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4 Reasons Why You Should Appeal Your Social Security and Disability Denial

Social Security And Disability DenialOf the 11 million people living in Florida, about 450,000 claim social security and disability benefits. To do so, they must meet the requirements that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has established. And while it may seem like a simple process, it’s not uncommon for legitimate claims to be denied.  Unfortunately, many people who are denied social security and disability benefits simply give up, assuming that an appeal will just result in another denial. Here are 4 reasons why you shouldn’t.

Reason #1 – You’re Actually Disabled

The simple fact is that many denials aren’t fair. In some cases, the state may misunderstand your disability. Or, a paperwork error may lead to an inaccurate claim that causes a denial. All claims go through the Division of Disability Determinations in Florida, and it’s entirely possible that they made an error somewhere in the process. Giving up after the first attempt doesn’t account for these potential errors. You may just need to submit more accurate records and documents.

Reason #2 – You Have Limited Time 

Many people make the mistake of thinking that they have no option once they receive a refusal. But that’s not the case at all. Your denial notice should have a date printed on it. Typically, you’ll have 60 days from the date on the notice to file an appeal. Unfortunately, you’ll rarely be able to file an appeal after this date passes, which means that you’ll have to start the whole process again. This time constraint is one of the main reasons why you should start the appeal process as soon as you receive your denial notice.

Reason #3 – You Can Ask for Different Examiners 

When filing an appeal, you can ask for a different group of examiners to evaluate your case. This reduces the risk of the previous group refusing the appeal in the belief that they got it right the first time. A fresh set of eyes may see something that the first group missed.

Reason #4 – You Can Add More Evidence to the Claim 

Many people don’t realize that they can resubmit a different claim when they file for an appeal.  The SSA allows you to add extra documents to your appeal, which means that if you’re more thorough the second time around, you can build an even stronger case. This is important since many denials are a result of inadequate documentation. Adding more evidence to your social security application might give examiners enough to overturn the original decision. Such evidence may include proof that you’re unable to work due to your condition, as well as medical records and other documents you may have forgotten to include with your initial application.

Reapply Today 

If your social security and disability claim was recently denied, all is not lost. You do have options, and with a good attorney on your side, you’ll increase the likelihood of the original denial being overturned. Contact Fetterman & Associates today at (561) 693-3872 to schedule a consultation to discuss the specifics of your claim.

Common Myths and Misconceptions Regarding Social Security Disability

Social Security DisabilityThe fallout that can occur from a long-term injury can be significant. There are so many different injuries and conditions out there that can cause a person to be unable to work. Social Security Disability is designed to help people who cannot work due to injuries and illnesses. With all of the different myths and misinformation going around about Social Security Disability, it is important you take the time to learn the hard facts about what this government agency does. Below are some of the most common myths and misconceptions most people have about this government program.

Myth #1: I am Young and Healthy, Why Do I Need to Worry about Disability?

As the old saying go, “youth is wasted on the young.” Some people have the misconception that Social Security Disability is just a program for older people who haven’t taken care of themselves. With over 2.6 million disability claims filed each year, young people are definitely at risk of being rendered unable to work due to injury. Taking the time to learn more about what this government agency does is the best way to be prepared should you find yourself in need of disability benefits.

Myth #2: Most People Who Receive Disability Benefits Are Not Really Disabled

Another common misconception some people have is that disability benefits are received by people who have learned to scam the system. The extreme vetting process put in place by the Social Security Administration helps to ensure only people who need these benefits receive them. Nearly 1.8 million people are denied disability benefits each year. This means they are a lot harder to obtain than most people think. In most cases, you will need to seek out some legal advice to get the disability benefits you are entitled to.

Myth #3: People With Serious Diseases Have to Wait A Long Time For Disability Benefits

Some people think that everyone, regardless of what ailments and illnesses they have, will be required to wait a long time to get disability benefits. This is not the case due to the Compassionate Allowances program instituted by the Social Security Administration. When a person’s condition is so dire that they obviously meet disability standards, they are awarded these allowances right away.

