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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  • Will I get a Social Security hearing decision on the day of my hearing?

    Waiting for a Decision After Your HearingIn all likelihood, you will not get a decision on the day of your Social Security disability hearing.

    Why Not?

    In order to understand why you are unlikely to get a decision on the day of your hearing, it is important to understand how a hearing works.

    Before your hearing, an administrative law judge (ALJ) will review your file. The file can be quite lengthy—from 500 to over 1,000 pages long. Most of the file is made up of detailed medical records that document the impairments and the treatment you have received for those impairments. 

    Unfortunately, those records only tell part of the story. You have been granted a hearing so that the ALJ can meet you and get to know you. The testimony during the hearing can provide the ALJ with a detailed picture of your daily life—something that the medical records alone cannot do. This helps the ALJ learn the whole story so he can piece together what you have been going through and how your medical condition impacts your ability to work. 

    After the hearing, the ALJ will consider your testimony, together with the medical records, and write up a decision that addresses all of the evidence in the claim. Most of the time, it is important for the ALJ to go back and take a fresh look at the file after hearing your testimony so that a final decision can be made.

    Once all of these steps are completed, the ALJ will draft a written decision that is typically about 10 pages long and mail a copy to the claimant and the attorney. Although there is no deadline for the decision, it is our experience that decisions are typically received within 30 to 60 days after the hearing. 

    Getting Benefits After a Successful Hearing

    If the ALJ rules in your favor then your file will be sent to a payment processing center. It is here that the amount of your benefits and your back pay will be calculated. The amount of time that your file will be with the payment processing center before you receive benefits can vary.

    In order to get the Social Security disability benefits that you deserve in a timely manner, please contact an experienced Social Security disability lawyer to learn more about your rights and about getting the benefits that you deserve. We will stay on top of your appeal and keep you apprised of its status.

     

  • My Social Security disability application was denied, and I do not understand the appeals process. Should I contact a lawyer?

    Should I Appeal My Social Security Denial?Yes. In many cases, it makes sense to appeal a denial of Social Security disability benefits. The majority of initial Social Security disability claims are denied, and many deserving claimants are left deciding whether they should give up on their application or file an appeal. If you decide to file an appeal and to pursue the benefits that you deserve, then an experienced disability lawyer can improve your chances of success.

    How to Know If an Appeal Is Right for You

    If you received a letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) saying you are not eligible for disability benefits, it is not the end of the road. In our experience, it may be worth the trouble to appeal what may be an unfair decision after you answer the following questions:

    • Is your disability included on the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments? The Listing of Impairments provides an index of disabling conditions and explains how severe a condition must be to qualify for disability benefits.
    • Will your disability keep you from working for at least a year or result in your death? One of these things must be true in order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
    • Are you over age 55 or is your disability severe? These factors can greatly influence your chances of winning an appeal.
    • Are you truly unable to work at any job? The Social Security Administration will look at your condition and decide if you are skilled enough to do some kind of work.
    • Did you find any incorrect information in your denial letter? You can challenge anything that is not factual.

    Being denied Social Security disability benefits may not be the end of the road. If you want help with making the decision about whether to appeal your disability benefits denial, call the experienced attorneys at Keefe Disability Law today. We can help you sort out the sometimes confusing Social Security disability appeals process and get you on the right track to getting the benefits that you have earned.

     

  • I was denied Social Security disability benefits because of problems with my medical evidence. What do I do now?

    Doctors Can Provide Critical Medical Evidence to Help Your Social Security Disability CaseYou will not qualify for Social Security disability benefits unless you can prove that you are disabled. This requires complete, correct, and current medical evidence that you can present with your application to the Social Security Administration (SSA).

    What Must Your Medical Evidence Prove?

    As a Social Security disability applicant, it is your responsibility to provide medical evidence that proves that:

    • You have one or more health impairments. You must prove that you have a health impairment by providing objective medical evidence from an acceptable medical source.
    • The severity of your impairment qualifies you for Social Security disability benefits. After you prove that you have a health impairment, then the SSA will look at medical evidence (and non-medical evidence) to determine how the impairment impacts your ability to work.

    Who Can Provide Medical Evidence?

