Qualifications to obtain SSD benefits from the SSA.

Calling the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) office is unlikely to help you understand whether or not you qualify for Social Security Disability. This is because when you call the SSA office you will be speaking with a service representative, who is not qualified to make a determination regarding a person’s disability. That is a decision that is assessed by disability examiners who work at DDS, Disability Determination Services, a state agency which is entirely separate from SSA.

DDS assesses many factors in determining a person’s ability to return to the workforce. First, the determination is made whether the claimant can return to their old job. If they can, their claim is denied. Next, DDS will consider whether the claimant has transferrable skills, and will consider factors such as the claimant’s level of education, past work experience, and age. After the age of 50, a person is generally not expected to learn a new trade or skill. Assessing these factors along with a claimant’s physical or mental disabilities or limitations is part of a complex process that service representatives at SSA cannot and should not attempt to inform potential claimants on. This is why you are better off seeking an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in navigating the process of proving one’s qualifications to obtain SSD benefits from the SSA.

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Most people have heard the old adage that ” everyone gets denied at first” when applying for Government Disability—more correctly called Social Security Disability (SSD.) This is not actually correct.

The actual nationwide denial rate is around 65% for the first application… meaning you have a 35% chance of winning the case by simply filing an application for benefits.
Obviously the odds are against you in the beginning.

The GOOD NEWS is that on appeal, the 65% goes the other way: 65% of cases that have been appealed then result in an award. (Nationwide average.) The bad news : Appeals take up to a year and a half to be heard!

(Interestingly, the fees that are payable to attorneys are based upon the retroactive number of months and the amount of retroactive payments that are recovered. The more retroactive money recovered, the closer the attorney can get to receiving the maximum fee which is usually $6000. This means many attorneys won’t even TAKE a case at the application stage because there won’t be enough retroactive money if they win right away!)

We have filed MANY applications for disabled clients that are accepted IMMEDIATELY without having to appeal and/or go in front of a SSD Judge!

Feel free to call us if you know someone who plans to file a Social Security Disability!

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Interesting Data Regarding Social Security Disability Cases and Judges

New York ODAR Offices

Source: disabilityjudges.com

The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) conducts Social Security Disability (SSD) hearings and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) hearings in 10 different offices in New York. Currently, in New York, the average wait time for a SSI or SSD hearing is 12.2 months. The average case processing time in New York is 416 days.The New York average for winning a disibility hearing is 50%. Click on one of the cities below to see detailed information about the hearing office and the administrative law judges (ALJ) that work there. This information for ODAR offices located in New York was last updated on 5/5/2014.

All new york12.2 months416 days1.82.050%31%National Average:12.1 months394 days2.019%44%38%

Office Judges Avg. Hearing
Wait Time
Processing Time
Avg. Dispositions
Per Day Per ALJ
Albany 9 12.0 months 420 days 2.0 15% 58% 27%
Bronx 7 10.0 months 416 days 1.9 19% 46% 35%
Brooklyn 12 16.0 months 505 days 1.6 23% 53% 24%
Buffalo 14 13.0 months 462 days 1.2 22% 44% 33%
Jericho 8 11.0 months 328 days 2.0 12% 63% 25%
New York 11 12.0 months 363 days 2.2 21% 45% 34%
Queens 9 11.0 months 418 days 1.2 20% 56% 24%
Rochester 4 13.0 months 484 days 2.0 21% 49% 30%
Syracuse 10 13.0 months 390 days 1.9 25% 42% 33%
White Plains 8 11.0 months 383 days 1.7 20% 40% 40%

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SSD and SSI: Two Different Programs

I’m a bit fussy when it comes to use of the English language. Misplaced apostrophes and bad grammar tend to drive me nutty. One mistake that is commonly made that is not linguistic in nature, however, is the common tendency to say “SSI” when one means “SSD” and vice versa.This is more a product of a lack of understanding than anything else.
Perhaps this quick primer will help:
SSD: Social Security Disability – for anyone under retirement age who has worked long enough to qualify.
SSI: Supplemental Security Income – available even if person did not work.
SSD: Payments based upon a worker’s earnings record and lifetime FICA contributions.
(The more someone paid in, the more money they get to take out.)
SSI: Flat payments set by the government (usually much lower than SSD.)
SSD: No asset limitation (you could have a million dollars and still collect SSD.)
SSI: You may have no more than $2000 per individual in order to qualify.
(SSI is a welfare program.)
SSD: Qualifies you for Medicare after two years.
SSI: Qualifies you for Medicaid immediately.
SSD: Available to non-citizens
SSI: Not available to most non-citizens.
However, note that:
SSD and SSI use the same rules to determine if someone is disabled!!

I handle SSD cases, but not SSI cases.

Now, don’t get me started- please don’t ever call Workers’ Comp
“Workman’s Comp” !!!!!!!
But that’s for another day……………..

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