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As a disability attorney practicing in Valdosta, Matt Liebenhaut represents individuals of all ages who are unable to work because of a physical, mental, or emotional disability. We assist these individuals obtain Disability Insurance Benefits and/or Supplemental Security Income from the Social Security Administration. If your application for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income has been denied, contact us for a free consultation with a Valdosta disability attorney. You only have sixty days from the date of your denial to file your appeal so don’t delay. If we’re able to represent you, you will not have to pay anything unless we win your appeal and obtain benefits for you.
What are SSDI and SSI?
If you are disabled and can no longer work, you may be entitled to either Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or Supplemental Security Insurance. While both benefits are similar, they have slightly different eligibility criteria. Since SSDI is funded by the Social Security tax fund, an individual would have needed to pay into this fund during their course of employment to be awarded benefits on the basis of a disability. Then, the monthly benefit an individual would receive would be based on earning records of the insured worker. To be awarded SSI on the basis of a disability, an individual must have limited income; limited resources; be a US citizen, national, or in a certain category of aliens; and live in the United States or Mariana Islands. Monthly payments for SSI would be based on need and may vary If you live in Tallahassee, Valdosta, or the surrounding areas, and need a social security disability lawyer, we can help you apply for either SSDI or SSI.
Has your claim been denied?
If you have been denied benefits, you have a chance at appealing your claim. The majority of claimants are denied on their initial application with only roughly 35 percent being approved. Appealing your claim may allow you the opportunity to explain your case to an Administrative Law Judge during a hearing to convince the Social Security Administration you deserve benefits. While a claimant may attend a hearing unrepresented, being represented by a disability attorney before the Social Security Administration will relieve the burden of preparing and organizing your appeal and may increase the chance of a favorable decision. As a disability attorney, Matt Liebenhaut helps people throughout Tallahassee and the surrounding areas of North Florida and South Georgia appeal denials of their social security disability application.
The Social Security Administration identifies 165 serious diseases that may qualify an individual to obtain benefits faster than applicants who have a disease not on this list. The purpose of the Compassionate Allowances list is to help the Social Security Administration fulfill their obligation of quickly providing benefits to those with severe medical conditions. If you suffer from a condition on the Compassionate Allowances list, we can help you obtain your disability benefits in a shorter wait time. To view the list, please visit: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances/conditions.htm
Common Mistakes during Application Process
- Deadlines. The Social Security Administration is very strict on deadlines. If your initial claim is denied, you have 60 days to submit a written request for reconsideration. If your reconsideration request doesn’t grant you a favorable decision, then you have another 60 days to file your appeal. When an applicant accidentally misses one of these deadlines after being denied, they will have to begin the entire application process over again. The national average hearing wait time is 11 months. In Tallahassee, it’s 13 months. Don’t let your benefits be postponed for another year.
- Not enough information. Without sufficient knowledge of your past work history, physical limitations, medical information and education, Social Security’s examiners will have a limited ability to understand your claim. It is important to provide a proper description of your disability on your initial application to prevent a delay in processing.
- Necessary documents. Gathering necessary documents to submit to Social Security is often difficult and time consuming. The most valuable evidence you can submit are Medical Source Statements from your physicians. These statements offer your doctor’s opinion on your conditions and are often weighted heavily by the examiners. Without Medical Source Statements, your claim may not reach its full potential to result in a favorable decision.
By: Matt Liebenhaut