TALLAHASSEE SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY LAWYER
Social security or disability insurance questions?
Call 850-270-6977 or click here to start.
Named to Super Lawyers Magazine’s list of “Rising Stars” for four years running.
Highest possible peer review rating by lawyers in the community (AV Martindale Hubbell).
Perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating through Avvo.com.
READ WHAT OUR CLIENTS HAVE TO SAY:
“I FINALLY WON. I had been trying to get SSDI for years, I was turned down. Frustrated and confused with the process a friend recommended Matt Liebenhaut. From the start Mr. Liebenhaut and his entire staff were great. They were able to secure the SSDI that I needed and deserved. Overall my experience with the Liebenhaut team was superior.” Anne
“PEACE OF MIND. Matt helped my husband with Social Security/Disability 2 different times and explained everything to us so we could understand it. It was peace of mind for us. He was very knowledgeable. I feel he really cares about the clients and I would highly recommend him to other people.” Jan
“EXCELLENT ATTORNEY. Mr. Liebenhaut was handed my SSD case, which I must say was a very difficult one with short notice and very little time to prepare; however, he jumped right in and took over as if I had been his client for years and won my case. This type of attorney is rare. Thank you Mr. Liebenhaut.” Maxine
“LISTENED CAREFULLY AND EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS. Matt Liebenhaut and his staff helped me through each step of the application for Social Security disability benefits. No retainer was necessary for Mr. Liebenhaut to take my case. He and his staff are extremely knowledgeable and caring. I was contacted at each stage of the process to make sure I was informed and prepared for each step. With the help of Mr. Liebenhaut’s staff, my disability application was approved on the very first review; something I had heard would never happen. What impressed me the most was that Mr. Liebenhaut listened carefully to my concerns and directed the process in a way that maintained absolute integrity. He and his office exceeded my expectations in every way. Even after my case was completely resolved, a staff member called to make sure there were no problems with the receipt of my first disability payment. That is certainly service beyond what is required!” Kathy
“Our clients come to us at some of the most difficult times in their lives. We understand that and give each client the attention they deserve.”
As a Tallahassee social security disability lawyer, Matt Liebenhaut represents individuals of all ages who are unable to work because of a physical, mental, or emotional disability. We assist these individuals obtain Private (LTD or STD) Disability Insurance Benefits as well as Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from the Social Security Administration. If your application for SSDI or SSI has been denied, contact us for a free consultation with a social security disability lawyer. You only have sixty days from the date of your denial to file your appeal so don’t delay. If we represent you, you will not pay anything unless we win your appeal and obtain benefits for you.
What are SSDI and SSI?
If you are disabled and can no longer work, you may be entitled to either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI). While both benefits are similar, they have slightly different eligibility criteria. Since the Social Security tax funds SSDI, an individual would have needed to pay into this fund during employment to receive benefits. Then, the monthly benefit an individual would receive would be based on earning records of the insured worker.
To receive SSI on the basis of a disability, an individual must have limited income; limited resources; be a US citizen, national, or in a certain category of aliens; and live in the United States or Mariana Islands. Monthly payments for SSI varies according to need. If you live in Tallahassee or the surrounding areas, and need a social security disability lawyer, we help you apply for either SSDI or SSI.
Has your claim been denied?
If you have been denied benefits, you have a chance at appealing your claim. The Social Security Administration accepts only roughly 35% of initial applications. Appealing your claim may allow you the opportunity to explain your case to an Administrative Law Judge during a hearing. While a claimant may attend a hearing unrepresented, representation from a Social Security disability lawyer will relieve the burden of preparing your appeal and may increase the chance of a favorable decision. Our social security disability lawyer is uniquely prepared to answer your questions.
The Social Security Administration identifies 165 serious diseases that may qualify an individual to obtain benefits faster than applicants who have a disease not on this list. The purpose of the Compassionate Allowances list is to help the Social Security Administration fulfill their obligation of quickly providing benefits to those with severe medical conditions. If you suffer from a condition on the Compassionate Allowances list, we can help you obtain your disability benefits in a shorter wait time. To view the list, please visit: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances/conditions.htm. Regardless of whether a social security disability lawyer in Tallahassee helps you with your case, if you qualify for a compassionate allowance, your chances of successfully obtaining benefits is very high.
