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  • Lakeland Social Security Disability Attorney Discusses Age and Your SSD Claim

    doctor checkup Lakeland Social Security Disability AttorneyA Lakeland Social Security disability attorney may be able to help you determine how your age will impact Social Security disability benefits approval or denial. The Social Security Administration considers multiple factors when it comes to establishing your eligibility for disability benefits or Supplementary Security Income (SSI). Age is one of the predominate criteria when making this decision as it significantly affects whether you can reasonably be expected to train for another job.

    Vocational Guidelines for Social Security Disability

    The disability process is made more uniform by the establishment of a set of vocational guidelines often known as the “medical-vocational grid.” The first of these guidelines is Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). RFC comes in various levels. The Social Security Administration has determined four physical categories when it comes to evaluating your vocational limitations. These categories determine the tasks you may be able to perform in spite of any limitations your condition imposes upon you. The categories are sedentary, light, medium, and heavy work. Sedentary work is typically defined as work that involves lifting no more than ten pounds at any time. Light work involves lifting no more than ten pounds on a frequent basis. Medium work involves lifting twenty-five pounds frequently and fifty pounds on only an occasional basis. Finally, heavy work involves lifting more than fifty pounds.

    The Grid and Your Disability Benefits

    A Lakeland Social Security disability attorney may be able to help you determine whether you are able to receive Social Security disability benefits according to “the grid.” The grid considers factors other than medical information when determining your ability to work, including age, skills, and educational level. These factors are considered alongside your residual functional capacity. There are multiple age categories as determined by the Social Security Administration. Individuals ages 18 to 44 are considered young, while those 50 to 54 are considered close to advanced age. If you are 55 or older, you are considered at advanced age, while those 60 to 65 are closely approaching retirement age. Social Security uses these groups as a guidelines alongside your residual functional capacity to determine your employment options. Social Security also considers the skill level of your past work and your education. If you are considered young by Social Security standards and have no college education or ability to perform more than sedentary work, your disability benefits are likely to be denied. However, if you have the same qualifications but are over the age of 50, you are more likely to be given benefits.

    The Benefits of Age in a Disability Claim

    The medical-vocational grid rules tend to favor those approaching advanced or retirement age. If you are limited in your ability to work and over the age of 50, you are more likely to be approved for disability. Social Security does not expect you to go through significant retraining to learn a sedentary job as you approach an advanced age. The medical-vocational rules highly favor those over the age of 55. Even if you can perform light work, or less than the full responsibilities of a medium work job, you are likely to be approved for disability because of your age. The Social Security Administration is not likely to expect you to transfer to a new set of skills or go into an entirely new vocation. While these examples provide a general indication as to how the Social Security Administration determines vocational ability, a Lakeland Social Security disability attorney may be able to provide you with information that is more specific to your particular situation. Even if you do not fit the minimum medical-vocational classifications for someone at your age, your disability claim may still be successful. Filing a successful claim is largely dependent on your administrative law judge hearing. Working with someone who has a good working knowledge of the medical-vocational grid is essential.

    Children’s Claims

    Children’s SSI disability claims are not assessed in the same manger as adult claims, but age is equally important. Children under the age of 18 who file for SSI are evaluated according to whether they have a severe physical or mental impairment that causes marked and severe functional limitations. These standards are used in place of an inability to work. The SSA also has a separate list of medical impairment listings for children under the age of 18.

    Contact a Lakeland Social Security Disability Attorney

    Contact Kaylor, Kaylor, and Leto, PA today at (800) 900-7734 for assistance from a Lakeland Social Security disability attorney you can trust.

  • Working with Your Lakeland Social Security Disability Attorney

    Lakeland Social Security Disability Attorney Doctor Discussing Medicine in His Clinic With a PatientWhen you visit a Lakeland Social Security disability attorney, you can expect that a certain process will take place to make sure that your claim is handled properly. Not all law firms will handle disability claims exactly the same; however, there are some steps of the process that you will likely see when dealing with your lawyer.

    The Basis of the Claim

    The first step you should expect is an interview, which will serve to establish the foundation of the case. To determine the basis of your claim, your Lakeland Social Security disability attorney may choose to conduct the initial interview over the telephone; however, if you feel that your case can be better explained in person, you should clearly state your preference. Some senior attorneys may elect to delegate the intake interview to a staff member at the law firm. Should this be the case, you have nothing to worry about; in fact, this could be a signal that the senior attorney is assigning a specialist to help with the case.

