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 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.

     

  • I don't want surgery. Can I get Social Security disability benefits if I refuse to have surgery?

    Hand Holding Up a Red X SignYou may have excellent reasons for refusing surgery. Ultimately, you get to choose your own healthcare. No one can force you to consent to surgery. However, there may be consequences to refusing surgery.

    Social Security Disability Eligibility May Be One of Those Consequences

    In some cases, the Social Security Administration may deny your benefit application if you refuse surgery that would have likely allowed you to return to work after treatment.

    The official reason for denying your application may be "failure to follow prescribed treatment" if the Social Security Administration finds that:

    • You have a disabling condition. A disabling condition is defined as a medical condition that prevents you from working for at least 12 months or is expected to result in death.
    • Your treating physician prescribed surgery. The "failure to follow prescribed treatment" denial only applies if the doctor you typically see prescribed the treatment. The Social Security Administration should not deny surgery if another doctor, such as a medical consultant who performed a consultative exam on behalf of the Social Security Administration, recommended surgery.
    • The treating physician expects the surgery to allow you to return to work. Your doctor may have suggested surgery, but not all surgeries are expected to cure medical conditions. Instead, the surgery may have been recommended to help you manage pain, keep your condition from getting worse, or help you improve, but not to the extent that you would be able to work.
    • Your medical records include documentation of your treating physician's recommendation for surgery and that you refused surgery.

    The examiner assigned to your case should review your medical records. Additionally, if the examiner has any questions about your ability to work after surgery, then the Social Security representative should speak with your treating physician.

    Social Security Disability Eligibility Even If You Refuse Surgery

    In some cases, you remain eligible for Social Security disability benefits even if you refuse surgery. For example, your Social Security disability application should be approved if you satisfy eligibility criteria and:

    • The Social Security Administration can't establish a failure to follow prescribed treatment according to the requirements described above.
    • You are so afraid of having surgery that your treating physician considers your fear a contraindication to surgery. It's normal to be nervous about surgery, but if your fear is so intense that your doctor feels surgery will do more harm than good, you may refuse surgery and still get Social Security disability benefits.
    • You suffer another mental health condition that prevents you from having surgery. These conditions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    • It would be against your religion to get the surgery. You will need to provide evidence that you are affiliated with a religious organization and documentation of the religion's official teachings as they relate to the surgery.
    • You can't afford the surgery. If you can't pay for surgery and can't find any affordable way to get the surgery, then you may be eligible for Social Security disability even if you don't get surgery.
    • You've received conflicting advice about surgery. If you have more than one treating physician and one of the doctors does not recommend the surgery, you may be able to refuse surgery and receive disability benefits.
    • The proposed surgery is a high-risk procedure. You may refuse the surgery if the potential harm associated with the surgery puts you at significant risk of further injury.
    • The proposed surgery is to amputate an extremity.
    • The proposed surgery is to fix cataracts in one eye, surgery carries a high risk of complications, and you already have significant vision loss in the other eye.

    The Social Security Administration also has the right to approve your application if you deny surgery for other reasons, as it deems appropriate.

    Protect Your Rights With the Help of an Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer

    Our metro-Boston Social Security disability lawyers want to help you stay in control of your life and get the disability benefits you deserve. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation about your Social Security disability eligibility and how we may be able to help you get fair 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.

     

  • Can I get Social Security disability benefits if I work from home?

    Man Working From Home on His ComputerYes, if you are eligible for Social Security disability, you may still receive disability benefits even if you work from home. Below, we will address common questions people who work from home ask about Social Security disability eligibility so that you know what to expect and how to protect your rights.

    Are You Disabled?

    Social Security disability helps people who can’t work for at least 12 months or who are likely to die because of their disability. If you can continue engaging in substantial gainful activity from home, then you are ineligible for Social Security disability benefits. However, if you can’t work or if you can only earn a modest amount—in 2021, that amount is less than $1,310 a month for people who are disabled but not blind—then you may be eligible for benefits if you can prove that you are disabled.

    The Social Security Administration may find you disabled if one of the following is true:

    • You meet the disability requirements included in one of the Blue Book Listing of Impairments sections.
    • Your condition is equal in severity to a listing in the Blue Book Listing of Impairments.
    • Your condition prevents you from working your job or adjusting to new work and is expected to last for at least one year or cause your death.

    Social Security disability is not an option if you suffer from a partial or temporary disability.

    Did You Pay Into the Social Security System While You Worked From Home?

    The Social Security Administration only pays Social Security disability benefits if you are disabled and you have paid enough into the Social Security system to qualify for benefits.

