Are you unable to work because of a disability? Get the answers you need on Social Security Disability to protect your rights

Keefe Disability Law has compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions in response to the overwhelming number of people who need help with the Social Security Disability process in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. If you are disabled and need help with disability benefits, read on to learn how to protect your legal rights.

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  • How often do I have to reapply for Social Security disability benefits?

    Social security benefits applicationSocial Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a payroll tax-funded federal insurance program that pays monthly benefits to workers who can no longer hold a job due to a significant illness or impairment. Once you've applied for SSDI and been approved for benefits, you won't have to reapply. However, you may be subject to periodic Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) to determine whether your eligibility has changed. Here's what you need to know about CDRs and how Keefe Disability Law's exceptional Boston SSDI attorneys can help if the Social Security Administration (SSA) tries to end your benefits.

    SSDI Eligibility

    Disabled individuals who have a medically determinable impairment that prevents them from working or participating in substantial gainful employment for 12 months or more may qualify for SSDI, provided that they also have sufficient work credits. (This means that the applicant has worked in jobs that pay into Social Security long enough to amass 40 work credits, 20 of which were earned in the last ten years; younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.)

    Once approved, you can continue to collect benefits for as long as you have a qualifying disability. However, there are several reasons your eligibility could potentially change over time, such as significant improvement in your condition or returning to work and earning more than the substantial gainful activity limit. (What constitutes substantial gainful activity fluctuates with changes in the national average wage index; in 2022, it was $1,350 per month for most individuals and $2,260 per month for statutorily blind applicants.)

    Understanding Continuing Disability Review (CDR) Frequency 

    Anyone who receives SSDI benefits must submit to periodic CDRs. How often the reviews are required depends largely on whether your medical impairment is expected to improve. For example, if the improvement is expected, the SSA will typically initiate a CDR within six to 18 months of your approval for benefits. When improvement is possible, but not necessarily anticipated, CDRs are generally requested every three years. Finally, when improvement isn't expected, the SSA will review your claim for continued eligibility every seven years or so.

    What to Expect During Your CDR 

    You won't be expected to keep track of how often your claim needs review; the SSA will notify you by mail when a CDR is required. The disability review is a short interview at your local Social Security field office, during which you'll need to provide:

    • Information on your medical condition and day-to-day limitations
    • Contact information for your doctors and any medical facilities where you've received treatment 
    • Contact information for your employer if you've worked since being approved for SSDI benefits 

    The above information is sent to the same Disability Determination Services (DDS) office that was responsible for reviewing your initial application. DDS will inform you of its decision in writing by mail. Provided that your medical condition remains severe enough to prevent work (or substantial gainful activity), your monthly SSDI payments should continue. 

    What to Do If Informed Your SSDI Benefits Will End 

    Received a notification that your SSDI benefits will cease and believe the decision was made in error? Contact the knowledgeable and experienced Social Security disability attorneys with Keefe Disability Law immediately. Our adept lawyers will review your claim and the information you provided during your CDR for mistakes or omissions that may be to blame and work to rectify the situation as quickly as possible.

    Request a Consultation 

    Ready to find out how Keefe Disability Law's accomplished team of Boston attorneys can help you hang on to the SSDI benefits you need and deserve? Complete our online contact form or call 508-283-5500 (toll-free 888-904-6847) to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation. For additional information, request our complimentary report, 7 Costly Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Social Security Disability Claim.

     

  • Are there any limits on how I can spend SSDI money?

    Limits on spending money from SSDIManaged by the Social Security Administration (SSA), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a government program that provides medical care and monthly payments to individuals who have disabilities that prevent work or substantial gainful activity (SGA). Unlike Supplemental Security Income (SSI), SSDI isn't needs-based, so if you applied and were approved for benefits, there aren't any official restrictions on how you can spend the money you receive. However, the SSA does suggest prioritizing your current needs, catching up on past-due bills, and saving for reasonably foreseeable future expenses before using the money for discretionary spending. 

    Here's what you need to know about using SSDI back pay or monthly payments; the many spending restrictions you face if you're a representative payee rather than a beneficiary; and how the knowledgeable and experienced Boston-based attorneys with Keefe Disability Law can assist you.

    A Word About Back Pay 

    Getting approved for SSDI can be a lengthy and frustrating process. Most applications are initially denied, forcing people who are in serious need of benefits to appeal the unfavorable decision via a four-stage process that can add months to the whole ordeal. When disability applicants are finally approved, they're often eligible for back pay – a lump sum payment of benefits you would have received had the SSA approved your application when you first applied. Because these benefits have accrued for months or even years, when the back pay lands in your account, the amount can be substantial. 

    Spending Your Disability Benefits 

    Whether it's back pay or monthly payments, the SSA recommends covering all of your basic needs before doing anything extravagant.

    Examples of Basic Expenses 

    • Rent or mortgage payments (or other housing costs)
    • Utilities, such as water, electricity, natural gas, sewage and sanitation, and Internet 
    • Food, including daily meals, snacks, and beverages, as well as occasional meals out 
    • Other living expenses, such as transportation costs, laundry services, and more

    Though, if you live with another person who covers such expenses in their entirety – or pays the lion's share – you can essentially spend your SSDI payments however you see fit.

    Understanding the Responsibilities and Spending Limitations of an SSDI Representative Payee 

    The SSA appoints a representative payee when an adult beneficiary is incapable of managing their own SSDI benefits, such as in cases of legal incompetency. A representative payee can be a person, like a family member, close friend, attorney, or an organization, such as social service agencies, banks or other financial institutions, and state or local government agencies. The appointed individual or organization has wide-ranging responsibilities, all of which must be completed with the beneficiary's best interests in mind. Also, unlike an SSDI beneficiary, a representative payee can't spend at their own discretion.

    Representative Payee Duties 

    • Use payments to meet the beneficiary's current and future housing, dietary, and other basic needs.
    • Spend some of the money on personal comfort items and recreational costs for the beneficiary, such as movie tickets, magazine subscriptions, or outings or trips.
    • Provide the beneficiary with discretionary money when possible. (If the disabled person has drug, alcohol, gambling, or other addiction issues, spending money can be given in small amounts and monitored to prevent abuse.)
    • Save any benefits not currently needed to help cover unexpected future expenses.
    • Keep records of the payments received and how they were spent.
    • Provide the SSA with an accounting of how SSDI benefits were saved or used upon request.

    Additionally, the SSA prohibits representative payees from collecting a fee – unless they're a qualified organizational payee and have received approval in writing – or spending SSDI benefits on themselves.

    Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

    If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.


     

  • What is a durational denial and what does it mean for my SSDI case?

    durational denial social securityQualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) requires meeting specific criteria. Not only must you have worked in jobs covered by Social Security long enough to amass sufficient credits to qualify for SSDI, but you must have a disability or medically determinable impairment that's expected to prevent substantial gainful employment for at least 12 months or result in death.

    If you applied for SSDI and received a durational denial from the Social Security Administration (SSA), the disability examiner and medical consultant who reviewed your claim didn't think your condition would last long enough to qualify you for benefits. Here's what you need to know about SSDI's duration-of-disability requirement and how an experienced disability lawyer can help you get your case back on track after a durational denial. 

    Disability Duration and SSDI Eligibility

    The SSA has a very specific definition of disability – and, sadly, getting a disabling diagnosis from your doctor doesn't necessarily mean you'll be eligible for SSDI benefits. To qualify for SSDI, your condition must prevent substantial gainful activity, meaning that you make less than a specified amount each month. (Though updated annually, in 2022, this amount was $1,350 for most people and $2,260 for statutorily blind applicants.) Additionally, you must make less than the specified amount for at least 12 months in a row.

    Ways to Meet the SSDI Duration-of-Disability Requirement 

    • You have a condition that has prevented substantial gainful employment for a minimum of 12 months.
    • Your disability is expected to prevent substantial gainful activity for 12 months or longer.
    • Your condition won't improve within the next 12 months.
    • Your disability is terminal and will result in death.

    Providing clear medical evidence of your condition is vital when applying for SSDI. If you received a durational denial, despite having a disability that meets one of the duration requirements, it could mean that:

    • Your doctor wasn't able to state with confidence (or prove with data) that your injury or illness would prevent you from working for 12 months or more; or 
    • Your application didn't include sufficient medical evidence proving the lasting nature of your disability to the SSA claims examiner and medical consultant assigned to your case.