Myth #4: There is No Rhyme or Reason to the Amount of Disability Benefits Awarded

The Social Security Administration has a very specific formula they use to figure out how much a person will get in disability benefits each month. This formula takes into account the lifetime earnings a person has garnered when figuring out how much money they will receive each money. The average disabled person in America receives around $1,224 a month in benefits.

Have You Been Denied Social Security Disability Benefits?

If you have applied for and been denied disability benefits, then you need to contact Fetterman & Associates at 561-316-2746. We offer a free case evaluation to all prospective clients. Once we hear the particulars of your case, we can give you advice on what you need to do to get your disability benefits.

What Injuries Are Covered Under SSD Benefits?

While many people think of social security as a means of receiving retirement benefits, the program also offers compensation to individuals who have suffered disabling injuries that prevent them from working.SSD Benefits

This is covered as social security disability (SSD). Not all injuries are eligible to receive disability benefits, but a West Palm Beach social security attorney reveals a detailed evaluation and filing criteria that may lead to many missing out on the relieving benefits.

According to the Social Security Act, disability is defined as “inability to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”

From that definition, disability will only be deemed present if three things can be proved:

  1. Mental or physical impairment
  2. Inability to take part in gainful employment
  3. Expected to lead to death or last for more than a year.

Determining whether your injury is a disability as defined by the Act can be problematic especially since the injury has to render it impossible for you to work.

Some of the common injuries regarded as disabling by the Social Security Administration include:

  • Cardiovascular injuries such as heart disease, chest pain/ angina, congestive heart failure and arrhythmia.
  • Neurological disorders such as epilepsy, strokes, Tourette’s syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, brain tumors and central nervous system damage.
  • Musculoskeletal injuries such as fractures, amputations, joint trauma, spine and soft tissue damage.
  • Respiratory injuries such as lung transplants, cystic fibriosis, and asthma.
  • Skin disorders such as cellulitis, psoriasis, dermatitis, chronic fungal and bullous diseases.
  • Endocrine system disorders such as diabetes, kidney disease and hormonal imbalance.
  • Immune system diseases such as lupus, Vasculitis, Lyme disease, HIV/AIDS, and Behcet’s disease.
  • Cancer, including specific cancerous tumors.
  • Senses and speech injuries such as loss of speech, sight and cystic fibriosis.

These are just some of the conditions deemed to be disabilities by the Social Security Act. If you or a relative has suffered injury that you think is disabling, a West Palm Beach social security attorney can help you evaluate the possibility of social security coverage.

Read more about the injuries covered by SSD here.

How to File for SSD Benefits

Besides the injury, there are a number of conditions required by the law in order to successfully file for social security disability benefits. Firstly, you must have been recently engaged in lawful employment in a job covered by social security and accruing social security credits.

You earn social security work credits from yearly wages. To qualify for social security disability payments, you must have earned at least 20 credits in the preceding 10 years, and in total, up to 40 credits.

The amount of income tied to credit changes yearly. In 2014, one credit was earned from each $1200 in wages.

It is recommended that you file a claim at the nearest social security office in person. Alternatively, you can contact Social Security for a telephone interview or apply online. You can file for the benefits on the very same day you suffered the disability, or during your sick leave, provided you will be out of work for a year.

To assess the validity of your claim, Social Security will look at the different ways your condition affects your ability to work including the amount of weight you can lift, the amount of time you can sit or stand, your ability to use your hands or fingers, and the length of time you’ve struggled with the impairment.

How a West Palm Beach Social Security Attorney Can Help You File

The application process can include a hearing, determination, and appeals process, making it very extensive and complex. Therefore, it is recommended that you consult an with an experienced West Palm Beach social security attorney to discuss what is necessary for your application and what isn’t as well as what will help your case and what won’t.