    Most people need 40 work credits to qualify for Social Security disability and 20 of those credits must have been earned in the 10 years immediately preceding your disability. Younger people may qualify with fewer credits.

    The criteria for earning a work credit change annually. In 2021, you earn one work credit for every $1,470 earned in wages or self-employment income. You can earn a maximum of four credits per year.

    In order for income to count as a work credit, it must have been reported to the government and subject to federal taxes. Any work that you did from home and did not report would not count as a work credit. For example, if you babysit in your home, sold art you created, tutored, or did other “under the table” work that was not reported to the government, then that work would not count toward your Social Security disability eligibility.

    Can You Still Do Your Work From Home Job?

    Some people with disabilities may continue to work from their home even if they wouldn’t be able to work in an office. You may be able to make more accommodations, including a more comfortable work setting, frequent breaks, and other modifications that allow you to continue to work.

    If you can still fulfill your job responsibilities, then the Social Security Administration may find that you are not disabled for purposes of Social Security disability benefits. However, if you cannot do your job, you should be found eligible for benefits regardless of where you work.

    Do I Need a Social Security Disability Attorney? 

    You don’t have to suffer without an income just because you worked from home before becoming disabled. Many people applying for Social Security disability benefit from hiring an experienced Social Security lawyer. Whether you work for an employer from your own home or are self-employed and work at home, our lawyers will protect your right to disability benefits.

    Our Social Security disability attorneys help people with initial claims and appeals in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. We invite you to call us or to complete our contact form to have us contact you to schedule 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.

     

  • Are Covid-19 long-haulers eligible for Social Security disability benefits?

    The immediate medical crisis has passed. You survived the initial COVID-19 infection and you’ve tested negative for the virus. Yet, you continue to have symptoms that significantly impact your life. Your doctor has identified you as a COVID long-hauler, and you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

    Who Is a COVID-19 Long-Hauler?

    Covid-19 Long-Hauler With an Oxygen Monitor on Their FingerApproximately 10% of COVID-19 patients become long-haulers.

    So far, researchers don’t know why some people suffer from long COVID and other people make full recoveries. Everyone who contracts COVID-19 is at risk of becoming a long-hauler. It doesn’t matter how old you are, whether you had a mild coronavirus infection or you were hospitalized with severe illness, or whether you have underlying conditions.

    Some of the ongoing symptoms experienced by COVID long-haulers include:

    • Brain fog. Many COVID long-haulers experience brain fog. Brain fog can be debilitating and make a person confused, forgetful, or unable to concentrate.
    • Coughing and shortness of breath. Some people with long COVID continue to suffer respiratory complications.
    • Joint and muscle aches. This type of pain may make it challenging to sit in one position, lift anything heavy, perform repetitive movements, or even sleep comfortably.
    • Debilitating fatigue. Extreme tiredness is one of the most common symptoms of long COVID. This type of fatigue can interfere with a person’s regular activities and ability to work.
    • Headaches. Frequent or intense headaches may be debilitating. People with these types of headaches may be unable to do their work or go about their daily activities.
    • Sleep difficulties. Sleep disruptions may make everything in your life more difficult. You may not be able to drive or operate heavy machinery safely, and you may be unable to concentrate on your work.
    • Temperature dysregulation. Some long COVID sufferers may have trouble regulating their own body temperature. Temperature dysregulation may interfere with a person’s ability to work.

    Medical experts don’t yet know whether long-haulers suffer permanent medical conditions from the novel coronavirus, but research is ongoing. Additionally, there isn’t much known about how to treat ongoing and persistent coronavirus symptoms. Long-haulers often go through neurological, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and respiratory tests, and they are often advised to rest, eat well, manage stress, and stay hydrated.

    COVID-19 Long-Haulers May Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits

    Currently, the Social Security Administration is flagging electronically-submitted disability applications when an applicant alleges COVID-19 as a disability or the application gives the agency reason to believe the applicant has a medically determinable impairment of COVID-19. These flags exist to identify, track, and collect data on COVID-19 Social Security disability applications.

    Despite these flags, the Social Security Administration is handling long COVID claims the same way as all other Social Security disability claims. Social Security disability applicants must convince the Social Security Administration that they have disabilities that make them unable to work for at least 12 months or are likely to result in death.