    The Problem With Durational Denials

    Durational denials are somewhat controversial. Not only are they subjective and primarily based on opinion, but these crucial decisions are made by examiners who often have little-to-no medical experience and are signed off on by medical consultants who don't know you or your condition. Even worse, these individuals may rely on personal knowledge or biases when making their decisions, perhaps without even realizing it. 

    What to Do If You Received a Durational Denial

    Receiving a durational denial can be a significant setback, but, fortunately, these decisions aren't etched in stone. Durational denials made by SSA claims examiners are often successfully disputed and reversed on appeal. 

    After receiving the denial, you have 60 days to initiate an appeal and request a reconsideration of the decision. However, at this stage, there's far too much at stake to go it alone. Consult a knowledgeable disability lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you understand your rights, options, and obligations throughout the SSDI appeals process.

    Need Help Dealing With an SSDI Durational Denial? You've Come to the Right Place

    Since 1994, Keefe Disability Law's Boston-based legal team has helped disabled clients throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island fight for the SSDI benefits they need and deserve. We assist clients at all stages of the disability process – from initial application to appeal. Ready to find out what our seasoned attorneys can do for you and your SSDI claim? 

    Request a Free Consultation 

    Complete our online contact form or call us at 508-283-5500 (toll-free 888-904-6847) to schedule an appointment for a free consultation regarding your SSDI durational denial and potential appeal. For additional information, request our complimentary guide, 7 Costly Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Social Security Disability Claim.

    Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

    If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.


     

  • What should I do if I was denied SSDI benefits for osteoporosis?

    SSDI denial for osteoporosisBone is made up of living tissues, so even when you're fully grown, your bones are engaged in a constant cycle of breakdown and rebuilding. Unfortunately, this process slows as you age, causing old bone to be lost faster than new bone is created. In turn, this leads to a loss of mass and results in weak, brittle bones that are prone to breaking.

    When you have osteoporosis, this bone fragility can be so extreme that the physical exertion associated with performing basic daily tasks can be sufficient to cause a fracture. Obviously, if you can't cough or even bend over without risking broken bones, holding a job and participating in substantial gainful activity can be difficult, if not impossible. Sadly, the Social Security Administration (SSA) denied your application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, leaving you wondering what to do next. 

    Here's what you need to know about appealing a denied SSDI claim, qualifying for benefits for osteoporosis, and how Keefe Disability Law's exceptional attorneys can guide you every step of the way. 

    Appealing a Denied SSDI Claim

    After you receive the denial letter from the SSA, you have 60 days to initiate an appeal, either online or by completing forms SSA-561, SSA-827, and SSA-3441 and submitting them to the Social Security office nearest you. There are four stages in the appeals process: reconsideration, hearing before an administrative law judge, Appeals Council review, and federal court review. At each stage, you generally have 60 days to appeal the decision.

    SSA Appeals Process Overview

    • Reconsideration. The first step in the appeals process, reconsideration consists of a thorough review of your claim by an examiner or medical professional who wasn't involved in the first determination. You can request reconsideration for a medical or non-medical denial, and submit new or additional evidence for the SSA to use when making its decision.
    • Hearing by an administrative law judge. If Disability Determination Services (DDS) denies your reconsideration request, you can ask for a hearing before an administrative law judge or ALJ who wasn't involved in the initial or reconsideration stages. During this hearing, the ALJ will review the evidence in your case and listen to testimony from you and other witnesses – including experts – before making a determination.
    • Appeals Council review. If the ALJ rules against you, you can ask the SSA Appeals Council to review the case. A panel of members will review the ALJ's ruling, as well as any new evidence or information, before announcing its determination. The council can affirm, change, or reverse the decision, or order a new hearing.
    • Federal Court review. If the Appeals Council denied your request for a review or you disagree with its determination, you can file a civil lawsuit in Federal district court as a last resort.

    Qualifying for SSDI for Osteoporosis

    Generally speaking, there are two ways to qualify for SSDI: meeting a listing in the SSA's Blue Book Listing of Impairments or equaling a listing by showing that your condition is as disabling as one that qualifies for benefits. Because osteoporosis isn't included in the Listing of Impairments, equaling a listing is the only path to approval and requires completing a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment. This is a lengthy analysis of your work history and occupational skills, as well as the physical demands of your job and the limitations and impairments caused by your osteoporosis.

    Important Information and Evidence to Include 

    • The presence of advanced symptoms, such as frequent fractures, severe lower back pain, stooped posture, noticeable loss of height, or shortness of breath (caused by reduced lung capacity)
    • The results of a bone density test can offer insight into future bone health 
    • X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs
    • Results of other screening tests, such as peripheral DXA and quantitative ultrasound (QUS)
    • Blood test results 

    Talk to Us About Your Appeal

    Learning that your SSDI claim has been denied can be frustrating. Fortunately, a denial letter isn't the end of the road. Let Keefe Disability Law's knowledgeable and experienced Boston disability attorneys review your case and guide you through the appeals process. Contact us online or call 508-283-5500 (toll-free 888-904-6847) to schedule a complimentary initial consultation. 

    Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

    If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.


     

  • What medical documentation do I need to apply for SSDI for long COVID?

    Long covid syndromeEven after testing negative for COVID-19, some people who've had the virus continue to experience an array of debilitating symptoms that can prevent substantial gainful employment. If you've been diagnosed with long COVID and can no longer work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

    Getting approved for SSDI is rarely if ever easy, but getting benefits for a recently discovered disease like COVID-19, the long-term effects of which are not yet fully understood, can be particularly challenging. Here's what you need to know about applying for SSDI for long COVID, including what medical documentation you'll need and how Keefe Disability Law's skilled Boston attorneys help COVID long-haulers like you fight for the benefits they deserve. 

    Understanding Long COVID

    While most people who contract COVID-19 recover, an estimated 10 to 30 percent of patients continue to suffer symptoms even after receiving a negative test result. Anyone who's had the virus can go on to develop long COVID, also known as post-COVID syndrome or Post Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC), even if the initial illness wasn't severe enough to require hospitalization. 

    Long-Haul COVID Symptoms 

    • Cough
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath 
    • Chest pain
    • Dizziness or fainting upon standing 
    • Extreme fatigue
    • Severe headaches
    • Accelerated heart rate or pounding heart 
    • Problems thinking or concentrating (known as “brain fog”)
    • Loss of smell
    • Loss of taste or abnormal tastes 
    • Fever
    • Joint and muscle pain
    • Anxiety and depression 
    • Insomnia and other sleep disorders

    Post-COVID Syndrome and SSDI Eligibility 

    To qualify for SSDI, applicants must have a medically determinable impairment that prevents them from working or engaging in substantial gainful activity for 12 months or longer. The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers earning over a certain monthly amount substantial gainful activity. Though this amount changes annually, in 2022, most applicants could make up to $1,350 per month (and legally blind individuals could earn up to $2,260 each month) without it negatively affecting their eligibility.

    SSDI applicants usually have to meet the specific criteria for a disability in the SSA's Blue Book Listing of Impairments or show that an unlisted condition is equally impairing in order to be approved for benefits. Though, as an emerging illness, COVID-19 doesn't appear in the Blue Book, the SSA announced in April 2021 that it would accept the virus as a medically determinable impairment and consider long-haulers for benefits if they can establish their COVID diagnosis with evidence from acceptable medical sources and meet the severity and duration requirements. The SSA will also consider applicants who've developed new medically determinable impairments – or had existing impairments worsen – due to COVID.

    Why Getting SSDI Benefits for Long COVID Can Be So Challenging

    The SSA won't just take your word that you've had COVID-19 and are now suffering from disabling long-term symptoms; you'll have to provide medical documentation to prove it. Unfortunately, this can be more difficult than it sounds. To establish COVID as a medically determinable impairment, the SSA will only accept a report of a positive viral test for SARS-CoV-2, a diagnostic test with findings consistent with COVID-19 (such as a chest x-ray with lung abnormalities), or a COVID diagnosis with signs consistent with the virus (such as fever and cough). The results of an at-home rapid COVID test or positive antibody test don't count – and if you contracted COVID-19 early in the pandemic, before tests were widely available, trying to prove your diagnosis to the SSA can be incredibly frustrating.

