What Can a Baltimore SSDI Attorney Do to Help You? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
The Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) system is designed specifically to help individuals who need help coping with serious and life-changing medical conditions. Yet, collecting SSDI benefits can be a challenge—even if you clearly qualify for coverage. As a result, it is important to seek help when you need to file a claim. Baltimore SSDI lawyer Emmett B. Irwin focuses his practice on helping people with disabilities, and he can use his experience to seek the full benefits you deserve.
When you have an SSDI claim, you have the option of trying to handle your claim on your own. Some people choose this option because they believe that it is expensive to hire an attorney. However, the truth of the matter is that it costs nothing out of pocket to hire an attorney to represent you, and your attorney may be able to help you recover significantly more than you could recover on your own.
What is Social Security Disability Insurance?
SSDI is a federal disability benefit administered by the SSA. SSDI pays benefits for a qualifying disability to an individual who becomes disabled. The Social Security disability program is like an insurance policy in that it will provide benefits to individuals who have worked and paid enough into Social Security but who later become disabled. To qualify for SSDI, an applicant must qualify as disabled and be unable to perform any substantial gainful activity (SGA). The amount a disabled applicant can earn and still qualify for SSDI depends on the nature of a person’s disability. For example, a blind applicant may be allowed to make more than a non-blind applicant before the applicant’s wages are considered SGA. For 2021, the monthly SGA for non-blind individuals is $1310 a month and $2190 for blind individuals.
In determining whether an applicant is disabled, the SSA uses a medical guide called the Blue Book to evaluate the applicant’s medical condition. The Blue Book includes medical criteria that must be met for a condition to qualify as a medical disability. You can log into your My Social Security account and view your Social Security Statement to determine whether you have acquired sufficient work credits to qualify for federal disability benefits.
Why Maryland Residents Choose Emmett B. Irwin for Their SSDI Claims
Many people who file SSDI claims on their own have their claims denied. In most cases, this is not because they are ineligible for benefits. Instead, it is because of mistakes made during the application process. Baltimore SSDI attorney Emmett B. Irwin has years of experience helping Maryland residents overcome these challenges and secure full benefits without unnecessary challenges or delays.
Here are just some of the reasons why Maryland residents choose The Law Office of Emmett B. Irwin, P.C. for their SSDI Claims:
- We are a Baltimore-based law firm. Unlike many “national” practices that process a high volume of claims on behalf of people all over the country, we represent mostly Maryland residents.
- We do not have a large staff of non-lawyer “advocates.” While large SSDI law firms do a lot of advertising, what they do not advertise is that many of their staff members are non-lawyer “advocates.” When you choose us, you will have access to an attorney at all stages of your SSDI claim.
- We focus on helping people who have been diagnosed with disabling injuries. Before starting his own firm, attorney Emmett B. Irwin handled SSDI and Medicaid applications for Johns Hopkins Health Systems, the University of Maryland Medical Systems, and LifeBridge Health, among other entities. He has devoted his career to helping those in need, and he is passionate about ensuring that his clients receive the maximum benefits available.
Developing Your Medical File: A Key Early Step in the SSDI Claim Process
When filing for SSDI benefits, it is absolutely essential to develop a complete medical file. Unfortunately, the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) receives many fraudulent claims, which has forced the SSA to scrutinize all claims for benefits meticulously. Your medical file is your proof that you are entitled to coverage, and failing to provide all required documentation is among the most common reasons for SSDI denials.
When you choose our firm, Baltimore SSDI lawyer Emmett B. Irwin will walk you step-by-step through the process of developing your medical file. This includes helping you collect documents such as:
- Birth certificate
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful status
- W-2 forms or self-employment tax returns
- Medical records and test results
- Workers’ compensation documentation (if any)
- Adult Disability Report
The Adult Disability Report is a form that the SSA requires for all SSDI applications. The form is 15 pages long and requires applicants to provide information about everything from their educational background and employment history to the cause and effects of their injuries. Completing this form correctly is extremely difficult and time-consuming, and even minor mistakes or omissions can lead to a denial of SSDI benefits.
Determining if You Need Additional Documentation for Your Medical File
In addition to helping you collect your records and complete the Adult Disability Report, attorney Emmett B. Irwin can also determine whether you need additional documentation to support your SSDI application. For example, if your medical history is incomplete or does not have the types of test results that the SSA requires, you may need to undergo an additional medical examination before filing your claim for benefits. If you need a medical exam, Mr. Irwin can refer you to a local doctor specializing in treating patients who have suffered disabling injuries and need to file for SSDI benefits.
Depending on the nature of your medical condition, Mr. Irwin may also advise obtaining a written medical opinion. This is a sworn statement from a doctor attesting to your inability to work due to your condition.
Seeking Benefits the First Time While Also Preparing for an Appeal
Even with experienced legal representation, you could still end up having your initial SSDI claim denied. This is just something that happens, and it is something you should prepare for no matter how careful you are when putting together your application.
Baltimore SSDI attorney Emmett B. Irwin will do everything he can to make sure your application is successful the first time. But, just in case the SSA raises questions about your application, he will also prepare for the possibility of filing an appeal. This will involve having your application reviewed by a different SSA employee and possibly taking your claim before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). If you need to go to a hearing before an ALJ, you will be asked questions such as:
- What are your symptoms?
- Are you currently working?
- How do your symptoms affect your ability to work?
- If you are not working, when did you stop?
- Are you currently seeing a doctor?
- What treatment are you receiving?
- Are you taking any medications (and if so, which ones)?
If necessary, Mr. Irwin can thoroughly prepare you for your ALJ hearing, and he can represent you throughout the entire process. No matter what it takes, if you are entitled to SSDI benefits, Mr. Irwin will keep fighting to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.
Talk to Baltimore SSDI Lawyer Emmett B. Irwin About Your Claim
Do you need to file for SSDI benefits? If so, get started with a free, no-obligation consultation at The Law Office of Emmett B. Irwin, P.C. Call 443-839-0818 or contact us online to discuss your claim with Baltimore SSDI lawyer Emmett B. Irwin today.