Social Security Disability, Childhood Disability, Disabled Adult Child, Supplemental Security Income and Disabled Widows Benefits
Do You Need A Social Security Attorney?
We offer a free case evaluation for all social security cases. Call 503-648-4777 during normal business hours and speak with a highly rated social security attorney immediately.
Social Security is Insurance You’ve Paid For. We will Help You Access the Benefits You’re Entitled To.
Are severe medical or mental health conditions preventing you from working? Have you applied for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Social Security Insurance (SSI) benefits on your own, only to be denied?
Do you need help fighting the government for your Social Security benefits?
Did you know that even if you don’t have a strong work history, you are still entitled to Social Security benefits from the government?
At Oregon Social Security law firm Harris Velázquez Gibbens, we specialize in all types of Social Security Disability claims, including:
- Social Security Disability (SSD, SSDI, DIB, Title II)
- Adult or Child Supplemental Security Income (SSI, Title XVI)
- Disabled Widow/Widower Benefits (DWB, WIB)
- Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB)
- Disabled Adult Child (DAC)
We advocate for you throughout the entire process of your claim, from filing the initial application to filing a request for reconsideration to representing you before an administrative law judge and, if necessary, the SSA Appeals Council or a federal court judge. Consultations are free and all Social Security Disability claims are handled on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay us if we win benefits for you.
Work with an Oregon Social Security Disability Attorney Who Cares
Many large firms employ non-attorneys who claim to be “experts” and try to help you navigate the process. Many of these firms use 800 numbers, have high staff turnover, and have thousands of clients across the country, making dedicated and personalized attention impossible.
Harris Velazquez Gibbens, PC, is located in the Portland metro area and serves clients in Oregon and Washington. The attorney who handles your claim is always available for questions, meetings, and phone calls. Every time you call, you won’t speak with an operator in another state or a different person. From the beginning to the end, you will have an uninterrupted relationship with the people who are working on your disability benefits case.
How the SSA Defines Disability
The Social Security Administration has a strict definition of disability, which can be applied to many conditions. As defined by the SSA, a person is considered disabled when they cannot perform substantial gainful activity (work) and the impairment has lasted or is expected to last for over one year or end in death.
Various conditions involving long-term recovery or permanent impairments can be considered disabilities. If you are not sure whether your condition is considered a disability, an Oregon Social Security Disability lawyer can review your case with you and explain how the SSA may rate it.
Social Security Disability Programs in Oregon- an Overview
In order to assist individuals with disabilities, the Social Security Administration operates two primary programs. They include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is important to note that the SSA pays only for total disability: there are no benefits paid for partial or short-term disability.
If approved, you will receive a monthly cash benefit to help you meet your living expenses. SSDI recipients become eligible for Medicare coverage after 24 months while those approved for SSI will immediately be covered by Medicaid.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI provides financial assistance to individuals suffering from disabilities that prevent them from working. SSDI benefits are only available to applicants who are rated disabled by the Social Security Administration and have paid into Social Security for a sufficient period of time. In addition, their monthly earned income must not exceed the substantial gainful activity limit of $1470 (in 2023).
Your work credits for SSDI purposes are calculated based on your total yearly income from employment or self-employment. You can earn up to four credits per year. The amount needed for a work credit changes every year; in 2023, you will receive one credit for every $1,640 in wages.
For SSDI benefits, you will need a certain number of credits based on your age at the onset of your disability. You need 40 credits, of which 20 must have been earned within the 10 years before your disability. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income is a federal program that provides financial assistance to those who are disabled, blind, and aged 65 or older. If you’ve never worked, or it has been years since you worked, you may qualify for SSI if you meet the SSA thresholds for assets and monthly income.
SSI’s limited income standard for 2023 is $914 for individuals and $1,370 for couples. Countable resources, such as cash, stocks, bonds, and real estate (other than your home), cannot exceed $2,000 if you’re single or $3,000 if you’re married.
The Oregon Social Security Disability Application Process
You can apply for SSDI benefits online. For SSI benefits, you must visit your local SSA field office and provide medical evidence and financial information. After you submit your application, the Social Security Administration reviews it to make sure it meets the basic requirements, then sends it to your nearest Disability Determination Services office, which will investigate the claim and determine if it is supported by medical evidence.
