You may be tempted to apply for benefits on your own, but you’re much better off working with a qualified attorney. Learn the four reasons why you shouldn’t risk applying for benefits yourself and how a lawyer can help your application be as successful as possible.
Social Security Disability is a safety net program for qualified individuals who are too disabled to work gainfully. This means a qualified person with any number of disabilities or illnesses can apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
If you have diagnosed comorbidities or multiple illnesses, read on to find out more about applying for SSD and the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) evaluation of multiple conditions.
Some medical conditions such as kidney failre with a need for dialysis, pancreatic cancer, early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) automatically qualify an SSD claimant for benefits.
National Leaders in Social Security Disability Law
Attorney John E. Horn of the law firm of Horn & Kelley, PC, just won another Social Security Disability case, this one at the hearing level, step three of the Social Security Disability process. He won the claim of a fifty-six year old Palos Heights disability applicant who suffered from diabetes, depression, abdominal pain, gastroparesis, constipation, HTN, pancreatitis, intractable vomiting, obesity, memory issues, and trigger fingers on right dominant hand.
We Can Handle Palos Heights Disability Claims at All Levels
Do not make the same mistake so many others have, call us before you file. We can handle your claim from the very beginning. We apply for Palos Heights disability claimants online. Applications for Social Security Disability benefits have a seventy percent chance of being denied. Then it is necessary to file an appeal called reconsideration. We request reconsideration for Palos Heights disability applicants by filing online. Eighty-five percent of claims are denied at reconsideration. Then it is necessary to file another appeal requesting a hearing by an administrative law judge. We request hearings for Palos Heights disability applicants online. Palos Heights disability claims are heard in the Orland Park hearing office. Many claims are won at the hearing level, but if you do not win, an appeal must be filed with the Appeals Council. Like everyone else, Palos Heights disability applicants file their appeals in Falls Church, Virginia, by fax or mail. The Appeals Council denies eight out of ten appeals. Social Security used to allow sixty-five percent of all claims, but now it is allowing only forty percent. We aim to win every claim without a hearing, but Social Security is just a big insurance company, and like any other insurance company, it only wants to take in premiums and not pay benefits. That means you need a Social Security Disability Lawyer who will if necessary take your case to the United States District Court, the United States Court of Appeals, or even the United States Supreme Court. Palos Heights disability applicants file suit against Social Security in the United States District Court in Chicago. If Palos Heights disability applicants do not win in the District Court, they appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago.
Free Consultation, No Fee Unless We Win
When you apply for Social Security Disability, make sure you hire a local fighter, a lawyer who can take your case to the United States District Court or United States Court of Appeals if necessary. You have at least a fifty percent better chance of winning with a fighting lawyer who can take your case to the United States District Court, the United States Court of Appeals or even the United States Supreme Court. Visit our website at www.johnehornattorney.com. We are national leaders in Social Security Disability law with more cases published in the Forum of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives than anyone else in the country for the last three years. We show other lawyers how to win. Horn & Kelley won nineteen out of twenty decisions in 2017 in the United States District Court and four out of four decisions in the United States Court of Appeals in 2017. We have represented many Palos Heights disability applicants successfully.
Horn & Kelley are attorneys who represent people on disability claims at every level in Chicagoland, Northwest Indiana. Horn & Kelley has offices in Chicago, Tinley Park, and La Grange, Illinois, as well as Highland, Indiana. Their Chicago office serves Southwest Chicago. Their Tinley Park office serves Chicago’s south and southwest suburbs, including Palos Heights. Their LaGrange office serves Chicago’s west suburbs. Their Highland office serves Northwest Indiana. They have represented more than 5,000 clients in the past twenty-five years. If you are a Palos Heights disability applicant, get a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability claim and call Horn & Kelley at 888-921-5297. A Palos Heights disability applicant would ordinarily make an appointment at our Tinley Park office, depending on what is convenient for you. Horn & Kelley practice only in the field of Social Security Disability. Follow Horn & Kelley on Twitter @HornKelleyLaw and like us on Facebook.
Some people may be diagnosed with a serious illness that keeps them from working. Others might get injured. Whatever the case may be, when this happens, the best option is often to file for Social Security Disability benefits.
While you may feel it’s obvious that you deserve these benefits, the Social Security Administration might not see it that way. For this reason, it is important to understand why Social Security Disability claims get denied. Hopefully, you can prevent your own claim from getting denied or at least know what to do if it is denied.
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a cluster of genetic disorders related to hypermobility. Depending on the type of Ehlers-Danlos you have and the severity of your symptoms, it can be quite disabling — especially as you age.
