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Are you or a family member applying for Social Security Disability benefits in Delaware? Are you having trouble applying or has your claim already been denied? Our experienced social security disability lawyers can help.
We fight for the disability benefits you deserve.
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The Schuster Jachetti LLP social security disability lawyers are ready to analyze your case in a free consultation.
Get in touch with our legal professionals now via our free 24/7 helpline or by filling out the form on this page. If we can’t help you receive social security benefits from an initial claim or after going through the appeals process, you will owe us nothing.
Residents of Delaware who have been in the workforce and who have paid social security taxes from their hard-earned income can apply for benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, an initial application has a 60% chance of being denied.
Most denials occur because applicants are unfamiliar with the disability claims process and often make simple mistakes. Don’t let your chances of receiving benefits disappear simply because you don’t know the law. Let our disability attorneys handle the application process and help you build a strong case.
What Is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?
Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal program that was established to help individuals who have become disabled (physically or else) and can’t work or otherwise generate income.
To qualify, the disability can be temporary or permanent; both instances are considered by SSDI. Likewise, both partial and total disability can be covered by the Social Security Administration SSDI program.
The Application Process
To request social security disability insurance benefits, you must first complete an initial application and submit it to the SSA. Once submitted, the SSA determines if you qualify for disability by:
- Checking to see if you meet basic requirements (more on this below)
- Verifying whether you worked long enough, and paid enough in SSDI taxes, to qualify
If these checks are successful, your application will then be forwarded to the Delaware Disability Determination Services office.
What May Be Considered As Disability By The SSA?
Besides the SSDI program managed by the Social Security Administration, there exist other federal and state-level agencies that have established their own definitions for disability. Yet, the SSA’s definition for disability is independent of any others that exist.
This is to say, just because another agency has found you to be disabled, this does not mean that the SSA will have the same opinion, nor will they allow you to bypass the disability verification step of the process.
The SSA’s specific definition for disability is as follows:
- You cannot do work that you did before because of your medical condition.
- You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition.
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months (1 year) or to result in death.
Other Disability Considerations
If you do not meet the above criteria, there are some exceptions that are made by the Social Security Administration. These include extending benefits to:
- Blind individuals or those with low vision
- Widows of workers
- Disabled children
- Wounded warriors and veterans
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If you have read the educational information on this website and have determined your chances of being approved for disability benefits are slim to none, we highly suggest you get in touch with a social security disability lawyer right away.
By speaking with disability attorneys such as the ones that form part of the team at Schuster Jachetti LLP, you will have the chance of having an experienced social security disability lawyer look at the facts of your case. Only after careful analysis and revision of your claim can you truly be sure that you’re eligible.
Small details, and more importantly how these are presented in a disability benefits claim, can make the difference between a successful claim and one which is denied. Schedule your free case consultation today and let our team help you get paid for your disability.
What Does A Social Security Disability Attorney Do?
When you hire a social security disability attorney, any action that must be taken by a claimant is then completed by the attorney and their legal support staff. Most broadly, this includes:
- Completing required paperwork
- Submitting said paperwork and keeping up with the strict SSA deadlines
- Compiling medical records & other medical evidence for your claim
However, as we mentioned earlier, more than half of all claims are denied in the first step. And while there are numerous chances to appeal SSDI benefit denials, each is increasingly difficult to overcome.
Therefore, building the strongest case possible right from the get-go is often seen as the best course of action; this can be accomplished by seeking out by retaining a social security disability law firm.
Disability Claim Appeals Levels
There are various levels of appeals to these denials, and an experienced social security disability attorney will be prepared to guide you through all of them. Below is a brief explanation of each (in order)
If your initial disability claim is denied or if you believe the amount awarded is unfair, the first appeal step to go through is reconsideration.
In this step, an individual who has never before seen your claim will go through it and make a decision. In this decision, they may go against what was initially decided, whether this is positive or negative for you. This is to say, while they may overturn an initial declination of benefits, they may also decide that the benefits first awarded are too much and reduce them.
Generally, if you are undergoing the reconsideration step, you have also included additional evidence that was not in your original claim. Simply submitting an appeal without new evidence to support your claim is highly unlikely to succeed.
Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge
If you want to appeal the decision made after undergoing the reconsideration step, you will have to conduct a hearing with an administrative law judge. Once more, this judge will have played no part in the previous decisions regarding your case. In this manner, the individual deciding the fate of your claim will not be biased against or in support of your appeal.
This step usually involves the claimant physically attending the hearing and standing in front of the judge. If you’ve hired a disability attorney, they will also be there with you, but you will be expected to answer questions.
Review by an Appeals Council
If you would like to appeal the decision made in the previous step by the administrative law judge, you can choose to have your disability lawyer file for review by the Social security’s Appeals Council.
While the Appeals Council looks at all appeals that are submitted, it may simply decide to uphold the previous Judge’s ruling. On the other hand, they may also “kick back” the claim to another administrative law judge for additional review.
The final decision made by an Appeals Council is sent to the claimant in the form of a letter that explains what steps were taken as well as the reasoning for any decision made.
Federal Court Review
The Federal Court Review is the last chance that a disability benefits claimant has to be approved if all other steps have failed.
This step entails filing a lawsuit in a federal court. If by this point you had not yet sought the representation of a disability lawyer, it is likely that you will require one to get through this step successfully.
Is It Better To Get A Lawyer For Disability?
In almost all cases, seeking out a lawyer for disability is a wise choice.
To apply for social security benefits is easy. To apply for social security benefits and be awarded benefits right away, on the other hand, is quite difficult. The level complexity only increases with each additional step you take down the appeals process.
It’s safe to say that, whatever obstacles you may encounter in the process of applying for benefits, the disability attorneys whom you retain will be well-equipped to deal with, as opposed to you fighting it out on your own.