Professional West Palm Beach social security attorneys have helped numerous injured persons secure disability payments. Though the process is intricate and extensive, it is possible to get the care you or your loved one deserves. Timing is important.

Visit here to get started with a West Palm Beach social security attorney today and get your benefits plan in action.

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How Social Security and Disability Benefits Work in Florida

West Palm Beach Social Security AttorneyWhat qualifies as a disability when it comes to determining eligibility for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits is a highly technical and complicated area of law.

If you believe you may be entitled to SSD or SSI benefits, it is important to speak with a West Palm Beach social security attorney to determine your eligibility and maximize your chances of getting the benefits you need.

How Does the Social Security Administration Decide If Someone Is Disabled?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) bases its decisions about disability by using a multi-step process that asks an applicant to answer several questions and to back up his or her answers with extensive documentation.

First, the SSA will want to know if a disability claimant is working. Contrary to what some people believe, the SSA does not define total disability as the inability to perform any work at all.

On the contrary, a disability claimant is permitted to work while applying for benefits and even after the claimant has been deemed disabled by the SSA. If, however, the work is a Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) under Social Security rules for monthly earnings, the claimant will not qualify for benefits.

In addition to asking if a claimant is working, the SSA asks whether the claimant’s condition is severe and whether the condition appears under the SSA’s list of disabling conditions.

A condition is severe under SSA guidelines if it interferes with basic work-related activities. If a claimant’s condition is included on the list of disabling conditions, the claimant may be deemed disabled.

If the claimant’s condition is not on the list, the claimant may still be deemed disabled if the condition prevents the claimant from working in his or her usual job or any other kind of job.

Getting to a determination of “disabled” can be a long, circuitous process. It typically requires comprehensive documentation of the claimant’s medical condition and work history. Without the help of an experienced, skilled Social Security Disability lawyer, a claimant’s chances of obtaining a favorable result are drastically reduced.

Increase Your Chances of a Favorable Result

If you think you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits, it is critical to work with a West Palm Beach Social Security attorney who can guide you through every step of the process. This will give you the best chance of a successful claim, so you can get the benefits you need.

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5 Social Security Disability FAQs

At Fetterman & Associates, PA we have a great deal of experience helping people get disability benefits from social security. We often see the same questions over and over.

Below is a quick overview of common questions and their answers. If you have additional questions, feel free to call our office at 561-845-2510. You can also find out more about denied claims, which injuries are covered, and qualifying for Social Security Disability (SSD) by clicking on these links.

Social Security Attorney

1. Who determines whether I’m disabled?

Unfortunately, you cannot simply state that you are disabled to start receiving benefits. Instead, the Florida Department of Health will make that determination.

There is a specific branch of the Florida Department of Health—the Division of Disability Determinations—that makes this decision for all Florida residents. This division will also do Continuing Disability Review for disability beneficiaries. They follow the requirements set out by the Social Security Administration to determine disability.

2. How good are my approval chance for SSD?

Up to 70% of all disability benefit applications get denied on the first try. However, roughly 50% of those that are heard by administrative law judges will be approved. That means that you may need to put in some additional effort beyond the application to get your application approved.

3. How long will it take to get a decision for Social Security Disability?

There really isn’t a good answer to this question. It can take as little as a month, or it can take as long as two years to be approved. There really aren’t any deadlines for applications or appeals, so that makes predicting how long a case will take difficult.

However, if your condition is serious, then you are likely to move through the process faster. On average, the initial consideration can take three or fourth months. The reconsideration can take another few months, but it can be much sooner or later as well.

4. What kind of evidence will they use to decide my SSD claim?

Medical evidence is vital in a Social Security disability case. They may want to see your complete medical records, including treatment notes, therapy programs, and MRI, CAT scan, and X-ray results. These records should be both recent and accurate.

A simple report that you have a serious condition, for example, will not be enough. The Social Security Administration requires detailed records to evaluate your claim.

5. Can I go back to work and still get benefits?

You can go back to work while receiving SSD. However, there are limitations on how much you can work and still get benefits. There are special rules in place that encourage you to go back to work if you are able.

