The Toledo Social Security disability benefits lawyers at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault protect the rights of disabled workers. Our dedicated team serves individuals throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, including Toledo, Findlay, Lima, Sandusky, Lorain, Defiance, Fremont, Monroe, Michigan, and the surrounding areas. We understand the challenges of navigating the Social Security disability system and strive to make the process as smooth as possible for our clients. With our experience and expertise, we can confidently help you obtain the benefits you deserve.


A Social Security Disability Claim


A Social Security disability claim can provide crucial financial assistance for individuals and their dependents when a disability prevents them from working. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits typically offer tax-free monthly payments to those who have experienced a disability for at least five months. Unfortunately, many individuals find the claims process frustrating and lengthy. Despite a clear need for assistance, the Social Security Administration may reject a claim or fail to provide the required benefits. It’s essential for those applying for SSDI benefits to seek guidance from professionals who can help them navigate the process and ensure they have a voice.


How do I know if I qualify for SSDI benefits?


To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must meet the Social Security Administration (SSA) definition of “disabled.” Generally, this means that for at least one year, you have suffered from a medical condition that has prevented you from doing the work you did before and kept you from adjusting to any other work. The severity of your disability and your income are other factors that come into play. The Social Security Administration has information on what is considered disabled and unable to work.


What do I need to apply?


You will need proof of work history and medical records. The Social Security Administration has a list of all the required documents. It can be time-consuming to get all the required documents. Having an experienced Toledo Social Security Disability attorney can assist in the process.


What is the difference between Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?


When individuals face disabilities, they often encounter challenges in navigating the world of benefits and resources. Two prominent federal programs, Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), aim to alleviate some of the financial burdens associated with disabilities. Although these programs share a similar objective, they differ significantly. Understanding the differences between SSDI and SSI is crucial for determining eligibility. SSDI eligibility is based on work history, while SSI eligibility is based on financial need. Additionally, the monthly payment amounts vary for beneficiaries of each program. By familiarizing yourself with these distinctions, you can better choose the program that suits your unique circumstances.


SSDI, or Social Security Disability Insurance


The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program offers financial assistance to individuals with physical or mental impairments that prevent them from working. Unlike Supplemental Security Income (SSI), SSDI beneficiaries have worked and contributed to Social Security. The amount of benefits depends on average lifetime earnings. This program supports individuals with long-term disabilities lasting at least 12 months or resulting in death. Understanding how SSDI works is crucial for those seeking financial aid for a disability.


SSI, or Supplemental Security Income


The Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program aims to provide a safety net for disabled individuals with limited income and assets. SSI pays benefits based on the same definition used for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, which applies to individuals who are blind or 65 years and older. However, SSI goes further by serving as assistance for those who haven’t worked enough to qualify for SSDI. The amount of SSI benefits adjusts based on the current federal benefit rate, offering crucial financial support for those in need.


How long does it take for an SSDI or SSI claim to be approved?


When applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you should anticipate a waiting period that can last for months before receiving an approval or denial. This experience can be challenging, particularly for individuals without additional household income or those with serious health problems. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) does offer an expedited processing option for individuals with specific medical conditions, facing critical circumstances, or serving in the U.S. military. Although this option can still be time-consuming, it can reduce the wait time. Please note that approval is not guaranteed, but we understand that every claim is unique and will strive to ensure a smooth process.


What do I do if my claim has been denied?


If your initial claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is denied, you have multiple opportunities to challenge that decision. Although pursuing an appeal can be a lengthy process, it is important to remember that there is still a chance of success. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), in 2020, only 45% of SSDI benefit applications were approved, with more than half being denied. However, a denial does not mean it’s the end of the road. You can appeal the decision and fight for the benefits you deserve.

There is a limited time to begin the appeals process, and it is advantageous to have an experienced Social Security Disability attorney and firm to handle this for you. 


The Four Stages of the Appeals Process




If they reject your claim, your first recourse is to ask the Social Security Administration (SSA) to reconsider. In a reconsideration, an examiner and medical team from your state DDS who were not involved in the initial review take a fresh look at your claim. You can provide additional evidence, such as records of more recent medical examinations or treatment, and point out evidence DDS may have missed the first time around. The examiners may request additional information themselves.


Hearing before an administrative law judge


If DDS doesn’t change its mind, you can request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). The ALJ will provide a listening ear and weigh all the evidence before making a non-biased decision. This hearing is a formal and professional conversation that ensures your voice is heard fairly. You’ll have the chance to bring in expert witnesses, discuss discrepancies, and clear the air on any confusion. The ALJ’s decision is final, but you can be sure it will be based on a complete review of the evidence and carefully considering all your testimony.


Appeals Council


If an administrative law judge rules against you, the next step in the process is to request a review by SSA’s Appeals Council. This council comprises a panel of members who will take a fresh look at the case, reviewing all evidence and any new information you want to add. It is important to remember that the Appeals Council is not a guarantee of a favorable decision. Still, it does offer a chance to potentially appeal a ruling that may have been incorrect or unjust. With a professional and diligent approach, presenting a strong case to the Appeals Council could potentially lead to a successful outcome.


Federal Court


When claiming Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), no one wants to go to the federal court. However, if the Appeals Council denies your claim, it might be your only option. Filing a suit in U.S. District Court is a significant step that requires careful consideration, so it’s crucial to have an experienced attorney to guide you. Although the federal court may appear daunting, remember that you can appeal the decision and receive a fair hearing. Trust the system and be prepared to fight for the benefits you deserve.


Get Expert Legal Assistance for Your Claim


Filing a claim for Social Security Disability Benefits can be a daunting task. Navigating through pages of paperwork, meeting guidelines, and struggling with long wait times can all be very stressful. That’s when you should turn to the legal team at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault. As the area’s most experienced Social Security team, they can help you with every aspect of your claim. Their legal assistance can guide you through the red tape and make the process less complicated. Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault offer a free consultation at one of their convenient office locations, so why wait? Schedule an appointment today by contacting them at 419-843-6663 or online.