Bloomington Social Security Disability Attorney
If you are unable to work due to a disability, you may be eligible to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Whether you qualify as a disabled person but were denied benefits on your first application attempt, or you are just beginning the process, we recommend that you contact an experienced Bloomington Social Security Disability lawyer for a free review of your claim. For more than two decades, we have been helping to provide legal counsel to individuals and families throughout Minnesota and several of our attorneys have been selected for the Super Lawyers list since 1993, including partners Richard Ruohonen and Charles D. Slane.
Your initial consultation is free, and if we represent you, we are only paid if we are successful in obtaining the benefits you need.
For more information, call (612) TSR-TIME.
Am I Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?
In order to receive disability benefits, you must have a medical condition that qualifies under the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of a disability. According to the SSA, a person is considered disabled if he or she:
- Is not able to perform the work he or she did previously because of a medical condition
- Is unable to adapt to other work duties because of a medical infirmity
- Has a disability that is expected to last for at least one year or result in death
Any child under 18 suffering from a mental or physical condition may also qualify for disability benefits if he or she:
- Is expected to last at least a year but may result in death
- Is severely limited in his or her ability to perform activities
The SSA website offers a list of medical conditions that often qualify for benefits. If you have one of the medical conditions listed and your symptoms meet the criteria, you may be able to obtain benefits.
There are many defining factors used to determine eligibility for disability benefits. If you are unsure if your condition qualifies or if you have questions about the application process, our firm is prepared to help.
There is no risk for you to call us (612) TSR-TIME.
How Our Firm Can Help With Your Application
The Social Security Disability attorneys at TSR Injury Law have many years of experience submitting successful benefits claims and as a result of that experience, we can identify the reasons why an initial application may be denied. Some of these reasons include:
Insufficient Medical Evidence
A disability claim may be denied due to lack of medical evidence. It is not enough to show that you have a disabling condition. You must also be able to establish the severity of your medical impairment. This means demonstrating that your disability is long-term and prevents you from working. If we represent you, our legal team can help you submit tangible evidence, such as medical records and doctor’s notes, to establish how your disabling condition affects your life and ability to work.
Failure to Follow Treatment
Applicants have a better chance of being approved for disability benefits if they have a strong working relationship with his or her attending physician. Failure to follow any recommended treatments could result in a denied claim. This is why it is so important to keep your scheduled appointments and follow your doctor’s orders. If an applicant fails to do this, the SSA claim examiner may not have enough evidence to determine if your condition prevents you from working.
Income Exceeds Allowable Limit
Applicants cannot be earning more than a certain monthly amount. If your incomes exceeds the substantial gainful activity allowance, the SSA will assume that you can work, which means that you will not be considered disabled and your claim will be denied, regardless of your medical condition. The monthly amount for 2019 is $1,220 - or $2,040 for blind applicants.
Failure to Cooperate With the SSA
A disability claim may also be denied if you fail to cooperate with the SSA during the application process. This includes, but is not limited to, providing requested documentation or appearing at all scheduled medical exams. We recommend that you keep in constant contact with the examiner assigned to your claim and provide any request for information or documentation in a timely manner.
Previous Denial of Disability Benefits
Many applicants believe that filing a new disability claim is a better option than appealing a denied one. However, this is not the case. In some circumstances, an application will be denied when the examiner reviewing your paperwork sees that you previously applied for benefits and were denied. This is why we recommend that you go through the appeals process rather than filing a new disability claim.
The Bloomington Social Security Disability attorneys at our firm understand the filing deadlines and what medical records or other information is needed to improve your chances of approval. We can help you submit any additional evidence that may be required to support your disability claim.
We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to discuss your situation during a free consultation.
Appealing a Denied Disability Claim
If your disability claim has been denied, you have the right to request an appeal. Generally, your request must be made in writing within 60 days from the date you received the SSA’s decision letter. Our legal team may be able to help you throughout this process to ensure that your appeal is filed appropriately and on time.
There are four levels of appeal:
- Reconsideration – A reconsideration is a complete new look at your claim by a medical consultant or examiner who was not part of the initial decision. The medical consultant or examiner will look at all previously submitted evidence along with any new documentation provided by your lawyer.
- Hearing – If you disagree with the reconsideration ruling, you may ask for a hearing by an administrative law judge. You will be asked to provide more proof and to clarify certain details about your claim. Your lawyer can argue your case before the judge, prepare you for questions you may be asked, as well as bring in a vocational or medical expert to prove your disabling condition.
