Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability

social-security-disabilityThe social security act provides that disabled persons or persons claiming on behalf of a disabled individual may be entitled to monthly benefits on account of a physical or mental impairment which is severe or a combination of impairments which are determined to be severe.

Disability benefits are available to individuals who have established insured status on the basis of wages earned before the onset of disability. In addition, disabled persons including minor children who are able to establish disability without an earnings record and who are not earning more than approximately seven hundred dollars a month may also be eligible for benefits.

The social security act provides that disability means one’s inability to engage in substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental condition which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for twelve months.

Impairments will only be considered if they are severe. The severity of a particular physical or mental impairment requires that an individual not only be unable to do their previous work but that one is unable to engage in any substantial gainful work taking into account their age, education and experience.

The social security laws provide for payment of monthly benefits to a widow or widower between the ages of fifty and sixty who is disabled if the medical condition became disabling within seven years of the death of an insured wage earner spouse or within seven years of the individual’s last receipt of a parent’s benefits on account of a minor or disabled child of the deceased wage earner.
In determining whether an individual’s physical or mental impairment or impairments are of sufficient medical severity for eligibility, the Social Security Act and regulations require consideration of the combined effects of all of the impairments without regard to whether any single impairment, if considered separately, would be disabling. For example, a visual impairment which does not meet or equal the test for legal blindness may, in combination with other impairments, be disabling.
Disabled Children

An adult child may be eligible for social security disability benefits if he or she has an insured deceased parent or an insured living parent who is receiving social security disability benefits or benefits on the basis of old age.

The disability must be present before the child’s twenty-second birthday. Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is available for the benefit of minor children in the event the minor child has an identified impairment, which includes such health problems as cerebral palsy, certain types of cancers, and other neurologic diseases. In the event a child’s health problem limits the child’s ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively or in an age- appropriate manner or is one which would disable an adult, a child is entitled to SSI benefits.

Legal Representation in Social Security Cases

All claimants in social security matters are entitled to be represented by an attorney. Most claims for social security disability benefits are denied at the first level. Consultation with Paul Shibley will assist in determining whether an appeal should be taken from a first or second denial of benefits. Claimants are entitled to hearings before independent judges hired by the Social Security Administration to hear claims.

An Attorney will gather all relevant medical information and present claims to the hearing judge arguing the relevant and appropriate law. Appeals can be taken into the Federal court system including trial and appellate courts in the event of an unsatisfactory decision. Attorney fees are only charged if benefits are obtained for a disabled person. The customary fee is 25% of accrued benefits up to a maximum. The fee is subject to the approval of the Social Security Administration or Judge. All denials of benefits should be evaluated by a lawyer.