Richmond Disability Lawyer
Richmond Social Security Disability Attorney Corey Pollard and Our SSD Benefits Law Firm Will Help You Get Approved for SSDI and SSI
Welcome to my website. I’m Corey Pollard, a top-rated Social Security disability attorney with Jenkins, Block & Associates in Richmond, Virginia. Our disability lawyers are here to help you and your family throughout the Social Security process.
We understand that being disabled is often a terrifying experience. Not only are you worried about paying your medical bills and getting the treatment you need to get better, you’re also concerned with how you will continue to support your family financially if you’re unable to return to work.
Our Richmond disability lawyers also understand the impact a denied Social Security disability claim can have on you and your family, especially when you have no other income.
Unfortunately most applications for Social Security disability are denied initially. As such, it’s easy to become frustrated and overwhelmed at the though of applying for and pursuing disability benefits. The SSA is a large bureaucracy, with laws, rules, regulations, guidelines, and policies that fill hundreds of thousands of pages of paper – and are always changing.
But you can take a deep breath. Richmond disability attorney Corey Pollard and our Virginia disability lawyers can help.
Though getting disability benefits isn’t easy, the good news is that is possible to apply for and receive SSDI and SSI benefits with the help of an experienced Social Security lawyer in Richmond.
Keep reading if you are:
- Injured or sick and want to know if you are eligible for disability benefits
- Ready to apply for disability benefits and want to know how to build the best case possible
- Interested in filing an appeal of the decision denying your disability benefits
- Researching Social Security disability lawyers in Richmond or elsewhere in Virginia, Maryland, or North Carolina for help at a disability hearing in front of an administrative law judge
- Helping an adult or child apply for and obtain disability benefits but are getting overwhelmed by the endless paperwork, wait, and denials
- Receiving disability benefits and want to know how to protect this income, or
- Checking out the results from searching for “disability attorney near me.”
Richmond disability attorney Corey Pollard and our Social Security disability lawyers will not let you take on the SSA alone. We are here to fight for you from start to finish – from the moment you file an application for benefits and continuing through the appeals process. We do everything we can to prove that you have a disability that prevents you from working. We will take your claim through all the steps of the disability appeals process is necessary.
For a free consultation with a top-rated Social Security disability attorney in Richmond, give us a call: 804-251-1620.
The Best Richmond Disability Attorneys Keep You Educated and Informed
You have a lot on the line when you hire a disability attorney. And it’s reasonable to expect to receive an overview of how the Social Security disability system works, an explanation of how your lawyer plans to present your case, and periodic updates on the status of your case. Because we realize how important it is that you receive compensation and medical coverage for your physical or mental disability, we understand your desire to get regular updates on the progress of your claim.
When you hire Corey Pollard to handle your SSD application and claim, you’ll always be informed of the latest developments in your case.
Many of our clients also want to understand the laws, rules, and procedures that are relevant to Social Security claims. Knowing this, we regularly publish information and articles here on our website to answer our client’s most common questions and concerns.
The most common question about disability benefits is …
When explaining how the SSD system works, our website focuses on the medical and non-medical eligibility criteria, how the Social Security Administration (SSA) defines disability, and the administrative process that is used to make decisions on initial applications for benefits, reconsideration appeals, and at hearings before federal administrative law judges. The most common question that our clients and disability applicants have, however, is:
For those of you who are considering filing for disability or who have already submitted an application for SSDI or SSI benefits, learning more about how the SSA’s administrative process for deciding claims works can improve your chances of winning benefits. Our hope is that even if you do not hire us as your disability attorney, you are able to use the information on this website to avoid making mistakes that add to the time it takes to process the case or affect your eligibility for back pay benefits, monthly SSDI or SSI payments, and medical coverage through Medicare or Medicaid.
We discuss all issues relevant to Social Security Disability on this site, but we recommend starting with the information below to give yourself the best chance of winning disability benefits as quickly as possible.
Types of Social Security Disability Benefits
The U.S. government provides Social Security disability benefits through several programs, which are run by the Social Security Administration (SSA):
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI, DIB, or SSD): This program is for workers who have paid into the Social Security trust fund through payroll taxes, but who are now unable to work full-time because of a physical or mental disability. As a general rule you must prove that you meet the SSA’s definition of disability within five years of the date you last worked continuously. Dependents, such as children under the age of 18 and spouses, may be able to collect SSD auxiliary benefits. The amount of SSDI benefits depends on the applicant’s lifetime earnings.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI): This program is for disabled individuals who have limited incomes and assets.
Disabled Adult Child Benefits: A person between the ages of 18 and 22 may be eligible for SSD benefits if their parents receive SSD or regular Social Security retirement benefits and the person proves he or she was disabled before the age of 22.
Disabled Widow or Widower Benefits: These benefits are paid to widow or widowers who are over the age of 50 and who develop a disability within a few years of their spouses’ deaths. The widow or widower must have been married to the deceased worker for at least 10 years to collect these disability benefits.
