Our Purpose

The purpose of this site is to provide free SSDI and SSI information. 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 Social Security Disability process. If you have any questions that are not answered by this site or want a free consultation, please feel free to e-mail me at karl@ultimatedisabilityguide.comvisit my law firm's website or call 877-527-5529.  I will try to answer any questions you might have about Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

     My name is Karl Kazmierczak, Esq. I am a Board Certified Social Security Disability Specialist by the National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy. Please click on the 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 Pennsylvania. 

How to Use this site.  If you are new to the process of Social Security Disability, I recommend you start by 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.
     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. Please note that it is my intention to provide accurate and up-to-date information on this site, as I put in great effort to do this. However, the information on this site is not guaranteed and no lawyer-client relationship exists.  This site is not a substitute for consultation with a lawyer.

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"THANK YOU!!!! I just wanted to let you know that by following your advice on your site and with the help of my State Congressman,  I was approved for permanent disability (SSD) in 3mos...   Just saying thank you and keep up your wonderful site."  Alyson
To see what other have said about this website read the website testimonials on the page called "Best Social Security Disability Website".


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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.

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Social Security Disability Blog 

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Some things you might want to check before applying for Social Security Disability Benefits.
If you feel you are unable to work due to your medical condition it may be a good idea to speak to your doctor and get their opinion on whether they feel you can work. The reason I say this, is because in most cases to have a good shot at what your benefits you will need the support of your treating doctors. Doctors are people too, and because of this they have their own ideas about disability, just as you and I do, and the decision-makers at Social Security do. You must always keep in mind that some doctors might be of the opinion that almost nobody is disabled from being able to work. So I am not saying if one of your doctors feels you could work that you should give up hope. No one but you truly knows if you are able to work. However, it certainly helps to know ahead of time what your doctors opinion is. You should also ask yourself the same question and try to envision yourself doing gainful employment with the limitations you have. You must be honest with yourself, because the Social Security disability process is long and frustrating and there is no guarantee you will win your case. This means you could go months or years without any income. You should also consider the fact that even if you are found disabled by SSA you will not be entitled to Medicare benefits for two years from the date your entitled to SSD benefit payments. If you are applying for supplemental security income benefits in most states your entitled to Medicaid when you are approved for benefits but some states have additional qualifying factors. I am telling you this, because in these tough economic times if you have a severe medical condition or conditions it is easier to say to yourself that you will not be able to find work. You must keep in mind that Social Security will not only look at your past work but will also look to see if there is other work you do based on your age, education and work experience. By no means am I trying to discourage you from applying for disability if you are disabled. I just want you to keep in mind it is not easy to get disability and if you can work, you should work as long as possible. Another thing you should know, is that many states have state temporary disability which can get you benefits up to the first six months. I am surprised at how many people do not know this could be a possibility for them. This is extremely important for a few of reasons. The first reason is that Social Security will not pay you for the first six months of your disability. The second reason is that many people in desperation apply for unemployment benefits and then apply for Social Security disability. When you apply for unemployment benefits you are stating that you are willing and able to work. This obviously contradicts a Social Security disability application. So if you stopped working due your medical condition it would be a good idea to check with the state in which you live to see if they have state temporary disability. Again, not all states have this so you must check with your state. Third and finally, if you are able to get your state temporary disability this can help with the financial burden while waiting for a decision from Social Security. These are just some of the things you should consider when you are making the decision of whether or not you will apply for Social Security disability benefits. Read this website and learn how Social Security determines if you are disabled. If you know how they determine this and can apply to your situation it can help you come to conclusion of whether or not you have a good chance to win your disability claim.
8:26 pm edt 

Friday, June 5, 2009

Your disabled so you will win your Social Security Disability benefits right?
Wrong. Look at trying to get your SSDI or SSI benefits as a game. In sports the most talented team does not always win. There are many possible reasons for this. Perhaps, the better team did not take the other team as seriously as they should. Maybe the coach on the less talented team was better than the coach on the more talented team. The more talented team may have not practiced as hard as the lesser talented team leading up to the game. Perhaps, it is because the less talented team had been playing together longer than the more talented team and know how to work together. Now, what does all this have to do with your Social Security disability claim. Let's assume that you are clearly disabled and therefore, in this analogy, the more talented team. The Social Security Administration is the other team. If you do not take your claim seriously and rely on the fact that you believe you are clearly disabled and you let SSA do all the work you are giving SSA an advantage and perhaps no choice but to deny your claim. SSA also has many doctors, adjudicators, lawyers, and judges that know Social Security's rules and regulations inside and out. If you do not have an experienced Social Security disability attorney working for you, then they clearly have a better coach since you do not have one at all. Also, consider the fact that all of the employees at SSA have been doing this together for a very long time and this is essentially your first experience with the process. Who do you think has an advantage here? However, you can level the playing field by having an experienced SSD lawyer working on your side to prepare you, educate your doctors about Social Security law and put together a theory of your case using Social Security's rules and regulations in combination with your medical records. Now this analogy is not entirely accurate because Social Security is supposed to be a non-adversarial process. This means, that Social Security will send for medical records, send you to their doctors and impartially evaluate your claim. However, you are still tasked with proving your case to SSA. In other words, you still have to perform well enough to win the game. You do this by learning as much as you can about the system, getting a lawyer's help if you need it, making sure you have all of your medical records submitted, getting opinion evidence from your doctors, and being able to articulate the reason you are disabled under their rules. My analogy here might be a reach but my hope is that you understand that no matter how disabling your condition may be, you still have to go all out to give yourself the best chance to win your disability claim.
10:52 pm edt 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Inability to speak English in an SSD claim.
I have been practicing Social Security disability law for many years. It is clear to me from my practice that the word on the street is if you do not speak English this can help your SSDI or SSI claim. Although this is true in some very limited instances, this post is a warning to those who speak and understand English and claim they don't in their Social Security claim. I have seen many good cases loose because the administrative law judge does not believe a claimant when they claim to not understand or speak English. This usually occurs during a hearing when the claimant is testifying and answers the judge in English or responds to a question before the interpreter interprets what the ALJ has asked. This can be a flat out claims Killer. If you understand or speak English at all it is important that you state this both when you apply and during your testimony at the hearing. You may still need an interpreter if you do not understand or speak English well, but if you make the statement that you do not understand or speak any English then for your own sake it should be true. If the ALJ believes that you speak and/or understand English and you say you don't then there is a good chance he will give your testimony very little weight and hold this against you in his decision. I cannot tell you how many times I have spoken with individuals before the hearing through an interpreter and they tell me they do not understand or speak any English. I always ask if they are sure they do not understand any English, and many times I am insured through the interpreter that they do not. Then, we get into the hearing and the judge asked the question of the claimant and the claimant responds before the interpreter interprets the question. Don't let this happen to you. Be very honest about exactly how much English you understand and can speak. The advantage of having testimony which the ALJ believes is credible far outweighs any advantage in not being able to speak English in a Social Security Disability claim. Even if you understand and speak just a little English it is important that you say so. Remember when you are in a hearing you are under oath.
3:41 pm edt 

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