Social Security Disability
SOCIAL SECURITY LAWYER
Phyllis Rubenstein has helped people obtain social security disability (SSDI) and supplemental security income (SSI) since 1990. She has represented over one thousand clients from initial application through federal district court appeal. She has been successful in about 80% of her cases.
Ms. Rubenstein will assist you in obtaining benefits by making sure that all your medical records have been submitted to the Social Security Administration, helping you complete forms required by the Social Security Administration, encouraging you to seek all available treatment, obtaining detailed evaluation forms from your doctors and other providers, submitting a written legal brief requesting a favorable decision, and if necessary, preparing you for a hearing. If you do not receive a favorable decision initially, on reconsideration or before an administrative law judge, she will represent you before the Appeals Council and U.S. District Court, if appropriate.
Ms. Rubenstein is a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claims Representatives and regularly attends conferences and reads about updates in social security law to continuously refine and develop her skills in representing social security claimants.
ARE YOU ENTITLED TO SSDI OR SSI BENEFITS?
If you are unable to work due to one or more severe physical or mental health conditions, you may be entitled to social security disability or supplemental security income. For either benefit, your health condition must be so severe that you cannot work at any job for at least twelve months. To qualify for social security disability, you need to have worked for several years prior to the date you became disabled. Eligibility for supplemental security income is based on financial need. You do not need a prior work history.
You may apply for benefits by calling your local Social Security office to schedule a telephone interview, you may qualify for services of a social security disability advocate at the Department of Vocational Services, you may apply on-line at www.socialsecurity.gov, or you may retain Ms. Rubenstein to file the initial application for you on-line. About 65% of all applicants are denied benefits initially. If you are denied initially, you should request reconsideration. About 80% of the claims are denied on reconsideration. If you are denied on reconsideration, you should request a hearing before an administrative law judge. At that level, about 60% of the claims are granted as most people are represented by lawyers. It takes about two to six months to receive a written decision on the initial application and on reconsideration. It takes about a year for a hearing to be scheduled before an administrative law judge and one to three months for the judge to write a decision. People who retain attorneys are more successful in obtaining benefits, as attorneys are familiar with the process, the forms, and the procedures, and know legal arguments to make and factual issues to present in order to obtain a favorable decision.
CONTINGENCY FEE AGREEMENT
If you hire a lawyer to represent you, you will not owe the lawyer a fee for professional time and services unless you win the case. If you are successful, the lawyer is entitled to 25% of your retroactive (past due) award or $6,000, whichever is less. The Social Security Administration will withhold attorneys fees from your retroactive award and pay your lawyer directly. The lawyer may charge you separately for costs, such as medical records.
In 2018, the substantial gainful activity threshhold was increased $1180 per month and the trial work period threshhold was increased to $850 per month. In 2019, the substantial gainful activity threshhold will be $1220 per month and the trial work period threshhold will be $880 per month.
For more information about obtaining social security disability benefits, contact Phyllis Rubenstein. For information about locating other Social Security Disability Lawyers near you, contact the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives at www.nosscr.org or www.Social-security-lawyers.net.