    You should provide all of your medical records from all of the medical providers who have seen you for the condition for which you are seeking benefits. Acceptable medical sources include:

    • Hospitals, clinics, or other health facilities where you have been treated—even if only for a brief time.
    • Medical or osteopathic licensed physicians.
    • Licensed or certified psychologists.
    • Licensed optometrists who can prove that you have a qualifying visual disorder.
    • Licensed podiatrists.
    • Speech-language pathologists who are qualified to establish a speech or language impairment.

    While you may provide the information yourself, the SSA will also help you get the medical reports you need from your own medical providers.

    Treating Sources

    The Social Security Administration guidelines refer to “treating sources.” These are medical professionals who have treated you for some length of time and who are likely to be able to provide medical evidence that shows the history, severity, and future prognosis of your impairment.

    Treating sources are considered to be strong advocates for you and may provide useful medical evidence to the Social Security Administration. Therefore, if you have a medical provider who can be considered a treating source, then it may improve your chances of receiving Social Security disability benefits.

    What Kinds of Medical Evidence Do You Have to Provide?

    You must provide enough medical evidence to prove that you are unable to work; otherwise, the SSA will deny your application. Generally, this includes the following types of evidence from the professionals described above: 

    • A complete record of all the medical treatment you have received in connection with your condition.
    • A medical determination that you cannot work as a direct result of your medical condition.
    • A medical opinion that you will not be able to work for at least 12 months or that your condition will result in death.
    • A detailed account of your treatment plan and evidence that you are following that treatment plan. You are expected to follow your doctor’s orders for treating your condition. You should be taking the medicine that you are prescribed and participating in any recommended physical therapy.

    The SSA will also be looking to see if you are keeping all of your scheduled medical appointments.

    If the Social Security Administration determines that the medical evidence that you have provided is insufficient, then the agency may request a consultative examination, or it may deny your application.

    Don’t Give Up If Your Social Security Disability Application Has Been Denied

    One of the main reasons Social Security disability claims are denied is because of a lack of medical evidence. Even if you think that you are providing full and accurate records to the Social Security Administration, you may not be providing everything that the agency requires because the requirements are complicated and often confusing.

    An experienced Social Security disability lawyer can help you sort out the many pieces of evidence that you need, help you get the necessary paperwork you do not already have, and help you get the benefits that you deserve by filing the right kind of appeal. Contact our experienced attorneys today via this website or by phone to schedule an initial consultation about your rights.

     

  • Since my disability claim was rejected, I am struggling to pay bills and get medical care. Could my case now be considered critical?

    You haven’t been able to work for nearly eight months, your doctor has told you repeatedly that you can’t stand for more than a few minutes at a time, and you can barely pay for your medication, let alone make house payments. How could your disability application have been denied?

    What can you do now?

    Factors for a “Critical” Appeal

    When your disability claim has been denied, you have the right to file an appeal to get the decision overturned. Once you file your appeal with the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, the hearing office will review your claim and classify its appeal priority based on the HALLEX system for critical cases. Your case will be considered critical if one of the following factors exists:

    • You have a terminal illness.
    • You are a veteran who has been determined to have a 100% permanent and total disability (VPAT).
    • You have earned Military Casualty or Wounded Warrior status (MCWW).
    • You have symptoms or disease that qualifies for compassionate allowance standings.
    • Your situation shows evidence of dire need of food, shelter, or medical care.
    • You are potentially violent, suicidal, or homicidal.

    If your claim is found to be a critical case it will be expedited for immediate determination.

    Increasing Your Claim’s Odds for a Faster Approval

    Although every claim is different, having an experienced disability lawyer on your side will always drastically improve your odds of a success. A good attorney can not only help provide evidence to aid and facilitate a speedy decision, but he’ll also be able to present the evidence in such a way that shows the necessity of an approval.

    Let us help make sure that you take full advantage of your second chance. Contact us today for a free consultation and allow us to help increase your chances for an approval. Call us at 508-283-5500 for the help you deserve!

  • If I’m pursuing a disability appeal in Boston, how long will I have to wait? What are my chances of getting approved?

    When you’re depending on disability benefits to help support your family, opening a rejection letter after several months of waiting can be heartbreaking. Those benefits mean the difference between surviving and bankruptcy. Fortunately, you still have a chance to appeal the SSA’s decision, but you’re wondering what the odds are for your approval.