    Let Our Experienced Boston Disability Lawyers Help You Fight for SSDI Benefits

    When you're suffering from post-COVID syndrome and are unable to work and counting on getting approved for disability benefits to help make ends meet, there's far too much at stake to go it alone. Fortunately, you don't have to. At Keefe Disability Law, our adept attorneys fight to protect your rights and best interests. Contact us online or call 508-283-5500 (toll-free 888-904-6847) to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation. Have questions? Browse our FAQs here.

    Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

    If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.


     

  • What is a Social Security disability protective filing date?

    protective filing date for Social Security disabilityAre you no longer able to work due to a long-term disability? If you're considering applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you may have heard terms like “protective filing date” and “back pay” and wondered what they mean and how they might affect your application for benefits. Here's what you need to know, including how the knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with Keefe Disability Law can help you protect your rights. 

    What It Is and Why It Matters 

    A protected filing date is the actual date you first notified the Social Security Administration (SSA) of your intention to apply for disability benefits. Establishing this date as early as possible is key. Here's why: In some cases, it can take months – or even years – for people to be approved for benefits, and the majority (roughly two-thirds) of applications are initially denied. The protective filing date establishes your eligibility so that if and when you are granted SSDI benefits, you can receive back pay for the period in which you were diagnosed with a medically-qualifying condition, but not yet approved for benefits. 

    If your initial application for benefits is denied and you're able to successfully appeal the decision, you can receive back pay starting from the original protected filing date. Additionally, if the SSA determines that you became disabled prior to contacting them regarding your intention to seek benefits, you could also collect retroactive benefits for a period of up to 12 months before your protected filing date. However, if you choose to file a new application, rather than appealing a denied claim, you would have to start all over with a new protective filing date, which could cost you valuable disability benefits.

    Establishing an SSDI Protective Filing Date 

    The process is simple when it comes to establishing a protective filing date for a claim for disability benefits. It can even be completed on your behalf by a relative or caregiver if you prefer.

    Three Ways to Lock In Your Protected Filing Date 

    1. Call 800-772-1213 to contact the SSA by phone to schedule a telephone interview or in-person appointment at your local Social Security office. Complete your application for SSDI benefits within six months.
    2. Go to your local Social Security office and state your intention to pursue SSDI benefits. (Make an appointment in advance to avoid long wait times.) Apply for benefits within six months.
    3. Start your application for disability benefits online. After completing the Internet Claim Applicant Identification screen, you'll receive an identification number that allows you to save your progress and log in to continue the application at a later time. This establishes your protected filing date and triggers your local Social Security office to contact you to schedule an interview. Complete your SSDI application within six months.

    Unfortunately, in some cases, the SSA may dispute your protected filing date. This may be due to a lack of medical records clearly documenting the limitations caused by your disability or because you waited longer than six months to complete your SSDI application after establishing a protected filing date by notifying the SSA of your intent to apply for disability benefits. Fortunately, working with our seasoned Boston disability attorneys can help you avoid common mistakes that could delay the approval of your application.

    How Our Massachusetts Disability Lawyers Can Assist You 

    Since 1994, Keefe Disability Law's skilled legal team has helped countless clients apply for – and obtain – the SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits they need and deserve. We may be able to do the same for you. Our accomplished attorneys will guide you through each and every step of the Social Security disability applications process to ensure that you're able to get the benefits you need as quickly as possible. Ready to find out how we can assist you?

    Complete our online contact form or call 508-283-5500 (or toll-free 888-904-6847) to schedule an appointment for a complimentary consultation with a member of our team. For additional information, request a free copy of our book, Unlocking the Mystery: The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process.

    Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

    If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.

  • What is a disability freeze, and why might I need one?

    When you’re temporarily unable to work for a prolonged period due to a disability, you’ll have gaps in your employment history and earn less income than usual during this time. If you subsequently apply for and are granted Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), however, this pause could affect you more than you realize: Your monthly disability benefit award would be lower than if you had no break in your work history. To avoid this issue, you need to apply for a “disability freeze” after your temporary disability ends.

    What Is a Disability Freeze?

    To understand the meaning of a disability freeze, you need a brief background on how the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines SSDI benefit amounts. The SSA determines benefit amounts by calculating your average monthly income for all your working years and inserting that average into a unique formula. The resulting figure is the SSDI Disability Freeze Client Looking at Paperworkamount you’re eligible to receive in benefits. In most cases, the higher your income, the higher the amount of disability benefits you’d be entitled to receive.

    If you have a disability freeze, the SSA will exclude the period when you didn’t work or had less income due to your impairment when calculating your monthly average income. This exclusion will ultimately yield a higher benefit amount as only your higher-earning years will go toward your average income. In other words, the freeze stops you from being penalized for not working due to your medical condition.

    To illustrate, let’s say that an injury or illness caused you to become temporarily disabled for 18 months. During that period, your employer’s short-term disability plan paid you 30 percent of your regular monthly wages. If you have a disability freeze, in determining your SSDI benefit amount, the SSA would exclude those low-paying 18 months from its calculation of your average monthly income. If you don’t have a disability freeze, the 18-months of low income would be included in the average, bringing down the average and thus your disability benefit amount.

    Who Qualifies for a Disability Freeze?

    Only people who meet specific conditions will qualify for a disability freeze. To be eligible, you must:

    • Meet the SSDI work history and earnings requirements to qualify for insured status
    • File for a disability freeze with the SSA within 12 months of the end of your disability
    • Provide evidence of their disability during the disability period
    • Meet the SSA’s definition of disabled or blind

    There are limited exceptions to these criteria. Certain people who are not receiving monthly disability payments may still qualify for a disability freeze. These may include:

    • People who meet the SSA’s definition of blind but who are still able to engage in substantial gainful activity
    • People whose period of disability occurred while working for the U.S. railroad system or as military personnel
    • Incarcerated people (under specific circumstances)

    Note that the disability freeze is not available to people who receive Supplemental Security Income. This form of benefit is not based on your earnings history.

    If you have any questions about whether you’re eligible for the freeze, you should speak with an experienced disability freeze attorney.

    Am I Eligible for a Disability Freeze If My Condition Began Years Ago?

    You may still qualify for a disability freeze if you can prove your impairment started while you had SSDI insurance benefits, even if it was several years ago.

    How Can a Social Security Disability Attorney Help?

    If you are currently receiving SSDI, the SSA automatically grants a disability freeze. If you are no longer receiving disability benefits, you can apply for a disability freeze by contacting the SSA directly. However, a more efficient approach would be to apply with the aid of a skilled SSDI attorney. A knowledgeable attorney with experience in obtaining disability freezes can help you navigate complex SSA rules, assess your chances of receiving a freeze, and gather the appropriate evidence. An attorney can also help you consider questions such as whether it is more beneficial to take SSDI or early retirement, or how to approach the situation if a temporary disability is likely to become a permanent condition.

    Do You Need a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

    If you are looking to apply for a disability freeze, you should speak with an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer, as soon as possible. Please use our online contact form or call our Natick Office directly at 508.283.5500 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • How can a vocational expert impact my claim?

    If you have a Social Security disability hearing scheduled, you may have heard that a vocational expert (VE) will testify there. Many applicants are understandably confused and concerned by the role of this unknown person—especially since this is an expert provided by the government. The VE is there to provide information about different types of work you may be able to perform, but they are neither for nor against you. Here's what you need to know.

    What Is a Vocational Expert

    Vocational Expert at a Disability HearingA vocational expert is a professional witness who has expert, up-to-date knowledge of the labor market, current job trends, and the skills needed to perform a range of jobs. Their job is to provide sufficient information to help an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) determine whether a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applicant can perform their job or another kind of work in light of their limitations. The VE's testimony can thus sway an ALJ in one direction or another when deciding whether to grant SSDI benefits.

    What Does a VE Do During the Hearing

    In general, the VE will testify about information such as:

    • The skill level and physical and mental demands of specific jobs.
    • Descriptions of work settings.
    • Additional jobs that exist within occupations.
    • Transferable skills analysis and SSA regulatory requirements for transferability of work skills.

    More specifically, they will testify as to whether you can perform your job given your impairment. Before the hearing, the SSA will provide the VE with relevant parts of your case file, allowing them to examine your work history, experience, skills, and the level of exertion needed to perform your job or similar ones. During the hearing, the VE may listen to your testimony about your job, and how your functional limitations impact your ability to work.