The DDS examiner will look at your medical records to see whether your disability meets a listing in the SSA Blue Book, which is a compilation of disabling impairments. They will also review the information submitted by your doctors, therapists, employer, and others who can provide information about your ability to do work-related activities like walking, sitting, lifting, and remembering instructions. Once all the evidence is reviewed, the state agency decides whether or not you qualify.
If you are approved, you will receive a notification letter indicating your monthly benefit amount and when payments will begin. If you are denied, the letter will explain why as well as how and when to appeal the decision.
Although worrying, disability denials are extremely common: over 60% of first-time applicants are denied. The SSA has a multi-step appeals process that starts with a request for reconsideration. Should the SSA examiner who handles your request deny your claim, you may ask for a hearing before an administrative law judge. If the judge also denies it, the next hearing stage is the SSA Appeals Council and possibly the federal court.
SSD appeals increase your chances of ultimately being approved for the benefits you need, but they can be difficult to navigate. An Oregon Social Security Disability lawyer can present a compelling case for you during all stages of the appeals process, with the goal of winning benefits for you as soon as possible.
What is a Compassionate Allowance?
Some conditions are so severe that they automatically meet the SSA definition of disability. They include:
- Brain cancer
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Organ transplantation
- Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease
Compassionate Allowances enable the SSA to reach a disability determination more quickly, enabling people with the most serious disabilities to receive their benefits in weeks instead of months.
If your application and accompanying medical documentation indicate that you have a Compassionate Allowance condition, the SSA will flag your claim automatically and process it in as little as 10 days. After approval, most applicants do not have to wait long for the benefits payments to start. The average wait time is anywhere from a few weeks to two months after receipt of your application.
What if I Don’t Meet a Blue Book Listing?
If your condition does not meet a Blue Book listing, you could still potentially qualify for benefits as part of a medical vocational allowance. This allowance is intended for applicants who are genuinely disabled but did not meet a listed condition.
The SSA will consider the medical records received from your treating doctor to determine whether or not you are able to sustain gainful employment, either in jobs you have done before or jobs you could realistically be trained for based on your age, work history, and education. This is known as residual functional capacity (RFC), and if your RFC prevents you from working, your claim will be approved under a medical vocational allowance.
Does the SSA Pay Disability Benefits to Dependents?
SSDI benefits may be extended to spouses, children, and even ex-spouses of recipients, with those who qualify being eligible to receive up to 50% of what the disabled beneficiary gets. In general, these family payments are not allowed to exceed a certain amount (150% to 180%) of a disabled person’s total monthly benefit.
Children who are blind or disabled may qualify for SSI benefits on their own. If approved, the SSI will monitor their situation periodically to see if there has been an improvement in their condition. If their condition remains the same or deteriorates, they will continue to receive benefits and access to Medicaid.
Get a Free Consultation From an Oregon Social Security Disability Lawyer
The disability process is difficult enough to go through. You deserve to work with an Oregon SSD lawyer who cares about the outcome as much as you do. When you appear at a hearing, it’s important to have an attorney beside you that you know and trust.
At Harris Velazquez Gibbens PC, our Oregon Social Security disability lawyers guide you through the complexities and legal challenges of SSD applications and appeals. To make the claim process as swift and successful as possible, we provide you with comprehensive assistance, educate you about your rights and options, and represent you during communications with the SSA. To schedule your no-obligation consultation, call (503) 782-7235 or contact us online.
Hire an attorney who cares and knows your case
Beware: Many large firms have non-attorney representatives they claim to be “experts” who try to navigate the process for you. These firms use 800 numbers, may have large staff turnover, and have thousands of clients from all over the country.
Harris Velazquez Gibbens is located in the Portland metro area and, we focus on Oregon and Washington clientele. All the work done on your claim is done by an attorney who is available for questions, meetings, and phone calls. You won’t be talking to an operator in another state or a different person each time you call. You will have a relationship with the people working on getting you your disability benefits from start to finish.
The disability process is difficult enough to go through – make sure your claim is as important to your attorney as it is to you. When you appear at a hearing, it’s important to have an attorney beside you that you know and trust.
Our Oregon Social Security Disability Attorneys
Contact Us Today For Help – Free Phone Interview
Contact our lawyers today so we can begin working towards a favorable solution to your legal concerns. Call us today. We also offer a free telephone interview if you’re not yet ready to hire an attorney.