    Boston ODAR Wait Times and Case Results

    When your disability claim is rejected, you have the right to file an appeal with your local Office of Disability Adjudication Review (ODAR). Although the home office of the ODAR is located in Virginia, there are three satellite offices in Massachusetts. Those offices are located in Boston, Lawrence, and Springfield. The Boston office is the largest with 13 presiding administrative law judges (ALJs).

    Because the Boston office has twice as many ALJs as Lawrence and Springfield, it has a slightly faster turn-around and is able to review more cases in a shorter period of time. The average wait time for a hearing at the Boston office is 11 months, which is about two months shorter than the national average. The average processing time in Boston is just over a year, but is shorter than the national average by about 50 days.

    Case results at the Boston office are on par with national averages, as the following SSA statistics indicate:

    • Cases dismissed.   Boston: 22%       National average: 18%
    • Cases approved.    Boston: 42%        National average: 44%
    • Cases denied.         Boston 36%        National average: 38%

    Improving Your Odds of a Successful Appeal

    Although every claim is different, and each judge has his or her own way of determining whether a denied claim should be reconsidered, you can improve your odds dramatically by accepting the help of an experienced lawyer. We know how to improve your claim for an appeal. Let us help make sure that you take full advantage of your second chance. Contact us today for a free consultation. Call 508-283-5500 now for the help you deserve!

  • What is “substantial gainful activity” and how will it affect my disability application?

    Before your accident you made a decent living. However, now that you have limited mobility, you can only work half the hours you used to work and your family’s income has been drastically reduced. So, instead of saving for family vacations, you’re now counting pennies to pay for your mortgage.

    To make matters worse, you applied for disability as soon as you got out of the hospital, and you received a letter from the SSA yesterday. DENIED.

    Denied? How can that be? The reason given by the SSA was “doesn’t meet income qualifications.” What does that mean? Your income has been drastically affected as a result of your injury—shouldn’t that qualify for disability benefits? You can no longer make your house payments, let alone pay for your physical therapy. Shouldn’t that mean something to the SSA?

    You are left wondering: how is income eligibility calculated?

    Substantial Gainful Activity: Not Enough to Live On, But Enough to Deny Your Claim

    The term substantial gainful activity (SGA) applies to the notion that you are still able to work enough to earn a “substantial” income. In other words, if your monthly earnings exceed the SGA cap, then the Social Security Administration will conclude that your disability doesn’t need additional financial aid. 

    According to SSA regulations, the specified amount allowed for SGA depends on the nature of your disability. Legally blind individuals are given a higher SGA cap than non-blind individuals as specified by the Social Security Act. SGA amounts generally increase each year according to federal cost of living increases. For 2015, the SGA amount for blind workers is $1820 and for non-blind workers, it is $1090. That means if you are not blind and are able to work enough to earn more than $1090 each month, you will not be eligible for disability payments.

    Downsizing to Live

    It’s an unfortunate fact that those who make more money before an accident tend to lose more money afterward. If your income is greater than the SGA amount, and you’re denied disability benefits, you have no choice but to downsize your lifestyle in order to budget wisely while recovering. Either way, when you’re facing disability issues, it’s always a good idea to discuss your options with an experienced disability lawyer.

    Need more information about your rights? Download our free guide on understanding disability: Five Most Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability. You’ll not only learn more about your options, but you’ll also see how our knowledge and experience can help you.

  • How do I prove my mental disorder is incapacitating enough to deserve disability?

    Over the past few months your depression and anxiety has become completely out of control.  You’ve suffered these disorders your entire life—or at least as long as you can remember—but you’ve always been able to keep them under control with medication and therapy. However, for some reason, you’ve been experiencing severe panic attacks at work lately, and you’ve called in seven times in the past three months because you couldn’t make yourself get out of bed. Your boss has already warned you that if there is one more issue, he’ll have to fire you.

    After talking to your therapist, you decided to apply for disability. However, after waiting several months for a reply, you were denied. The letter claimed that you didn’t provide substantial evidence to prove that your disorder keeps you from working.

    What does that even mean? What kind of evidence were you supposed to include? What are your options now?  

