Social Security Disability: Some basic information
The Social Security disability
program pays cash benefits and provides for Medicare insurance eligibility to
those who qualify. The application procedure is detailed and unique to the
Social Security program.
BASIC REQUIREMENTSSocial Security provides disability
coverage for persons who are insured under the program and who cannot work
because of impairments from severe disabling conditions. The Social Security
rules are very specific about what is considered a disabling condition, and
there are various rules about waiting periods, length of disability, medical
examinations, and other issues.
APPLICATIONS, DENIALS, AND APPEALSApplying for Social
Security disability insurance requires a thorough presentation of medical and
employment history, as well as identifying information. The application is
made at the Social Security office, and must be supported by original and
certified documents. The decision generally takes about 2 to 3
It is widely believed that initial applications are denied in
the majority of cases. In that event, the applicant must determine whether to
appeal through the various steps within the system. At each point, there are
deadlines and specific rules for getting the matter heard.
REPRESENTATIONAlthough the Social Security Administration
does not require applicants to have professional assistance, it is best to engage the services of a professional at the earliest possible
time--certainly as soon as an application is denied.
representative can assist in determining what information is most important
for the claim and gathering it for presentation to the fact-finder. A
professional should also have experience in presenting the testimony and
documentary evidence in trial-type proceedings.
Social Security will
not recognize anyone as your representative until you have notified them of
your selection. Once notified, Social Security will communicate with the
representative about the matter, and permit the representative to obtain
information about the claim, submit evidence and legal arguments, and contact
Social Security about the claim and procedures.
In addition, in many
cases Social Security will provide for payment of an attorney who represents
you out of any payment for benefits due, up to a percentage of the past-due benefits. Social Security always reviews the fee and will approve only the amount which it finds legally-acceptable.
THIS IS ONLY AN INTRODUCTIONEach situation is different, and
the Social Security disability rules are very detailed. It is important that
your claim receive individual, professional, attention. Be sure to contact an
experienced professional for assistance.
** ALWAYS HAVE AN ATTORNEY REPRESENT YOU IN THESE IMPORTANT AND COMPLEX MATTERS. **
GERALD HASSELBRINK, Attorney at Law
of the Minnesota Bar and United States District Court
INDEPENDENT, CONFIDENTIAL, LEGAL SERVICES
PRACTICING DISABILITY LAW AND PLANNIING
St. Cloud - St. Joseph, Minnesota
Phone (320) 251-0222 | (320) 363-0414
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