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Ocala, FL 34471

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CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC

Blog

  • Published: January 25, 2012

You try to work but cannot because of your medical condition. You apply for Social Security disability benefits and are shocked when your claim is denied. Do not let the denial of your claim discourage you. Appeal until you get a hearing before an administrative law judge.  Many claims are denied initially, but then granted after a hearing. It is quite possible that the Social Security Administration made a mistake in denying your claim for disability benefits. In fact, common mistakes found in claims denied by the Social Security Administration and later granted on appeal include: Failing to gather your complete medical records and other medical evidence to establish that you are disabled because your impairment “meets or medically equals”…Read More

  • Published: January 20, 2012

Following these six simple steps will help ease your way through the Florida Social Security disability benefits process: See your doctors regularly and cooperate with their treatment plans: The Social Security Administration requires medical evidence to prove you are disabled.  The best way to ensure that you have that evidence is to visit your doctors regularly and to tell them about all your symptoms.  You should see your doctors as directed and comply with their treatment plans because the Social Security Administration expects that your goal is to become healthy again so you can go back to work. Monitor your symptoms: Your symptoms (pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, etc.) and how they affect your daily activities are important indicators of…Read More

  • Published: December 22, 2011

What happens if my consultative examination does not go well? (continued from Consultative Examinations (Part 3)) You may be asked to undergo a consultative medical or psychological examination while your claim or appeal for disability benefits is pending. The purpose of the exam is to provide the Social Security disability decision maker with medical evidence about your impairment. Of course, you hope that the doctor will perform a thorough examination and his or her report will support your claim. Unfortunately, sometimes the examination is unsatisfactory and sometimes the results are unfavorable. If the consultative examiner delivers an unfavorable report, there are some things that both you and your Ocala disability attorney can do to counter it. One possible reason for…Read More

  • Published: December 15, 2011

If you receive monthly Social Security disability benefits, you will need to determine whether they are subject to income taxes. Most of my Ocala disability clients do not have to pay income taxes on their disability benefits. Whether your disability benefits will be taxable depends on your income. You are mostly likely to have a tax liability if you have income from sources in addition to your disability benefits, or if your spouse earns substantial income. A couple with a combined income of more than $32,000 and an individual with an income of more than $25,000 will pay income tax on a percentage of their Social Security disability benefits. The percentage of benefits subject to tax increases for individuals with…Read More

  • Published: December 13, 2011

A common question from claimants after a favorable decision is “When will I be eligible for Medicare?’ Medicare will be available to you after you have received Social Security disability benefits for 24 months. However, if you would like to sign up for Medicare Part B, you must pay a premium that the SSA will deduct from your monthly check. Depending on your income and assets, you might qualify for other programs that will pay for all, or part, of your Medicare premium or medical expenses that are not covered by Medicare. Check with your county welfare department to see if you might qualify for any of these programs. If you have health coverage through a spouse or due to…Read More

  • Published: December 12, 2011

What will happen at my consultative examination? (continued from Consultative Examinations (Part 2)) The nature and extent of your consultative examination depends on your impairment and what information Social Security decision makers need to decide your claim. You may need to undergo a complete physical examination and battery of tests or you may only need to undergo certain tests, like breathing tests, blood tests, or a stress test, for example. If you have a mental impairment, you may need to undergo an examination and a battery of tests administered by a psychiatrist or psychologist. The Social Security Administration will pay for your consultative exam and testing. You will not be charged. There is no charge to you even if your…Read More

  • Published: December 6, 2011

Social Security Administration regulations play an important role in determining whether a claimant is disabled. One group of disability regulations is called the Listing of Impairments (the Listings). The Listings are organized by body systems (e.g., musculoskeletal, respiratory, endocrine) and then by impairments specific to those systems. For example, the Musculoskeletal Listing covers impairments such as spinal disorders, joint dysfunction, amputations, and fractures. The Listing for each impairment consists of specific medical findings characteristic of that impairment. When a claimant has the medical findings provided in the listing, the SSA says that the claimant “meets the Listings.” A claimant who meets the Listings will be found disabled. The SSA will not even look at whether the claimant can do a…Read More

  • Published: November 30, 2011

Who will perform my consultative examination? (continued from Consultative Examinations (Part 1)) If you are asked to undergo a consultative examination, the state disability determination agency will arrange for you to be examined by a practitioner with the appropriate experience and credentials. The consultative examiner is typically a doctor or psychologist in private practice who signs a contract to do the exam and provide a report for your disability file. The state agency will normally try to arrange for you to be examined near your home, but that’s not always possible if the right kind of specialist is not available in your area. It is possible to arrange for your own doctor to perform your consultative exam. However, your doctor…Read More

  • Published: November 30, 2011

Persistent low back pain brings many clients to my Ocala disability law firm. Even though chronic lower back pain can be debilitating, these cases are especially challenging. If your back problem does not satisfy a Social Security Administration Listing, your eligibility for benefits will depend on your “residual functional capacity” or “RFC.” RFC is an assessment of what you are capable of doing despite the limitations caused by your low back pain. To determine your RFC, the Social Security Administration will consider both your objective medical evidence (usually X-rays and scans in back injury cases), and your subjective evidence (your testimony and the testimony of your witnesses). Although X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans can identify spinal abnormalities, they are…Read More

  • Published: November 29, 2011

The answer is “maybe.” There is a conflict between the requirements for each program that can make it difficult for some claimants to receive benefits from both for the same time period. To receive Social Security disability benefits, you must be unable to work because of a severe impairment. But to receive unemployment benefits, you must be ready, willing, and able to work. No statute, regulation or ruling says a claimant cannot receive unemployment compensation and Social Security disability benefits for the same period. Nevertheless, administrative law judges have widely different views on this issue. Some judges believe that receiving benefits from both programs is unfair double-dipping. These judges will request that you amend the onset date (the date that…Read More

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