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THE COHN LAW FIRM
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THE COHN LAW FIRM
Bill Cohn

12830 Hillcrest, Suite 111
Dallas TX 75230
(972) 994-9393

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Alt. Phone: 888-lawvol1 (888-529-8651)


THE COHN LAW FIRM

Call : 972-994-9393

ttp://www.cohnlawfirm.com/social.htm


Social Security Disability


Home....About....email....Call 901-757-5557

Talk to another attorney and talk to us.
Judge the difference

 

I. THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY.

a) Social Security Disability - This is a monthly payment based on the F.I.C.A. deductions which were paid from your paycheck to the Internal Revenue Service. It is like paying premiums on a disability insurance policy. You receive a monthly benefit if you are disabled based on the amount of income that you had.

b) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - This is also a monthly payment, but is based on need. If your income is low and you have virtually no assets, and you are disabled, then you will receive this monthly benefit. It is a lower amount than Social Security Disability, and is approximately $550.00 per month. You cannot receive both SSI and Social Security Disability at the same time.



II. HOW SICK OR INJURED YOU MUST BE TO OBTAIN BENEFITS.

There are government regulations (listings) which set out each type of injury and illness and what medical test results you must have in order to qualify.

However, you can qualify if you have more than one symptom, and those symptoms together, in effect, equal any one listing. You can also qualify if other factors such as medication makes you drowsy and prevents you from working.

You must be virtually unable to hold down a full time job. If you can work at ANY full time job which you have the skills to perform, not just your old job, then you cannot obtain benefits. If you are working at a full time job, then you probably will not be able to get benefits. You cannot make over approximately $700.00 per month. If you are presently earning more than this, then Social Security will take the position that you are able to work because of the amount of money that you are earning is the same as a full time job.

Call 901-757-5557 or 1-888-LAWVOL1 for a free appointment
to discuss your situation.



III. HOW THE COHN LAW FIRM GETS PAID

Most of the time, we get paid approximately 25% of the BACK payments awarded to you. If there are no back payments, and we win, the Judge or the Social Security Administration may award more than the 25% of the back payment award as a fee. Generally this will come out of the back payments awarded. We do not get paid any of the continuing monthly payments. You will have to pay minor expenses for such items as photocopies of doctors' reports if they are needed. Most of the time, they are already obtained by the Social Security Administration. They are rarely over $50.00, though, if needed. We request that you pay a $100.00 deposit to cover the cost of these. We will work with you on these costs. You will also have to pay for optional expenses, such as a doctor's deposition.

The 25% percentage is our fee as long as the case is in the Social Security Administration. If we have to go to Federal Court, we have the option of continuing on a percentage basis or requiring a retainer and proceeding on an hourly basis (whether we win or lose, we get paid). This will be explained in more detail below.

If you are awarded Social Security Disability, the Social Security Administration will withhold 25% of the back payments. They may decide you owe us more and you will have to pay the balance directly to us.

If the Social Security Administration send to YOU the 25% (or any amount of the fee) and not to us, you should pay it TO US IMMEDIATELY as YOU WILL BE RESPONISIBLE FOR THE PAYMENT TO US. If you spend the 25%, the Social Security Administration CAN STILL PAY US, and then THEY WILL WITHHOLD THE MONEY FROM YOUR PAYMENTS UNTIL THEY RECOVER THE MONEY. That means you could be without a monthly payment for as much as one year or more.

If you are awarded SSI, you will have to pay the 25% directly to us. This should be paid as soon as you receive it to prevent us from having to sue you.

If we go to Federal Court, you will have to pay the filing fee of $250.00 to the Federal Court.

Call 901-757-5557 for a free appointment to discuss your situation.



IV. THE PROCEDURE FOR APPLYING FOR BENEFITS

a. Go to the Social Security office nearest you. Avoid going to the downtown office if possible as that is usually the busiest and the most crowded.

Fill out and submit an APPLICATION FOR BENEFITS. The worker will help you complete it. This takes anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months to find out whether or not you are approved. It can be longer.

b. If you get turned down (it will be by a letter from the Social Security Administration), then go back promptly and file a REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION. You only have 60 days to do this. If you do not do this within 60 days, then you have to start over and submit a new application. This again takes 6 weeks to 6 months to find out an answer. This request is rarely granted.

We will represent you at this step. We will contact your physicians and hospitals and get the required reports and records and submit them to the Social Security Administration. We will also help you prepare any appeal forms if you are turned down.