    You may strengthen your disability application by:

    • Presenting objective medical evidence. Your medical records, including the results of any medical testing, are essential parts of your disability application.
    • Completing an honest and accurate Social Security disability application. Many initial disability applications are denied on technicalities. You may avoid a denial by submitting a complete and accurate application the first time you apply.
    • Talking to a Social Security disability lawyer. The Social Security disability application process can be overwhelming, but an experienced attorney can help you get the benefits you’ve earned.
    • Not giving up. If your initial application is denied, you may need to appeal your disability denial to get the Social Security disability benefits you deserve.

    Our New England Social Security disability lawyers are committed to helping all long COVID sufferers get fair disability benefits. If you live in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or New Hampshire, we encourage you to contact us today, by phone or through this website, to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Social Security disability attorney.

    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.

     

  • Can a person who is homeless and disabled get Social Security disability benefits?

    Disabled Homeless Man in a WheelchairYes, people without a permanent address may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Individuals with disabilities must meet Social Security disability eligibility criteria and may work with an experienced Social Security disability lawyer to make sure their rights and benefits are protected.

    Social Security Eligibility

    An applicant is eligible for Social Security disability benefits if:

    • The applicant worked long enough to qualify for Social Security disability insurance
    • The applicant is disabled according to the Social Security Administration’s disability definition

    Disability is defined as a condition:

    • That is expected to last for at least 12 months or cause death
    • Limits your ability to work enough to engage in what the Social Security Administration calls “substantial gainful employment”

    The Social Security Administration will consider the following things to determine if a medical condition limits an applicant’s ability to work:

    • Whether the Blue Book Listing of Impairments includes the applicant’s condition
    • The severity of the applicant’s condition
    • If the applicant currently works or has recently worked
    • Whether the applicant is physically able to continue doing the work they used to do
    • If there are any other jobs that the applicant can do given their disability

    Complete, current, and accurate medical records are essential for strong Social Security disability applications. Unfortunately, many people who experience homelessness do not have health insurance and may not have recent medical records. Free medical clinics or medical providers that accept payment on a sliding scale may be critical to both the applicant’s healthcare needs and Social Security disability application.

    Special Considerations for People Who are Homeless

    While the Social Security eligibility criteria are the same for people with permanent addresses and people with housing insecurity, there are a few things you should keep in mind when you apply for Social Security disability benefits.

    First, let the Social Security Administration know that the applicant is homeless. The Disability Determination Services (DDS) has examiners experienced in issues facing homeless applicants. These DDS examiners can review the application.

    Next, you will need to identify a place for the Social Security Administration to send monthly disability payments. Without a stable home address, you may choose to have payments made by direct deposit if you have a bank account, sent to a P.O. Box, or sent to a trusted friend or relative’s home. Applicants who move between different shelters and homes should keep the Social Security Administration updated on their location so that they can be found easily.

    Contact a Social Security Disability Lawyer for a Free Consultation

    People experiencing homelessness have the same right to Social Security disability benefits as people with permanent residences, and disability benefits may be especially useful to help with living expenses and other costs. Additionally, Social Security disability recipients may be eligible for Medicare coverage after a qualifying period. Medicare may be as important as monthly payments and allow people with disabilities to get much-needed medical care.

    Unfortunately, the majority of initial Social Security disability applications are denied on technicalities. Our experienced Boston-area Social Security disability lawyers make sure that each application we submit is thoroughly completed and has strong medical evidence to help prevent any unnecessary denials or delays.

    You do not need any up-front money to hire us. We offer free consultations to Social Security disability applicants throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. If you hire us and the Social Security Administration refuses to find you eligible for benefits, you won’t owe us any money. If your claim is successful, then you still won’t have to worry about hourly legal fees. Instead, we are paid a percentage of your Social Security disability back benefits.

    We invite you to learn more about how our Social Security disability law firm can help any applicant through the disability eligibility process. Call us or start a live chat with us at your convenience to find out more about how we may be able 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 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • How do I send medical records to the Social Security Administration?

    There are various ways to submit health records to the Social Security Administration. However, you should not provide anything to the Social Security Administration or a Disability Determination Services (DDS) office on your own.

    Medical Records in an EnvelopeYour health records are essential parts of your Social Security disability application. The information in your medical records may establish your diagnosis, treatment plan, and compliance with your treatment plan. All of these things are critical to a disability finding.

    Once you submit your health records, they become part of your application and they may affect the outcome of your claim. Accordingly, we encourage you to contact an experienced disability lawyer before providing any information to the Social Security Administration or DDS.

    How to Submit Health Records

    Your medical records help the Social Security Administration understand your disability. Without this information, your Social Security disability application may be denied or unnecessarily delayed. While health records are essential, you do not want to provide unnecessary or confusing information to the Social Security Administration because that could also result in a denial or unnecessarily delay.

