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Keller & Keller
James Keller

151 N. Delaware
Indianapolis IN 46204
(317) 926-1111

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Keller & Keller

Please Cll : 317-926-1111


Social Security Disability

7/15/2009
allen walker
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7 Social Security Disability Application Mistakes

1. Not having a "disability"         

"Disability" is strictly defined by the 
Social Security Adminsitration, and many people are surprised when they learn that their condition doesn't meet the administration's criteria. So what constitutes a disability?

To qualify for social security disability benefits, you must be unable to perform any substantial work and have a medical condition that has lasted (or is expected to last) at least a year, or results in death.

(A lot of people believe they can collect disability benefits if they are not able to do their regular job as opposed to any job. This is untrue. Social Security doesn't only take into consideration the type of work you have previously been doing, but anything that they believe will suit you and your present condition.)  

2. Waiting too long 

If you wait too long to start the process, you are doing yourself a complete disservice. Even if you are approved, there is approximately a five-month waiting period before your disability checks will start to arrive.  Any delay also means that you are putting off much needed Medicare coverage, which won't start until 24 months after being approved for disability.

Waiting too long, or worse, giving up can result in smaller benefits as a retiree because Social Security factors in your total number of working years.

3. Not having finances in order

The disability process is a mental and financial marathon. It's critical that you use financial-planning basics to tread water until you are receiving disability awards and Medicare coverage for your medical needs.     

(Social Security has recently started to fast-track people who have medical conditions that qualify for a compassionate allowance. The allowance is reserved for people with one or more of 50 different disabling conditions, including 25 types of cancer.) 

4. Poor preparation 

Organization of your application is critical. To make Social Security take notice of your application do the following: gather your medical records; make a list of the doctors you've seen; have documents from your physician's that support your claims; and a list of the medications you're taking or have taken. 

In other words, submit a comprehensive package that is exceptional.


5. Giving up

You must be persistent.  Don't be discouraged if you get rejected--almost everyone is rejected the first time. It's very possible that you have to appeal your case and possibly go before a judge before receiving disability benefits.

There is some good news: Close to two-thirds of cases that go through one or two appeals will eventually receive benefits.

And...

There is some bad news: Currently, a backlog of 750,000 cases are awaiting decisions at the hearing level.  Becuase there is a shortage of judges to hear these cases, it can take up to two years to make headway.

The key is not to give up. Many people will wonder how long it takes to receive disability benefits. However, if you receive a denial, and have 60 days to appeal, appeal on the day you receive your denial. Waiting only puts you behind another million folks waiting for a hearing.

6. Not reaching out for help
 
If you're frustrated and having trouble with the process, contact an 
experienced social security disability lawyer or a nonprofit advocacy group.

It's no secret, the Social Security Adminsitration speaks a secret language, and good social security attorney will understand their lingo.


7. Not changing inaccurate information
 
Compare your annual Social Security earnings statements against W-2 tax forms for accuracy. And it's not just the math you need to worry about; check personal data, too, especially after a divorce or name change. If you find that an error exists, call the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213.

Please Cll : 317-926-1111

Attorney Profile

S. Jack Keller

Keller and Keller
P.O. Box 7
814 Port Street
St. Joseph, MI 49085
269-277-5215

S. Jack Keller is a second generation lawyer stemming from a family which upholds a proud tradition in helping and assisting people who have been victimized through the negligence of others. For more than forty years, Mr. Keller has been protecting the rights of clients who have suffered personal injury. His successful representation of his clients include victims of automobile, semi truck, motorcycle, snow mobile and farm accidents, as well as premise liability cases. He is now the senior partner of Keller and Keller.

After receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, Attorney Keller graduated for the University of Indiana School of Law. Martindale-Hubbell has bestowed upon Mr. Keller an AV rating--their highest award in the legal profession--designated for his legal ability, standards of conduct, ethics, reliability and diligence. He is also a member of the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Past President of the Berrien County Bar Association, as well as a current member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Indiana and Michigan Trial Lawyers Association, and the Berrien County Bar Association. Mr. Keller is also able to practice before the United States District Court of the Western District of Michigan and the Northern District of Indiana.


In addition to the personal attention given to each of his clients, Mr. Keller also lends his efforts and resources to the community in which he resides. He is a current Rotarian as well as a board member and past President of Temple B'nai Shalom.


Away from the office, Attorney Keller enjoys spending time with his wife, Julie, his children, and seven grandchildren. His hobbies include digital photography, tennis, and travel with family and friends.

Education:

Undergraduate School:
Bachelor of Arts in English
University of Michigan (1959)

Law School:
Indiana University, Bloomington (1962)

Please Cll : 317-926-1111


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