If you think you might be able to go back to work, but are unsure, you can take advantage of a Trial Work Period that lets you try to work while still receiving benefits. Other rules may also be helpful.

For more information about SSD benefits, contact the experienced Social Security attorneys at Fetterman & Associates, PA today.

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How to Qualify for Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) will pay monthly benefits to those who have become disabled before they reach retirement age. The disability must make you unable to work for at least one year, and it could be much longer. The benefits will continue as long as you are unable to return to work.

These benefits are only available to those who meet certain qualifications. There are both work qualifications and qualifications related to the type of injury or disability involved.

Work Qualifications to Receive Social Security Disability Insurance

How to Qualify for Social Security DisabilityThe Social Security Program is unique because you can only receive benefits if you have contributed enough to the Program before you make a claim.

Social Security takes a specific amount from your paycheck while you are working. Once you have contributed enough funds, then you are eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration tracks the amount contributed to the program. It will turn your dollars contributed into work credits. These work credits are calculated on an annual basis, and you can earn up to four credits each year. The required amount for each credit will vary by year.

Also Read : The Application Process for Social Security Disability Insurance

For example, in 2015 each $1,220 of wages will earn one work credit. As a general rule, you will need at least 40 credits to qualify for the Program. Twenty of those credits must have been earned in the ten years before you became disabled. There may be exceptions to the credit requirements if the disabled worker is younger.

Injury or Disability Qualifications Under Social Security Disability Insurance

Only certain types of injuries or disabilities will be covered under the Social Security Program. You must be completely disabled to receive benefits. Partial disability or short-term disability payments are not available.

The Social Security Administration defines “disability” as:

  • Being unable to do the work that you previously did before;
  • Being unable to adjust to other work because of your medical conditions; and
  • A condition that either has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or may result in death.

There are also income limitations for those who want to qualify for Social Security disability. In 2015, for example, if you earn more than $1,090 per month, then you cannot be considered disabled.

Some medical conditions are so severe that they automatically qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Similarly, some conditions are not severe enough to warrant receiving benefits.

Determining whether you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits can be complicated. The West Palm Beach, FL social security attorneys can help. Give Fetterman & Associates, PA a call today if you have questions or need help applying for these benefits.

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How to Apply for Social Security Disability

Social Security is one of the largest federal programs available to those with disabilities. It is made up of two programs: Social Security and Supplemental Security Income. They are both administered by the Social Security Administration, and only those who meet certain criteria can receive benefits from this program.

West Palm Beach Social Security Disability Lawyer

Below, we will provide an overview of the application process to obtain Social Security Disability benefits.

Getting Started – What is Social Security Disability?

Social Security Disability is an insurance program through the federal government. You must meet certain qualifications to have this benefit, including working the required amount of time before collecting benefits. If you have a medical condition that has either prevented you from working or is expected to prevent you from working for 12 months, then you may qualify for this benefit.

Supplemental Security Income Verses Social Security Disability: What is the Difference?

Supplemental Security Income will also pay additional benefits based on your financial need. It is not funded by Social Security Taxes like the Social Security Disability program; it is rather funded by the general tax revenues.

It provides aid for those who are elderly, blind, or disabled and have little income. It is meant to be used for basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing.

The application process for this type of benefit is separate from the Social Security Disability application process.

The Application Process for Social Security Disability Insurance

As soon as you become disabled, you should apply for disability benefits. There are three ways that you can apply for these benefits:

1. Complete an online application. You can also check the status of your application online as well.

2. Call the Social Security benefits number: 1-800-772-1213.

3. Visit your local social security office. You should make an appointment ahead of time to apply in person.

4. Contact a social security benefits attorney for assistance with filing.

Fetterman & Associates, PA can also assist you with the application process. Disability benefits will generally take between three to five months to administer. You can shorten this process by providing specific and accurate personal and medical information.