    Fortunately, you don’t need to make these decisions alone if you hire a Social Security disability attorney to represent you. Our experienced Boston area Social Security disability lawyers have been helping people in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire get the disability benefits they deserve since 1994.

    When the time comes to submit records in support of your Social Security disability application, our lawyers may submit the information:

    • Electronically or by fax. The Social Security Administration encourages attorneys and other representatives to submit health records electronically because it is more convenient, saves time, and saves postage, copying, ink, and paper costs. The agency maintains that follow-up communication may happen more quickly and that the Social Security Administration’s website is secure, so there is no need to worry about your health records falling into the wrong hands. Once you sign SSA Form 827, submitting your health information electronically will satisfy HIPAA requirements. Currently, health records may be submitted in .wpd, .doc, .docx, .mdi, .txt, .rtf, .xls, .xlsx, .pdf, .tiff, .tif, or .zip formats.
    • By U.S. mail. The Social Security Administration continues to accept medical records, applications, and other supporting materials by regular mail.

    Either way, we will ensure that the necessary medical information gets to the Social Security Administration so that DDS considers your claim fairly and avoidable delays are prevented. Additionally, we will provide other information, such as information about your work history and education, in an easy to understand way so that the Social Security Administration has all of the data it needs to make a fair determination about your eligibility.

    There Is No Financial Risk in Contacting a Social Security Disability Attorney

    Keefe Disability Law provides free Social Security disability claim evaluations. During your disability claim evaluation, we will review how we are paid. However, we want you to know now that we are only paid if we successfully secure disability benefits for you. Federal law regulates how we are paid. In many cases, we are paid a percentage of your back Social Security disability payments up to a maximum amount set up law. The Social Security Administration will pay our legal fees directly.

    The Social Security disability eligibility process is complicated. Many deserving applications are frustrated by unnecessary delays and unfair denials due to technical errors on their initial applications. Our disability lawyers will work hard to prevent these delays and denials or help you appeal if your initial application has already been denied.

    However, we can’t help you unless you take the first step and contact us to schedule your free consultation. Please call us, start a live chat, or complete our contact form to have us contact you as soon as possible. Together, we can work toward getting you the disability benefits you’ve earned with as little frustration and delay 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.

     

  • Is a chiropractor an acceptable medical source?

    Patient at a Chiropractor AppointmentNo. A chiropractor may be an essential part of your medical team if you suffer back pain, neck pain, or other injuries. However, a chiropractor is not considered an acceptable medical source for purposes of Social Security disability eligibility.

    Will Information From Your Chiropractor Be Considered for Social Security Disability Eligibility?

    Since the Social Security Administration does not consider chiropractors acceptable medical sources, the disability examiner assigned to your case is unlikely to request your chiropractic records or to consider any chiropractic records you provide.

    However, if your chiropractor ordered any diagnostic tests, such as x-rays, the disability examiner may consider those test results. Since the chiropractor’s records won’t be part of your Social Security disability file, you will need to provide the results of the diagnostic tests for consideration.

    Who Is an Acceptable Medical Source?

    Federal regulations maintain a clear list of who is considered an acceptable medical source. As of January 2021, acceptable medical sources for adult Social Security disability applicants include:

    • Doctors, including licensed medical doctors and osteopathic doctors
    • Licensed or certified psychologists
    • Licensed optometrists (for visual disorders only)
    • Licensed podiatrists (for foot and ankle impairments only)
    • Qualified speech and language pathologists (for speech and language impairments only)
    • Licensed audiologists (for hearing loss, auditory processing disorders, and balance disorders only)
    • Licensed physician assistants (PAs)
    • Licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), including certified nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and clinic nursing specialists

    The disability examiner may consider objective medical evidence (such as diagnostic test results), medical opinions, and other medical evidence from acceptable medical sources when determining your Social Security disability eligibility.

    You Can See a Chiropractor and Get Social Security Disability Benefits

    You should not stop seeing a chiropractor just because the Social Security Administration doesn’t consider a chiropractor an acceptable medical source. If a chiropractor provides you with pain relief or prevents a disability from worsening, you may continue care.

    However, you should also make sure that you are under the treatment of at least one person who is considered an acceptable medical source. That acceptable medical source may be your primary care doctor, orthopedist, or another type of medical professional described above. These acceptable medical sources may provide you with additional information about your condition that helps you and provides essential information to the Social Security Administration so that your eligibility determination is made fairly. Additionally, you should let your doctor (or another acceptable medical source) know that you are seeing a chiropractor so that any relevant medical information can be documented in your record and shared with the Social Security Administration.