    What Might the VE Testify About

    Once the VE has all the information they need, they'll give their opinion on the skills and exertion level required for your job, and whether you can still perform it given your limitations. If the VE believes that your impairment doesn't prevent you from continuing to work in your current position, the ALJ is highly unlikely to grant your request for disability benefits.

    If the VE believes that you can't perform your current job, the ALJ will pose a series of questions to identify hypothetical jobs that a person with your experience, education, skills, functional limitations, and age can perform. For example, if you have a disabling back injury, the judge may ask a hypothetical such as:

    "What jobs, if any, could a person the same age as the claimant, and with similar education, work experience, and work history, do if they couldn't stand or sit upright in a chair for more than 30 minutes at a time and had to lay prone every few hours?"

    The VE may then describe a list of potential jobs that you could theoretically perform, stating their SSA coded title and the number of positions (both filled and available) in the area where you live. If the VE says that there are no jobs that you can do in light of your limitations, your disability claim is more likely to succeed. But if they say there are jobs you could perform and earn a liveable wage from them, the judge will likely deny your claim.

    How a New Hampshire Disability Lawyer Can Help

    Having an experienced disability lawyer to represent you at the hearing can make all the difference between having your disability claim granted or denied. Most importantly, your lawyer can:

    • Cross-examine the VE. After the ALJ has finished asking the VE questions, your lawyer may ask the VE questions. Cross-examination is a vital step in the process because if the VE claims that there are jobs you can do, your lawyer may persuade them to change their opinion by pointing out relevant information that they overlooked or omitted. For example, if the VE says you're capable of performing a job requiring you to kneel, but your medical record states that you shouldn't do this, the VE will have to revise their opinion and eliminate those jobs requiring kneeling from their list.
    • Ensure the VE stays within the scope of their duties. The VE is there to provide information about jobs only. They are not allowed to offer information or commentary about medical matters or your impairment. If they overstep these boundaries, your lawyer can bring this overreach to the ALJ's attention.

    Are you going through the appeal process for your SSDI claim? Is your disability benefits hearing coming up? If so, you need an experienced lawyer to help increase your chances of winning and ensure that the VE gives accurate, fair testimony. If you would like to speak with an experienced Social Security disability lawyer, please use our online contact form or call directly at 508.283.5500 to schedule your free consultation as soon as possible.

    Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston?

    If you are looking to apply for Social Security disability, you need to speak with an experienced Social Security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 508.283.5500 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • Do I need a Social Security card to apply for Social Security disability benefits?

    Your physical Social Security card may not be necessary to apply for Social Security disability benefits. However, your Social Security number is an essential piece of your application. If you know your Social Security number, you may not have to take any additional actions, even if you can’t locate your Social Security card. However, if you don’t know your Social Security number, you will need to take additional steps before beginning your Social Security disability application.

    How to Get a Social Security Card

    Blank Social Security CardGenerally, there are three options for getting a Social Security card. You may have had a Social Security card that you can’t find, you may be a United States citizen who never had a Social Security card before, or you may be a non-U.S. citizen who is eligible for a Social Security card.

    U.S. Citizens Needing Replacement Social Security Cards

    If you are a United States citizen who once had a Social Security card issued, you can request a replacement card online as long as you:

    • Are at least 18 years old.
    • Have a driver’s license or state-issued identification card from a participating state. If you live in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or Vermont, either a driver’s license or state-issued identification card will work. However, you cannot currently seek a replacement Social Security disability card with a New Hampshire driver’s license or state-issued identification card.

    You may not request a name change or make any other changes to your Social Security card when seeking a replacement card.

    U.S. Citizens Seeking Social Security Cards for the First Time

    If you are an adult born in the United States who was never issued a Social Security card, then you may apply to get an original card from the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration needs proof of your citizenship and age. The easiest way to do this is to submit an original birth certificate. If an original birth certificate does not exist, you may submit another document that proves your age and citizenship, such as a United States passport, a religious record made within five years of your birth, or a record from a United States hospital. Additional documentation that proves your identity, such as a driver’s license, may be required if you cannot submit a birth certificate or U.S. passport.

    Once you have the required documentation, you will need to complete an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5.)

    Social Security Cards for Non-U.S. Citizens

    If you are not a United States citizen but are authorized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, you may qualify for a Social Security card. You will need a Social Security number to work, and you will need a Social Security number to collect disability benefits. The Social Security Administration will require certain immigration documents from you before issuing you a Social Security number.

    Gather All of the Information You Need Before Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits

    Your Social Security number is an essential piece of your Social Security application. It’s how the Social Security Administration will identify you and determine how much you’ve paid into the Social Security system. However, your Social Security number alone doesn’t tell the agency anything about your disability.

    You will also need to complete a Social Security disability application and present all supporting documentation about your medical condition, disability, work history, and education. A mistake or omission on any part of your Social Security disability application may result in a delay or denial of services. Accordingly, it’s critical to complete your application honestly and completely.

    Our experienced Boston area Social Security disability lawyers can help you from the moment you start thinking about applying for benefits until your checks are direct deposited into your bank account. We focus our practice on Social Security disability applicants in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

    If you’d like more information about applying, we invite you to download a free copy of our book, Unlocking the Mystery: The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process, and to contact us for a free consultation in our conveniently located Natick office or by phone.

    Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

    If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • What happens if I leave a question blank on my Social Security application?

    Man Filling Out a Social Security ApplicationThe Social Security disability application is long and tedious. As you complete the application, you may skip a question that you aren’t sure how to answer. You may have meant to go back and answer the question later, but you forgot, and you submitted an incomplete Social Security disability application to the Social Security Administration.

    What Happens If You File an Incomplete Social Security Disability Application

    If you fail to answer a question on your Social Security disability application, your application may be considered incomplete, and your Social Security disability benefits may be:

    • Delayed. The Social Security Administration may decide they don’t have enough information to make a decision about your eligibility. Accordingly, the agency may request additional information from you or other sources familiar with your disability. The Social Security Administration may also request a consultative exam which may delay your claim.
    • Denied. It’s up to you to convince the Social Security Administration that you qualify for benefits. If you fail to answer questions, the agency may conclude that it doesn’t have the required information to find you disabled, and your application may be denied.

    If your application is delayed or denied, you may lose out on getting the benefits you need right now. However, you may be able to work with an experienced Social Security disability lawyer to fix the error and get the benefits you deserve.

    How to Answer Social Security Disability Questions You’re Not Sure About

    You have some options when you are dealing with a question you are unsure about. You may:

    • Indicate that you’ve read the question and it doesn’t apply to you. Some of the Social Security disability application questions may seem inapplicable to you. We encourage you to let the Social Security Administration know that you’ve read the question and to answer the question with a “not applicable” rather than leaving the answer space blank.
    • Talk to a Social Security disability lawyer about your answers. Our experienced disability attorneys know how to help you answer all disability applications honestly and thoroughly so that your application is not delayed or denied because of unanswered questions.

    To prevent unnecessary unanswered questions, we encourage you to:

    • Thoroughly review the application instructions
    • Have someone review your application before you submit it and ask them to check for unanswered questions
    • Gather necessary documents about your health and work history before you begin completing the application

    Together, these steps can help you complete your Social Security disability application without leaving unintentional unanswered questions.

    More Tips for Submitting a Strong Social Security Disability Application

    The Social Security Administration has to determine whether you are disabled according to the agency’s definition of disability. Accordingly, you don’t want to leave any room for doubt. Instead, you want to:

    • Answer the questions asked of you completely, accurately, and in an easy to understand way
    • Present all supporting documentation requested of you
    • Thoroughly describe all of your physical and mental restrictions
    • Make sure your doctor records all of your symptoms and restrictions
    • Follow your medical treatment plan

    Completing a successful Social Security disability application can be stressful, but you don’t have to do it alone. You are likely at a time in your life when you need to concentrate on your physical health, your emotional well-being, and your family.

    You don’t need the added stress of dealing with the bureaucracy of the Social Security Administration to get the benefits you’ve earned through your years of work.

    Instead, our experienced and local Natick Social Security disability lawyers can help you get the benefits you’ve earned. Our lawyers focus our practice on Social Security disability applicants in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. We regularly appear before the hearing officers in these jurisdictions, and we are committed to helping our neighbors.