- Appeals Council – If your claim is denied again, you may ask to be reviewed by the SSA’s Appeals Council. At this stage, your request may be denied if they think the hearing decision was correct. The Appeals Council will either decide to examine your case or return it to an administrative law judge for further review.
- Federal Court – If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome, you may be able to file a lawsuit in federal district court. No documents or new evidence will be considered at this stage. The federal judge will review everything already submitted to make a determination in your case.
The appeals process can be complex and quite overwhelming to handle on your own. It is in your best interest to obtain legal representation so that you have a fighting chance for a positive outcome. We welcome the opportunity to help you pursue the disability benefits you may be eligible to receive.
Types Of Social Security Disability Programs
There are several SSD benefit programs available. However, the type of program you may be eligible for will depend on your financial circumstances and work history. These programs include the following:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
To be eligible for SSDI, you must have a disability that prevents you from working and have enough work credits with Social Security. The number of work credits required is based on your age and the year you became disabled. Most applicants typically need at least 40 work credits. You must also have worked at least five out of the 10 years prior to becoming disabled.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
If you have little to no work history and need financial assistance, SSI benefits are available as long as you have a qualifying disabling condition that prevents you from working. If approved, the federal government may provide as much as $771 in monthly SSI benefits in 2019 or $1,157 if you have an eligible spouse.
In Minnesota, there is a supplemental SSI benefit you could qualify for that comes from the Minnesota Supplement Aid (MSA) program. This aid provides monthly cash payments for basic living expenses such as housing and utilities if your income is just above the SSI limit. Social Security limits SSI assets to less than $2,000 for a single, unmarried person and less than $3,000 for a couple.
Disabled Widow and Widower Benefits
When a person receiving SSD benefits dies, the surviving spouse may be able to receive his or her spouse’s benefits as long as they are over the age of 60. The eligibility age to receive these benefits may be lowered to age 50 if the surviving spouse is also disabled. To obtain survivor’s benefits, several documents are required:
- The death certificate
- You and your deceased spouse’s Social Security number
- Your deceased spouse’s birth certificate
- Most recent tax return
Disabled Adult Child Benefits
The SSA considers someone a disabled adult child that is over the age of 18, unmarried, and has a disability that began before turning 22. One parent must also be receiving Social Security benefits or passed away but at the time of death was insured for benefits. Once you qualify for these benefits, you will qualify to receive monthly payments through the SSDI program.
If you have any questions about the application process or are unsure if you are eligible for one of these programs, do not hesitate to contact a Bloomington Social Security Disability lawyer to discuss the options available to you. We want to make sure that you have the answers you need to decide your next move.
Applying for Disability Benefits in Minnesota
There are several different options to submit your application for benefits in Minnesota. You can file your claim with the SSA online, over the phone, or you may opt to travel to the local Social Security field office and apply in person.
We recommend that you apply for benefits as soon as you become disabled. However, to start the application process, you will need proof of the following documentation:
- Social Security number and proof of age
- Names, addresses, and contact information of any doctors, hospitals, or clinics who treated your disability, including the dates of those visits
- Information on the medications you have been taking
- Medical records, including laboratory and test results, from your doctor, hospital or clinic
- Detailed summary of your previous place of employment and job responsibilities
- Most recent W-2 forms or a copy of your federal tax return if self-employed
Once you submit your application, an SSA claims representative will be assigned to review your claim. He or she will contact you if you need to provide additional information to support your claim. If eligible, your application will be sent to Minnesota's Disability Determination Services (DDS) to make an initial decision about whether you are disabled. This agency will be responsible for either approving or denying your claim.
Reach out to our legal team today so we can help you gather the supporting documentation and evidence for your claim.
Contact a Bloomington Social Security Disability Lawyer
If you need assistance with the application process or to appeal a denied claim, we encourage you to contact a Bloomington Social Security Disability attorney at TSR Injury Law. We have more than two decades of legal experience helping Minnesota residents and their families obtain the financial support they need.
We are prepared to review your claim during a free, no obligation consultation. There are no upfront fees and we do not get paid for our services unless our clients secure disability benefits.
Our law office is conveniently located just five minutes from the Bloomington Social Security Office.
Contact our office 24/7 via online or by calling (612) TSR-TIME.