This step should take only 90 days. We try to get you through this step as quickly as possible. Even so, it can take SSA a year or more to process this step. Do not bother to call and ask us for a "status." We cannot hurry them either. Nor can your Representative or Senator hurry them. The Social Security Administration is under the President of the United States in the Executive Branch, and the Representative and the Senator is in the Legislative Branch (Congress). Congress cannot tell the President what to do. All you will get is a letter telling you what step they are in (which you will already know) and that they will be making a decision on it.

Call 901-757-5557 for a free appointment to discuss your situation.

c. If you get turned down (it will again be by a letter from the Social Security Administration), then go back promptly and file a REQUEST FOR HEARING. You only have 60 days to do this. If you do not do this within 60 days, then you have to start over and submit a new application. If you have not done so, NOW is the time to contact THE COHN LAW FIRM for an appointment. You should have a representative at the hearing. Once the papers are received by the Office of Hearings and Appeals, a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge will be set from 60 days to six months. Sometimes it takes a year or more to get a hearing. Sometimes it takes 6 months more for the local SSA office to send the papers to the Office of Hearings and Appeals.

We will go to the hearing with you at the Office of Hearings and Appeals. It is not like Perry Mason. The questions will be similar to what we ask you in our first interview with us. We will examine the file of the Social Security Administration prior to the date of the hearing (but it can be done the date of the hearing) to see what documents are in the file and which are still needed. The file can be left open after the hearing to obtain any additional medical reports which are needed.

We will question you and any witnesses that you bring to prove your disability. We will question any witnesses offered by the Social Security Administration, which is usually a Vocational Expert (who testifies what jobs you can and cannot do).

We submit a short memorandum brief in your support after the hearing and after we obtain any needed additional medical reports.

You can expect to wait at least 120 days before receiving the written opinion of the Administrative Law Judge. It can take as long as a year to receive a decision.

d. If you are again turned down, then we will file a Request for Review for you with the Appeals Council in Washington, D.C. We do not appear there, but merely file papers there asking that the Appeals Council overrule the Administrative Law Judge. We will receive a decision from 90 days to a year after filing the Request for Review.

e. If you are again turned down, then the only course left is to file a lawsuit for Judicial Review in Federal Court. We file a brief, and the Court reviews everything and decides whether or not the Social Security Administration acted properly in denying you benefits, or whether the Social Security Administration should be reversed. The Court does not look to see if you were or were not disabled.They look for an error of the application of the law. It has been our experience that the Federal Courts in the Mid South (Northern Mississippi, Eastern Arkansas, and Western Tennessee) have been more than fair in their decisions. In Texas, reversal is more difficult.

If we file a lawsuit for judicial review in Federal Court, we have the option of how we will get paid our attorney fees. We may elect to continue to represent you on a percentage basis if we feel that your case is strong enough. However, we will be paid on an hourly basis whether we win or lose if we do not feel that your case is strong and you still want to go to Federal Court.

You will have to pay the filing fee of $250.00 to the Federal Court.

Call 901-757-5557 for a free appointment to discuss your situation.



V. MISCELLANEOUS

There are always other circumstances that need to be addressed and questions that need to be answered. Please feel free to ask the representative what happens in these circumstances.


VI. How Long Will it Take?

Please keep in mind also that there is no way to hurry up the Social Security Administration or any other government agency in their making a decision. No lawyer, congressman, senator, or anyone also can do anything other than get a progress report.
If you call us for a status report, we cannot tell you much. We cannot control what Federal government employees do. They do not tell us much. We can only tell you that they are still working on your file. They do not hurry up for us, or you. They hear the same story form everyone.


VII. IMPORTANCE OF DOCTORS

You should continue to go to the doctor. Your treating physicians' opinion and lab tests are the most important evidence that you have. You cannot win without a doctor's record's to support you. Optimally, you would want a specialist for each symptom or illness you have.


Talk to another attorney and talk to us.
Judge the difference.


WILLIAM A. COHN

Member: American Bar Association


University of Tennessee, J.D., 1977

University of Tennessee Legal Clinic: 1976-77


Admitted to practice law in the following Courts:

United States District Court for the:

Western District of Tennessee

Middle District of Tennessee

Eastern District of Arkansas

Northern District of Mississippi

Northern District of Texas

Southern District of Texas

United States Court of Appeals for the:

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

Federal Circuit

United States Claims Court

All state and appeals courts in Tennessee and Texas.


Call 901-757-5557 for a free appointment to discuss your situation.


The field of Social Security Disability Law is not certified as a specialty by the State of Tennessee or by that state's Commission on Legal Specialization.

Call : 972-994-9393


Dallas TX Social Security Lawyer

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