    We invite you to learn more about the Social Security disability process by downloading a free copy of our book, Unlocking the Mystery: The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process, and contacting us directly for a free consultation in our Natick office or by phone.

    Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

    If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • What’s the easiest way to get Social Security disability benefits?

    Social Security Paperwork in a Red FolderThere are multiple ways to apply for Social Security disability. You can apply in person at a local Social Security Administration office (when offices are open), online, or over the phone. You will need the same information no matter how you complete your application. One way is not necessarily easier than another. Instead, it is a matter of personal preference.

    Regardless of how you apply, there are two things that you can do to ensure that the Social Security disability application process is as easy and stress-free as possible.

    Gather All Necessary Information Before You Start Your Disability Application

    Preparation is essential to an easy Social Security disability application process. Before you apply over the phone, online, or in person, we encourage you to gather all of the information that you will need to answer the Social Security Administration’s questions. This information includes, but may not be limited to:

    • A U.S. birth certificate or proof of U.S citizenship or lawful alien status if you were born outside of the United States
    • Last year’s W-2 form or your self-employment tax return
    • Medical evidence of your disability that you have in your possession. Medical evidence may include recent test results, medical records, and doctors’ reports
    • A completed Adult Disability Report. The Adult Disability Report (Form SSA-3368-BK) asks for information about you, a contact other than a doctor who knows about your medical condition, your medical conditions, your work activity, your education and training, your work history, your medications, your medical treatments, your healthcare providers, and whether you’ve participated in vocational rehabilitation or employment services
    • Any documentation such as award letters, pay stubs, or settlement agreements regarding any workers’ compensation benefits you received

    You should also provide copies of your U.S. military discharge papers if you served in the military before 1968.

    Additionally, you should be ready to thoroughly and honestly answer questions, such as whether you:

    • Or your spouse ever worked in the railroad industry
    • Ever received Social Security credits from a foreign country’s Social Security system
    • Qualify for or expect to receive a pension or annuity for government work
    • Are married and when you got married
    • Have minor children or children with disabilities under the age of 22
    • Have a parent who is dependent on you
    • Have received or expect to receive money from your employer since you’ve been unable to work

    Other information may also be required.

    The information described above may seem simple enough to obtain and enter into a Social Security disability application. However, the majority of initial disability claims are denied and many of these denials are for issues that could’ve been avoided.

    Contact a Social Security Disability Lawyer Before You Apply for Benefits

    An experienced Social Security disability lawyer knows what the Social Security Administration is looking for on your application and how to avoid unnecessary denials that could significantly delay your benefits.

    Our conveniently located Natick Social Security disability lawyers represent clients in the New England states of New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. While Social Security disability law is a federal law, there are benefits to hiring a local Social Security disability attorney. Our lawyers not only know how to complete initial Social Security disability claims, but we also know local hearing officers and what they are looking for if you need to appeal your claim.

    When you hire us, we will represent you from the time you decide to apply for disability benefits until you begin receiving monthly benefits. We will handle every aspect of your case, answer all of your questions promptly, and provide you with skilled legal representation for the same cost as a Social Security disability advocate.

    We invite you to begin learning more about how easy it can be to apply for Social Security disability. You can get started right now by downloading a free copy of our book, Unlocking the Mystery: The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process, and by contacting our New England Social Security disability lawyers to schedule a free consultation in our Natick office or by phone.

    Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

    If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • Will my military service impact my Social Security disability eligibility?

    Veterans Saluting an US FlagYour military service mattered, and the Social Security Administration recognizes that. Accordingly, your active duty time in the military counts as employment and will earn you work credits that are essential for a successful Social Security disability benefits claim. However, there are some things you should know before you submit your Social Security disability application.

    Social Security Disability Eligibility for Active Duty Military and Veterans

    Whether you are a service member or a civilian, you must qualify for disability benefits by proving to the Social Security Administration that:

    • You have a disability. A disability is defined as a condition that keeps you from engaging in substantial gainful activity or working and earning a certain amount of money per month. The specific amount of money changes from year to year.
    • You worked long enough to qualify for benefits. You must have 40 work credits to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. You can earn one credit for each quarter of the year worked for a total of four credits per year. Twenty of your work credits must have been earned in the last 10 years. Military service counts toward your work credits.

    There is no requirement that your disability occurred while you were on active duty or was in any way related to your military service. Additionally, you may use a combination of military service and other jobs to satisfy your work credits requirement.

    Special Rules That Apply to Military Service Members

    While the eligibility requirements are the same for civilians and military members, there are some special rules that apply to active duty military and veterans. For example, as a member of the military, you may:

    • Qualify for expedited Social Security disability application processing. If you became disabled while on activity on or after October 1, 2001, or if you have a Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation rating of 100 percent, then your Social Security disability application may be expedited.
    • Receive Social Security disability benefits even if you are still on active duty and receive military pay. However, you still must prove that your disability prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity.
    • Qualify for other types of benefits. Your Social Security disability eligibility is independent of your Veterans disability benefits eligibility. You may qualify for both types of disability benefits simultaneously if you meet the eligibility requirements for each program.

    You deserve the fair disability benefits you’ve earned, and our Massachusetts Social Security disability lawyers will do everything that we can to make sure that you get those benefits with as little frustration and as few delays as possible.

    Our Social Security Disability Lawyers Help Military Get Fair Benefits

    We respect and honor the hard work you did for our country. Now, our Social Security disability lawyers are here for you. We will:

    • Answer all of your questions promptly.
    • Submit your Social Security disability application.
    • Handle any appeals if your disability application is denied.

    You won’t owe us any hourly fees. Instead, we will be paid a percentage of the back benefits we recover for you.

    Our Massachusetts Social Security disability lawyers represent active military service members, veterans, and civilians throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island. We choose to concentrate our practice on these New England states that are served by just a few Social Security hearing offices so that we can get to know the practices of the hearing offices for the benefit of our clients.

    If you are thinking about applying for Social Security disability benefits or you need to appeal a Social Security disability denial, we encourage you to contact us for a free no-obligation consultation in our conveniently located Natick law office or by phone.

    Additionally, you can continue learning about protecting your rights throughout the Social Security disability claims process by downloading a free copy of our book, Unlocking the Mystery: The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process, at any time.

    Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

    If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • How do I know if I need a paraquat injury lawyer?

    You may have heard that paraquat has been linked to Parkinson’s disease. Now, you’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and you aren’t sure what Hand Shaking Because of Parkinsons Diseaseyou are supposed to do next.

    While paraquat is one potential cause of Parkinson’s disease, it is not the only cause of this neurological condition. You may wonder whether you could have a potential paraquat injury case and whether it is worth it to contact a paraquat injury attorney.

    Don’t Hesitate to Call a Paraquat Lawyer If These Two Things are True

    You don’t have to know that paraquat caused your Parkinson’s disease before you contact a paraquat injury lawyer. Instead, you should contact an attorney if:

    • You were exposed to paraquat. Paraquat weed killer is banned in dozens of countries but is permitted in the United States. Farmers, people who live near farms, people who sell paraquat, and people who make paraquat are at the most significant risk of paraquat exposure. You don’t have to be exposed to significant amounts of paraquat to get sick.
    • You were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Paraquat can interfere with dopamine production in the brain, which can lead to Parkinson’s disease. Currently, there is no one definitive diagnostic test for Parkinson’s disease. Instead, a neurologist will consider all of your symptoms and may order other tests to rule out other conditions before giving you a Parkinson’s diagnosis.

    While people of any age are at risk of developing Parkinson’s disease from paraquat exposure, teenagers and young adults may face more significant risks. According to a letter from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, teens and young adults may experience a 200-600 percent increased risk of Parkinson’s disease depending on their level of paraquat exposure.

    Once your doctor diagnoses you with Parkinson’s disease, your condition will be assigned one of five stages:

    • Stage One: This is the mildest form of Parkinson’s disease. You may experience tremors, minor walking difficulties, and some other physical changes, but they are unlikely to interfere with your regular activities.
    • Stage Two: During this stage, you may experience increased tremors, rigidity, and other symptoms that begin to interfere with your daily activities.
    • Stage Three: By this middle stage of Parkinson’s disease progression, you may experience loss of balance, and your movement may slow down.
    • Stage Four: Stage Four Parkinson’s disease brings severe symptoms. You may require a walker and live-in care to help you perform your daily activities.
    • Stage Five: At the most advanced stage of Parkinson’s disease, you may be unable to walk and you will likely require live-in care. Psychological symptoms, including hallucinations, may develop.

