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Denied Claim for Social Security Disability? Call an Attorney

Unfortunately, social security disability claims are denied every day. If you are denied, you may think that you have no other options. It can be incredibly frustrating to receive a denial, but it does not mark the end of the road. In fact, you can appeal up to three times. But, before you start preparing your appeal, you may want to enlist the help of an attorney.

Denied Claim for Social Security Disability
Denied Claim for Social Security Disability

Appeals: A Complex Three-Tier Process

There are three levels to an appeal, and each one gets more complicated. If your claim is denied, you automatically go to the Appeals Council review and have three appeal chances to get the denial reversed: reconsideration, a hearing, and a review by the council.

Get Legal Assistance with Your Appeal

If you didn’t have legal assistance with your initial application, then this may be a reason for your denial. Social security disability applications are very complex, and all it takes is one mistake to have your claim denied.

Regardless of your reasons for not having an attorney help you with the application, you should have an attorney help you with your appeal. An attorney can review the initial application and figure out what you need for the appeal.

Why Were You Denied?

If you are disabled according to the guidelines provided by Social Security, there are still various reasons your claim could be denied. Some possible reasons could include leaving out a key piece of medical history, not providing your doctor’s address or contact information, or even addressing your condition.

Having an expert review your application and help you file could eliminate these simple mistakes. Also, an attorney can get a decision faster during the appeals process than you can on your own, which will speed up the time in which you can receive benefits. Because of recent cuts, benefits already can take an extended period of time (learn more here).

If you end up going to a hearing, you will have an attorney there to protect your rights and represent your case, which can take a significant strain off you.

Denied Claim? Contact an Attorney Now

If your claim was denied, you still have options. Contact West Palm Beach social security disability attorney and personal injury experts at Fetterman & Associates, PA. We offer free consultations and can assist you with your disability insurance application. Call 561-983-4771 for your appointment.

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Disabilities Can Result From Substance Abuse

Yes, it is true — substance abuse can cause disabilities. These disabilities therefore can quality a person for Medicaid/Medicare benefits, as well as Social Security Disability. Addiction Treatment Magazine published a recent study noting that abusers eventually develop permanent damage of some type for which they can receive benefits. The truth is this is a terrible situation, but at least help is available.

The problems developed by substance abusers include physical or behavioral changes. Substances affect the central nervous system of a person, causing conditions like seizures, pancreatitis, gastritis, liver damage, peripheral neuropathies, personality disorders, anxiety disorders, depressive syndrome, and organic mental disorders. Are you ready to move forward with your case? Hire a social security disability attorney today.

Determining Disability Permanence

Disabilities Can Result From Substance AbuseThe Social Security Administration must pay benefits to those with substance addiction disorders as long as the condition which qualifies — including those listed above — remains. As a result, the permanence of drug and alcohol addiction must be determined.

The severity of disorders like anxiety and depression can be difficult to determine because the time it takes the abuser to go through therapy, gain the benefits of drugs and get sober varies greatly. If a permanent disability results from using drugs, abusers can receive Medicare and Medicaid substance abuse benefits. Approval is needs-based and many abusers can qualify for work-based SSD benefits via Medicare after a couple years.

Types of Benefits

The types of benefits available include SSI or Social Security Income and SSDI or Social Security Disability Income. Their eligibility requirements are different but both define disabled in the same way. In order to be placed under consideration you must have had your condition for at least 12 months and it must be determined that it will last for another year at a minimum.

The other qualification is that the substance abuse threatens the abuser with possible death. Earning a living must be prevented by the drug abuse, indicating the severity of its impact upon the life of the abuser.


Unfortunately fraudulence has lead the SSA to become more stringent about benefit distribution, even for those who truly need the benefits. Fraudulence is often seen in small amounts and thus used as an excuse to not pay out benefits to the needy in all types of social programs — not just those related to substance abuse.

Political motivations on both sides of the aisle call for a reduction in government expenditures of these types. What this means for the truly needy substance abusers is lower payouts and more work to get those payouts.

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Hire a Social Security Disability Attorney Now

You need a social security disability benefits attorney with the experience to get you the benefits you need. Do not let yourself get grouped with those committing fraud, contact the Law Team at Fetterman & Associates today.

The process of getting your benefits can be very complicated and in order to receive benefits it’s crucial you complete it correctly, including appeals, how disability is defined by the SSA, and what causes the SSA to reject benefits.

The Social Security Administration has more incentive to pay you than to not, but with an attorney at your side you can fight for your rights. Contact The Law Team of Fetterman & Associates now.

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Getting Social Security Disability Benefits May Take Longer Due to Cuts

News is out that staffing cuts at the Social Security Administration (SSA), which occurred during the 2013 fiscal year, will have an impact on those seeking timely hearings. In September 2012, the SSA had 65,113 workers; a year later, that number had been reduced to 62,543. Over the past three years due to cutbacks, the SSA has lost a total of 11,000 employees.

