An introduction to our Social Security Practice
HOW DOES THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION DETERMINE THAT I AM DISABLED?
When you file a claim for disability at your local Social Security Office, your file is sent to the Disability Determination Service (DDS), which evaluates your case. The DDS may order medical records from your doctor(s) and arrange for an independent medical or psychological examination paid for by Social Security. The definition used by Social Security for disability is: the inability to engage in any substantial, gainful activity due to a physical or mental impairment expected to last at least 12 months.
HOW CAN WE ASSIST YOU IN OBTAINING DISABILITY BENEFITS?
We know all the current Social Security Disability rules and regulations and the steps and procedures in the application process. There are many ways that we can help you and your physician document your disability. Our attorneys will review your Social Security file and supplement it with necessary additional exhibits. We have the experience in attending disability hearings, know what questions to ask and have experience working with Social Security personnel at both the district and hearing offices.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY AND SSI?
Social Security Disability is a disability insurance program for people who have earned enough quarters of work credit. Adults usually need 10 quarters of credit during the ten years prior to the date of disability. Children may also qualify for Social Security Disability. The rules are fairly complicated and in the process of changing, so it is best to discuss them with your attorney. SSI is a disability program for adults and children who have not earned enough quarters of work credit or who have had their Social Security Disability insurance expire after they stopped working. The maximum amount you can receive under SSI varies and is dependent on family income. You may qualify for both SSI and Social Security Disability.
DO I LOSE MY DISABILITY CLAIM IF I GO BACK TO WORK?
No. If you are disabled 12 months and then go back to work, we can ask for payments for the period you are unable to work. Social Security encourages disabled people to return to work. It also offers a special program which allows you to try working without losing benefits. We can refer you for work rehabilitation if appropriate.
SHOULD ICOVE LEGAL GROUP BE INFORMED IF MY DOCTOR SENDS ME TO A SPECIALIST OR IF I HAVE A TEST PERFORMED?
It is important to keep us informed of any changes in your medical condition, and give us the names of any new doctors or specialists you see. You should inform us of any specialized tests performed, such as CTs, MRIs or psychological testing. We can obtain the results of these tests and forward them to Social Security.
WHEN SHOULD I RETAIN ICOVE LEGAL GROUP TO REPRESENT ME?
As soon as you believe you have a claim, you should contact us. We will help you from the time you file your claim through all levels of appeal by ensuring that the proper medical documentation is entered in your Social Security file. There are many steps in the Social Security Disability process, including an initial review by the DDS, a Request for Reconsideration if you are denied the first time and a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge if you are denied a second time. If you do not receive disability after a hearing before the Administrative Law Judge, we can file an appeal with the Appeals Council.
WHAT OCCURS AT A HEARING WITH THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE?
We will help you prepare for the hearing by going over with you questions that the judge can be expected to ask. Our experience in handling these hearings will prepare you and improve our opportunity to get you the desired results.
HOW IS ICOVE LEGAL GROUP PAID?
Icove Legal Group only earns a fee if we win your case. In most cases, attorney fees are 25% of past due benefits, up to a maximum of $6,000. You do have to pay for all costs incurred in developing your case. These normally consist of payment for copies of medical records.
Social Security is a very complex area of the law and for this reason, very few lawyers practice in this area. The attorneys at Icove Legal Group have represented clients at Social Security hearings for over 40 years. Our attorneys and legal assistants form your Social Security Disability team.
* * This page is provided for informational purposes only. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, it cannot be relied upon as legal advice. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. Therefore, you should consult with one of our attorneys.**