  • Medical information, including current medications and information about the hospitals and doctors that you visit
  • Available medical records and test results
  • Previous employment information, including what type of work that you did
  • Tax returns or W-2 forms
  • Proof of marriage and proof of age for family members who also may be entitled to benefits

Even if you do not have all of this information, you should still get your application started as soon as possible. West Palm Beach Social Security Disability Lawyer at Fetterman & Associates, PA can help you gather the required documents.

Contact Fetterman & Associates Today!

We have been working with the Social Security Disability program for years, so we know the ins and outs of the application process. If you would like assistance with your application, have been rejected for disability insurance, or just have some general questions, we are here for you. Don’t wait. Call 561-845-2510 today!

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Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability?

Basically, there are three qualifications you must meet to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD):

  • You must be younger than retirement age, which is currently age 65.
  • You must have worked jobs that are covered by Social Security, and earned enough work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability.
  • You must meet the disability requirements as set forth by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

qualify for Social Security Disability

1. Younger Than Retirement Age

Typically, Social Security Disability is available to people who are younger than retirement age, i.e. 65 years old. Once a person who is receiving SSD reaches retirement age, that person’s Social Security Disability transitions into retirement benefits – and the amount remains the same.

2. Earning Social Security Work Credits

Work credits are based on an annual dollar amount; more specifically, the Social Security Administration bases these work credits on your total yearly wages or income from self-employment.

According to the SSA, you can earn up to four credits each year; however, the monetary amount needed for a work credit changes yearly.

Generally, in order to qualify for Social Security Disability, the number of work credits depends on your age. Typically, you need 40 credits, and 20 of those credits must have been earned within the last 10 years leading up to you becoming disabled.

However, there are some provisions for younger workers who have fewer credits. For example, the SSA currently states that if you’re younger than 24, you can have up to six work credits.

People between the ages of 24 and 31 can qualify if they have worked have of the time between 21 and the age at which they become disabled. For example, if you’re 21 and become disabled at 27, you must have worked at least three years.

NOTE: Over the years, many people earn more than the required number of credits to qualify for Social Security Disability. It’s important to understand that this doesn’t increase the amount of SSD benefits you receive.

Also Read : Top Reasons Social Security Disability Benefits are Denied

Don’t worry too much about these ever-changing work credit specifics; a skilled Social Security Disability attorney can explain every up-to-date detail to you and how it applies to you.

3. Meeting Disability Requirements

If you meet the age and work credits requirements, you must now meet the disability requirement as set forth by the SSA.

Simply put, in order for the SSA to consider you disabled, you must meet each of the following requirements:

  • You can’t perform work you previously performed.
  • You can’t adjust to other types of work because of your disability.
  • Your disability is expected to last at least one year or to result in death.

These are pretty strict guidelines, and your Social Security Disability attorney can help you gather the documents and other proof you need to prove your qualifying disability to the SSA.

Start Your Social Security Disability Case Today

If you believe you’re eligible for Social Security Disability, contact the Social Security Disability attorneys at Fetterman & Associates, PA today. With law offices in North Palm Beach and Port St Lucie, Florida, we can help you better understand your situation and work toward getting you the highest amount of compensation you deserve, as well as help you appeal any Social Security Disability denials. Call us today at (561)-845-2510 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation.

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FAQ: Learn More About Social Security Disability

Information on Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability or SSD, is a term used to describe government benefits you might receive if you become disabled and are no longer able to work.

Because SSD can be tricky (for example, many people are denied Social Security Disability the first time they apply for it), it’s best to hire an experienced attorney skilled at helping clients apply for and obtain SSD benefits.

Social Security Disability Benefits

Meanwhile, you can educate yourself on some of the most frequently asked questions about Social Security Disability.

