Office Location: 923 N. Calvert Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202
LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A.
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Baltimore Social Security Disability Lawyers

Social Security Disability ClaimDo you have an illness or injury that prevents you from obtaining a job? Has your illness or injury forced you to leave your last job? If so, you may qualify for disability benefits including a monthly disability payment from the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are two types disability benefits that may be available to you: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is paid to persons who have recently become disabled and who have a history of being employed in the recent past.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is paid to persons who do not have a history of employment in their recent past.

SSI recipients usually receive less money than recipients of SSDI; however, the amount of benefits a person receives depends upon several factors not related to the injuries or illnesses that are disabling them.

In order to receive Social Security Disability Benefits, you must not be gainfully employed. If you apply for benefits and are working at the time your application for benefits is considered, you will be denied. However, if you are working only a few hours per week and that is all the work you can physically perform, you may still be eligible to receive benefits.

If you are not gainfully employed, have a severe impairment that will last more than twelve (12) months or will result in death, and the impairment is listed or equals an impairment that is specifically listed in the Social Security regulations, or if you are unable to perform your previous work and other generally available jobs, then you are disabled and are entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. Our Maryland Social Security disability lawyers can assist you in obtaining these benefits.

As stated above, SSDI benefits are paid to individuals who have a work history. The Social Security Administration determines eligibility for SSDI benefits based upon a person’s quarters of coverage. A quarter refers to a quarter of the year. The basic question is: Have you paid enough money into Social Security in the recent past to be insured? For example, if you are over the age of 31, you must have worked 20 of the past 40 quarters (also referred to as the 20/40 threshold) to be covered, or eligible to receive SSDI benefits. If you did not reach the 20/40 threshold, but are otherwise disabled, you may only be entitled to collect SSI benefits. If you are under the age of 31 and have not worked 20 of the past 40 quarters, you may still be eligible for SSDI benefits. The Maryland Social Security disability lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. will assist you in determining which type of benefits you are eligible to receive.

One additional note: Eligibility for SSI benefits is subject to the income level of the members of your household. Thus, if you are disabled but live with a relative who has sufficient income to provide for you, you may not qualify for SSI even though you are unquestionably unable to work.

Finally, SSDI benefits are retroactive for up to 12 months prior to the date of your application for benefits. This means you could apply for benefits and receive them even for the months before you applied. SSI benefits are not retroactive and can only be awarded from the first full month following the month in which your application was filed.

Whether this is your first time filing, you wish to appeal a denial, or if you simply want to find out if you are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, our experienced lawyers have immediate answers to all your questions.

Contact us online or call 800-547-4LAW (4529) for a free consultation with one of our Social Security disability lawyers in Baltimore about your long-term disability case. We look forward to helping you get the Social Security disability benefits you deserve.


Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Claims

  1. The Social Security Administration recently denied my claim for disability benefits. Should I appeal or just file again?
  2. Do I need an attorney?
  3. If my initial application is denied, what can I do?
  4. How long does it take to get approved for benefits?
  5. If I have been denied disability benefits or my benefits have been stopped, what can I do?
  6. Do I have a certain amount of time within which I must file my appeal?
  7. If my first appeal (reconsideration) is unsuccessful, what can I do?
  8. What happens at the Administrative Hearing?
  9. Are Social Security Disability benefits retroactive?

The Social Security Administration recently denied my claim for disability benefits. Should I appeal or just file again?

If you file again, you may wind up not getting as much benefits as if you appealed the decision. Generally, it is better to appeal than to file again. There are some times, however, that you may want to do both.

Do I need an attorney?

While there is no requirement that you hire an attorney, the process of obtaining benefits can be complicated and confusing. At LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A., we have the experience, resources, and know-how to get you the benefits you deserve.

If my initial application is denied, what can I do?

The initial application stage represents only the start of the claims process. There are several levels of appeal that may be available to you. Upon learning of your denial you should, CALL US IMMEDIATELY!

How long does it take to get approved for benefits?

The claims process can take anywhere from several months to approximately two years depending on your claim and the appeals level at which you are finally approved. Whether or not you are approved depends on the strength of your case.

If I have been denied disability benefits or my benefits have been stopped, what can I do?

If you believe that you have been wrongly denied benefits, you should appeal. The first stage of appeal is a Request for Reconsideration. This will force the Social Security Administration to take another look at your case. You may choose to file a Request for Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge.

Do I have a certain amount of time within which I must file my appeal?

Generally you have sixty (60) days for filing a Request for Reconsideration or a Request for Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge. If you miss this deadline, your case may be dismissed.

If my first appeal (reconsideration) is unsuccessful, what can I do?

You can request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. At this hearing, you have the right to appear before the Judge and explain why your serious medical condition prevents you from finding or keeping a job. The attorneys at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. will appear with you at this hearing to assist you in proving that you are disabled.

What happens at the Administrative Hearing?

Generally, the Judge will question you about what activities your medical condition prevents you from performing and what activities you can still perform. Some Judges prefer to have your attorney ask these questions. Frequently a vocational expert will testify as to the type of work you performed in the past, the types of transferable skills you obtained and whether a person with limitations such as yours can obtain or maintain employment. Very rarely a medical doctor will testify at your hearing.

Are Social Security Disability benefits retroactive?

Usually yes. If you are eligible for benefits, the Social Security Administration will then determine when your benefits should have begun. An individual can be found to be entitled to Social Security benefits for a period of time even before you applied. An individual can be found to be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for a period of time even before they applied.

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