northeast Philadelphia Social Security disability attorney at the Shipon Law Associates, P.C. online or at (215) 708-1234 to set up your FREE, no-obligation case evaluation.

COVID-19 & Social Security Disability

If you or a loved one with a significant underlying medical condition has contracted COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, and you have or possibly may be out of work for at least a 12-month period due to your symptoms, you may want to consider applying for Social Security disability—especially if you are over 50. The benefits can greatly help you and your family get through the period you are out of work, especially as the economy suffers during this global pandemic. Our Philadelphia Social Security disability lawyers explain the benefits of filing a claim.

Social Security Disability Benefits

Under the Social Security Administration (SSA), you are eligible to receive benefits if you have a total disability—this means partial or short-term disabilities are ineligible. The SSA’s definition of a disability is based on how your injury or condition affects your ability to work and provide for yourself and your family financially. Major medical disabilities are generally defined as illnesses, injuries, and conditions which will not heal in 12 months or are expected to result in the patient’s death.

Examples of such disabilities include:

  • Blood disorders
  • Cancer
  • Kidney failure
  • Lupus
  • Mental disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Musculoskeletal conditions
  • Neurological conditions

COVID-19 doesn’t seriously affect most people who get it, but for individuals already suffering from conditions such as those listed above, the disease can be life-threatening. The medical bills for fighting COVID-19, as well as the condition already present, can add up significantly. Therefore, applying for benefits may be your only way to pay your medical bills.

Though SSA offices are currently closed to prevent further spread of the coronavirus, their services remain available online. By submitting an application online or over the phone, you could be entitled to up to $2700 a month plus medical coverage.

Don’t delay as every month you wait could cost you thousands of dollars in benefits you could have received. Contact the SSA now if you or a loved one with a disabling medical condition has been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Appealing a Denied Claim

If you filed a Social Security disability claim that was recently denied don’t give up—you only have 60 days to appeal or you will have to start the process all over again.

At Shipon Law Associates, P.C., our skilled attorneys can help assist you with your denied claim appeal at no upfront cost to you. If we win your appeal, our fee is paid out of the retroactive benefits, so you don’t ever have to pay us out of your own pocket.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about Social Security benefits or would like to appeal a denied claim. Our Philadelphia Social Security disability lawyers remain available for online and phone consultations. Contact us today!

Why You Shouldn’t Give Up After Your Social Security Disability Application Gets Denied

As a person in need of Social Security disability benefits, one of the most difficult things to cope with is when your SSDI application process gets denied. You may feel disappointed, anxious, and out of options. You’re not alone in your situation – in fact, most people who apply for Social Security disability are denied the first time.

If your disability claim has been denied, the good news is that you can apply for an appeal. Our Social Security disability lawyers have helped countless clients file thousands of appeals successfully, which have gone on to be approved. If you truly believe you’re unable to work due to your medical conditions, you shouldn’t give up after your application has been denied.

Why Your Application Was Denied

In most cases, Social Security disability applications are denied due to a lack of convincing information in applicants’ medical records.

If your application was denied, before you file an appeal, take the time to ask yourself the following questions to learn what you can include in your appeal:

  • Was all your medical treatment documented? – Did you indicate the addresses of your medical providers and names of your physicians? This information is important for disability examiners to collect.
  • Was there enough medical evidence? – Your records need to be detailed and substantial, and unfortunately, the quality of your medical reporting falls onto your physician.
  • Were there any “bad facts” on your application? – “Bad facts” that may hurt your application include a history of drug or alcohol abuse, or test results that show you don’t meet disability requirements.

Appeals: Your Best Chance at Winning

Unfortunately, most disability claims that are denied aren’t appealed. Applicants either give up on their applications, file appeals after the deadline, or file a brand-new claim. By not taking the time to appeal, you lose your appeal rights, and will need to start off at the beginning again with a new application.

Don’t give up on your application – you have 60 days to file an appeal. With the help of a disability lawyer, you can file an appeal quickly while knowing that it was also filed correctly. Our team can help you if you need to appeal or start a new application. Our goal is to help you receive the benefits you deserve as soon as possible, and we never charge a fee for our services unless you win. You shouldn’t have to suffer more than you already have from your medical conditions.

Guiding You Through the Process

The Social Security disability application process can be complicated, which is why it’s beneficial for you to have a lawyer who understands the process and can guide you through it. You don’t need to give up just yet. At Shipon Law Associates, P.C., we can help you fill out your forms properly, make an appeal if your application was denied the first time, and decide which program is the right one for you and your unique situation.

Our attorneys understand that clients applying for Social Security disability may be unable to leave the house to meet with us, which is why we offer complimentary phone and webcam consultations. We strive to provide convenience at every step of the process and go above and beyond to make sure our clients’ needs come first.

If you need help with your SSDI or SSI claim or appeal, look no further than our caring Social Security disability lawyers. Call Shipon Law Associates, P.C. today at (215) 708-1234, or contact us online for a free consultation. We’re here to help you secure a better future.

What To Do Immediately After a Slip and Fall Accident in a Store or an Apartment Complex

If you or a loved one slipped and fell in a store, apartment, city property or street and were injured, if possible at the time of the incident try to take photographs of the exact spot that caused you to fall and anything that could have contributed to the dangerous condition. For example, if there was a wet spot on the store floor, look around to see if there is a leak perhaps from a freezer, broken bottle or perhaps an ac unit dripping from the ceiling from condensation. Also, report the incident to the manager of a store and get their name. If you were injured, get to the closest emergency room immediately. Also, if you see any witnesses try to get their contact information as well. Finally, call an attorney for an appointment immediately as every day that goes by could affect the case.

How To Improve Your Chances of Winning Your Disability Case

Often times a clients can win or lose their case due to the doctors they are seeing and the tests that are or are not done.  If for example a person has severe back pain and just goes to a primary care doctor and all that doctor does is provide pain medications, most likely the chances of winning will not be great.  If however, a client goes to a primary doctor and then gets referred to specialists and gets all the proper testing to prove that there is, in fact, a severe medical condition that affects workability, the chances of winning will increase. For example, if you have a severe back injury, make sure you get to an orthopedic get an MRI and possibly an EMG (if you have numbness and tingling in arms or legs). 

If you have a severe mental issue, on the other hand, get and stay in mental health treatment if you have not yet done so.  Make sure you are telling your therapist and psychiatrist or psychologist all of your mental issues and the reason you have them.

 Often times a person is afraid to tell the doctor all of there symptoms in the fear it can create a new problem. If your symptoms are not documented in the medical records, it is like a tree falling in the woods when no one is around…no one hears it so it is almost like it never happened.  If your symptoms are not well documented in the medical evidence, most often you don’t have those symptoms in the eyes of the judge and your chances of winning may decrease as a result.