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LARRY J. ARKFELD
Attorney at Law
ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY

Social security disability is a 
saftety net for those who can no longer work due to an injury, illness or other medical condition. It provides monthly benefit checks as well as Medicare coverage to cover basic living expenses and medical care.

Social security disability is not "means tested". A person doesn't have to totally without funds or property to be entitled. However it is often the only income a resipient has to support himself and his family and without it they could be totally wiped out financially.

The laws, rules & regulations and court decisions  concerning these benefits literally fill many, many volumes and a person who has been denied and has to file an appeal is quickly overwhelmed and lost in the system.

Some claims seem to sail right through and are quickly approved. Perhaps the persons medical condition is so obvious that there is no doubt that the person is entitled to benfits. But so many cases are denied time and again and the claimant becomes frusterated and gives up.
DON'T DO IT! YOU HAVE TO KEEP FIGHTING!  If your doctor tells  you that you can't go back to work, you have to keep fighting for the benefits that you are entitled to. You have been paying in for your whole working life and now these benefits are there to help you if you can't work any more.

SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME. (SSI)
SSI is a benefit for those who are disabled or blind and who do not have the necessary work credits to make them elegible for Social Security disability benefits. The standards for disability are the same as with Social Security disability and the program is administered by the Social Security Administration.
The procedures concerning appeals, deadlines, and hearings are the same.

ATTORNEY FEES
Attoney fees are set as a percentage of the retroactive benefits a claimant is entitled to when the case is won. The fee must be approved by the judge and upon approval, is paid directly from social security. The claimant does not have to pay fees if the case is not sucessfull

DEADLINES -
Deadlines are very important and must be strickly observed. If a claim is denied, the claimant has 60 days to file an appeal. If it's denied again, the claimant has another 60 days to file an appeal from that decision. On a second denial,  the claimant has  60 to file an appeal from that decision and this a a request for a hearing before a Judge.
If these deadlines are not met the claimant will may have to start over from the beginning with a new claim. This could cost the claimant a year, or even more, of time and benefits.

WHEN TO GET AN ATTORNEY-
A claimant should consult with an attorney after the first denial and get advice on the next step. I am happy to offer a free consutation and advise the claimant how best to prepare the first appeal.
After a second denial I will come into the case and file for a Hearing before a Social Security Judge.
Of course a person can always call for a free consultation at any stage if he or she has questions.
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