CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC

2303 East Fort King Street
Ocala, FL 34471

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CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC


  • Published: January 27, 2012

As an Ocala disability lawyer, I have helped many individuals who are self-employed with their Social Security disability applications and appeals. In every case, the Social Security Administration uses a five-step process to determine disability. The first step requires the applicant to prove that he or she is not currently engaged in “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). For most employees, this step is relatively straightforward and involves checking their employment records to see how much they are earning each month.  If the monthly total is below a specified amount ($1010 in 2012), as a general rule, they are not engaged in SGA.  The SGA amounts change every year with changes in the national average wage index. However, any work, regardless of…Read More

  • 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 19, 2012

If you suffer from a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that prevents you from working, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. Obesity is recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a medically determinable impairment. If obesity makes working difficult or impossible for you, your Ocala disability lawyer may recommend that you file a claim for disability benefits. In reviewing a disability claim based on obesity, the SSA will evaluate what work-related functions a claimant can perform despite the limitations caused by obesity. Obesity can severely limit a claimant’s ability to work for a number of reasons. For example, the obese claimant may have difficulty with job requirements such as walking, standing, sitting, stooping, and…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 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: 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 12, 2011

What is a consultation examination and why do I have to have one? If Social Security decision makers review your file and decide that they need more information about your medical condition before making a decision, they may send you for a consultative examination. A consultative exam is a physical or mental exam that the state disability determination agency arranges for you to undergo. You may be asked to submit to a consultative examination before the initial determination on your claim is made or after you appeal a denial. Here are some common reasons why you might be asked to undergo a consultative examination: • Social Security decision makers need an expert opinion about your condition, but your doctor is…Read More

  • Published: November 8, 2011

Your Ocala disability lawyer may ask lay witnesses to testify on your behalf at your Social Security disability hearing. A lay witness is a witness who is not an expert in the medical field. While not an expert, a lay witness can still provide strong testimony on a claimant’s behalf by describing any observations the lay witness has noticed regarding the claimant’s condition. Therefore, strong lay witness testimony recounts the witness’s observations, and does not simply offer a conclusion regarding the claimant’s medical condition. The strongest lay witness testimony will provide the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) with a detailed account of a specific incident the witness observed. For example, suppose the claimant suffers from a breathing problem like asthma, emphysema,…Read More

  • Published: September 14, 2011

If you received a Social Security disability claim denial, you can appeal the denial at a disability hearing. During a Social Security disability hearing, you will testify before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) about your medical condition. The ALJ and your Ocala disability lawyer can ask you questions about your condition, including how the condition affects your ability to engage in substantial gainful activity. If you suffer from fatigue and it affects your ability to maintain a job and complete routine tasks, describe the fatigue so that the ALJ can gain a better understanding of why the fatigue makes you eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. Both the ALJ and your Ocala disability lawyer can question you during the…Read More

  • Published: September 13, 2011

If you suffer from shortness of breath, it is important to describe this condition accurately to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) during your Social Security disability hearing. During the disability hearing, your Ocala disability lawyer and the ALJ will ask you questions regarding your condition. These questions help an ALJ achieve a better understanding of your medical condition and why you are eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. You will testify under oath during the hearing, and must answer all questions completely. First, your Ocala disability lawyer or the ALJ will ask you questions related to what causes your shortness of breath. Many things can cause shortness of breath including allergies, stress, and lung congestion. Next, the ALJ or…Read More

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