Richmond Disability Attorney: Our Virginia Social Security Disability Lawyers Help You Get Approved for SSDI Benefits and SSI
You are unable to work because of your health and medical condition. Or maybe you or someone you love is disabled and you are overwhelmed and frustrated. Take a deep breath. Richmond disability attorney Corey Pollard and our Virginia Social Security disability lawyers can help.
You may have a few questions:
- Will I ever be able to return to work?
- How will I survive without income?
- Why is the Social Security disability system so complicated?
- Why is the Social Security Administration (SSA) taking so long to decide my application?
- Who will help me complete the disability paperwork?
If so then this website is for you. Richmond disability lawyer Corey Pollard is here to help you understand the Social Security disability process and to give you a roadmap on how to prove you’re disabled under the Social Security Act. Each year thousands of hard-working Virginians are denied SSD benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). But you don’t have to be one of them. Our Richmond disability attorneys will help you navigate the complicated system – initial applications, paperwork, denials, appeals, obtaining medical evidence from your treating health care providers, representing you at the Social Security disability hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ), requests for review by the Appeals Council, and filing suit in federal court – that is Social Security disability.
Our Richmond Social Security law firm is full of Virginia SSDI and SSI attorneys who specialize in disability law for injured workers. Social Security disability is what we do. So we understand the specific rules, regulations, and listings that govern your case, and we want to apply our knowledge to help you get the SSD benefits you deserve.
Keep reading if you want to know:
- What your legal rights are throughout the disability process
- How to give yourself the best chance of receiving SSD or SSI benefits – which are often the difference between being unable to pay your bills and keeping a roof over your head and having the money to provide for you and your family
- That a caring and skilled disability lawyer is here to help you
Then contact Richmond Social Security disability attorney Corey Pollard for a free consultation. There is never a fee unless you’re approved for SSD benefits or SSI. Call us at 804-251-1620 to get started. Our Richmond disability lawyers are available 24/7. We can help reduce your stress while you try to get approved for disability.
What is Social Security Disability?
Every political season the news is full of reports and discussions about Social Security. The focus is on Social Security payments for retired people. But the Social Security Act provides for more than just monthly Old-Age and Survivors and Insurance payments to people age 62 and over.
In 1956 Congress amended the Social Security Act to provide cash benefits to adults who have not reached retirement age but who are unable to work due to physical or mental disabilities. These disability payments are funded by a payroll tax called FICA.
FICA stands for the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. The rationale behind FICA is that workers pay into the Social Security disability system while they’re young so that the money is available if they’re unable to work because of disability at a later date.
In 1972 the Social Security Act was amended once again to create the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The standard for proving disability is the same under the SSI program as it is under SSDI, but the non-medical requirements are different. SSI is available to disabled adults and children who do not have a strong work history but who do have limited assets, resources, and income.
All these years later the purpose of the Social Security disability system remains the same – to provide cash benefits to those who cannot continue working because of their physical or mental health. But meeting the definition of disability is difficult.
Richmond disability attorney Corey Pollard and our Virginia Social Security Disability lawyers know and understand the disability process. And we want to help you navigated this complicated system of law.
What is a Social Security Disability Claim?
Chances are good that you never though you’d be reading this Virginia Social Security Disability guide. Many of you probably though of receiving Social Security retirement benefits when you were done working, but not disability benefits because of your physical or mental condition. As a result, you may be wondering what a Social Security Disability claim is.
When you file a claim for Social Security Disability, you are alleging that you are unable to do not only our past work but also any other type of work that may exist in the national economy based on your age, education, and work experience. It’s not enough to prove that you are unable to do your past work.
You are not suing your employer or an insurance company when you file a Social Security disability claim. You’re asking the Social Security Administration and the federal government to pay you benefits based on the money you paid into the system while working. That money is yours. And is there for you to receive if you’re unable to work because of a physical or mental disability.
There are two main types of Social Security Disability claims:
- Title 2. Disability Insurance Benefits: These disability benefits, also referred to as SSDI, are based on how much money you have paid into the Social Security system through FICA taxes. You may be entitled to these monthly disability benefits if you have a significant work history and prove that you became disabled within five years of the date you last worked. You may also be entitled to Title 2 Disability Insurance Benefits if you are claiming benefits based on the work record of a family member.
- Title 16. Supplemental Security Income: These disability benefits are available to people who cannot work because of a physical or mental disability and who have few resources or assets to support themselves. Work history is not a factor in SSI claims.
Our Richmond disability attorneys can also help you or a loved one qualify for Widow’s Benefits, Child Disability Benefits, and Auxiliary Benefits.