How do you present your symptoms and medical information in a way that Social Security claims examiners will understand it? That’s a critical question because Ehlers-Danlos isn’t something that they’re particularly familiar with since it’s a relatively rare disorder. Here are tips that can help.
Remember That a Diagnosis Doesn’t Equal a Disability
You can’t get Social Security Disability just because you have a diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Because Ehlers-Danlos has a wide variety of symptoms, you have to explain exactly how the disorder affects your life and limits you from working.
Use Examples to Demonstrate Your Limitations
Specific examples of your limitations are best when it comes to illustrating the effects of Ehlers-Danlos on your daily life.
Tell the claims examiner, for example, how your joint pain flared up after an hour on the line at your factory job and made it impossible for you to keep pace with the other workers. Talk about how the smallest scrapes or cuts on your cleaning job turned into major infections that left you laid up for weeks.
The more clarifying details and work complications you provide to illustrate your disability from the disorder, the easier it will be to gain an approval for benefits.
National Leaders in Social Security Disability Law
Attorney John E. Horn of the law firm of Horn & Kelley, PC, just won another social security disability case, this one at the hearing level, step 3 of the Social Security Disability process. He won the claim of a forty-four year old Thornton disability applicant who suffered from Guillain-Barre syndrome, obesity, arthritic knees, numbness and tingling in bilateral hands and legs.
We Can Handle Thornton Disability Claims at All Levels
Do not make the same mistake so many others have, call us before you file. We can handle your claim from the very beginning. We apply for Thornton disability claimants online. Applications for social security disability benefits have a seventy percent chance of being denied. Then it is necessary to file an appeal called reconsideration. We request reconsideration for Thornton disability applicants by filing online. Eighty-five percent of claims are denied at reconsideration. Then it is necessary to file another appeal requesting a hearing by an administrative law judge. We request hearings for Thornton disability applicants online. Thornton disability claims are heard in the Orland Park hearing office. Many claims are won at the hearing level, but if you do not win, an appeal must be filed with the Appeals Council. Like everyone else, Thornton disability applicants file their appeals in Falls Church, Virginia, by fax or mail. The Appeals Council denies eight out of ten appeals. Social Security used to allow sixty-five percent of all claims, but now it is allowing only forty percent. We aim to win every claim without a hearing, but Social Security is just a big insurance company, and like any other insurance company, it only wants to take in premiums and not pay benefits. That means you need a Social Security Disability Lawyer who will if necessary take your case to the United States District Court, the United States Court of Appeals, or even the United States Supreme Court. Thornton disability applicants file suit against Social Security in the United States District Court in Chicago. If Thornton disability applicants do not win in the District Court, they appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago.
In 2017, for the sixth year in a row, Horn & Kelley led the nation in Social Security Law. They had more cases published in the Forum of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants ‘ Representatives (NOSSCR) than any other lawyers in the country. The NOSSCR Forum is where the important cases in Social Security Law are published.
Vocational experts are called by Social Security Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) to testify about the type of work a disability applicant can do. As such, vocational experts are the most important witnesses that can appear at your benefits hearing.
This is what you should know about vocational experts before you consider taking on the task of interviewing one on your own.
What Does a Vocational Expert Do?
As witnesses, vocational experts are supposed to apply their unique knowledge and skills to each disability case in front of the ALJ in an independent, unbiased fashion. The testimony of these witnesses is supposed to be based on their knowledge of the skills required by each profession, each profession’s unique physical, mental, and emotional demands, and a claimant’s transferable job skills.
You need to understand that vocational experts work for Social Security. They are far from independent experts, and their testimony is not often neutral. In addition, their understanding of each job’s requirements is based on descriptions of a job — not actual experience. The description of a job can often vary considerably from the reality of the workplace.
During your hearing, the ALJ will ask the vocational expert to give his or her opinion about what type of jobs you can still do, despite the limitations imposed by your disabling conditions. The vocational expert will describe your past relevant work experience — anything that you’ve done long enough — and tell the judge what jobs you have available based on that experience.
If you can’t persuade the vocational expert’s testimony, your disability claim is going to fail.
How Do You Defeat a Vocational Expert’s Testimony?
You can generally expect a vocational expert to testify that there are at least a few jobs available that you can do, no matter how simple or menial. A significant amount of preparation and skill is necessary to defeat this testimony.
The first thing that your attorney can do is examine exactly what factors the vocational expert used in his or her determination. The vocational expert usually relies on the ALJ’s hypothetical questions about a claimant, which are frequently incomplete pictures of a claimant’s real limitations.
By rephrasing the hypothetical question to include all of your limitations, your attorney can oblige the vocational expert to reexamine the facts of your case.
For example, the vocational expert may testify that a claimant with a back injury (who cannot lift, stand, crawl, or carry anything heavy) can still work a telemarketing job. The back injury wouldn’t preclude sedentary work.