    Gathering Medical Evidence

    If your Lakeland Social Security disability attorney believes that a favorable outcome can be obtained on appeal, you may decide to retain counsel and proceed to the next step, which consists of gathering and evaluating the available medical evidence so that impairments, restrictions and medical conditions can be determined. Impairments may be related to age or medical conditions. For example, a disability may be found if your mental ability to perform unskilled work is diminished in the sense that you can no longer respond to supervisors, understand instructions, make decisions related to your duties, or adjust to changes during a continuous period. A visual impairment may be determined if the accuracy of your vision has diminished to the point that you can no longer see small objects related to your work duties; for example, if your job involves manufacturing auto parts that consist of assembling small pieces of different shapes and colors, a disability may be found insofar as your eroded occupational base. If you develop a significant sensitivity to certain odors, noises, or workplace environmental conditions such as smoke and dust, your ability to perform your work duties can be substantially reduced. These are known as environmental restrictions. There are numerous medical conditions that may interfere with your ability to perform your job. These may include pain, bladder problems, colostomies, chronic skin conditions, debilitating side effects from medications that you must take in order to enjoy optimal health, seizures, chronic pain, and others. Your lawyer will likely have you execute a form to grant consent to obtain medical records for the purpose of searching for impairments, conditions, and restrictions to bolster your case. You may also need to go through a new medical evaluation so that new medical evidence can be provided to support your claim. Your attorney may also obtain supportive statements or narratives from medical professionals who have examined and treated you; the idea is to collect enough medical evidence that can be submitted to the Social Security Administration.

    Preparing for a Hearing

    Under the current climate for Social Security disability claims, you should not be surprised if you are scheduled to appear at hearing prior to being approved for benefits. Prior to this hearing, your lawyer may ask you for copies of certain documents such as medical records, tax returns, W2 forms, etc. Once your attorney confirms that you are to appear before a hearing, you will likely be coached on the various questions that you may face at the hearing. The line of inquiry that you can expect at one of these hearings will range from historical to medical and from educational to personal. In general, your attorney will instruct you on how you should answer the different questions. You can expect questions about what you are able to do versus the impairments you claim. There may be some questions related to your social life and level of education. You can also expect to encounter questions about the jobs you have worked at during the last 10 to 15 years. Your attorney may choose to call upon witnesses to appear at the hearing, and these may be co-workers, medical professionals, neighbors, relatives, or friends. Should your claim be denied for any reason, your attorney will start formulating a potential argument in your favor.

    Contact a Lakeland Social Security Disability Attorney Today

    If you have questions about the above, contact Kaylor, Kaylor, and Leto, PA, your Lakeland Social Security disability attorney at (800) 900-7734.

  • What Happens after You Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Attorney?

    Tampa Personal Injury Attorney couple and doctorIf you are injured, one of the first things you are likely to do is to contact a Tampa Florida personal injury attorney. Like many of our clients, you may be wondering what happens next, which is why we would like to provide you with this guideline to help you better understand the process.

    Initial Consultation

    The litigation process begins with an initial consultation with a personal injury attorney to discuss your case. This is done to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and find out if there is a remedy available to you under law. If the attorney agrees to take your case, there may be some initial paperwork involved to establish an attorney-client relationship. Your lawyer may also give you further instructions on preserving evidence, or provide you with a list of documents to obtain.

    Filing the Complaint

    The next thing your Tampa Florida personal injury attorney will do is to file a complaint. The complaint is an official document that spells out the facts of the case as they are known. It will allege that some form of negligence took place on the part of the defendant, and that damages directly resulted from that negligence. After filing the complaint with the court, it will then be served on the defendant, usually by having a process server or sheriff’s deputy deliver it personally. The defendant will then have a certain period of time in which to answer your complaint or face a default judgement.

    The Answer

    After receiving your complaint, the defendant will most likely hire an attorney to draft an answer. The answer is the official response to the allegations stated in your complaint. The defendant typically does not admit negligence when filing an answer, making it necessary to proceed with the discovery process. Even so, he or she may agree to certain facts alleged in the complaint, such as the fact that an accident occurred at a particular date and time.

    Counter Complaint

    Along with an answer, a counter-complaint may also be filed. A counter complaint occurs whenever the defendant is also making a claim for damages against the plaintiff. If submitted, you will need to file an answer to this counter-complaint within a specified period of time, or you too could face default judgement.

    Discovery

    A settlement is very rarely offered until the discovery process is well underway. The discovery process involves the gathering of evidence by both parties in order to better assess the case. This ensures there are no surprises during an actual court proceeding on either side. Discovery can include a number of things, including:

    • Gathering physical evidence such as accident reports and photographs
    • Interviewing witnesses
    • Answering interrogatories, which is a set of written questions prepared by a Tampa Florida personal injury attorney to help narrow down the facts.