Are you wondering, “How do I apply for Social Security disability benefits?” Then click on the link to find out everything you need to know about how, when, and where to apply for Social Security Disability in Richmond and throughout Virginia. After you’ve filed, contact Richmond disability lawyer Corey Pollard to see how we can help you win your case.
What Does it Take to Get Social Security Disability in Virginia?
Our Richmond Social Security disability lawyers believe in honesty and compassion. We understand that you probably never thought you’d have to explain to a stranger with the Social Security Administration why you are unable to work. You went from living a normal life that you enjoyed to being unable to go to work day in day out. And you don’t like it.
Here is a list of truths you should know about the Social Security disability process:
- The Social Security disability system is complicated with thousands of rules and regulations. On top of that, you’ll have to deal with bureaucratic red tape and Social Security Administration claims examiners who may make mistakes on your claim. These mistakes can cost you the disability benefits you deserve.
- It may take months and even years of waiting before you receive a decision in your Social Security disability claim.
- To give yourself the best chance of getting your Social Security Disability application approved, you must spend hours completing paperwork and tracking down helpful documents.
- No matter how much time you spend on your claim, you may still get denied. In fact, the overwhelming majority of Social Security disability initial applications are denied in Virginia.
- You won’t know the type of evidence that the administrative law judge (ALJ) assigned to your case finds most important. An experienced Richmond disability attorney will know how to effectively present your case at the Social Security disability hearing.
- Hiring a SSD lawyer could help you get the money and medical coverage you need to move forward with your life.
- Few attorneys have the experience and expertise needed to handle Social Security Disability claims effectively.
Don’t leave your claim to chance. Get one of the best Richmond disability lawyers on your side. Call Corey.
How Does the Social Security Administration Decide if I am Disabled?
The Social Security judge hearing your case will use a five-step process called the “Sequential Evaluation Process” to determine if you are disabled because of your physical or mental medical conditions. Though this five-step disability process can seem overwhelming at first, it is easy to understand with the help of an experienced Social Security Disability attorney.
Step 1: Are you working?
At step 1 of the Social Security evaluation the judge will determine whether you are engaged in substantial gainful activity. This is a fancy way of asking if you are working and earning money.
In Virginia you are considered “gainfully employed” if you earn more than $1,170 per month in 2017. This number changes every year, so you’ll want to check it often.
If you earn more than the substantial gainful activity amount then it means that you’re working and probably not entitled to SSDI or SSI benefits. If you’re working but earning less than the substantial gainful activity amount, then you may be able to receive disability benefits. The question then is whether your physical or mental disability is preventing you from working more hours, or whether you are working less because your employer does not have additional hours available to you. A Richmond Social Security attorney can help you prove that you’re disabled even though you have worked some.
If the SSA decides that you are not gainfully employed, then the disability analyst or administrative law judge evaluating your case will move on to the next step.
Step 2: Do you have at least one severe medical impairment?
A medical impairment, condition, disease, or injury is considered severe under the Social Security Act if it interferes with your ability to work and to complete your activities of daily living. Various court decisions have indicated that the threshold to be considered severe is low.
If you suffered a workplace injury that caused permanent partial disability and restrictions, or if you have a condition or disease that requires treatment, then chances are good that you have a severe medical impairment and can continue to the next step in Social Security’s sequential evaluation. Many persons who received Virginia workers compensation also qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits.
Step 3: Does your medical impairment, or combination of medical impairments, meet or equal one of Social Security’s medical listings?
The Social Security Administration has issued a list of medically recognizable disabilities. If your injury, condition, or mental illness meets the criteria for a medical listing, then you may be found disabled automatically without having to attend a hearing before an administrative law judge.
Unfortunately Social Security’s disability listings are specific, difficult to meet, and do not contain all physical and mental disabilities.
Don’t worry if you’re unable to meet one of Social Security’s disability listing. It’s possible that you’re disabled because of a combination of medical impairments, not just one. You can still be found disabled at the next steps in the disability evaluation. But you likely need a disability attorney in Richmond VA to prove that you’re disabled under the Social Security Act.
Step 4: Are you able to perform any of your past work?
At this step in the sequential disability evaluation, Social Security will look at all the jobs you’ve had in the 15 years prior to your filing of a disability application. These jobs are considered your “past relevant work”
Your medical impairments must be severe enough to prevent you from performing any of your past work to be found disabled. If Social Security finds that you’re capable of returning to one of these jobs despite your health, your claim will get denied.
A Richmond disability attorney can help you develop the evidence to show that you are unable to perform your past work from a medical standpoint.
If Social Security determines that you’re unable to perform any of your past work, then you move to the next step.
