Youngstown Social Security Disability Lawyer
As attorneys who grew up in Northeastern Ohio, we know that Youngstown is a city of hard-working people. We also know how frustrating it can be for those in the Youngstown community when an injury or illness prevents them from being able to work and earn a living. We’re here to help.
At Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., LPA, we pursue Social Security Disability benefits for disabled citizens and their families throughout the Mahoning Valley. We bring more than a deep understanding of the Youngstown area to our clients. We also bring more than 200 years of combined legal experience – with a focus on the area of disability benefits law.
We know how important disability benefits are when you can’t work and when bills start to pile up. We will fight for what you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.
- 1 Why do You Need a Lawyer for Your Social Security Disability Claim?
- 2 What Condition Qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefits in Ohio?
- 3 Who Decides If You Are Disabled (and How Do They Reach Their Decision)?
- 4 How Can You Apply for Social Security Disability in Ohio?
- 5 How Do Social Security Disability Benefits Appeals Work?
- 6 When Should You Appeal Your Denied SSD Benefits Claim?
- 7 Contact Our Youngstown Social Security Disability Attorneys Today
Why do You Need a Lawyer for Your Social Security Disability Claim?
People who try to handle their Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits claim on their own quickly see how it is a difficult, confusing and often frustrating process. Most claims fail to get initial approval. So, claimants must appeal. Unfortunately, they may not know how to handle the technical aspects of the appeal. They can easily make mistakes that delay or prevent approval of their disability benefits claim.
A compassionate and experienced disability benefits lawyer from Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., LPA, can help you to avoid common mistakes. We will take care of all aspects of your disability benefits case. We can handle:
- Requests for Reconsideration
- Administrative Law Judge Hearings
- Appeals Council Review
- U.S. District Court Lawsuits.
You can come to us on day one, and we will get you started on the right path. Throughout your case, we will:
- Gather and review your medical records
- Talk with your doctors
- Ensure that the person reviewing your case has complete, accurate and current information
- Keep you updated while, at the same time, allowing you to focus on your health.
Our Youngstown office is conveniently located on Westchester Drive in the Austintown area west of downtown. The nearest major road is the State Route 11 north-south freeway. We also provide home and hospital visits to meet with those who need help with their SSD benefits applications or appeals in Youngstown and surrounding communities in Northeastern Ohio.
What Condition Qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefits in Ohio?
Social Security disability benefits are paid to people who are determined to be medically unable to work. In order to qualify for disability benefits in Youngstown, you must show that:
- You have a medically documented serious physical or mental impairment; and
- Your physical or mental impairment is severe enough to continue for at least 12 months and/or is expected to result in death.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are typically awarded to people who have worked both long enough and recently enough to qualify for those benefits. If you do not meet the work requirement for SSDI benefits, you may still be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. SSI is an is an entitlement for poverty-stricken elderly citizens and those with severe disabilities who have never worked.
Who Decides If You Are Disabled (and How Do They Reach Their Decision)?
Regardless of whether you seek SSDI or SSI benefits, you must establish that your condition meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of a “disability.” In Ohio, the Division of Disability Determination (DDD) will examine your application and use a step-by-step process to determine whether you are disabled. The five steps in that process are:
- Whether you work and how much you earn. Generally, you cannot be considered disabled in 2019 if you are working at a job where your earnings average more than $1,220 a month. As long as you earn below that amount, your evaluation can continue.
- Whether your condition is “severe.” The symptoms of your condition must impair your ability to perform even basic work-related activities. Those activities may include lifting, standing, walking, bending, sitting and remembering. The impairment must last for at least one year.
- Whether your condition is “listed” in the Blue Book. The SSA keeps a list of medical conditions that it considers to be so severe that they prevent a person from engaging in substantial gainful activity. If your condition is not listed, it does not automatically mean your claim will be denied. Instead, you can be awarded disability benefits if the SSA considers aspects of your condition to be medically equivalent to the criteria in the listing or a related listing.
