Once you have been granted disability benefits, your case with continue to be periodically reviewed by the Social Security Administration. Most cases are reviewed every three years, but some may be reviewed more often. Notification of an upcoming review will be by mail so it is very important to pay attention to all correspondence coming from the Administration. The purpose of these reviews is to ensure that you remain eligible for benefits and to that the benefits you receive are appropriate to your situation. A Tampa disability lawyer can help you navigate the review process.
What Are They Looking for?
The Social Security Administration is seeking updated information about your medical condition and overall health. They will consider updated medical information as well as current information from your doctor. Even if your medical conditional and treatment is constant, it is important that you see your doctor regularly. In reviewing your eligibility, the Administration will want recent medical information and could consider the failure to see a doctor as evidence that the condition is no longer affecting you.
What About Work?
If your condition has changed, the Administration may consider how this change affects your ability to work. They may ask about any recent job or vocational training and whether you might be able to do modified work. As noted above, your doctor can be your best ally and he or she can provide valuable insight during the review process.
What If I Am Denied?
If you are denied continued disability benefits, you can appeal but you must be very attentive to deadlines. You must file appeal within ten days of a denial in order to continue receiving benefits during the appeal process. If you miss this deadline your benefits will stop until the appeal is resolved.
If you were injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. There are two ways you could obtain compensation: settlement or jury award after a successful trial. Many people wish to settle their case to save both time and money since litigation may take more than a year to resolve and there are no guarantees you will win in a trial. With a settlement, you and the adversary come to a compromise. The stronger your case, the stronger your negotiating power. For a stronger case to obtain a fair and reasonable settlement, your Tampa personal injury attorney needs your assistance and cooperation.
Your seasoned Tampa personal injury lawyer will take all the evidence in your case and create a compelling story in preparation for negotiating settlement. There are several things you can do to help your attorney prepare your persuasive position in order to obtain a fair and reasonable settlement.
What You Can Do
Discussed in further detail in the attached video, here are some things you should do to help your Tampa personal injury attorney obtain a fair settlement:
Maintain confidentiality by not speaking about your case. Anything you divulge can be used against you in court. However, anything you say to your attorney will be kept in the strictest confidentiality under attorney-client privilege.
Secure important information related to your accident, treatment for your injuries, and your losses in a safe place.
If you lost income due to your injuries and/or treatment of your injuries, you should record or track your income loss.
Copy your medical bills related to your medical treatment for your injuries.
Take pictures of all your injuries. For example, bruises will heal. Taking pictures will help preserve the evidence and also help show the severity of your injury.
Communicate information to your Tampa personal injury attorney relevant to your claim, including your personal information.
Seek a Tampa Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured in an accident, consult an experienced Tampa personal injury attorney with Kaylor, Kaylor, and Leto, PA at (800) 900-7734.
A 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 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.
When 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.