    The discovery phase is by far the longest part of any personal injury lawsuit. It can often take several months for an attorney to gather all the evidence he or she needs to proceed with trial.

    Depositions

    Near the end of the discovery phase, depositions may be requested by one or both parties. Depositions are conducted under oath, and consist of a series of questions designed to evaluate how strong your case is as well as your ability to testify in court. They are sometimes used as a basis for impeaching a witness’s testimony during an actual court hearing. This might happen when a witness gives one set of facts during a deposition, and then later changes his or her story when testifying in court.

    Mediation

    Rather than undergoing a court trial, your case may be referred to mediation. Mediation is performed under the direction of a certified mediator, who works with both parties to reach a mutual agreement. The goal of mediation is not to assess whether or not an individual was negligent, but instead is designed to come up with a solution that is satisfactory to both sides. Mediation benefits you by allowing you to have a say in the final outcome, which is something that is not possible during a jury trial. Your attorney will advise you throughout the mediation process to ensure you are treated fairly. If a satisfactory outcome cannot be reached, the next step is a court hearing.

    Personal Injury Trial

    A personal injury trial begins with jury selection to ensure a fair hearing. Once the jury is selected, attorneys for both sides will make their opening statements. As the plaintiff, you will present your case- in-chief first. During this time, your attorney will call witness and enter exhibits on your behalf. Opposing counsel will cross-examine witnesses, and may also object to certain evidence being admitted. After your case-in-chief is presented, the defendant will repeat the process. As the plaintiff, the burden of proof is on you to establish that the defendant was negligent. The burden of proof in civil cases is a preponderance of the evidence, which means more likely than not.

    Jury Deliberations

    After both sides are finished, the jury will deliberate and come up with a settlement figure if appropriate. The amount of settlement you receive will be reduced accordingly if contributory negligence occurred. This means that if you are found to be even partially at fault, your settlement will be reduced by the amount you are deemed negligent. For example, if you are found to be 10% negligent, your settlement would then be reduced by that amount.

    The Appeals Process

    Just because you have been awarded a settlement does not necessarily mean your case is over. The other party may choose to file an appeal with a higher court. Likewise, if you are denied a settlement, you may also wish to file an appeal. As is the case with an initial hearing, the appeals process can take several months or even years before it is fully completed.

    Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Attorney to Discuss Your Case

    If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact a Tampa Florida personal injury attorney from Kaylor, Kaylor, and Leto at (800) 900-7734.

     

     

  • Hit by a Car While Not in a Crosswalk? Let Our Tampa Florida Personal Injury Attorney Help

    person in cast Tampa Florida Personal Injury Attorney While it is easier to win a pedestrian accident case when the pedestrian was hit while in a crosswalk, a Tampa Florida personal injury attorney can explain that a case may still be successful even if the pedestrian was not in the crosswalk at the time. He or she may discuss several factors that can affect the outcome of the case.

    Negligence

    Even if a person is jaywalking at the time that he or she is hit, the driver still must comply with relevant traffic laws. The driver may have contributed to the accident by speeding, going through a red light or not looking out for pedestrians in an area where they are common. One common form of pedestrian accidents is when a driver passes another car in an unmarked crosswalk. A pedestrian may be traveling in front of the vehicle parked at the crosswalk and the second driver may not see the pedestrian. A Tampa Florida personal injury attorney can explain that these negligent actions may entitle a pedestrian to recovery on his or her legal claim.

    Crosswalks

    Even if a crosswalk is not marked, local traffic laws may require the driver to treat certain areas as a crosswalk. For example, some intersections may be denoted as four separate crosswalks even if they are not labeled as such. The driver has the continuing duty to keep a proper lookout for pedestrians. In some cases, pedestrians may have the right-of-way in such areas.

    Other Factors

    In some instances, other factors may have contributed to the accident. A Tampa Florida personal injury attorney can assess whether traffic lights, road conditions, lack of traffic attendants, or other factors contributed to the accident, especially if the area has had frequent accidents. Victims may be entitled to some compensation for their injuries.

    Legal Assistance from Our Tampa Florida Personal Injury Attorney

    If you have any questions about your pedestrian accident case and whether you may be able to recover for your injuries, a Tampa Florida personal injury attorney may be able to help. Contact Kaylor, Kaylor, and Leto, PA by calling (800) 900-7734 at your earliest convenience to discuss your case with a legal professional.