What Questions to Ask Yourself Before Contacting a Social Security Disability Lawyer

Before considering an application for Social Security disability benefits, or for that matter, an appeal of your denial, it is always a good idea to have the advice, and potentially assistance, of a Social Security disability lawyer.  Without even having to call our office, ask yourself these very important questions before you make that next call.

First and foremost, ask yourself what makes you believe that your illness or injury will keep you from working any job, making simply $1180.00 per month (that is to say, undertake gainful employment) on a regular and continuing basis for what will be a year or longer.   If you are unable to clearly answer that question of duration, any application you might bring yourself or with the aid of a lawyer will be lacking conviction in its truth.

Instead, consider whether an attempt at returning to work may be possible and consider waiting to see what course your health might take: the Social Security rules do provide incentives for attempts at returning to work and should you find yourself back out of work shortly thereafter as a result of your medical condition, you will not find that this attempt at work works against you.

The most common misunderstanding our potential Social Security disability clients out of Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire have is that they fail to understand that such benefits are not payable for the first five (5) full months after one becomes disabled for what is deemed to be a year or longer.   Thus, calling your Maine Social Security lawyer to start a claim short of being out of work for longer than a six (6) month period will not make good sense unless one otherwise remains in poverty circumstances (without income and/or assets in the household that would bring them above the poverty line) and thus justify entitlement to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program which pays the month after one applies assuming once again you are found disabled for what will be a year or longer (or result in death).

Second, ensure that you have been undertaking zealous treatment before even considering the prospects of a Social Security disability claim.   Ask yourself, how long have you been actively treating?  Have you sought treatment with your primary care physician along with specialists that might be able to address your specific medical condition of concern?

If you are not receiving treatment because you don’t have insurance in place, have you looked into applying for Medicaid in your state: in Massachusetts, it’s referred to as Mass Health, in Maine, it’s called Mainecare and in New Hampshire, the federally funded health insurance administered through the states for those found in poverty, otherwise without health insurance and long-term disabled, is called Medicaid (as the insurance program is generally known)?  At the same time, have you already looked into front treatment options in your area.  For example, Maine Medical Center and Southern Maine Health Care are just 2 examples of hospitals with free treatment programs, while Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center out of New Hampshire has a financial aid program for those in need that runs statewide.   Most hospitals offer either a free treatment program or sliding scale program that may very well allow you to remain in treatment.

The Social Security disability application process can take up to 2 years.  Asking yourself these very important questions prior to making calls in an effort to start an application can save you a lot of frustration down the road.   SSA wants to see that disability claimants are coming to file as a last resort and not as a potential option.

If you or someone you love has found themselves with no choice but to file for Social Security disability benefits as a result of a severe illness or injury that they are not recovering from, and simply cannot go to work, contact the Law offices of Russell J. Goldsmith at 1-800-773-8622 for a free analysis of your or their potential claim.


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