    Proving Your Claim

    According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly 2.5 million mental disability claims are filed to the Social Security Administration (SSA) each year in the United States. However, many of these claims are denied due to the improper documentation and evidence pertaining to the severity of the claimant’s disorder. Considering that serious mental illnesses are just as entitled to disability payments as serious physical illnesses, properly filled out claims are essential. Otherwise, sufferers could wind up being denied their rightful benefits of up to $900 a month and receiving Medicare.

    The SSA recommends that before filing, you and your disability attorney verify the following information: documentation and evidence of your disorder’s work-related functional limitations. Providing this data will help you avoid timely delays and wrongful claim denials.

    Data needed includes:

    • Specific symptoms, signs, and laboratory findings to prove your disability exists.
    • Assessment of the severity and degree of limitations the disorder imposes on your daily activities, social functions, and concentration, as well as your ability to work.
    • Proof that these limitations have lasted, or are expected to last, for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
    • Analysis of impairments compared to normal sustainable anxiety issues.
    • Evidence of any physical dysfunction.
    • Documentation of degeneration or worsening of symptoms over time.
    • Medical testimonials verifying your disorder and the severity.
    • Witness statements and evaluations relating to deterioration of work.

     

    Collecting the above documentation and evidence can be frustrating. However, you don’t have to do it alone. Once you’re diagnosed with severe and debilitating anxiety, an experienced disability lawyer can help gather the necessary materials to help enhance your claim.

    Fighting Denial and Fear With Proper Representation

    Make sure your family and friends are aware of disability qualification guidelines to prevent needless claim denials and months of useless waiting. Click the media icons on this page to share this article via Facebook. You can also help by having them contact us directly to discuss any potential questions or concerns they may have about their disability claims.

    Did you find this article interesting and helpful? Let us know by liking us on Facebook, or sharing this page with your friends, family, and coworkers.

     

  • After my hip replacement surgery, I applied for SSDI in New Hampshire. They denied me because I did not meet the joint surgery listing. I’m worried! Is there anything I can do?

    Yes. After going through something as grueling and painful as a hip injury and hip replacement surgery, it’s heartbreaking to be denied. The financial support from the Social Security Administration (SSA) may be your last resort when it comes to getting the support you need after such a difficult experience. Getting approved can mean the difference between recovering quickly and suffering for years to come.

    What to Do After Being Denied SSDI in New Hampshire After a Hip Replacement

    The SSA requires that you demonstrate a few things when applying for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) benefits after hip replacement surgery in New Hampshire. These include showing that you are unable to walk effectively and will not be able to walk effectively for at least a year. Walking effectively means the following:

    • You don’t need a cane, walker, or crutches to get around.
    • You can walk a block on an uneven surface at a reasonable speed.
    • You can climb down a flight of stairs using only one handrail at a reasonable speed.
    • You don’t need help traveling to and from work.
    • You can walk extended distances on your own at a reasonable speed, such as through the grocery store or on your usual errands.


    If you can’t meet all these criteria but were still denied, you should appeal. However, even if you can say YES to each of these criteria, there are options available to you.

    The SSA provides an alternative to meeting their stringent listings. This alternative, called the Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form, allows you to show the specific ways your injury has limited your ability to work. This should include how you are limited in doing sedentary work as well as manual labor.

    Filing these forms is not easy, which is why we encourage you to speak to the relevant professionals about it before submitting your request. Talk to your doctor about getting a detailed note about your condition, and then reach out to a New Hampshire Social Security disability lawyer at Keefe Disability Law to go over your application prior to submission. This will save you tremendous hassle and worry as you reapply.
     

  • I broke my ankle pretty badly and can’t do most of the tasks I’m responsible for at work. I applied for Social Security disability in Boston but was denied. What can I do?

    It is not easy to get Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits for a broken ankle. That’s because the range of severity in broken ankles varies so greatly. While someone might not have a very severe break in his or her ankle, you could have permanent damage as a result of one mishap.

    Since the Social Security Administration (SSA) denied your application for SSDI in Boston for a broken ankle, you will need to verify that you meet the criteria put in place for broken bones, and then appeal your denial.

    Do You Qualify for SSDI in Boston for a Broken Ankle?

    In order to show that your broken bone is severe enough to prevent you from working, there are a few things you need to provide:

    • An X-ray to show that your bone will not heal. The radiograph should show that the two main broken areas are not fused back together, even after the healing process is over.
    • A physical exam that determines your bone is not healing properly. This exam is performed by your doctor and requires that he confirm that he can feel that the bones have not healed properly.
    • Inability to walk normally. This must last for at least 12 months.