Common Mistakes during Application Process
- Deadlines. The Social Security Administration is very strict on deadlines. If your initial claim is denied, you have 60 days to submit a written request for reconsideration. If your reconsideration request doesn’t grant you a favorable decision, then you have another 60 days to file your appeal. When an applicant accidentally misses one of these deadlines after being denied, they will have to begin the entire application process over again. The national average hearing wait time is 16 months. As social security lawyers in Tallahassee, FL we are painfully aware that 19 months is generally the wait time for a hearing in Tallahassee. Don’t let your benefits be postponed for another year.
- Not enough information. Without sufficient knowledge of your past work history, physical limitations, medical information and education, Social Security’s examiners will have a limited ability to understand your claim. As Tallahassee disability lawyers, we train and educate our staff to ensure accurate descriptions of your conditions to increase your chances of approval. It is important to provide a proper description of your disability on your initial application to prevent a delay in processing.
- Necessary documents. Gathering necessary documents to submit to Social Security is often difficult and time consuming. The most valuable evidence you can submit are Medical Source Statements from your physicians. These statements provide your doctor’s opinion on your conditions and examiners weigh these heavily. Without Medical Source Statements, your claim may not reach its full potential to result in a favorable decision.
Answering Questions Related to Social Security Disability
Long-Term Disability Insurance
Inability to work due to sickness or a disabling injury may entitle you to Long Term Disability (LTD) Insurance. LTD insurance protects from loss of income from inability to work due to illness, injury, or accident for an extended period. Some estimates state that the average employee with a long-term disability misses 2.5 years of work. LTD insurance does not provide insurance for work-related accidents or injuries that are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. LTD insurance is usually provided by employers. Furthermore, there are a variety of plans available for employers to offer as part of a comprehensive employee benefits package. Long term disability payments to the employee, in some policies have a defined period of time, for example, two years. Others pay an employee until he or she is 65 years old, this is the preferred policy.
If your claim has been denied, or if your policy is not being honored, you may need LTD insurance representation. Whether your long-term disability insurance policy is provided by your employer or independent can have a big difference. If your employer provides the insurance policy, the nature of your employer, specifically whether you are employed by the federal, state or local government or certain nonprofit entities, can also have an impact. Insurance companies such as Reliance, The Standard, Prudential, and Cigna often issue unfair denials of long-term disability insurance claims, betting that you won’t hire a lawyer. Although there are a lot of injury lawyers in Tallahassee, there are very few Tallahassee long-term disability insurance lawyers. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What is an Own-Occupation versus Any-Occupation Disability Insurance Policy?
An own-occupation provision in your disability insurance policy provides benefits for a period of time during which you are no longer able to perform the material responsibilities of your job. On the other hand, any-occupation provisions only provide benefits for a period of time in which you are unable to perform the material responsibilities of any job in the national economy.
Most Florida disability insurance policies, provide a period of time during which the policy will provide disability benefits under an own-occupation policy (usually one or two years). After this period of time, these policies become any-occupation policies that will require proving an inability to perform any work. However, even in these circumstances, Florida courts will require the insurer prove the insured approaches the “dignity of livelihood” relative to the past work of the employee. Call us and take the opportunity to have a LTD lawyer in Tallahassee review your claim to determine the type of claim period that will apply.
What difference does it make if my policy is employer provided?
The law that applies to a long-term disability insurance dispute differs greatly depending upon whether the policy was provided as an employee benefit. If so, and if your employer is not a federal, state or local government or certain other organizations, the law that governs your insurance company’s actions is the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ERISA grants the insurance company with a great deal of discretion in determining disability. On the other hand, if your policy was not provided as part of an employee-benefit plan, state contract and insurance law will apply. This is generally a much friendlier law for claimants.