Akron Social Security Disability Lawyer
If you suffer from a medical condition that keeps you from being able to work, you may be eligible to receive federal Social Security disability benefits. At Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, we know how important those benefits can be in your life. We are here to help. An experienced and compassionate Akron disability benefits lawyer from our firm can work with you to apply for the benefits you deserve or appeal if you have already filed a claim that was denied.
For more than 25 years, we have helped qualifying individuals throughout Northeastern Ohio to get the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits they were entitled to receive. We know how the disability benefits system works in Akron, Ohio. Our goal is to make it work for you. Contact us for a free, no-risk consultation about your case today.
How do I Know if I Qualify for Disability Benefits?
When you connect with Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, through our Akron office, we will thoroughly review your case. One of the first things that we will try to determine is whether your condition meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of a “disability.” In other words, your condition must:
- Be a medically determinable physical or mental impairment
- Which leaves you unable to engage in substantial gainful activity
- For a continuous period of at least 12 months or until death.
When you submit your claim for SSDI or SSI benefits, you will need to show that you suffer from a qualifying disability. Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, or “Disability Determination Services,” will review your claim. The review may go through as many as five steps:
- How much do you earn? You can still work and be disabled. However, your monthly earnings must fall below a certain amount. The Social Security Administration changes that amount from year-to-year. If you earn above that amount, then you are deemed to be engaged in “substantial gainful activity” and ineligible for benefits.
- Do you suffer from a “severe” condition? In other words, does your condition prevent you from being able to do basic things without debilitating pain such as sitting, bending, lifting or walking.
- Is your condition listed in the Blue Book? Your symptoms may match a condition listed in the SSA’s Blue Book, which is a list of conditions that are deemed to be so severe that anyone who suffers from one of those conditions is considered to be disabled. Even if the Blue Book does not list your condition, you may still qualify for benefits if your condition is “medically equivalent” to a listed one.
- Can you do the work you did before? If your condition is not listed or equivalent to a listed condition, the question will turn to whether your condition prevents you from being able to do the work that you did before the condition arose.
- Can you do any other work? If you can’t do your former work, then the issue is whether you can do any other work given your age, education, past work experience and any transferable skills you may have. If you can’t do any other work, then you will be deemed to be disabled and eligible for benefits.
At Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, we can help you to compile and present information that establishes your disability and your right to receive disability benefits. We can work with you at any stage – either your initial application or your appeal from a denied application.
How Do You Apply for Disability Benefits?
When you work with Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, we can help you to compile all of the medical and other information that you will need to submit when you apply for Social Security disability benefits in Akron. We can help you to prepare to submit your application in one of three ways:
- Going online through the SSA website
- Calling (800) 772-1213 and following up by submitting documents by mail.
- Going in person to your local SSA office in Akron.
Our goal will be for your benefits application to proceed as smoothly as possible through the review process. We will make sure that DDS has the most complete and up-to-date information about your condition. We will also explore opportunities for an expedited review of your claim through programs for military veterans or the Quick Disability Determination Process or Compassionate Allowances programs.
Types of Disability Cases Our Lawyers Handle in Akron
Our experienced legal team at Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, works with clients in Akron and throughout Northeastern Ohio to seek a wide range of disability benefits. The federal disability benefits that we help clients to obtain fall into two general categories:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) You qualify for these benefits based on your disability and your past work history. If you have worked for at least 10-15 years, and you have worked during the last 10 years, should qualify for SSDI benefits if you meet all of the other requirements. SSDI is based on your age and your income history over the past 10 years of work. The more you have earned, the more you have likely paid into Social Security. So, the more you will likely be able to claim each month. If you are a younger individual, you may be able to claim benefits based on a parent’s work history.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) This is a means-tested program. It provides benefits to disabled people who otherwise fail to qualify for SSDI benefits. Unlike SSDI, you don’t qualify for these benefits based on your work history. Instead, you may qualify for these benefits if you are blind, disabled or over age 65. You must also show a financial need. You will benefit from working with a lawyer who knows how to establish your eligibility for SSI benefits.
Coordination of Benefits
In addition to SSDI or SSI benefits, you may be eligible for other types of benefits, including Medicaid, Medicare, workers’ compensation or veterans’ benefits. It will be important to work with a law firm that knows how to coordinate these benefits for you so that you get the maximum amount in terms of your medical care and disability payments. Our deep experience in this area of the law gives our Akron disability benefits attorneys the level of insight that it takes to seek ways to maximize our clients’ benefits.
How Do You Appeal a SSDI or SSI Claims Decision?
If your claim for SSDI or SSI benefits has been denied, an experienced Akron disability benefits attorney from Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, can help you. The type of assistance we provide will depend on the stage of your appeal. Those stages include:
Request for reconsideration – This is the first stage of appeal. You must file the request within 60 days from the denial date. At this stage, you will ask for a different examiner to review your claim. We can help by making sure the examiner has accurate, up-to-date information.
Hearing – If the claims examiner denies your claim again, you can seek review of that decision by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). You must request this hearing within 60 days after your reconsidered claim was denied. Your case will be placed on a waiting list for a hearing at the nearest Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) in Akron located at:
121 South Main Street, Ste. 400
Akron, OH 44308-426
At the hearing stage, your attorney from Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, can represent you – almost as if your case went to trial. We can prepare and present evidence in your favor and argue for the benefits that you deserve. We can also present input from doctors and other expert witnesses. They can help the ALJ to understand the nature and extent of your disability and its impact on your ability to work.
If the ALJ denies your claim, our legal team can still fight for you on appeal in stages that include:
- Appeals Council review – Where you seek a reversal of the ALJ’s decision on your claim.
- Federal court review – Where you file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court because you have exhausted all of your administrative remedies.
As your appeal progresses, the arguments become more technical. For this reason, it is important to have an experienced attorney at your side who has a deep knowledge of disability benefits law and procedure.
Contact an Akron Social Security Disability Attorney Today
Our Akron Disability Benefits Attorneys Can Help You Today The attorneys of Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., LPA, have more than 150 years of combined experience practicing law – almost all of it here in Akron and surrounding communities in Northeastern Ohio. We have long been committed to protecting the rights of those with disabilities and fighting for the benefits which they deserve. If you need help with any aspect of your SSDI or SSI benefits claim in Akron, feel free to contact us. We can review your case in a free consultation.