     

    If you meet one of these criteria, you can submit an appeal. The appeal process is difficult and requires strict and detail proof of your disability.

    Because each case is so different and the appeal process is so stringent, it is important that you work with a Social Security disability lawyer in Boston when planning your appeal. This will help ensure that you submit all of the necessary paperwork so that you maximize your chances at receiving an approval.

    To start your appeal process, send us a note by using the contact form on this page. We will review your information and get in touch to provide you the best next steps for your unique situation.

  • I’m scared! The Social Security Administration denied my application for SSDI in Watertown because of my past work history. What can I do?

    Sometimes the Social Security Administration (SSA) will deny your application if they feel you are capable of doing work elsewhere. Often this is decided upon based on your past work history. Although someone will most likely testify at your hearing after a denial that you can do another job based on your past work history, there are ways around this.

    What to Expect at Your Disability Hearing in Boston

    When you go to your disability hearing before an administrative law judge, he will have the list of past jobs that you’ve held over the last 15 years. During your hearing, the judge will review each of your past jobs and ask you about them. Based on your answers, the judge will determine whether you are capable of holding another job, or if you qualify to receive Social Security disability.

    As you describe your past work experience, here are a few of the most important items to include that can help your case:

    • How long you spent learning the job, including any specialized training you needed
    • How long you held the position
    • Your specific job title
    • Whether you managed other people
    • The physical requirements of the job, including the use of any special equipment
    • The mental requirements, including if you worked with the public
    • Whether you were able to sit, stand, or walk whenever you needed to
    • How many hours you worked each week
    • Whether your employer offered you any special accommodations
    • Why you left the job

     

    Each of these answers will shed light on what your work experience was really like during each of your past jobs. Using your answers, the judge will determine whether or not you can perform similar jobs in the future.

    Having a lawyer by your side throughout the hearing is a smart idea. If you’re worried about your hearing, let us be there to support you. With our experience in these hearings, we know what will help, and what could hurt your case. Contact us today to schedule your pre-hearing appointment with a Boston Social Security disability lawyer.

  • I’m worried! I applied for Social Security disability in Boston for my scoliosis, but was denied. How can this happen, and what can I do?

    Being approved or denied Social Security disability for scoliosis depends on the severity of your symptoms. Some people with scoliosis only experience mild symptoms, while others have a more severe case that significantly limits their ability to work or perform daily tasks. To qualify, you must have a more severe case, and you must show how your scoliosis impacts your ability to work.

    If your case of scoliosis is severe and prevents you from working, you may be able to appeal your denial. To understand if this is the right decision for you, it is important to know what the Social Security Administration considers qualifying symptoms of scoliosis.

    How to Qualify for Social Security Disability for Scoliosis

    Before you submit your appeal, you’ll need to be sure that you can show that you have at least one of the following:

    • Pain, muscle weakness, or limitations in your mobility from a nerve root compression.
    • Severe pain, especially when you sit in the same position for a long period of time, due to inflammation of the membrane that surrounds your spine.
    • Chronic weakness or pain from narrowing of the spine

     

    If you have any of those symptoms, and you were still denied Social Security disability, you may be able to appeal.

    When you file your appeal, it is critical that you submit all evidence that shows specifically how your disability limits you from working. This means that you must show all imaging tests, detailed descriptions by your doctor of physical exams, and any records that show the treatment you’ve tried, and what you’re currently doing to limit your symptoms.

    Filing an appeal is not an easy process. If you’d like more information about what it takes to improve your chances of being approved, we encourage you to download our free report with the top asked questions about Social Security disability. If you still have questions, or would like more help, please reach out to us at any time during your appeals process.

  • I suffer from lupus and struggle to find a job I can do. I applied for Social Security disability in Boston, but was denied. What can I do?

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a complex listing for lupus. In order to qualify under its listing, you must show that you have very specific symptoms, such as fever, exhaustion, malaise, and weight loss, while also showing how these symptoms limit your ability to function in the workplace. If you were denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in Boston for lupus, chances are your application was missing one of the criteria the SSA needs to see to approve you.

