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Jacksonville, Florida 32217

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When is a person considered disabled and eligible to receive Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

A person must demonstrate inability to perform any gainful activity due to a medically determined physical or mental impairment which can be expected to last for a continuous period of more than 12 months.

When should I apply for social security disability or SSI benefits?

As Soon As Possible! The disability claim process can be quite lengthy, especially if an appeal is necessary.

How do I apply for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

You can file a claim in person at the nearest Social Security Office. If you are unable to get to an office, you may call the Social Security Office and schedule a phone interview. In Jacksonville, you can reach them toll-free at (877) 409-8424.

How is the decision made for my SSD or SSI disability claim?

Once you receive a medical evaluation, a disability examiner or disability judge will review your medical records, medical history, income, and other additional factors.

What kind of evidence is used to evaluate and decide my disability benefit claim?

The most important piece of evidence is your medical evaluation by your treating physician. The physician will note your symptomology and the reason(s) that you are unable to return to work. They will provide their evidence report directly to the SSA and their opinion will be used as the basis of the Disability decision. *Note: A Chiropractor does not qualify as a treating physician.

How long will it usually take to get a decision on a social security disability or SSI claim for benefits?

The application approval process varies greatly from case to case and mostly because the Federal Disability Program does not have deadlines for applications or appeals. Your case can be won in as little as 30 days, but can also take up to two years. The average duration is approximately 3-4 months.

If my social security disability or SSI claim gets denied, what do I do?

If your case is denied, you have a few options: accept the decision, appeal the decision yourself, or consult a Social Security Attorney. It is highly recommended to consult an attorney due to the laborious nature of the appeals process. The Law Offices of Erik W. Berger specialize in Administrative and Federal Appeals.

Will I have to file more than one social security disability or SSI appeal for my claim?

Typically, you will file one more appeal after your first “Reconsideration” appeal. The reason being is The Division of Disability Determinations is unlikely to admit to errors on a claim that was denied merely weeks earlier. Therefore, attorneys advise clients to be prepared for the first appeal to be denied and to file a second appeal.

Can anyone help me financially while I wait for a decision on my disability case or supplemental security income case?

Unfortunately, there are few federal programs in place to offer support during this process. However, oftentimes there are local agencies that will offer assistance, such as the Department of Social Services.

If I get Social Security disability benefits, will I get Medicare?

If you have been approved for Social Security disability benefits (other than SSI) and have been entitled for two years, you will receive Medicare.

If I’m receiving Workers Compensation, can I file for Social Security Disability?

Yes. In the state of Florida, you may file a claim for Social Security Benefits in addition to Workers’ Compensation.

If I’m approved for Social Security Benefits, how much will I receive?

Your compensation will be determined based on how much you worked and earned in the past. For widowers, it will be based upon the late husband worked and earned. For disabled child benefits, it depends on how much the parents worked and earned.

How long after my accident do I have to file my workers’ compensation claim?

You should file any claim as soon as possible, but no more than 30 days or your claim will be denied.

When will I receive my first check for Workers’ Compensation?

You should receive your check 21 days after your claim.

Is my employer required to hold my job for me until I am able to return to work?

Unfortunately, there is no provision under the law that requires your employer to hold your position.

Will I have to go to court?

If the insurance company agrees to pay what we believe your case is worth, and you wish to settle for that amount, then you don’t have to go to court.
Some personal injury lawyers just try to settle your claims quickly and do not want to go to trial. If the insurance company refuses to pay the acceptable amount, then we have to proceed in court. Our experienced Florida accident lawyers know how much you’re entitled to and we make sure you’re fairly compensated for your injuries and losses.

What are compensatory damages?

Compensatory damages “compensate” the injured person for various kinds of losses or damages. These may also be referred to as “actual damages.” The courts do not allow attorneys to argue that the award should be what a juror would want to go through a similar injury, but the instructions call for “reasonable” compensation.

What are punitive damages?

Punitive damages may be recoverable in certain circumstances. Punitive damages exist to punish or make example of the wrongdoer for conduct that is intentional, or when the wrongdoer acts in a reckless manner in disregard for the rights of others. The actual payment of punitive damages is rare, and appellate courts frequently cut punitive damage awards down, or simply throw them out. However, the threat of punitive damages can often induce the defense to make an increased settlement.

Are employers required to provide disability insurance?

No. Employers are not required to provide disability insurance plans for their employees. However, once a plan is established, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulates the plans to protect employees from losing the money they’ve invested.

I heard that some insurance companies consider pregnancy as a disabling condition. Is that true?

Some insurance policies pay benefits for women who are out of work due to pregnancy. There might be limits on the amount and length of benefits, so the best advice is to read your policy to know when and how to apply.

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