social security disability - social security disability lawyer - supplemental security income - social security disability benefits

This is the ultimate Social Security Disability web site
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The purpose of this site is to provide free SSDI and SSI information.  I provide information all in one place that you will have a hard time finding on the Internet anywhere.   This site should help those who are contemplating applying for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income and those individuals who have already applied for Social Security Disability benefits, no matter what stage they are at in the process.  The information in this site should be used as a helpful guide to the Social Security Disability process.  It will also provide information on how to win your disability claim.  If you have any questions that are not answered in this site or want a free consultation feel free to e-mail me.  I will try to answer any questions you might have about Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  This site is the best place to go for free Social Security Disability information.  If you read this site you will know how to apply for disability benefits and how to win SSDI (SSD) and SSI.  In addition to this site, available to you are other sites which can further help you in your claim for benefits.

     I am Karl Kazmierczak, Esq. I am a Board Certified Social Security Disability Specialist by the National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy.  The title is not recognized in all states click on following link for more information on what it means to be a Board Certified Social Security Disability Specialist.  I have handled thousands of cases in New Jersey, New York and nationwide. 
Websites are a dime a dozen and we caution you to be careful when choosing which ones to utilize.  There are many web sites out there that are very good.  We caution you to be careful of websites where the identity of the firm or author is hidden.  They are solely to generate clients.  They offer only enough information to confuse you or convince you that you need a lawyer.  Other sites are constructed by individuals who have never handled a Social Security Disability claim nor ever intend to.  They are marketing people who are looking to sell leads to lawyers. In fact, there are some websites out there using titles similar to mine don't be fooled.  Here you will find Social Security Disability information, answers and advice on how to apply, am i disabled, how to appeal and how to win SSD, SSDI, and SSI.

     I do not hide who I am on this site and I will try to answer any questions you may have but I will not pressure anyone to retain me as their lawyer.  My sincere hope is that the information in this disability guide is helpful to anyone seeking disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).  I will try to update the information in this site as often as possible including an almost daily blog.  In addition to the Blog on this site please visit my other Social Security disability Blog for more SSDI and SSI tips.  So be sure to bookmark this site for the latest news.  This is a free disability guide and will help with Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security claims.  Please note that it is my intention to provide accurate and up to date information on this site and I make great effort to do this. However, the information on this site is not guaranteed and no lawyer client relationship exist.  This site is not a substitute for consultation with a lawyer.

How to Use this site.  If you are new to the process of Social Security Disability I recommend you start be reading the disability process.  This page will give you an overview of how your claim is processed and what procedural steps you have to take.  To understand how SSA determines if you are disabled you should read the page "am I disabled?".  After you read this page you should follow the different links to get a better understanding of what it takes to prove your disability.  I also strongly suggest you read "how to win" and "key to SSDI and SSI".  There is a lot more information on this site but this should give you a good starting point to help your claim.

     I provide this free information on Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income so that everyone who is disabled has the tools they need to win disability.  If you need tips on how to win your SSDI or SSI claim continue to read this site and bookmark it so you can come back and use it as a reference while you take on the Social Security Disability process.   

1-877-527-5529

Here is what one person had to say about my website "Thanks for the site, absolutely a "Bible" for all who have fear, doubt or lack of knowledge."  Christopher.  To see what other have said about this website read the website testimonials on the page called "Best Social Security Disability Website".

FREE SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY CASE EVALUATION

Questions or comments? E-mail me.

If you need a lawyer for your Social Security Disability or SSI claim or just want to ask a few questions you can also call me at 1-877-527-5529 and ask for Karl.  Or you can click on the following link and fill out the form if you prefer a local lawyer note that on form.

Find SSDI Lawyer


EXAMPLES OF WHY YOU SHOULD CONTINUE READING THIS SITE:

My first suggestion for you and when you are applying for your Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income Claim is to be knowledgeable about how the Social Security Administration will evaluate your claim.
     

     Whether you are represented by an attorney or not take it upon yourself to learn as much about the
Social Security disability process as you can.  You have already taken the initiative by researching on-line and reading this site.  I also recommend that you visit the Social Security Administration's web site.  It is a bit confusing but can be a great resource for your claim for benefits. 