Our Richmond disability lawyers will guide you through the claims process for these programs.
How Does Social Security Define Disability?
To be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits under either the SSDI or SSI program, you must have a medical condition or a combination of medical conditions that meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability.
You meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability if:
- You have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment or combination of impairments that are severe; and,
- Your condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months or to result in your death; and,
- Your medical impairments prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity.
As you can see, there is no such thing as temporary or partial disability under the Social Security Act.
How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits in Richmond, Virginia
Injured workers, such as those of you who are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, should apply for SSD benefits immediately. You can apply for disability benefits online or by scheduling an appointment with your local Social Security Administration office. We recommend scheduling an appointment so that the SSA claims representative assigned to your case can answer any questions you may have while completing the application.
The SSA claims representative will also handle your paperwork. After determining which disability programs you may be eligible for, the claims representative will send your claim to Disability Determination Services (DDS). DDS is the state agency given authority to make an initial determination as to whether you meet the SSA’s definition of disability.
Though many SSA claims representatives are helpful, they are also over worked and are not paid to look out for your best interest. This is why we recommend speaking with an experienced Social Security disability attorney before starting the application process. The attorney will be able to explain the process for filing for disability in greater detail and provide you with a checklist of the documents you need to submit your claim and give yourself the best chance possible of winning.
How Will a Social Security Disability Lawyer Help Me File a Claim?
The majority of first-time applicants are denied disability benefits. But you shouldn’t give up. Not appealing the denial decision is the biggest mistake you can make in your SSD claim.
Unfortunately the process of filing an application for disability benefits and appealing denied claims is complex and it’s easy to make a mistake that costs you tens of thousands of dollars and adds months to the time it takes to get your benefits. Your chances of success are improved if you hire an experienced Social Security disability attorney in Richmond, Virginia.
When you hire Corey Pollard, you give yourself a better chance of getting approved and avoiding a denial based on technicalities or incomplete information. Our disability law firm will gather the information and documentation needed to give you the best chance of winning and to complete the steps necessary to obtain disability benefits.
As your Social Security disability lawyers, we will do the following as we guide you through the claims process:
Prepare: There is no substitute for preparation. This includes speaking with your health care providers and gathering needed documents and evidence. For example, we can strengthen your claim by obtaining the following types of information: military information; earnings statements; medical records and referrals; prescriptions; medication lists; and witness statements.
We will also ensure that you are prepared for your disability hearing and know what to expect. Our familiarity with local disability judges gives you an advantage over claimants who use out-of-town attorneys and disability law firms.
Communicate: We follow up with the SSA to make sure that your claim is progressing efficiently. As your SSD attorney we will provide you with regular status updates and speak with SSA representatives on your behalf. We understand that you may not have the time or feel up to speaking with SSA, so we’ll take care of it.
Finalize Payment: If your disability claim is approved, disability lawyer Corey Pollard will review the decision and the Notice of Award to make sure they are accurate and provide every penny you are owed. Our representation is not complete until you get paid.
Appeal: If your initial application, request for reconsideration, or request for hearing is denied, our disability attorney will file an appeal on your behalf and continue to fight for your benefits.
Appealing a Denied Social Security Claim in Richmond, VA
If your initial application for SSD or request for reconsideration has been denied, you have the right to appeal the decision by filing a written request for review within 60 days of the date of the decision letter. There are four levels of appeal with Social Security claims, including:
Request for Reconsideration: If your initial application for SSD benefits is denied, your disability lawyer will file a request for reconsideration with DDS. At this stage, a new claims examiner with DDS will review your application. He or she will evaluate any new evidence that you have submitted since the initial application was denied. The majority of claims are denied at the request for reconsideration level.
Request for Hearing: If your disability application is denied initially and on reconsideration, your SSD attorney will file a request for hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). We have our greatest success at the ALJ disability hearing. At the hearing we have the opportunity to present the evidence that supports your disability claim to the ALJ who then decides your case. The hearing is the opportunity to tell your story and explain the theory of your case for disability benefits.
Appeals Council: If the ALJ denies your claim, you can ask the Social Security Appeals Council to review the evidence in your case. If the Appeals Council agrees that the ALJ made a mistake, it may remand your case for a supplemental hearing. As your disability attorney, we will write a supportive brief to the Appeals Council to try to get your case remanded for a new hearing.
Federal Court: If the Appeals Council denies your request for review, then you have exhausted all administrative appeals and may file a lawsuit in federal district court.
The Social Security disability appeals process is often long and frustrating, but our Virginia disability lawyers will be in your corner from beginning to end.
Am I Eligible for Social Security Disability in Richmond, VA?
The SSA uses a five-step sequential evaluation process to determine whether you are eligible for disability benefits. The five steps are:
Step One: Are you working? The SSA will deny your claim if you are making more than a specified amount each month.
