Below are some commonly asked questions

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Are disability benefits permanent?

In most cases, no. The Social Security Administration (SSA) conducts continuing disability reviews (CDR) for disabled individuals receiving benefits. If you are being reviewed and subject to a CDR, it is important to provide the SSA with as much information as possible to continue receiving benefits. Failure to respond to requests for information may result in benefits being terminated. If benefits are terminated, individuals can file an appeal and request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Having an experienced attorney present at a hearing can help obtain a favorable result.

What if I get denied benefits?

Most individuals applying for benefits are initially denied. It is important to understand that the initial determination is often proven to be a wrong determination. Once a claim is denied, a strict 60-day deadline is imposed requiring an applicant to file an appeal in a timely manner. Failure to file a timely appeal will require an applicant to start over and re-file an initial application. After the initial determination is made, a request for reconsideration is filed. Most individuals who are denied initially are also denied on reconsideration. After a second denial is received, an individual may file a request for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). A hearing provides an individual, and an appointed representative, the opportunity to appear before an ALJ to present evidence and make arguments in support of a favorable determination. A hearing also allows an experienced representative to cross-examine a vocational expert and or medical expert who is called to testify at the hearing.

Do I qualify for disability benefits?

To qualify for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA), an individual must prove they are unable to perform substantial gainful activity (SGA) on a regular and continuing basis due to a medically determinable impairment(s). The medical criteria changes for different age categories. For children under the age of 18, an individual must prove they have a physical or medical condition(s) that “very seriously” limits his or her activities. For individuals between the age of 18-49, they must prove they are unable to perform any job that exists in significant numbers in the national economy. This often is viewed as the most difficult standard of disability. For individuals over 50, 55, and 60, the determination of disability depends on a variety of factors including medical limitations, age, education, and work history. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney to determine your potential eligibility for benefits.

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