However, that scenario doesn’t take into account additional limitations caused by a claimant’s pain medication. Opioids and muscle relaxants that are necessary to control chronic back pain and muscle spasms can interfere with a person’s ability to concentrate, follow flowcharts, or even stay awake for an 8-hour shift.
A good attorney also knows to elicit testimony from the vocational expert about his or her understanding of a job’s actual duties. Whenever possible, an attorney can often get the vocational expert to admit that the description of those activities omits important information.
For example, a desk job may include a significant amount of standing and bending in order to file documents away or pull documents out of storage. A job described as uncomplicated, like janitorial work, may require a broad range of social skills, self-direction, and problem-solving that a claimant with mental disabilities can’t handle.
Cross-examining the vocational expert is one of the most important jobs a Social Security Disability attorney does at any benefits hearing. This cross-examination is an incredibly difficult thing for a layperson to do effectively because it requires both technical knowledge and the ability to subtly shift a question in order to draw out new testimony. For information about the role of a vocational expert in your own case, talk to the attorneys at Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law.
Cancer could be considered one of the most serious conditions that an individual has to suffer in his or her lifetime. The disease itself can be incapacitating, and the treatments that are used to hopefully send the cancer into remission can negatively affect an individual’s health and life as a whole. Luckily, cancer is recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as an eligible impairment.
Cancer affects millions of people, with more than 1.6 million new cases being diagnosed each year, as well as almost 600,000 cancer deaths each year. Some of the most common types of cancer in the United States include breast, lung, prostate, colon, bladder, melanoma, thyroid, kidney cancer, among many others.
How Does the SSA Evaluate Your Application?
When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits and list that you have been diagnosed with cancer, the SSA will look at particular factors to determine your eligibility. First, they will look at where the cancer originated and then look at the extent of the involvement of the cancer.
Next, the SSA will begin looking into the treatments that you have undergone. In regard to these treatments, the SSA will pay attention to the how long you underwent the treatments, how frequently you had to have treatments, and how your body responded to the treatments. Lastly, the SSA will consider post-therapeutic residuals and how they have affected you.
All of these factors will be applied to your individual case based on the specific cancer that you have been diagnosed with. Each person and their disease is unique. Therefore, the SSA approaches each case differently.
What Type of Evidence Is Required to Be Submitted?
While you need to make sure that you completely fill out your application, you also need to attach any and all additional information that is required of you by the SSA, including medical proof of your cancer diagnosis from your healthcare provider.
As a general rule, the SSA will require various types of medical proof, including:
- Blood tests or other results lab results
- Pathology report or biopsy results
- CT scans or other types of imaging scans
You will also likely need a full medical report of any treatments that you have received, as well as the treatment’s results, including the side effects that you experienced while undergoing the treatment.
How Long Does Is the Process?
The SSA may take months to process your application for Social Security Disability to be approved. And if your application is denied and you have to go through the appeals process, you may even be looking at a year or more before your application is approved.
Thankfully, the SSA does have the ability to speed up the review process for some people. For example, if you have an illness that is listed on what is known as a Compassionate Allowance, which includes certain types of cancer, you may be able to have your application approved in less time. Some cancers that are on this list include breast, bladder, kidney, liver, ovarian, prostate, and thyroid cancers.
Should You Hire an Attorney?
Navigating the mound of paperwork that is involved in Social Security Disability applications can be extremely difficult, particularly because the language can be confusing. But the last thing you want or need is for your application to be denied because you accidentally wrote the wrong answer to a question on the application that you didn’t understand. Social Security Disability attorneys also know how to attempt to make the process much faster, especially if you unfortunately are terminal.
When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you want to make sure that all of your paperwork is completely and properly filled out in its entirety the first time. A correct application increases the chances of a speedy approval. Therefore, you may want to consider hiring someone with experience, such as a Social Security Disability lawyer, to assist you in the process.
To ensure that you have everything that you need before submission and that the application process goes smoothly, contact Horn & Kelley P.C., Attorneys at Law and allow us to help you.
In our increasingly fast-paced world, social media is being used to connect people with distant friends, family members, and acquaintances. Social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great ways to stay updated on the major milestones of people you care about.
However, social media is also being used in professional and legal settings. A lot of information that you would prefer to only be shared with family and friends is becoming public knowledge. Sometimes, the information that you put on Facebook and other social media outlets is used against you, affecting things like your job or legal claims like Social Security Disability.
Can Your Facebook Profile Be Used as Evidence?
Officially, your social media presence should have nothing to do with your Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration has passed rules making internet searches off-limits in determining an individual’s eligibility for disability benefits.