Social Security Disability
Social Security provides eligible persons with monthly disability benefits if they are unable to work for at least 12 months. After review of your application for benefits, you receive a written notice of the action taken on your claim. The notice may state, for example, that you are not entitled to benefits; that the benefit amount or date of entitlement has changed; or that payments will stop. If you do not agree with the decision, you have a right to appeal.
If denied, there are four appeal steps you can take. It is important to note that you have only sixty (60) days from the date you receive a denial notice to appeal the decision.
The appeal steps are:
- RECONSIDERATION: You may ask that the decision be reconsidered.
- HEARING: If you disagree with the "reconsideration", you may ask for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
- APPEALS COUNCIL: If you disagree with the Administrative Law Judge's decision, you may ask for a review of that decision by the Appeals Council.
- FEDERAL COURT: If you disagree with the Appeals Council's decision or if the Appeals Council declines to review your case, you may bring a civil action to Federal Court.
Worker's Compensation Offset
If you are receiving worker's compensation benefits, your Social Security benefits may be reduced. The reduction in disability benefits will be made when the total amount of benefits paid under the two programs exceeds 80% of an employee's average weekly earnings prior to becoming disabled.
Right to Representation
You have a right to be represented be an attorney in dealing with the Social Security Administration. It is not uncommon for an attorney representative to obtain success rates in excess of 85% of their cases.
A Request for a Reconsideration, a Hearing or an Appeals Council Review must be in writing and filed with any Social Security office by you or your representative. It must be filed within sixty (60) days of the date you received the denial notice.
If you have any questions about the decisions made on your claim or about any other matter, contact the law offices of MINDEL & MINDEL. They will be glad to assist you in any way they can.
VA Disability Benefits
Disability Compensation is a benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service.
You may apply for benefits online with VONAPP Direct Connect or through the US Mail. Once the claim is received, it is assigned to a Veterans Service Representative and is reviewed to determine if additional evidence is received, the Veterans Service Representative will recommend a decision and the VA will send a decision packet to you by U.S. Mail and will include the details of decision or award.
Many times an application is denied. You may appeal a denial within one year from the date the decision was mailed. You have to do is notify them by letter or by statement in support of claim form that you disagree with the decision and wish to appeal it to initiate the appeal.
You can appeal to a decision review officer (DRO) or to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA.)
A DRO review is usually done more quickly but if they uphold your denial it can delay getting the BVA to determine the appeal, which can take some time.
We are able to help you apply for benefits; gather evidence and help you through any appeals process.