    How to Submit a Strong Social Security Disability Application

    Medical evidence is a critical component of your Social Security disability application. In addition to any chiropractor appointments you keep, it is essential to:

    • Attend regular appointments with your doctor or other acceptable medical sources
    • Get all of the tests recommended by your doctor or other acceptable medical sources
    • Comply with all treatment recommendations
    • Be honest with all of your medical providers and ask that all of your concerns and symptoms be documented in your medical record
    • Seek second opinions from other acceptable medical sources if you are uncertain about your diagnosis or treatment plan

    Additionally, if you are unable to work and your condition is expected to last for 12 months or longer, then now is also the right time to contact an experienced Social Security disability lawyer.

    You have paid into the Social Security system, and you deserve to get disability benefits if you qualify. Our experienced lawyers can evaluate your claim, advise you of your chances of success, prepare your initial Social Security disability application, and represent you in any necessary appeals. Over the last 25+ years, we have helped thousands of people in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island get the Social Security disability benefits they’ve earned. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss how we may 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 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • What is a Social Security disability TERI case?

    Disappearing Clock in a Terminal Illness Patient's HandsThe Social Security Administration handles medical conditions that are untreatable and likely to result in death differently than other permanent disabilities. Terminal illness cases, known as TERI cases for Social Security disability purposes, are processed faster so that the applicant may receive a disability determination sooner.

    Types of TERI Cases

    Any terminal illness may qualify for TERI processing. TERI cases include, but are not limited to:

    • ALS (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
    • AIDS (also known as acquired immune deficiency syndrome)
    • Waiting for a heart, heart and lung, lung, liver, or bone marrow transplant
    • Chronic pulmonary or heart failure that requires continuous home oxygen and prevents a person from caring for their personal needs
    • Dependence on a cardiopulmonary life-sustaining device
    • Metastatic cancer
    • Stage IV cancer
    • Cancer that is persistent or recurrent following initial therapy
    • Inoperable or unresectable cancer
    • Esophageal cancer (cancer of the esophagus)
    • Liver cancer
    • Pancreatic cancer (cancer of the pancreas)
    • Gallbladder cancer
    • Mesothelioma
    • Small cell or oat cell lung cancer
    • Brain cancer
    • Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
    • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
    • Being in a coma for 30 days or more

    Additionally, Social Security disability applicants who receive hospice care may have their disability applications expedited through the TERI program.

    How TERI Cases Work

    Disability applicants with terminal illnesses have the same eligibility requirements as applicants with other medical conditions. While eligibility remains the same, the processing of cases for terminally ill applicants is different than it is for other disability applicants.

    Social Security disability applicants cannot designate their own cases for expedited TERI processing, but they should make sure their application clearly states that they suffer from a terminal illness.

    The Social Security Administration does not inform applicants that their applicants are being processed through the TERI program. However, applicants with terminal illnesses may benefit from TERI processing, which begins when:

    • A field office identifies and flags an application as a TERI case. Review of the case should be expedited for no later than the following business day. The claim should be hand-carried to the disability examiner assigned to the case.
    • DDS identifies and flags an application as a TERI case. DDS controls must show the name of the examiner and DDS must notify the field office by telephone or electronic means so that the case may be expedited.

    The disability examiner assigned to the case must use telephone, fax, or electronic means to handle any follow up on the case so that a determination can be made as quickly as possible.

    Once a TERI designation is attached to a case, the designation remains unless a mistake has been made and specific procedures are followed to remove the TERI designation. The Social Security Administration cannot remove a TERI designation because of a failure to cooperate or for any other non-medical reason. Instead, all cases where an applicant has “a medical condition that is untreatable and expected to result in death” must retain the TERI designation.

    How to Keep Your Social Security Disability Case Moving

    Expedited and fast often mean different things. While the Social Security Administration may expedite the processing of cases for terminally ill applicants, delays and application denials still occur for people with terminal medical conditions.

    Experienced Social Security disability attorneys can help prevent application delays and denials by submitting complete and accurate disability applications that include a medical source statement, medical testing results, and progress notes that clearly establish your medical condition.

    Please contact our experienced Boston area Social Security disability lawyers today if you or a loved one are diagnosed with a terminal illness and you are seeking Social Security disability benefits. We represent clients in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, and we will fight to get you the Social Security disability benefits you’ve earned while you spend time with family and friends and on the things that are most important to you. Call us or reach out to us through this website today to schedule your free, no-obligation legal 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.