    You may have a paraquat lawsuit with any stage of Parkinson’s disease.

    Now Is the Right Time to Get Advice From a Paraquat Attorney

    If you know that you’ve been exposed to paraquat and you’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, then now is the right time to consult with an attorney.

    Our paraquat injury lawyers offer free, no-obligation consultations, so you don’t have to worry about anything. You don’t have to know whether you have a potential lawsuit. Instead, our experienced legal team will conduct a full investigation into your potential case and advise you of all of your legal options.

    Since the initial obligation is free, you have nothing to lose by scheduling your meeting today. However, if you fail to take action quickly, then you could potentially lose a lot. The law provides you with a limited amount of time to file a case. If you fail to file a paraquat injury case before the statute of limitation expires, then you risk never receiving compensation for past and future medical costs, lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, pain, and suffering.

    We don’t want this to happen to you. Accordingly, we invite you to call, start a live chat, or complete our online contact form today to schedule your first meeting with our Massachusetts mass tort lawyers. We can’t change your diagnosis, but we will do everything we can to protect your future.

    Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

    If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • Who can file a Zantac lawsuit?

    People who took Zantac® for heartburn relief, ulcers, or GERD and develop cancer are filing Zantac injury lawsuits. Of course, not everyone who took Zantac and got cancer can pursue a successful Zantac case. Many people take Zantac and develop cancer that is not caused by Zantac use. However, some people develop cancer because of their Zantac exposure, and it’s these people who can file successful Zantac lawsuits.

    Zantac Cancer Risks

    Zantac MedicationZantac allegedly contained dangerous levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). NDMA is a known carcinogen. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits a daily NDMA intake of just 96 nanograms. Yet, each Zantac pill could contain as much as 3 million nanograms of NDMA.

    These high levels of NDMA could cause many different types of cancer, including but not limited to:

    • Brain cancer
    • Breast cancer
    • Lung cancer
    • Esophageal cancer
    • Gallbladder cancer
    • Intestinal cancer
    • Kidney cancer
    • Liver cancer
    • Pancreatic cancer
    • Stomach cancer
    • Bladder cancer
    • Colorectal cancer
    • Ovarian cancer
    • Prostate cancer
    • Testicular cancer
    • Uterine cancer
    • Leukemia
    • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

    Drugmakers allegedly knew that Zantac and other forms of ranitidine medication could contain dangerous NDMA levels. Various publications reportedly discussed the risk from 1982 to 2019. Yet, Sanofi, Boehringer Ingelheim, and other drug manufacturers failed to warn patients about the risks. Cancer was not included as a possible side effect on the drug’s warning label or insert. Accordingly, patients were deprived of the information they needed to make an informed decision about whether to take Zantac or another heartburn medication, and many patients unknowingly took the risk and developed cancer.

    Eligibility to File a Zantac Cancer Case

    Every case is unique. An experienced drug injury lawyer will consider every aspect of your potential claim to provide you with the pros and cons of pursuing a Zantac injury lawsuit. Some of the things your lawyer will consider include:

    • How long you took Zantac and at what dose. You may need documentation of your prescription or receipts from over-the-counter purchases to prove that you took Zantac.
    • Your cancer diagnosis. You must be diagnosed with cancer to pursue a Zantac case.
    • Whether the cancer was caused by Zantac NDMA exposure. Your medical team may help establish this connection.
    • You suffered damages. If you have cancer, then your quality of life has been affected.

    Alternatively, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death case if your loved one died from cancer after taking Zantac and would have qualified to file their own case against Zantac manufacturers had they survived.

    If you are eligible to pursue a Zantac cancer injury recovery, you may be able to join the existing Zantac Multidistrict Litigation (MDL).

    What to Discuss With a Zantac Injury Lawyer Before Filing a Lawsuit

    One of the first things you will discuss is eligibility. An experienced New England drug injury lawyer will thoroughly review your claim to determine if you have a Zantac injury case worth pursuing. Then, your attorney will advise you of your legal options.

    If you decide to move forward with your claim, your Zantac injury lawyer will explain:

    • How a case works
    • What your potential recovery could include
    • What you can do next to protect your recovery
    • Why you can afford to hire a drug injury lawyer
    • What you can expect from your legal team

    A successful Zantac injury case could result in compensation for your past and future medical costs, lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, physical pain, and emotional suffering.

    You can’t go back and make a different decision about heartburn medication now, but you can stay in control of your future by learning more about your rights and taking action to hold Zantac manufacturers responsible for failing to warn you about the potential cancer risks from NDMA.

    We invite you to contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation with our experienced Greater Boston mass tort lawyers. You can reach us any time by phone, live chat, or completion of our contact form, and we would be happy to meet with you in our conveniently located Natick office or by phone.

    Are You Looking for a Mass Tort Attorney in Boston, MA?

    If you have been injured by dangerous drugs you need to speak with an experienced mass torts lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • Why should I consider pursuing a paraquat Parkinson’s disease case?

    A lawsuit won’t change your Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, but a successful legal claim may improve your life in two essential ways. First, a settlement or court verdict may provide you with the money you need to get medical treatment and live comfortably. Second, your recovery may hold paraquat’s manufacturers accountable for your injuries and encourage herbicide companies to consider the health effects of their products more carefully.

    The Connection Between Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease

    The United States government, through the National Institutes of Health, and studies published in well-respected medical journals, including JAMA Neurology, have found Paraquat on a Computer Screenthat paraquat can change the human brain and cause Parkinson’s disease.

    New England farmers, groundskeepers, landscapers, and others may have been exposed to enough paraquat to interfere with dopamine in the mid-brain. Currently, the cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown. However, environmental factors that decrease dopamine may cause changes in the brain that result in Parkinson’s disease.

    An experienced Massachusetts mass tort lawyer will consider your diagnosis, your paraquat exposure, whether you were warned about the risks of paraquat exposure, and other factors to determine whether you have a lawsuit against Chevron Chemical Company, Syngenta, or another paraquat manufacturer.

    The Cost of Living With Parkinson’s Disease

    Parkinson’s disease is a progressive medical condition. Your medical needs and living expenses will change as the disease progresses. During your lifetime, you may experience Parkinson’s disease symptoms, such as:

    • Tremors
    • Slow movement
    • Muscle stiffness
    • Changes in posture and balance
    • Changes in automatic movements, including blinking and swinging your arms while walking
    • Trouble speaking with inflection or at a typical pace
    • Difficulty writing
    • Changes in cognitive abilities or thinking
    • Emotional changes, such as depression or anxiety
    • Trouble chewing, eating, and swallowing
    • Sleep difficulties
    • Bladder issues and constipation
    • Fatigue
    • Pain
    • Sexual dysfunction
    • Sudden drops in blood pressure
    • Loss of the sense of smell

    Your expenses may include past, present, and future:

    • Medical costs including imaging tests, doctors’ visits, hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, occupational therapy, and other healthcare expenses
    • Lost income for any wages, bonuses, raises, benefits, and self-employment income you could not earn because of your illness. You may recover for lost income if you can’t work at all or if your income is reduced because of a job change or reduced hours
    • Out-of-pocket costs for things such as modifications to your home, exercise programs, and help with your activities of daily living

    Additionally, you must bear the significant and often difficult to quantify costs of your physical pain, emotional suffering, and quality of life changes.

    Now Is the Time to Protect Your Paraquat Recovery

    Other countries, including The European Union, China, and Switzerland, have banned paraquat. The United States has not banned paraquat, and paraquat manufacturers have chosen to leave this dangerous herbicide on the market. These companies profit while you and others suffer from their business decisions.

    You didn’t deserve to suffer an incurable disease such as Parkinson’s disease, but you do deserve to make a fair recovery from the manufacturers of the product that caused your condition.

    The law provides you with a limited amount of time to pursue a paraquat case that will provide you with the fair recovery you deserve and discourage herbicide manufacturers from risking human life in the future.

    Contact us today. Your case may make a difference for you, your family, and others like you. Our Boston area paraquat attorneys are here to help you. You don’t have to pursue legal action against a large corporation on your own, and you don’t have to worry about how to pay an attorney to represent you.