     By having an understanding of
how Social Security decides your claim for benefits you will increase your chances of winning your benefits for Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

My second suggestion is to get help.  

     If you choose to get your benefits without an attorney, this guide will help you learn the process used to determine if one is disabled.  This is not a complete site about Social Security and should not be considered legal advice.  You should also use the SSA's website in conjunction with this site.  This will increase your chances of giving your case the best chance to win your benefits.  Remember the law in these cases is confusing and convoluted.

     Statistics show that those claimants that are represented by an attorney are more likely to win their claim for benefits than those who are not.  In my opinion, the reason for this is because the lawyers that handle Social Security Disability claims have a better understanding of
how the Social Security Administration decides your case and they develop your case accordingly.

     Remember this web site is my attempt to give you the tools you need to
win your SSDI or SSI benefits with or without a lawyer.  If you decide you need a lawyer for your disability case or just want/need to ask some questions, feel free to contact me.  I also offer a free case evaluation for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income.  

This site is full of free information and practical advice on Social Security Disability.  If you study this site you can learn the following:  How to apply for Social Security DisabilityWhat is the process by which SSA determines if you are disabled.  How to win SSDI or SSI.  What are the GRID rules?  What you can expect and how to handle a Social Security Disability hearing.  What are the medical listing of impairments?  Do I need a lawyer for my disability claim.  The definitions of common terms used.  Helpful tips to help win your disability claim.  What are Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) forms and why are they so important?  What does your past work have to do with disability?  What is child's SSI?  How to win Child's SSI.  What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?  What are the most important things to know and do when trying to get benefits.  Are you disabled?  What is an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and what is his or her role in the process?  What is the Appeals Council?  What can you do to help your Social Security Disability or SSI claim?  How to get Social Security Disability and SSI. 


I wish you good luck with your claim and further encourage you to finish reading this site.


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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Veterans Disability Conference
Next week I will be attending a conference on Veterans Disability.  I will post on my blog anything I learn that may be of any value to those pursuing VA benefits.  The main reason I am attending the conference is to learn the ins and outs of the VA process.  Many Lawyers who handle Social Security Disability claims like myself will start representing Veterans due to the new law that was passed that allows Veterans to hire attorneys for these claims.  The new law goes into affect in June so the conference could not come at a better time.  I will also be posting some additional things that I learned last week at the conference for Social Security Disability.
9:40 pm edt 

Monday, April 23, 2007

What I learned at NOSSCR conference.
At the conference for Social Security Disability lawyers run by NOSSCR I learned a few things that may be of interest to you.  Robert Emrick spoke, he is the Associate Commissioner, OMVE/SSA.  He spoke of many changes coming to the medical listings.  Some of the medical listings are out dated and SSA appears to be making an effort to change many of the listings.  They are reaching out to medical groups and other organizations to try and come up with new listings that are both up to date and more workable.  I was impressed by his speech and hope SSA is able to accomplish these goals in a way that makes the listings more understandable for SSDI and SSI claimants.  Also speaking at the seminar was Lisa deSoto, Deputy Commissioner, ODAR, SSA.  She also had a very interesting speech.  It appears that several changes that were being talked about in regards to the new process that disability lawyers like myself were very much against have lost some steam.  SSA was talking about raising the ages in the GRID Rules which would have had a negative impact on those applying for SSDI and SSI benefits and would have resulted in more denials.  This appears to be dead now and the ages in the GRID Rules will stay the same.  There was also a concern of disability lawyers that SSA was going to get rid of the Appeals Council.  This would have left claimants with no option to appeal a decision of a ALJ accept to sue in federal court.  I am happy to say that it appears as if SSA will keep an Appeals Council in some way. 
9:20 pm edt 

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I will be attending conference of SSDI lawyers this week.
I will be going to the NOSSCR Conference this week and will report anything new or interesting I may learn.  NOSSCR is an organization of Social Security Disability lawyers and representatives.  Make sure to book mark the site and check back for any new information.  I will be posting something on how the new process is going in the Boston area.  I will also be attending numerous other classes on a variety of different topics and will share it with you.
8:38 pm edt 