    Medical Evidence to Submit in Your Appeal for SSDI in Boston for Lupus

    Although you were denied, you still have an opportunity to receive the support you need. Many people are denied in their initial application. When you appeal, you must submit medical evidence that shows you have been correctly diagnosed with lupus, and that you meet the specific criteria put in place by the SSA.

    The SSA uses the guidelines put in place by the American College of Rheumatology when making their determination. Therefore, according to current criteria for lupus, you must show that you have at least four of the following:

    • Renal disorder
    • Neurologic disorder
    • Hematologic disorder
    • Immunologic disorder
    • Malar rash
    • Discoid rash
    • Photosensitivity
    • Oral Ulcers
    • Arthritis
    • Sersitis
    • Antinuclear antibody

    When submitting your appeal, you must prove that you have these four symptoms through medical evidence, such as from blood tests, doctor notes, imaging tests, and more.

    Because the process is so tedious and the SSA requires very specific criteria be met before approving someone for SSDI for lupus, we highly recommend you seek help from a skilled Boston SSDI lawyer who knows what the SSA is looking for and can help. Call us toll-free at 888-904-6847 to learn more about how we can help with your appeal process.

  • I just had major surgery on my knee. There were a few complications during the procedure and I’m no longer able to walk. This has significantly limited my ability to work. I applied for SSDI in Boston for my reconstructive surgery, but was denied. They said I need to be able to show that I am not able to walk effectively. What does that mean?

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) places strict guidelines on each of their disability listings. For people who have had reconstructive surgery on a weight-bearing joint, such as you had on your knee, the SSA needs to see that the surgery did not properly repair the damage. You must also show the extent to which you are still limited even after trying to repair the damage to your joint.

    Showing Your Inability to Walk Effectively

    In your appeal, you must show that you cannot walk effectively. This essentially means that the SSA wants to see that you have a disability that limits you in your job. Some of the ways that you may be considered unable to walk effectively include:

    • Using some system of support to get around, such as a walker, or two crutches.
    • You are forced to walk at an unreasonably slow pace to perform daily tasks, such as grocery shopping.
    • You have difficulty walking on uneven surfaces at a reasonable pace.
    • You are limited in how many stairs you can climb and how quickly you can climb with the help of a handrail.
    • You require assistance in getting to and from work.
       

    Guidelines like these may seem straightforward, but demonstrating them to the SSA in a way that will allow you to be approved for SSDI in Boston for reconstructive surgery is not easy.

    Working with a skilled SSDI lawyer in Boston can help. By putting the experience with and the knowledge of the Social Security system to work on your appeal, you can increase your opportunity to be approved. Let us know if you meet these criteria and would like help filing your appeal by filling out the contact form on this page.

  • I have a few mental illnesses, including anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. I applied for SSDI in Boston and was told to fill out a mental RFC form. What is this form, and how can I fill it out so that I increase my chances of being approved?

    Mental illnesses can be extremely debilitating, making it difficult to perform regular activities at your job. However, when it comes to documenting the disabling symptoms of these disabilities, you may find that it is not all that easy. In many cases, the Social Security Administration (SSA), or your Social Security disability lawyer in Boston may advise you to fill out a mental Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form.

    Understanding a Mental RFC Form

    The mental RFC form is used to look at the type of activities that you are still able to do in spite of your mental disability. The SSA uses the information from this form to decide if you are able to continue working in some capacity in your field. When filling out this form, there are a few things to keep in mind.

    • Comprehension and memory. The SSA will consider your ability to understand and carry out certain instructions. If your memory is limited by your mental illness, or you cannot understand basic instructions, you may are limited in the work you can perform.
       
    • Social capabilities. Many jobs require some level of social interaction. If you struggle to interact appropriately with people, ask for help, accept feedback, or avoid engaging in distracting behavior, you may not be able to perform lesser skilled tasks at your job.
       
    • Focus and concentration. Most jobs require that you focus on the work at hand. This requires you to be able to pay attention for longer periods of time. If you are significantly limited in your ability to do this, the SSA may determine you are not able to work.
       
    • Adaptation to various environments. Work environments can be stressful. The SSA will also use the RFC to consider how well you can adapt to changing environments that have the potential to be stressful.
       

