Social Security Disability Lawyers in Framingham MA
Whether as a result of a serious accident or a psychological or physical disease or condition, if you have a disability, you may be unable to work, which means that you are prevented from earning an income to provide for yourself and your family. This can be a very challenging reality to live with, and one that could cause serious economic hardship.
If you have paid into the Social Security system during your working years – or if you have limited income and resources – and you have a qualifying disability, you may be eligible for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits
Applying for Social Security disability benefits requires:
- An understanding of the two types of Social Security disability programs – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – and which you may qualify for
- Knowing what the Social Security Administration is looking for and what types of evidence that you need to submit
- Filling out an application that is thorough and complete
You can apply for SSD benefits online or in person at the Framingham Social Security office. Before you apply, be sure to review the required information on the SSA’s website, or consult with our Framingham SSD attorneys to learn more.
Definition of ‘Disability’ for SSD Benefits
As part of your application, and in order to qualify for benefits, you’ll need to prove that you meet the SSA’s definition of a disability.
The SSA holds that a person is disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment that prevents them from engaging in substantial gainful activity and that has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.
If you have a condition that is listed in the Adult Listings of Impairments, you could automatically be considered disabled for SSA disability purposes. If your condition is not listed, you can still qualify if you can demonstrate that your condition makes you disabled under the SSA’s definition.
Process for Appealing a Denied SSD Claim in Framingham
There are four different levels of appeal in the event that your claim for SSD benefits has been denied. These include:
- Reconsideration. The first step in the process if your claim for benefits has been denied is to request a reconsideration of the decision within 60 days of receiving the SSA’s decision in the mail. The reconsideration will include a complete review of your application by someone who did not take part in making the original decision to deny your claim. You can submit any new evidence that you want to be considered.
- Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). If the party who reviews your claim comes to the same conclusion that was drawn the first time and your request for benefits is denied again, your next option is to file a request for a hearing before an ALJ. This allows you an opportunity to present new evidence supporting your claim, call on witnesses to give testimony that supports your claim, and tell the ALJ why you believe that you should receive benefits.
- Appeals Council review. If an ALJ denies your request for benefits, you may request a review for the Appeals Council. Note, however, that while you have the right to request this, the Appeals Council will deny your case if it believes that the decision made by the ALJ during the hearing was correct. As such, you need to submit evidence from showing why this decision was incorrect.
- Federal court review. If the Appeals Council refuses to hear your case, or if the decision made about your case is one you do not agree with, your last option is to file a lawsuit in federal court. If you have gotten to this stage in the process and still do not have a lawyer, you should get a lawyer immediately.
How Our Framingham Disability Lawyers Can Help You
The chances of having your claim for disability benefits accepted are higher if you work with an attorney who has experience bringing successful Social Security disability claims. Our Framingham SSD lawyers at Brooks Law can help you by:
- Explaining the two different types of disability programs. Before you even start filling out your application, our lawyers can review the details of your situation and provide you with details about the differences between SSDI and SSI. Then, we will ensure that you are applying for the right type of benefit, if not both in some cases.
- Gathering and organizing your documents. Ensuring that you submit the right information to the SSA is critical. Most importantly, perhaps, is submitting evidence that proves the extent of your disability. Our lawyers can help you to understand what type of evidence and documentation you need when filing a claim, and how to organize this evidence in a compelling way.
- Assisting you in filling out and filing your application. It’s important that your application is filled out in full and as honestly and correctly as possible. We know what the SSA is looking for and why it denies claims. When you work with us, we can make sure that your application has the details and information that the SSA wants to see in order to issue a claim approval.
- Representing you in appealing a denied claim. If you hear back from the SSA stating that they need more information to process your claim, we can help collect and submit this information. If your claim has been denied, we will act quickly to file an appeal on your behalf and ensure that your right to fight the SSA’s decision is preserved.
Throughout the entire process, we will be by your side to answer any questions you have and represent your best interests.
Call Our Framingham SSD Lawyers Today
Our Framingham SSD lawyers know how important it is that you receive the benefit award that you need and deserve when living with a disability.
To learn more about Social Security disability programs and how working with our law firm can improve your chances of being approved for benefits, please contact Brooks Law today for a free consultation.