1. How Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

The SSD qualification process is complex, but the two main qualifications are:

  • You must have worked a job that is covered by Social Security, and worked long enough to earn enough work credits. Generally, you can earn four work credits per year, and typically it takes 40 work credits to qualify for SSD benefits. However, if you don’t quite meet this requirement, an experienced SSD lawyer still might be able to get you approved for Social Security Disability benefits.
  • You must have a qualifying medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of a disability.

2. What Does the SSA Consider a “Disability” When It Comes to SSD Benefits?

Generally, you’re considered disabled if your medical condition makes it so that:

  • You can’t do the work you did before your medical condition.
  • You can’t adjust to other types of work.
  • Your disability is expected to last or has lasted for at least one year, and/or is expected to last for the rest of your life.

Proving such a disability is, again, a complex process that requires work from you, your physicians, and a Social Security Disability attorney.

3. How Does the SSA Decide If I’m Disabled?

The SSA has its own complex process for deciding if you’re disabled, but generally they consider whether or not:

  • You’re currently employed and working.
  • You have a severe medical condition.
  • Your medical condition is included in the SSA’s list of disabling conditions. (The SSA and your attorney can go over this list with you.)
  • You can still perform the work you were previously employed to perform.
  • You’re able to perform some other type of work.

4. Are There Any Special Situations for SSD Benefits?


Again, the SSA and your lawyer can go over these special situations with you in detail, but they include situations related to:

  • Low vision or blindness.
  • The widow or widower of the worker.
  • Disabled child benefits (benefits for the child).
  • Wounded warriors’ and veterans’ benefits.

5. Should I Apply for SSD Benefits On My Own?


Because applying for and obtaining Social Security Disability benefits is a complex, government-related process, it’s always best to obtain the services of an attorney with experience in SSD benefits specifically.

Fortunately, the Law Team of Fetterman & Associates, PA fits that bill. We can help you make your initial application for SSD benefits as well as appeal any denials you might be issued. Give us a call at 561-845-2510 or contact us online today. Our consultations are free so you have nothing to lose!

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Top Reasons Social Security Disability Benefits are Denied

Many Americans suffer from serious conditions which leave them disabled and unable to live life as they used to. Having a debilitating condition inhibits people from working, drains their savings due to medical bills, and can dramatically alter quality of life.

Luckily, Americans can file to receive social security disability benefits. The government requires you to complete a series of steps before you can receive your first disability check.

Social Security Benefits

If your social security claim was denied, then it was likely due to the common reasons which include:

  • Your disability is due to drug addiction or alcoholism.If the condition you have would be cured by abstaining from alcohol, smoking or drugs, then your claim will likely be denied by the Social Security Administration.
  • The judge has detected fraud. All too often, people try to file claims using false information. This should never be done. If you are suspected of fraud you did not commit, get a lawyer.
  • You did not communicate with the Social Security Administration about the application. When you plan on relying on the federal government, it is essential for them to contact you. If they cannot communicate with you about your claims and to schedule examinations, then they may deny a claim.
  • Your condition is not long term. The disability must be likely to last more than 12 months.
  • Your condition is not severe enough. The condition you have must severely limit your quality of life. It has to alter your ability to function mentally or physically.
  • You did not follow prescribed therapy for an unapproved reason. The Social Security Administration does allow certain reasons for not seeking therapy such as religious beliefs which would prevent you from a medical procedure or therapy.
  • Your income is too high. When collecting disability, you can still work a small amount but once you make over the limit, you no longer qualify. Your income shows your ability to work.
  • Medical records were not shared with the Social Security Administration. In order to make a claim and collect disability, it is essential that your treating doctor’s medical records are complete. They reserve the right to request you submit to an examination by an approved doctor.

Navigating the system in order file for social security disability can be very difficult, especially when your health is suffering. Getting a lawyer upfront or at the denial of your claim is highly recommended. It is all too easy to make a minor mistake which leads to delays in your claim.

If you believe you are a candidate for social security benefits but you have been denied the benefit, contact Fetterman & Associates, PA today. We are available by phone at (561)-845-2510 or online at Our lawyers offer free case evaluations to potential clients.

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