    There is a lot that goes into your mental RFC form, and we advise that you seek help from someone experienced with this type of form. At Keefe Disability Law, we understand what the SSA is looking for, and how you can increase your chances of being approved after submitting an RFC. We encourage you to reach out to us by phone at 888-904-6847 to schedule an appointment with a Boston Social Security disability lawyer to discuss your options in more detail.

  • I had a stroke, but my doctor said it was a fairly mild stroke. I suffered some permanent damage, and now have difficulty grasping onto some items, which makes it difficult for me to write or work in my construction job. I applied, but just received a denial for SSDI in Boston after my stroke. What can I do?

    We are sorry to hear you were denied Social Security disability in Boston after your stroke! Strokes are a difficult condition because the symptoms and severity of the damages vary greatly from one person to another. Sometimes, if the disability was not cited clearly or if there was some confusion on the application, the Social Security Administration (SSA) might deny your disability claim even if you qualify under the listing for a stroke.

    Here are a few things you should start to do today to begin the appeal process for your claim.

    • Talk to your doctor. Many doctors know how difficult it is to get disability income after a stroke. Talk to your doctor and ask her to outline the specific medical damages you experienced after your stroke, and how they impair your ability to perform basic tasks, such as writing, lifting, pulling, or other important tasks for your job.
    • Keep a journal. Keep a journal of all of your symptoms. Make sure to write down when your symptoms prevent you from working, and what specific tasks you were unable to perform. This will show the person reviewing your appeal how the damages from your stroke limit your ability to work.
    • Fill out an RFC form. It may be a good idea to fill out a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form. This form shows what you are able to do on a regular basis in spite of the damages you suffered.

     

    Filing an appeal after being denied SSDI in Boston for a stroke is not easy. For help, or more guidance, call our office to speak to a Boston Social Security disability attorney about your application and appeal.

  • I’m worried! About six months ago I found out that my nerve damage caused by Bell’s Palsy is permanent. I applied for SSDI in Boston for Bell’s Palsy, but was denied. What can I do?

    We’re sorry to hear that Bell’s Palsy left you with permanent damage. Although rare, this condition can have serious consequences if the treatment does not work. Many times, the permanent nerve damage caused by this condition is enough to impair your ability to work in the job you once used to.

    Although a denial can feel hopeless, it is important to remember that the majority of people get denied when they first submit their application. Here are a few things you can do to help put together an appeal so that you can receive the benefits you deserve:

    • Obtain medical evidence. The first thing you’ll need to do is gather all of your medical evidence that shows the extent of your disability. This includes doctor statements, test results, treatments you tried, daily symptoms, and more.
    • Fill out a residual functional capacity assessment. Because Bell’s Palsy is not listed as an impairment, it is important that you show how the permanent damage has left you disabled. Filling out a residual functional capacity assessment shows the Social Security administrator reviewing your appeal exactly how limited you are in your job performance.
    • Work with a Boston SSDI attorney. Filing an appeal is a complex process. With help from an attorney skilled at helping people fight back against Social Security denials, you can dramatically increase your chances at approval.

     

    At Keefe Disability Law, we understand how frustrating it is to receive a denial letter in the mail. With our help, you can put together an appeal that will maximize your chances at being approved. Contact a Massachusetts Social Security disability lawyer to learn more about how we can help with your specific case.

  • I suffer from an average of two seizures a month. I work in construction, and every day that I am forced to work, I worry that a seizure will put others and myself at risk. I applied for Massachusetts disability for seizures, but I was just denied. Can you help?

    When you suffer from seizures, disability in Massachusetts can provide you valuable income. This income can help you deal with the need to limit your job functions so that your co-workers and yourself are not put at risk of something going wrong on a job site if you have a seizure. The Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) program in Massachusetts is meant to help limit these risks and provide you the income you need to live.

    Receiving a denial letter in the mail can be frustrating and heartbreaking, but it is important to know that you still have options. You first action should be to appeal the decision against you. When you submit your appeal, it is critical that you include all of the necessary pieces of paperwork and documentation. Here are a few things you will need to make your appeal stronger:

    • A statement from your doctor
    • Proof that you have followed all treatments and prescriptions (this can include blood tests to show that your medication levels remained constant)
    • Documentation of your frequency and severity of seizures
    • Statements from your family and friends or any third party that has seen your seizures
       

    The majority of people who apply for Social Security disability are denied the first time they submit their application. Now that you have been denied, it is important that you work with a Social Security disability lawyer in Massachusetts to submit your appeal. With his help, you can be confident that you submit a complete and accurate appeal that will increase your chances at being approved. Call us today at 888-904-6847 or 508-283-5500 to learn more.

