Are you struggling with a social security benefits issue and need a Social Security Lawyer in Wilmington, NC? Experienced trial attorney Greg Kornegay has the answers you need.
You’ve worked all your life, paid taxes and expected the Government to live up to its promise to help you if you became unable to work because of a medical problem. And now, you have a medical problem that keeps you from working and you need Social Security disability to help pay the bills. But the Social Security Administration says it will not pay you because your medical problem is not serious: You need an experienced Wilmington, NC Social Security Lawyer to help you win the benefits you deserve.
Let A Social Security Lawyer in Wilmington Fight For You!
Typical Bureaucratic Denial Language:
- “We have determined that the condition is not severe enough to preclude work.”
- “We have determined that the condition is not expected to remain severe enough for 12 months in a row to be considered disabling.”
- “We have determined that the condition was not disabling on any date through , the last date insured for disability benefits.”
If you have received a Social Security disability denial letter from the Social Security Administration with any of the above explanations, or other explanations, you need to contact a disability attorney as soon as possible. You normally have 60 days from the date that you received the denial letter in which to appeal.
Get 25 years of experience from a Wilmington Social Security Disability Attorney fighting for you and call Greg Kornegay, Attorney at Law. Our fees are paid from your back benefits only when we win your case. We have handled a wide variety of medical conditions through the years resulting in many favorable decisions. We handle tough cases – no cherry picking.
Complete our Evaluation Form for a case review. Get the help you need from a Social Security disability attorney. A Social Security lawyer will have the knowledge to focus on the issues important to the Social Security Administration.
How Do We Prove Disability?
We must show that your medical problem is severe. “Severe” means it drastically limits your ability to work. In other words, an impairment or medical condition is severe if it significantly limits your physical or mental abilities to do basic work activities.
Show 12 Months Duration
We must show that your medical problem will last for at least 12 months in a row or is expected to last that long.
Show Functional Limitations
We measure your work abilities and work restrictions by obtaining a medical report from your treating doctor. A physical capacity report will be needed if you have only physical limitations; a mental capacity report will be needed if you have only mental limitations; both types of reports may be needed if your case is for both physical and mental problems. We draft and submit these medical reports for you. Whether you can find job is not the issue. Think – how do your restrictions keep you from doing a job? Sitting, standing, walking, lifting, following directions, and handling stress are important in most jobs.
The official definition of “disability” used by the Social Security Administration is strict.
Two Programs for disability:
- Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is for individuals who are insured because of their contributions to the Social Security trust fund – they have worked a certain amount of time, paying Social Security taxes on their earnings. However, there are cutoff dates and requirements that apply (i.e., credits, quarters of coverage).
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is for individuals who have limited income and resources. Prior work is not required to obtain SSI, however, the amount paid under a SSI case is generally much lower than with a Social Security Disability (DI) case. SSI benefit payments are lower. SSI is a welfare program. We are experts at both programs. If you need an SSI attorney or an SSDI Attorney in Wilmington, call us at Greg Kornegay Law. We can help.
How Do You Get Your Case Started The Right Way?
Talk to your doctor and ask if you are able to work at a regular job. If you cannot work, then proceed forward in the process and talk to a Social Security lawyer.
If you apply in person, carry a list of your treating doctors with their addresses, fax numbers and telephone numbers. This will allow the Social Security Administration to start your case the right way by placing your medical records in your file at the earliest possible moment.
Documentation of the existence of impairments must come from medical professionals that are accepted by the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration has a specific rule for what is considered an acceptable medical source. A licensed doctor or psychologist must identify your problem. This is called a diagnosis. Your doctor should state how you would be doing in the future. This is called a prognosis. Once the existence of an impairment is established, all other medical and non-medical evidence is considered in assessing the severity of the impairments. Notes from doctor assistants, nurses, and other medical sources strengthen the case. Statements from family and friends help show your restrictions and pain. The bottom line is that the Social Security Administration wants to hear from a Medical Doctor (M.D.) or Psychologist for the setting of a working diagnosis and then after the working diagnosis is set, additional medical sources come in to play to show the severity level of each impairment. We work disability cases in this way.
ISSUES THAT CAN COME UP
- Onset Date of Disability: Your onset date is when you became unable to work because of your impairment(s). Your back benefits are determined by this date – how far back in time you became unable to work. The farther back in time means more back benefits. There are limits on how far back in time your back benefits can go. The Judge will consider the date you had to stop working, the medical evidence, and your statement when setting the onset date.
- Drawing Unemployment: To get unemployment, you must be able to work. To get disability, you must not be able to work. These two positions are opposite and may cause problems for your case if you were paid unemployment benefits after the date you said you could not work.
- Drugs and Alcohol: Drug or alcohol abuse can cause problems in your case.
- Working or Trying to Work After the Onset Date:
Trying to work after the date you say you became unable to work can cause an issue in your case. The Judge will want to know the reason. If you cannot provide a reasonable explanation that satisfies the Judge, he or she will probably suggest that you change the date that you say you became unable to work, so that the new date will reflect the reality of what really happened. In contrast to regular work, an attempt to work is not real work under the rules. A few weeks or maybe a few months of trying to work is normal and many times the Judge will not hold this against you. This is seen as a commendable thing to do by a responsible person. If you attempted to work after the date you say you became unable to work, the Judge will want to know how long your attempt lasted, the type of work attempted, and how much you made.
- Earnings After the Onset Date of Disability
- Failure to Follow Your Doctor’s Advice: If you have not followed your doctor’s treatment advice, this may cause problems in your case. You will need to explain why you have not followed your doctor’s advice. Acceptable reasons for failing to follow treatment are:
- You have a fear of surgery.
- You have had a similar unsuccessful surgery.
- The treatment is a high-risk
- Your doctor has advised you to get an amputation of an arm or leg.
- You cannot afford medical treatment.
The Social Security Administration will aggressively fight your case if you are under 50 years old. The Social Security Administration’s own rules support their tougher stance against claimants less than 50 years old. This is legal age discrimination built into the rules and regulations used by the Social Security Administration. This creates problems for those under 50 years old that really need disability because of a severe impairment. It is fair to say there is an automatic suspicion by the Social Security Administration for anyone under 50 years of age applying for disability. This is because, normally, our limitations increase as we age. The Social Security Administration will assume you can adjust to some form of regular work if you are less than 50 years old. If you fall within this age category, you will need substantial evidence to prove your case. However, it can be done with the right medical evidence. You will need a functional capacity report signed by a medical doctor or psychologist, supported by medical notes and medical tests.
The Government weighs evidence in the following order of importance:
- Medical tests
- Opinions of treating doctors
- What you say about your medical problems.
A good medical test makes the Judge happy. The Judge will not have to guess. However, most cases have all three types of evidence. It is desirable to have medical tests and doctors’ opinions, all saying you have a serious medical problem. This means you will likely win your case. Contact Greg Kornegay for a Social Security disability attorney in Wilmington with the advice you need.
Contact us for a free consultation:
Social Security Lawyer Wilmington NC
910-763-5757 Toll Free: 866-579-5757
SS Disability Evaluation Form