What this translates into is a backup in processing claims on all levels, more pressure on workers, and the chance that decisions regarding your social security disability benefits may not go the right way. The sum effect can be a loss of or delay in getting much needed benefits.

Long Term Disability Applications

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is to be used when someone has a severe disability, physical or mental or both, that lasts 12 months or longer. To qualify for benefits under the program someone has to be unable to perform their job duties and, as a result, they are precluded from earning a living. Workers, who make contributions through their FICA with holdings, fund the program, which is administered by the SSA.


Although those who apply for benefits are not required to use a lawyer, an attorney with experience in this area can be very helpful. Many times those who are disabled will file for benefits without legal assistance, but will then decide to use an attorney when they have been turned down initially and are preparing for their SSA review and appeal process.

The entire process of applying for and appealing SSA decisions can take more than a year, for some it can take as much as three years before they receive a final decision. With the reduction in the SSA workforce, the time for the processing of claims is expected to expand.

Good News for the Future

However, there is good news on the horizon. The SSA has reported that they will receive increased funding for FY2014 and expect more funding for FY2015, which means they will be hiring more employees. Although there will certainly be a learning curve involved in training new employees, this is, overall, good news for the future. But presently, the SSA is contending with shortfalls in staffing.

Working with an Attorney

A knowledgeable, experienced, and skilled attorney who has been successful in helping others secure SSDI benefits can be a major factor in expediting your claim and reducing frustration. Your lawyer will know how to best document your disability and present it. They will be able to monitor the progress of your application, provide additional information in a timely mannerthat may be requested by the SSA, and represent your claim in any hearings.

Find Out More

If you believe that you have a claim for a long-term injury and will be seeking help through SSDI, consider working with a lawyer who understands the system and can help make sure that every aspect of your claim meets their criteria. A knowledgeable lawyer will be able to guide you through the entire process and will help reduce any problems related to improperly prepared and incomplete applications.

For information on the SSA and SSDI, contact Fetterman and Associates at 561-845-2510 today. We offer a free evaluation of your claim and situation. Fetterman and Associates will protect your rights and work hard to make sure that you have every opportunity to receive the benefits that you deserve.

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Social Security Disability Insurance Waiting Line: 680,000 Have Not Heard About Initial Claim

It was announced recently that at the end of FY 2013 that 680,000 applicants were waiting for a preliminary decision from the Social Security Administration (SSA) on their request for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. A majority of those who apply for SSDI benefits, which are awarded to those who suffer from long-term physical and/or mental disabilities that preclude them from working, are turned down on their initial application. After being rejected, many decide to utilize the services of a disability lawyer in the appeal process.

Tips on Applying for Disability Benefits

Getting Worse Before It Gets Better

The SSA (Social Security Administration) projects by the end of FY2014, which occurs in September, that the number of people who will be waiting on a first decision could reach 900,000. As noted in an earlier blog, the SSA has reduced its workforce by 11,000 over the past three years, and this has contributed to longer processing times on all levels. For those who decide to apply for disability benefits on their own, delays in receiving benefits can be extended due to common mistakes made by those applicants.

Common Mistakes People Make with SSD Claim

There are various mistakes that people commonly make when they file for SSDI, including still working when applying for benefits or simultaneously filing for unemployment benefits. Remember, SSDI is for those who are suffering from some type of injury that is considered to be long-term, affecting them for 12 months or longer. If you can work or if you are looking for work, which is why one would file for unemployment, then you are negating your need for help through SSDI.

Another common mistake made by applicants is that they decide to not seek medical help for physical or mental problems that are affecting them. A major way in which one proves that they have a disability that’s affecting them is by seeing a doctor for help. Also, it’s important to take medications and undergo any treatments that are prescribed by your doctor.

Finally, applicants will often not check the status of their application, or they don’t adhere to appeal deadlines that are set by the SSA. It’s important to check on your application, as you may discover that it’s being delayed due to the need for you to take some form of action. After having your social secuirty disability claim denied initially, missing your appeal deadline can be devastating, as you’ll lose your ability to qualify for benefits to which you may be entitled.

Why Use a Social Security Disability Lawyer?

An experienced social security disability lawyer will monitor your application, inform you of its progress as it goes through the system, and, if it is turned down in the first stage, represent you throughout the appeal process. They will also ensure that your original application is complete and will work to make sure that you do not make any of the common mistakes noted above.

Many people are concerned about being able to pay their lawyer. The fact is lawyers who work in this area do so on a contingency basis, which means they do not get paid until you do. They receive a percentage of what you are awarded and are paid for expenses incurred while representing your claim.

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Get Answers to Your Questions on SSD

If you have questions concerning your disability, the SSA, and SSDI, then please contact Fetterman & Associates at 561-845-2510 today.  We will setup a free, no obligation consultation, discuss your disability claim, and review the SSDI process. There’s no need to deal with your disability and the SSA on your own. Utilize the services of someone who knows all aspects of the system and who will be a major factor in cutting back on any delays.
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