Step Two: Do you have at least one severe medical condition? It’s not enough to have a diagnosed medical condition. The condition must affect your ability to perform work-related tasks and activities of daily living, even with medication.
Step Three: Do any of your medical conditions meet or equal one of the conditions on Social Security’s list of disabling conditions? You qualify for SSD benefits automatically if your medical condition meets the criteria of one of the medical conditions on the SSA’s list. Do not worry if your condition isn’t listed or if you don’t meet the criteria, a skilled disability attorney can help you win your case anyway.
Some of the SSA’s listed conditions include:
- Musculoskeletal System Disorders (Spinal Cord Injuries, Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritis)
- Speech Disorders (Vision or Hearing Loss)
- Respiratory Disorders (Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, Emphysema)
- Cardiovascular Disease (Hypertension, Ischemic Heart Disease)
- Digestive System Disorders (Crohn’s Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
- Genitourinary Disorders (Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis)
- Hematological Disorders (Sickle Cell Disease)
- Skin Disorders (Burns, Dermatitis)
- Endocrine Disorders (Diabetes, Thyroid Problems)
- Congenital Disorders
- Neurological Disorders (Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury, Epilepsy)
- Mental Disorders (Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Schizophrenia, PTSD, and Autism)
- Immune System Disorders (Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, and Rheumatoid Arthritis)
Step Four: Can you perform any of your past work? The SSA will decide whether you can perform any of the jobs you’ve held in the past fifteen years based on your residual functional capacity.
Step Five: Is there any other work you can perform? The SSA will determine whether there is other work that you can perform in the national economy based on your age, education, and acquired job skills.
As your disability lawyer, we’ll help you at each step.
Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability if My Doctor Says I’m Disabled?
A statement from your doctor that says you are disabled is not enough to qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits. The doctor needs to provide specific opinions regarding your capabilities and explain the reasoning behind those opinions. Further, the underlying medical records, including objective diagnostic testing and lab reports, should provide support for the opinions. If your doctor’s opinion statement is inconsistent with his or her medical reports from your office visits, then the SSA may ignore the doctor’s opinion.
As your Social Security disability attorney we will work with your treating physicians to make sure we get the specific opinions needed to give you the best chance of success.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Decision on My Social Security Disability Claim?
You should receive a decision within a few months of submitting your SSDI or SSI benefits claim.
You can speed up the process by working with a disability lawyer who makes sure that your application is accurate and that you have included supportive documentation, such as a statement from your treating physician.
If DDS is unable to make a decision on the information you have submitted, then it may ask you to attend a consultative examination. If you are scheduled for a consultative examination, then it may take longer to get a decision.
If your claim is denied and you appeal, which you should, then it may take many more months or even years to get a decision in your case. The wait time can be frustrating and overwhelming. But don’t let it stop you from pursuing the disability benefits you deserve. Continue to receive medical treatment while you wait for a decision. And let our Virginia disability lawyer help you get approved.
When Do Social Security Disability Benefits Begin if I am Approved?
If you are receiving disability benefits through the SSDI program, you should receive benefits within one month of receiving the decision approving your case.
If you are receiving disability benefits through the SSI program, it could take six to eight weeks for your benefits to start. This is because your local Social Security office processes those payments, so there is additional processing time.
If you are receiving disability benefits through both the SSDI and SSI programs, it may take three months for your benefits to start because the SSA will have to make offset calculations.
Speak with the Best Social Security Disability Lawyer in Richmond, Virginia
Social Security disability attorney Corey Pollard and the disability lawyers at our firm have secured favorable decisions for thousands of clients throughout Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and West Virginia. We are proud to have disability attorneys who are experts in Social Security law – including the rules and regulations that govern your claims – and who care about our clients’ well being.
We understand that a physical or mental disability can change your life forever. That’s why our disability attorneys will do everything we can to help you get the benefits you deserve. We are here to fight for you. This includes handling all paperwork, communicating with your doctors and collecting important medical records and reports that are necessary to win your SSDI or SSI claim, and representing you at hearing. We believe you should focus on your health and family while we try to get you the disability benefits you deserve.
Our Richmond, Virginia Social Security disability benefits law firm handles all SSDI and SSI cases on a contingency basis. We do not charge a fee unless you obtain benefits.
Ready to have an experienced and skill disability lawyer on your side? Contact a Virginia Social Security disability attorney in Richmond at 804-251-1620. We are ready to help you get the cash payments and medical coverage you need to move forward with your life.
We represent disabled adults and children throughout the Greater Richmond Region, including: Amelia County; Caroline County; Charles City County; Chesterfield County; Colonial Heights; Dinwiddie County; Goochland County; Hanover County; Henrico County; Hopewell; King William County; New Kent County; Petersburg; Powhatan County; Prince George County; and, Sussex County . So call now to get the help and cash payments you deserve!