Social Security and Disability
At Farrell & Grochowski we represent disabled people seeking Social Security and Supplemental Security benefits. Many truly disabled people are not successful in getting benefits on their own.
Quality representation is very important. At our firm, we handle your case from the initial application through a hearing with a judge, if necessary. Presenting your medical condition is a manner that highlights your daily struggles and corresponds with the Social Security guidelines, allows us to make the process faster and increase your chances of successfully obtaining your benefits. All cases are handled on a contingency basis. If we are not successful in getting you your benefits, you will not owe us a fee.
Social Security Disability versus SSI
There are two disability programs offered through Social Security Disability. Social Security Disability is a program for people with a work history and enough quarters of work paid into Social Security. Generally you have to have worked full time five out of the last ten years to be eligible for this program. A person receiving SSDI benefits will be eligible for Medicare, the federal health insurance program, after the person has been disabled for two years. The determination as to whether you will be considered disabled by the Social Security Administration involves both a medical and vocational evaluation. First they look at whether you have a significant medical impairment that would prevent you from doing any type of work. If they find that to be the case, the analysis ends there. If they find that you have a medical impairment, but it might not prevent you from doing all types of work, a vocational analysis is done. This involves an evaluation of issues such as education level, age, ability to speak and read English and other factors. Your disability must be such that it will prevent you from working for at least a year. Social Security does not offer any short-term disability benefits.
Under the SSI program, people who have not had a work history, or enough of a recent work history, but are disabled can receive benefits if their income and assets are low enough. The same medical and vocational analysis, as described above, is used to determine disability. There are no Medicare benefits available to people receiving SSI and many recipients turn to state medical insurance benefits such as Medicaid and SAGA.
The Process of Applying for Disability Benefits
Social Security applications can be taken in person, over the phone and on-line. Once the application is taken, it will take between 90-120 days to receive a decision. The majority of people have to appeal as their claims are initially denied. Currently in Connecticut, the second stage of review is done by a state agency known as disability determination services and the third level is a hearing with an administrative law judge. The whole process can take up to two years.
Although the Social Security Administration has enacted some reforms to deal with the backlog in Connecticut, it remains a very slow process. If your financial situation becomes desperate, there is a process by which we can move your case along faster. Having a lawyer filing your paperwork, arranging for the doctors to provide the necessary medical documentation and representing you at a hearing can make the process go much more quickly and greatly improve your chances for success.
I would like to thank you Attorney Ann Farrell & Lois for all your hard work on my behalf. I will recommend all my friends and family that may need legal help to your firm. You all have always been professional, fast, accurate, no beating around the bush, straight to the point and always available to explain and answer any and all inquiries. You have always managed to make time for me and listen to my fears and concerns and for this alone, I cannot thank you enough. I will always be appreciative for the work that you did to get my disability approved. My husband and I are so grateful to you and especially to God for using your knowledge and wisdom as an instrument to help improve and change people's lives! May your company continue to grow & help more people through their difficult times. Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. God bless you all!