    Our paraquat injury lawyers will review your claim in a free, no-obligation consultation. If you have a case against any paraquat manufacturer, we will advise you of your legal options.

    You have a limited amount of time to pursue a paraquat Parkinson’s disease case. Please call us, chat with us, or complete our online contact form today to schedule your free initial consultation as soon as possible.

    Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

    If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • Could I have a Belviq lawsuit?

    Belviq lawsuits are making the news, and you may wonder if you should file a case. Not everyone who took Belviq for weight loss has a claim. However, everyone who took Belviq and has cancer should understand their legal rights and how to get a free consultation with an experienced drug injury lawyer.

    Belviq Cancer Lawsuits

    If you took Belviq, Belviq XR, or another type of lorcaserin and you were diagnosed with cancer after taking the medication, then you could Blue Belviq Medication on a Tablehave a case. Additionally, you could have a lawsuit if your loved one died from cancer after taking Belviq or a generic form of the medication.

    According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), safety clinical trials show “an increased occurrence of cancer” among people who take Belviq. The most common cancers associated with Belviq and other forms of lorcaserin are:

    • Pancreatic cancer
    • Colorectal cancer
    • Lung cancer

    Eisai, Inc., the company that marketed and distributed Belviq in the United States, voluntarily withdrew the drug from the U.S. market in February 2020.

    Unfortunately, it was too late for some Belviq users. Belviq had already been on the market since 2013, and many people had already used the medication to lose weight. Some of these people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, or lung cancer after taking Belviq for six months or longer.

    Both Eisai, Inc. and Arena Pharmaceuticals, the company that manufactured Belviq, face potential litigation.

    Find Out If You Have a Belviq Cancer Case

    If you have pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, or another form of cancer and you took Belviq, Belviq XR, or any other form of lorcaserin, you deserve to know if you have a lawsuit worth pursuing. Your life has been changed forever. If you survive cancer, you may still deal with cancer treatments, suffer a loss of income, and experience physical and emotional pain.

    Not everyone who took Belviq and developed cancer will have a case, but many people will be able to pursue a legal recovery. An experienced mass tort attorney will review all of the factors in your potential claim, including but not limited to:

    • How long you took Belviq
    • What type of cancer you have
    • When you were diagnosed with cancer
    • Your age and health history

    After careful consideration, your lawyer will explain whether or not you have a Belviq injury case and your legal options for making a fair recovery.

    Don’t Spend Another Day Wondering If You Have a Belviq Cancer Lawsuit

    You have a limited amount of time to pursue a Belviq cancer case, and you can only recover damages if you take action.

    A successful Belviq cancer lawsuit could result in a financial recovery that includes past and future:

    • Medical expenses, including but not limited to cancer treatments, hospitalizations, and support care
    • Lost income if you lose wages, benefits, bonuses, or income from self-employment because of your cancer diagnosis or treatment
    • Physical pain and emotional suffering
    • Other expenses, including funeral expenses if your loved one died

    Additionally, a successful Belviq cancer case could:

    • Hold Arena Pharmaceuticals and Eisai Inc. accountable for the significant harm you suffered
    • Deter other pharmaceutical companies from making, distributing, and marketing dangerous drugs

    Now is the time to find out if you have a case. Our experienced Boston area drug injury lawyers are here to help you. If you have been diagnosed with cancer after taking Belviq and you live in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Rhode Island, we invite you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

    We would be happy to meet with you in our conveniently located Natick office or by phone at any time. Our experienced attorneys will review all aspects of your case, answer all of your questions, and make sure that you no longer have to wonder if you have a case. Instead, you will have the certainty of knowing your legal options and what steps you may take to protect your legal rights.

    Are You Looking for a Mass Tort Attorney in Boston, MA?

    If you have been injured by dangerous drugs you need to speak with an experienced mass torts lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • Is there still time to contact a lawyer if I have a physiomesh injury?

    Physiomesh SampleYes, as of August 2021, litigation is still pending and there may still be time to file a physiomesh injury lawsuit.

    What Is Physiomesh?

    Physiomesh™ Flexible Composite Hernia Mesh received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2010 and was voluntarily removed from the market by its maker, Ethicon, in 2016.

    During its six years of use in the United States, physiomesh was used in laparoscopic hernia repair surgeries. The product was made from a kind of plastic known as polypropylene that was put between two synthetic film layers. Within a few weeks of surgery, the film layers were absorbed and tissue could grow into the mesh.

    Physiomesh Complications

    Unfortunately, the physiomesh did not always work as intended and some hernia repair patients ended up suffering significant side effects. For example, sometimes:

    • The physiomesh adhered to organs
    • There was a higher than normal rate of hernia recurrence
    • Patients experienced pain and inflammatory reactions
    • The physiomesh failed to incorporate into the body

    Since Ethicon removed physiomesh from the market, several lawsuits have been filed in the United States.

    Physiomesh Lawsuits

    Physiomesh lawsuits allege that Ethicon put a defective medical device on the market and failed to warn people of the risks. As of 2021, more than 3,500 physiomesh injury lawsuits were pending in the United States.

    The first three bellwether cases were initially expected to be heard during the summer of 2020, but these cases were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The cases were rescheduled for March, June, and September 2021, but these cases have now been postponed. The 2021 litigation delay came after both parties submitted motions to the court about what evidence should be heard during litigation. While no settlement has been announced yet, there is speculation that the bellwether trials were delayed because of possible settlement talks.

    Don’t Wait Too Long to Pursue a Physiomesh Case

    You have a limited amount of time to file a physiomesh injury case. Accordingly, if you’ve been hurt by Ethicon’s physiomesh after a hernia repair surgery, we encourage you to contact an experienced mass tort lawyer today before the statute of limitations expires on your case and before a settlement is reached.

    You had the right to expect Ethicon to produce a reasonably safe hernia repair product and to warn you of any reasonably foreseeable complications before you consented to surgery. If those things did not happen and you were hurt by your hernia repair surgery, then you may pursue compensation for your past and future:

    • Medical costs including hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, doctors’ appointments, and other healthcare costs related to your hernia mesh complication
    • Lost income including any wages, bonuses, benefits, or income from self-employment that you could not earn because of your injuries
    • Out-of-pocket expenses that you would not have incurred but for your hernia mesh complication
    • Pain and suffering for the physical pain and emotional suffering the hernia mesh complication caused you

    Meeting with an experienced mass tort lawyer is the first step to getting the recovery you deserve. Our New England defective medical device lawyers would be happy to provide you a free, no-obligation consultation so that you can learn more about your rights and potential recovery.

    Before our meeting, we encourage you to gather the following information so that we can advise you of your legal options:

    • The date of your hernia surgery
    • The manufacturer of your hernia mesh
    • Where your surgery occurred and who performed it
    • Whether your mesh was removed and, if so, whether it was preserved
    • When you first began experiencing hernia mesh complications
    • What steps you took after you began experiencing hernia mesh complications
    • What treatment you’ve received for your hernia mesh complications, including any revision surgeries
    • How your hernia mesh complications impact your life

    Don’t let another day go by with you wondering what you should do to protect your rights after a hernia mesh injury. Contact Keefe Disability Law today by phone, live chat, or completing our online contact form to schedule your free consultation as soon as possible.

    Are You Looking for a Mass Tort Attorney in Boston, MA?

    If you have been injured by a defective medical device you need to speak with an experienced mass torts lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • Is it hard to receive Social Security disability for fibromyalgia?

    Yes, it can be challenging to qualify for the Social Security disability benefits you deserve if you have fibromyalgia.

    Fibromyalgia is the second most common musculoskeletal condition after osteoarthritis. People with fibromyalgia suffer significant muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and other symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to work. Yet, fibromyalgia isn’t always well understood and it can be hard to get the benefits you deserve.

    The Social Security Administration Used to Deny Benefits for Many Fibromyalgia Sufferers

    In the past, the Social Security Administration (SSA) denied most disability applications for fibromyalgia. In part, this was because of conflicts within the medical community. While fibromyalgia certainly can be debilitating, the label “fibromyalgia” refers to a list of Fibromyalgia Paperwork Under a Magnifying Glasssymptoms that can vary from person to person. Many family doctors used fibromyalgia as a catch-all diagnosis when no cause for symptoms could be found.