Step 5: Can you perform any other work?
The last step in the Social Security Administration’s disability evaluation process is determining whether you are able to perform any other work that may exist in the national economy. Even though you’re unable to do any of your past work, Social Security wants to know if there is other work that you can do based on your medical condition, age, education, and transferable skills – skills that you used to perform your past work.
Social Security will not consider whether other jobs are hiring in your area or whether you have had training in the types of jobs available. All it wants to know is whether you can perform the job despite your physical and mental impairments. If you’re unable to do any kind of job at all, then you will be found disabled and awarded benefits.
Proving that you’re disabled is difficult. We recommend contacting a skilled Richmond disability lawyer to increase your chances of success. And reading our article on Proving You’re Disabled under the Social Security Act for more information.
How Can a Richmond Social Security Disability Attorney Help Me During the Case?
Why do I need a Richmond disability lawyer? I’ve suffered a life-changing injury and have been diagnosed with a medical impairment that won’t get better. Isn’t that enough?
These are questions we hear often from potential clients looking for a disability attorney in Richmond and across Virginia. Unfortunately the process of filing for and receiving SSD and SSI benefits is often more complex and difficult than you would think.
The SSA is an enormous federal bureaucracy. Taking it on while trying to get your disability benefits is intimidating. But you don’t have to do it alone. Our Richmond SSD attorneys know the process and the judges, and will guide you so that you have the best chance of receiving the disability benefits and money you deserve.
What we can do as your Social Security Disability lawyer depends on when you hire us.
If you hire us as your attorney right away, we can answer any questions that you may have about the Social Security Disability process and help you file your initial application for benefits with supportive documentation. Because the Social Security system is so confusing and has so many steps and rules, we encourage you to get a qualified disability attorney on your side as soon as possible. An important part of being a Social Security Disability lawyer is to help reduce the stress that our clients are experiencing during the process.
As your Richmond Social Security lawyer we will do the following:
- Assign an experienced and award-winning team of Richmond Social Security Disability lawyers and workers comp attorneys to your case.
- Handle all aspects of the SSD and SSI claims process from start to finish. This includes the initial application for benefits, the request for reconsideration, the hearing before an administrative law judge, and any necessary appeals or lawsuits in federal court.
- Take a compassionate, personalized approach to getting you approved.
- Interview you, your family, and supportive former employers – and obtain supportive statements.
- Request, gather, and review your medical, vocational, and educational evidence.
- Evaluate your case under Social Security’s rules and regulations.
- Contact your treating medical providers, explain Social Security law to them, and attempt to obtain a supportive report that addresses what the SSA evaluates in claims.
- Provide you with al list of community resources and medical providers who may be able to help you if you have inadequate resources or medical coverage.
- Work with vocational experts to obtain labor market reports that show you are unable to work given your medical impairments.
- File appropriate motions with the SSA to obtain consultative examinations and additional medical evidence.
- Review the SSA’s decisions for inconsistencies and errors.
- Argue your case at hearing before an administrative law judge – this includes opening and closing statements, direct examinations, and cross examinations.
- Request subpoenas to make sure critical evidence is available at your hearing.
Our job as your disability attorney in Richmond, VA doesn’t end after you’ve been approved. We’ll make sure that the SSA processes your disability benefits and pays you promptly.
Once you are approved for SSDI benefits or SSI, you will continue to receive monthly payments as long as you remain disabled. You’ll also become eligible for health insurance coverage, either through Medicare or Medicaid.
If you have been denied SSDI benefits already, don’t worry. Contact our Richmond Social Security Disability lawyers today. Don’t wait until the last minute! The SSA’s statistics show that claimants represented by attorneys are more successful in obtaining disability benefits than claimants who do not have legal representation – both at the initial application level and all subsequent appeal levels. But you must act quickly so that you satisfy the deadlines for filing an appeal.
We believe that representing disabled adults is about more than completing paperwork, making phone calls, and showing up at court. Our Richmond SSDI lawyers believe that clients should have all the information that is relevant to their claim. That way they can make informed and educated decisions about their claim. The more you understand about your legal rights under the Social Security Act, the better equipped you’ll be to make the best decisions for you and your family when it comes to food, shelter, and medical care.
Do you want to take on a large government bureaucracy? Or with the help of someone who has a track record of success in getting benefits on behalf of clients? Having a top-rated Social Security Disability lawyer and SSI attorney in Richmond can help you and your family obtain a great outcome.
How Much Does a Disability Attorney Cost? Attorney Fees for Richmond Social Security Disability Lawyer Corey Pollard
Our job is to help reduce the stress and suffering of people dealing with a physical or mental disability. We want to help you navigate the complex Social Security disability system so that you can spend more time focusing on your health, recover, and loved ones.
