Social Security Disability and FAQ

Social Security Disability

If you have suffered an injury or an illness that has prevented you from being able to work you may be eligible for social security disability benefits. The first step is filing a social security disability application (SSI and SSDI). We can help you apply for social security disability benefits. In Utah the approval rate for claimants applying for social security disability benefits is only 35.7%. That’s why a qualified disability attorney is critical. There are many large national social security firms to represent you, but why not hire a local Utah disability attorney who can personally answer your questions whenever one arises. In short, its not as simple as many people think to recover social security disability benefits, and a local disability attorney are usually the best types of attorneys to hire.

If you have been denied social security disability benefits there is an disability appeal process that you must pursue to recover benefits. Under certain circumstances disability benefits will also be conferred unto dependents and/or survivors. In order to make a legitimate claim for disability you will need adequate medical evidence based on medical exams and regular treatment by a medical doctor.

1. Why should I talk to a disability lawyer to help?

Many people think that if they explain their problem to Social Security they will understand their problem and award them disability benefits. However, this is not the way it works. The disability system involves thousands of rules, regulations, and procedures. You will often be denied disability benefits if your doctor doesn’t know the legal definition of disability or if Social Security doesn’t receive sufficient medical evidence to make its decision. A qualified Utah disability lawyer can help you get the benefits that you deserve.

2. What Should I do if I have been denied social security disability benefits?

If you have received a denial letter call Ban Law Office, and contact a Utah SSI attorney quickly before it is too late to file an appeal.  If you are a Veteran we can also help you with the Veterans Disability program through the VA.  See the differences between the programs here.  You may also want to talk about your disability attorney to see if you eligible for SSI or SSDI and can explain the differences.

3. What if you think you can’t afford a disability attorney?

You don’t need any money for Ban Law Office to help you. There are never any upfront costs, and the attorney fee is generally 25% of the back-pay you receive, which will only be paid if you get paid. If we don’t help you win the case then you owe nothing.

4. Under which criteria does Social Security define someone as disabled?

Someone who is disabled cannot perform substantial gainful activity for at least 12 months due to a medical condition, which is documented through medical evidence. Social Security also generally considers age, education, and past work.

5. How do I prove that I am disabled?

Through medical evidence that can be determined through a medical exam with the Utah Office of Disability Determinations. Qualified medical professionals should collect objective medical evidence such as x-rays and other tests so that Social Security can make an informed decision. Also a Salt Lake SSI/SSDI attorney can help formulate the strategy to use this evidence to prove your case.

6. What specific medical information will Social Security consider?

They will inquire as to when did the medical condition began? Details of the medical condition, how the medical conditions limit your activities, and what medical treatment you have received.

7. How much medical treatment should I receive?

When going through the appeal process it is advisable to receive regular and ongoing medical treatment since an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) or other decisionmaker will need current medical evidence in which to substantiate a decision of disability.

8. Can I be considered automatically disabled due to a specific impairment?

Yes. This is called “meeting a listing” and if on the list of impairments within the federal regulations you will be considered disabled. Although not always automatic your Utah SSI lawyer can make this argument to help win your case.

9. Can I still be considered disabled if I do not have one of the impairments on the list?

Yes. You just need to show that your condition is as severe as one of the conditions on the list. Whether you have a listed impairment or not you need to show that you have been disabled for 12 consecutive months or will be disabled this long.

10. If I can still work can I still be considered disabled?

Social Security will consider whether you can perform your job as you did before you became disabled or based on how the work is generally done. If you can still perform your job then you generally will not be considered disabled.

11. If I can’t perform the job I had done does that automatically entitle me to disability benefits?

No. Social Security will consider whether you can do other work based on your experience, age, education, and other skills. However, Social Security has the burden to prove that you can do this other work.

12. How does the appeal process work?

There are generally five levels of appeal but contact a disability attorney to help with your appeal:

  • The first level is an initial decision by a state agency adjudicator, in Utah it is Disability Determination Services.

  • Second is a reconsideration where the state agency may obtain additional medical evidence and will perform a paper review.

  • Third level is a hearing with an Administrative law Judge (ALJ) based on medical evidence and sometimes medical and/or vocational experts as well as other witnesses. Included is the right to cross-examine witnesses. The ALJ decides the case independently of all previous decisions.

  • The fourth level is the Appeals Council Review that is a paper review of a decision based on new evidence that could change the outcome. Such new evidence may warrant a new hearing. However, this review occurs very slowly and usually warrants a second application for disability to be filed.

  • The fifth level is federal court.