    Accordingly, disability examiners were not sure how to classify the disorder. Applications were more likely to be approved if the applicant had a second diagnosis, especially a musculoskeletal disability such as rheumatoid arthritis or degenerative disc disease.

    Now, fibromyalgia is better understood, and more people are able to get the Social Security disability benefits they need.

    Social Security Disability Eligibility for Fibromyalgia

    In 2012, the Social Security Administration issued a ruling allowing fibromyalgia to be a medically determinable impairment (MDI) if the applicant meets certain conditions. Specifically:

    • There must be medical documentation of widespread chronic pain, including back, neck, or chest pain. 
    • The doctor must rule out other diseases that may cause the same symptoms.

    Additionally, one of the following must be true and well-documented. The applicant must experience:

    • Pain in at least 11 of 18 possible tender point areas of the body. The tender points must occur on both sides of the body. There must be tender points both above and below the waist.
    • A minimum of six fibromyalgia symptoms, including repeated occurrences of fatigue, non-restorative sleep, cognitive or memory problems, depression, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), headaches, muscle weakness, seizures, dizziness, Raynaud’s phenomenon, or other symptoms.

    Tips for a Successful Social Security Disability Application

    Every Social Security disability applicant, including those applying with fibromyalgia, must submit a convincing application to get the benefits they deserve. If you apply for benefits, you can improve your chances of success by submitting:

    • Accurate medical reports. Your Social Security disability determination will be based primarily on your medical records. You should know what those records say. Make sure your records list your symptoms, your treatment plan, and your diagnosis.
    • Documentation of severity. Merely claiming that you have the disorder isn’t enough. You must have documented proof showing how badly the disorder affects your everyday life and how it keeps you from working.
    • Signed documentation from a rheumatologist (specialized doctor in joint and tissue pain). The SSA is more inclined to consider a fibromyalgia claim if a specialist has verified the disorder.
    • A straightforward explanation of how your case qualifies for disability. Personal accounts of pain and inabilities can help shed light on why you need disability benefits as a result of being unable to work.

    You may also seek legal representation. An experienced disability attorney can increase your chances of approval by gathering the necessary documentation, clearly stating your case to the SSA, and appealing any disability denials.

    Speak to a Social Security Disability Lawyer Today

    Social Security disability can provide you with monthly benefits if fibromyalgia prevents you from working. You’ve paid into the Social Security system and you deserve to receive these benefits if you can’t work because of a disability that is expected to last 12 months or longer.

    We encourage you to contact our experienced Massachusetts disability lawyers before you file your initial disability claim. We will ensure that your application is accurate, complete, honest, and easy to understand. We know how to argue your case, and we won’t rest until you get the Social Security disability benefits you deserve. Contact Keefe Disability Law now for a free consultation and review of your claim. We’re waiting to help you!

    Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

    If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 508.283.5500 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • Can the Social Security Administration spy on me if I file a Social Security disability claim?

    In most cases, the Social Security Administration will not spy on you. Instead, your initial Social Security disability eligibility will depend on your application and supporting evidence. After you begin receiving Social Security disability, the agency may rely on continuing disability reviews to determine if you remain disabled Investigator With a Magnifying Glass and Computerand eligible for benefits.

    However, if the Social Security Administration notices any red flags with your application, then the agency may decide to look into whether you are really disabled through online and in-person surveillance.

    How the Social Security Administration May and May Not Investigate You

    If the Social Security Administration decides that there is any reason to doubt your claim, then it may have investigators:

    • Look at your social media accounts. If the Social Security Administration thinks that you are exaggerating or lying about your medical condition, investigators may check your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media accounts to see what you are posting. If you are doing things that are inconsistent with your injury or illness, then the Social Security Administration may doubt your claim. What is posted on social media can be taken out of context or misinterpreted. Therefore, it is often a good idea to avoid posting on social media and regularly check your accounts to see what you are tagged in that could be misconstrued and interfere with your disability claim.
    • Follow you. In some cases, the Social Security Administration may send investigators to take photographs or video footage of you in public places. The goal is to catch you doing something that you should not be able to do because of your medical condition. For example, depending on your specific conditions, you may or may not be able to go out for a run or run errands and video of you doing either of things could damage your disability application.

    Even if the Social Security Administration suspects you are lying about your disability, the agency cannot take photos or video surveillance of you inside your home where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

    Be Prepared but Not Scared for a Social Security Investigation

    If you, your doctor, and your Social Security disability lawyer are honest, then you don’t need to worry. The Social Security Administration rarely uses surveillance. However, even if the Social Security Administration decides to spy on your social media accounts or follow you in person, the investigators won’t find anything inconsistent with your disability application. Therefore, the best way to prepare for a possible Social Security investigation is to tell the truth about your health and to always act consistently with the limitations your doctors suggest.

    You won’t be notified in advance of Social Security surveillance. The agency doesn’t want to warn you of its actions because it doesn’t want you to change your behavior. Instead, the Social Security Administration is looking for a reason to deny your disability claim. Surveillance is just one way for the agency to meet this goal.

    Our experienced Social Security lawyers have a different goal. We want to help you get the disability benefits that you’ve earned through your years of hard work and that you need because of your permanent illness or injury.

    Keefe Disability Law represents people applying for initial disability benefits or appealing Social Security disability denials in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. We answer the phone when people call our office, we believe in educating our clients and letting them know what to expect, and we fight hard to get them the benefits that they deserve.

    We encourage you to learn more about your rights and the Social Security disability benefits process by contacting our Massachusetts disability lawyers today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are happy to meet with you in our conveniently located Natick office or by phone. We look forward to sharing more information about how to get the disability benefits you might deserve.

    Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Natick, MA?

    If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 508.283.5500 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • I have more than one disability. Do I have to pick one to include on my Social Security disability application?

    Medical Condition Check ListNo, you should not limit your Social Security disability application to just one condition if you suffer from multiple disabilities.

    Your situation is common. You may have one, or more than one, primary medical condition. That condition may be significant but may not keep you from working. However, when you add in your other medical diagnoses, you are unable to engage in substantial gainful activity, and you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

    How to Apply for Social Security Disability With Multiple Medical Conditions

    Whether you have one disability or multiple disabilities, your goal is the same. You want your disability application approved as quickly and efficiently as possible. To this end, it is essential to make sure that:

    • Your application is complete and easy to understand. If you don’t submit a complete and easy to understand application, the Social Security Administration may deny your benefits application.
    • You include all relevant evidence. Medical records that clearly show all of your physical symptoms, pain, emotional symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments will be critical to your application’s approval.
    • All of your symptoms, including your pain, are documented. You may do this through your medical records and by keeping detailed logs of how you feel and how your symptoms impact your life.
    • You list all of your physical and mental conditions. Do not leave anything out because you think it is less important than something else. All of your medical conditions should be considered, including things like depression and anxiety.
    • You provide enough information about your education and work history. The Social Security Administration is trying to determine what, if any, work you can do. Accordingly, you need to provide accurate information about your education and work history.
    • You are honest. While you want to include all of your conditions, you don’t want to exaggerate your symptoms or be untruthful about any part of your application.

    Don’t Apply for Disability Benefits Alone—Let an Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer Help

    Your medical conditions make everyday things hard, and you experience enough daily stress. It can be intimidating to go through the bureaucracy of applying for Social Security disability alone, even if you know that you qualify for benefits.

    Our Massachusetts Social Security disability lawyers are here to complete your application on your behalf, to communicate with the Social Security Administration, and to represent you through any necessary appeals.

    Our legal team understands the frustration of government bureaucracy and how critical Social Security disability benefits are for you and your family. Accordingly, we strive to:

    • Answer our client’s calls and questions when they call us. You won’t have to wait a long time to get your answer.
    • Provide you with realistic expectations. We want you to know how the Social Security disability application process works and what to expect at each step of the process.
    • Help our community. Our Boston-area Social Security disability lawyers only represent clients in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont. We are not a national disability firm. Instead, we’ve chosen to help our neighbors.
    • Make things as easy as possible for you. We know that getting to a lawyer’s office can be painful. Accordingly, we are set up to handle most cases by phone, internet, and mail.

    We know that money may be tight, but you don’t have to worry about the cost of hiring a Keefe Disability attorney. Our lawyers won’t charge you anything up front. Instead, we will be paid a percentage of any back benefits you receive after you apply for disability benefits.

    Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

    If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.