Attorney fees in Social Security Disability cases are governed by federal statute. As your Richmond disability lawyer, we charge a maximum of 25% of your back pay or $6,000, whichever is less. And you only pay a fee if we win your case.
No matter how much you receive in Social Security disability back pay, our attorney fee is never more than $6,000.
As you can see, you have nothing to lose by contacting SSD lawyer Corey Pollard, one of the best disability attorneys in Richmond, to help you.
How Do I Know if Corey Pollard and his Richmond SSDI/SSI Claims Law Firm is the Best Social Security Disability Attorney for Me?
Have you been out of work for at least six months, with no return to work in sight?
Do you suffer from a physical or mental disability, or a combination of medical conditions?
Do you treat with a medical provider on a consistent basis?
Have you worked for at least five of the last ten years and paid taxes into the Social Security system?
If you answer Yes to these questions, contact Richmond disability attorney Corey Pollard today.
Finding the best Social Security Disability lawyer to represent you in your claim is an important decision – and a difficult one. Below are a few reasons why Corey Pollard may be the right Richmond disability attorney for you.
- We are a local Richmond disability law firm. Our Social Security disability lawyers meet with you one-on-one in the office to understand your work history, disability, and restrictions so that you are prepared for your hearing. We also meet with disability clients in Newport News.
- We concentrate on Virginia Social Security disability (SSDI/SSI) claims. This allows us to know each judge’s preferences and how he or she will decide your case. Our firm has presented cases to the administrative law judges in Richmond and every ODAR office in Virginia hundreds, if not thousands, of times – and we know how to tailor your case to each judge’s preference.
- No upfront fee! If you do not win your case, there is no attorney fee.
- We can represent you at every stage of the Social Security process. We won’t have to refer you to someone else if you’re denied at the initial, reconsideration, or hearing level. We’ll continue the case for you.
- We have won thousands of Social Security disability claims for our Richmond clients while maintaining a high win percentage. We know what works – and what doesn’t. And we want to put our experience to work for you.
- We are real attorneys, not “advocates.” We have the medical knowledge to develop your case and the courtroom skills to cross-examine hostile expert witnesses and persuade judges that you deserve disability benefits. We can appeal your case to federal court if necessary.
- We are responsive. We answer the phone and respond to emails right away. We also meet with clients in our Richmond disability law office.
- Corey Pollard is recognized as one of Richmond, Virginia’s top Social Security disability lawyers. He was recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine in 2016 and 2017.
- We handle your disability claim with integrity, compassion, and commitment – this is how we get results. You can trust us to protect your legal rights and give you honest answers to your questions.
We’ve helped disabled adults and children with the following medical conditions receive Social Security benefits in Virginia – and we want to help you:
- Musculoskeletal System Disorders (Arthritis; Spine Problems; Degenerative Disc Disease; Amputation; Obesity; Joint Replacements and Pain; Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Effects of Spine Fusion Operations)
- Vision Loss (Glaucoma; Blindness; Diabetic Retinopathy)
- Hearing Loss, including Tinnitus
- Respiratory System Disorders (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); Asthma; Emphysema; Lung Cancer)
- Cardiovascular System Disorders (Heart disease; Hypertension; Congestive Heart Failure; Coronary Artery Disease; Atrial fibrillation)
- Digestive System Disorders (Inflammatory bowel disease; chronic liver disease; hepatitis)
- Genitourinary Disorders (chronic kidney disease; nephrotic syndrome; need for dialysis)
- Hematological Disorders (thrombosis; bone marrow failure)
- Skin Disorders (dermatitis; burns)
- Endocrine Disorders (thyroid conditions; diabetes)
- Congenital Disorders (down syndrome and other medical conditions that people are born with)
- Mental Disorders (depression; anxiety; PTSD; borderline personality disorder; intellectual disability; schizophrenia; bipolar disorder)
- Neurological Disorders (brain tumors; Parkinson’s; cerebral palsy; ALS; Multiple sclerosis; peripheral neuropathy; traumatic brain injury; seizures; epilepsy; chronic headaches; migraines)
- Malignant Neoplastic Diseases (cancer of all types, including abdominal, bladder, blood, breast, bone, colon, liver, lung, mouth, melanoma, pancreatic, prostate, skin, throat). This also includes the effects of chemotherapy to treat these conditions.
- Immune System Disorders (lupus; heumatoid arthritis; fibromyalgia)
So don’t wait, contact one of the best disability attorneys in Richmond today. We represent SSDI and SSI clients throughout Central Virginia and Hampton Roads.