Sunday, April 15, 2007

What percentage of SSDI and SSI cases are denied?
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is what percentage of Social Security Disability and SSI cases are denied.  At application 65% of cases are denied.  At reconsideration 87% are denied.  At the hearing level before the ALJ 24% are denied and another 14% are dismissed.  At the Appeals Council level 71% are denied, 25% get remands (new hearing before ALJ), and 2% are approved.  In U.S. District Court 41% are denied, 44% get a remand and 5% are approved.  Note that some states do not have the reconsideration stage.  So a question you may have is why is the allowance rate of 35% at application so much lower than the allowance rate of 62% at hearing?  There is no way to know for sure but my opinion is that there are a couple of reasons.  Many people don't get a lawyer until they are the hearing stage.  Another reason is the files are much better developed by the time you get to a hearing.  Lastly, sometimes the file can not tell the whole story and a claimants testimony in person can make a significant impact.  If you want to give your case the best chance of winning at application you should make sure all your medical information is in the file and consider getting a lawyer at application.  Keep in mind the wait time for a hearing is anywhere from 1 to 2 years so the idea is to win as early as you can. 
8:02 pm edt 

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tips for a Social Security Disability Hearing
The first thing you should do is have an understanding of your case and what it is you have to prove to win.  In other words know the theory of your case.  A lawyer can be helpful because if they have handled many SSDI and SSI cases they will know what you have to prove for your particular case.  Every case is different and many factors can play into exactly what you will have to show at the ALJ hearing.  You should also have some idea of the types of questions that will be asked.  See my page on the Social Security Disability hearing to get a general idea.  Knowing the types of questions that will be asked will also help relieve some of the anxiety of having a hearing.  You should also look at your notice of hearing and check if a medical or vocational expert will be there.  If there will be an expert at the hearing, and you don't have a lawyer you may want to consider one.  This will allow for a proper cross examination of these experts.  I also would not dress up as if you are going on an interview for a job.  Dress respectfully of the court but if you come in to a hearing in a suit the ALJ may get the impression that you could work.  I have more tips and information on my page on the ALJ hearing.  
7:36 pm edt 

Monday, April 9, 2007

Is it harder to get disability in some areas more than others?
Your chances of getting Social Security Disability can be greatly influenced by where your hearing is located.  I will not name the ODAR offices that I find to be more difficult to win at since I still have to handle hearings in these places, but I can tell you that were you live can make a big difference.  I have found that word gets out on the street pretty fast if the ALJs in your area are overly favorable or unfavorable to claims.  There is one particular ODAR I am aware of that has an earned reputation of not finding for deserving SSDI and SSI claims.  Worse than that I have experienced abusive ALJs at this particular office.  I believe from my experience that Social Security is aware of these offices and tries to offset what would be glaring statistical abnormalities by assigning ALJs from other areas to hold hearings usually by video at these locations.  I have no documented evidence of this it is just an experienced guess on my part.  So what can you do if you hear through the grapevine that the ODAR in your area is particularly difficult?  You might want to consider finding a good lawyer and don't give up.  If you have a difficult ALJ you may be denied.  But if you know you can't work and feel you have a good case you should keep appealing even to the District Court if you have to.  When a case is sent back it will have directions from the appeal council to the ALJ which may include ordered medical or vocational expert testimony.  This can all help with a difficult ALJ.  If you are denied again by the same ALJ and you are able to get another remand on appeal you will be assigned a different Judge.  So if you are assigned a Judge you heard was difficult make sure your evidence is strong, get a lawyer and try and be patient. 
10:07 pm edt 

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Can you work while getting disability?
I am often asked if one can work while collecting Social Security Disability benefits.  SSA has a program for this called the Ticket to Work.  Before I get into the program I have a few warnings.  If you are able to do some work and decide to do so make sure to follow the program.  The rules on being able to work while getting disability benefits are confusing and not with out risk if you don't know the rules and follow them.  The ticket to work program can help you free of charge with vocational rehabilitation and job referrals.  These services are provided by private organizations or government agencies.  For more information call MAXIMUS, Inc. at 1-866-968-7842. 
8:43 pm edt 


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