     

  • It’s been a year since I was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease and I still have a very hard time doing my job like I once used to. I applied for SSDI in Boston but was denied. Now I’m ready to appeal. What medical records do I have to show for my Meniere’s disease to get Social Security disability in Boston?

    Meniere’s disease can significantly limit your ability to do your job. When an episode strikes, you may become sick and unable to work at your computer, talk to your co-workers, or think clearly. Although the Meniere’s disease disables your abilities on the job, it can be difficult to show that to the Social Security office and get approved for Boston Social Security for Meniere’s disease.

    When you file your appeal, it is important to include medical paperwork and documentation that show the frequency and duration of your Meniere’s disease episodes. This includes showing:

    • How frequently you get episodes of vertigo
    • The extent of tinnitus or the ringing in your ears that you suffer from
    • Vestibular test results showing any damage to the inner ear
    • Any loss of hearing you have experienced shown through tone and speech audiometry
       

    To have your Meniere’s disease qualify for Social Security disability in Boston, a lot of factors will have to be taken into consideration. Making a compelling case for the Social Security to approve you for SSDI in Boston can be difficult.

    We can help. Contact a Boston Social Security disability lawyer at Keefe Disability Law to learn how you can file an appeal that will maximize your chances at being approved. Call us at 888-904-6847 or 508-283-5500 to learn more.

  • I suffer from severe carpal tunnel syndrome, which makes it almost impossible for me to pick items up or focus because of the pain. I was just denied SSDI in New Hampshire. Help! What can I do to show them that this is a real disability?

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is enormously painful and frustrating. The pain from the swelling around your nerves makes it difficult to concentrate. The numbness caused by your nerve being pinched can limit your ability to do basic workplace tasks. Even picking up a phone can be intolerable.

    Although disabling, carpal tunnel syndrome is not listed by Social Security as a qualifying disability. However, there are still options that may help you be approved to receive SSDI. Here is some of the medical evidence you will need to provide in your appeal to increase your chances of being approved.

    • Measures of your thumb weakness. This can be done by your doctor by measuring your ability to raise your thumb upward when it is flat on the table, or your ability to touch your pinky with your thumb.
       
    • Pahlen’s test. This test checks for symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome while your hands are dangled off the table.
       
    • Tinel’s sign. Your doctor will check for Tinel’s sign, which is when your median nerve tingles or is shocked when touched.
       
    • Nerve conduction study. This will measure how fast signals are sent through the affected nerves.
       

    There may be other tests and pieces of medical evidence to demonstrate your disability.

    It is important that when filing your appeal that you work with a New Hampshire disability attorney. At Keefe Disability Law, we understand what Social Security is looking for and needs in order to approve you to receive the SSDI you are entitled to. Call us toll-free at 888-904-6847 and request a FREE copy of our book, The Five Most Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability.

  • After submitting my application for Massachusetts Social Security Disability, I was denied right away. The letter called it a technical denial. What does this mean?

    If you are given a technical denial for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the Social Security Administration did not review any medical evidence in your application. Instead, an SSA employee determined your application to be ineligible for benefits for non-medical reasons.

    Some of the most common reasons for a technical denial include:

    • Your income exceeds the “Substantial Gainful Activity” limit put in place by the SSA.
    • You have not earned enough Social Security credits to be eligible to apply for SSDI.
    • You did not prove that you were related to the person that the application was filed on behalf of, if you were filing for another person such as an adult child or spouse.
    • You did not submit all of the medical records needed.
    • There was a general lack of detail or information necessary to determine your eligibility for SSDI in Massachusetts.

    The technicalities of an application for Social Security Disability are overwhelming. For this reason, it is important to fill out your application together with a Boston Social Security Disability attorney. Although many technical denials cannot be appealed, you may be able to file an appeal if there was an error in processing your application. To do this, it is a good idea to get the help of an Massachusetts Social Security Disability attorney.

    Call us today to go over your technical denial together. We will go through your claim with you and find out if there is an opportunity for an appeal. Then, we will work with you to ensure you do not receive a technical denial again.