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Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income
If your claim has been denied, or if you are considering applying for benefits, call Scott today for a free evaluation! The United States government provides disability benefits to individuals who are unable to work and sustain full time employment. These benefits are administered through the Social Security Administration, and are typically divided into two main types of disability benefits: disability insurance benefits (for people with stronger work records) and Supplemental Security Income benefits (for people who have not obtained the required work credits in the past 10 years, but who meet certain asset requirements).
Both Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income require that an individual have a severe medical condition that prevents him or her from working on a regular and continuing basis.
The process can be aggravating, and sometimes overwhelming. Appeals must be submitted timely, medical opinions oftentimes help your claim, and you may have to present your case to an administrative law judge at a hearing.
If you disability claim has been denied at any level, Scott will evaluate your claim to try to get it back on the right track. If you are still working but your medical conditions are making it nearly impossible for your to adequately perform your job, Scott can meet with you and, if appropriate in your case, strategize a plan to transition out of work and onto disability.
Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Insurance Plans (Including ERISA Plans)
If you are fortunate enough to have a disability insurance plan, either through your job or because you bought it yourself, the insurance company is required to evaluate your claim for short-term or long-term disability benefits according to the specific terms of your insurance policy. Do you trust the insurance company to be fair and fight for you?
When your disability insurance is provided through your employer, it is very likely that your claim will be handled under a law called ERISA. ERISA contains very strict guidelines about the timing of your appeal, what must be submitted, to whom the appeal is submitted, and other technicalities that must not be taken lightly.
Oftentimes, employees “try it on their own” before asking for an attorney to evaluate the claim. This could be a critical mistake if you are ultimately denied by the insurance company. In almost any lawsuit against the insurance company, a court will consider only what the insurance company had in its file at the time of the final decision. This means that you will not be able to provide the court with more medical information, expert reports, or any other information helpful to your claim. You cannot even have a trial or call witnesses to testify. Scott offers a free consultation for all disability claims, so take advantage of the opportunity to speak with an experienced ERISA attorney before proceeding with the insurance company.
State of Ohio Disability Programs
Public employees, teachers, and school employees need an attorney with the knowledge and experience necessary to avoid pitfalls created by Ohio’s pension reform bill.
Ohio public employees do not pay into the Social Security Disability system, but instead pay taxes to the retirement program that coordinates with their job. The three main programs available to Ohio employees are the Public Employees Retirement System (often referred to as “PERS” or “OPERS”), the State Teachers’ Retirement System (or “STRS”), and the School Employees Retirement System (usually called “SERS”).
In past years, OPERS, STRS, and SERS were better disability plans than Social Security Disability. It used to be that an individual would be eligible for a disability benefit if he or she was medically unable to perform his or her job. You did not have to prove you were disabled from performing any occupation in the economy. Beginning January 7, 2013, this has all changed.
A pension reform bill, passed in 2012 and effective January 7, 2013, made obtaining state disability payments much more difficult. You now must prove, after either two or three years of a disability, that you are unable to work at any job - not just your past job. You are also required to attend and receive rehabilitative services if you desire benefits beyond three years. And although your disability might have forced you out of work, disability back payments are cut off for any time period prior to your last contribution date, meaning a longevity payment while you are “on leave” from your job could cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
State of Ohio employees need an attorney who has been through these battles and who can help with the application preparation, appeals, hearings, and possibly even litigation in court. If you are in need of an experienced attorney, call Scott today.
Veterans have the opportunity to receive disability benefits, whether service-connected or not, through the Veterans Administration. If you have a claim that has been denied, or if your rating is not where you believe it should be, contact Attorney Kolligian for a free consultation.