- Whether you can continue the work you did previously. If your condition isn’t determined to be medically equivalent to one that is listed, DDD will then decide whether your medical impairment prevents you from performing any of your past work.
- Whether you are capable of doing any other kind of work. Even if it is determined that you cannot do your past work, DDD still evaluates whether you are capable of any other kind of work. This evaluation concerns not only your medical conditions but also factors such as your age, education, past work experience and any transferable skills you may have. If you can’t do other work, then you will be determined to be disabled.
Understanding exactly what qualities as a disability for SSD benefits can be confusing. If you have any questions about whether your disability meets the criteria for disability benefits, you should speak with an experienced disability attorney prior to beginning the application process.
How Can You Apply for Social Security Disability in Ohio?
You can file a claim for Social Security Disability benefits in several different ways. Some people try to apply for disability benefits on their own – using the Social Security Administration’s online form, mailing in their application or going in person to their local SSA office. They wait to seek legal help only after the SSA or DDD denies their application.
At Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., LPA, we can handle everything for you from day one. That includes handling all of the paperwork and medical records that you will need to submit with your SSD benefits application. Because of our deep background in Ohio disability benefits law, we know what information reviewers will need to decide your claim. You will save time and avoid a great deal of stress if your claim gets initial approval.
How Do Social Security Disability Benefits Appeals Work?
You should not be disheartened if your claim for disability benefits is rejected on your first attempt. In some years, more than 75 percent of the initial claims for Social Security disability benefits get rejected. Fortunately, you can pursue an appeal with help from an experienced disability benefits lawyer at Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., LPA.
The SSA appeal process can involve up to four levels:
- Reconsideration – A new DDD examiner will conduct a complete review of your claim. You can submit new evidence to be considered for the reconsideration of your claim.
- Administrative hearing – You can request a hearing if your claim is rejected at the reconsideration level. Hearings may take place via video conference or in person within 75 miles of your home. You can bring witnesses in support of your claim.
- Appeals Council review – If you disagree with the hearing decision, you can seek review by the Social Security Appeals Council. At this level, it is imperative to have an experienced attorney on your side. The Appeals Council may deny a request to even review a claim if it believes the hearing decision was correct. If the Appeals Council decides to review your case, it will either decide your case itself or return it to an administrative law judge for further review.
- Federal court review – The highest level of review is at the federal level. You may choose to file a lawsuit in a federal court such as the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. You would file the lawsuit if you disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision, or if the Appeals Council decides not to review your case.
An experienced Social Security disability attorney can help you to navigate this process and ensure that you appeal your claim in a timely manner. Most importantly, you should never allow a rejection to discourage you from pursuing an appeal. Instead, you should obtain competent legal help as soon as possible in order to get on the right track.
When Should You Appeal Your Denied SSD Benefits Claim?
Timing requirements apply to Social Security Disability appeals. You only have 60 days to submit a written appeal to the SSA from the date that you receive the letter containing the denial of your claim. You can inadvertently give up your right to appeal altogether if you wait too long to begin the process.
Our experienced Social Security disability attorneys at Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., LPA, understand the importance of complying with deadlines. We will ensure that you don’t miss any important ones. We never want a missed deadline to hurt your ability to obtain benefits that you deserve.
Contact Our Youngstown Social Security Disability Attorneys Today
The experienced disability lawyers of Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., LPA are here to serve you and help you get back on your feet. We live and work right here in the communities we serve. With five offices conveniently located throughout Northeastern Ohio, including Youngstown, our goal is to make sure that all of clients find compassionate resources and skilled legal representation when they need it the most.
Our founders started our law firm in 1985, seeking to build a tradition of service. Today, our team of attorneys and dedicated office staff work tirelessly to improve the quality of life for people in Youngstown and throughout Northeastern Ohio. If you are struggling and need the help, don’t just wonder about your rights and options. Call or visit our firm online to schedule a confidential free case evaluation with one of our trained disability lawyers. You may be surprised to learn how many options are available to you.