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Phone: 718.701.2776
The Law Offices of Frank J. Dito, Jr.

Social Security Disability Lawyers: The New York disability law firm with the attorneys, skills and resources to get you the disability benefits that you have earned and deserve serving disabled clients in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Long Island and throughout the rest of New York.

Frank J. Dito, Jr.
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Car accident, personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney serving Staten Island and Brooklyn New York.


If you or a family member is currently having a difficult time working or attending to day-to-day personal activities due to a physical illness, mental illness or injury the the issue of financial resources and support (in addition to the primary concern of getting well) is almost certainly a major concern. Faced with this unfortunate situation, you need to know your legal rights and to inform yourself about the Social Security Disability benefits that may be available. Many people are wrongly denied Social Security benefits and, sometimes, fail to properly apply for disability benefits that they may be entitled to right now.

Contact Disability Lawyer, Frank J. Dito, Jr., today at 800. 310. 5520 to get important information about your disability benefits. Mr. Dito, Jr. is an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer who represents disabled individuals before the Social Security Disability Administration in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Bronx.

WHAT QUALIFIES YOU AS DISABLED

"Disability" under SSDI is based on your inability to work. The Social Security Administration considers you disabled under the SSDI rules if:

  • You cannot do work that you did before;
  • You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition or conditions; and
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in your death.

QUALIFYING DISABILITIES FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS

Impairments listed by the Social Security Administration fall into one of the following categories:

  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Special Senses and Speech
  • Respitory System
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Digestive System
  • Genitourinary Impairments
  • Hematological Disorders
  • Skin Disorders
  • Endocrine System
  • Impairments that Affect Multiple Body Systems
  • Neurological
  • Mental Disorders
  • Malignant Neoplastic Disease
  • Immune System Disorders

THE 5 STEP PROCESS USED TO EVALUATE YOUR DISABILITY
To decide whether you are disabled, the Social Security Administration uses a 5 step process:

  • 1. The first question the SSA asks is “Are you working?”

If you are working and your earnings average more than $1,000 a month, the SSA will not consider you disabled.

  • 2. If you are not working, is your condition "severe"?

Your medical condition must be severe enough to interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered. If it does not, the SSA will not find you disabled.

  • 3. If your condition interferes with your ability to work, is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?

The SSA maintains a list of medical conditions that are so severe and disabling that if you are diagnosed with one or more of these conditions, it automatically means that you are disabled. If your condition is not on the list of medical conditions, the SSA will decide if it is of equal severity to a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, the SSA will find that you are disabled.

  • 4. If your medical condition is not on the list or not of equal severity to those on the list, can you do the work you did previously?

If your condition is severe but not the same or level of severity as a medical condition on the list, then the SSA determines if it interferes with your ability to do the work you did previously. If your medical condition does not interfere with the work that you previously did, the SSA will likely deny your claim.

  • 5. If your medical condition prevents you from doing the work you did previously, can you do any other type of work?

If you cannot do the work you previously did, the SSA will determine if you are able to do any other type of work. The SSA will look into your medical conditions and your age, education, past work experience and any transferable skills you may have obtained. If you cannot adjust to other work, your claim will be approved. If you can adjust to other work, your claim will be denied.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS
 
Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) is a payroll tax funded disability insurance program, administered by the Social Security Administration (“SSA”). It is designed to provide monthly cash benefits to persons who are unable to work for a year or more because of a physical or mental disability. The SSDI benefits are not intended to be permanent but to last until the person’s disability improves and they are able to resume work. In many cases, the benefits awarded are permanent and provide a lifetime guarantee of financial income for the disabled. Benefits usually continue until you are able to work again on a regular basis, and the SSA provides continued benefits and health care coverage to help you make the transition back to work.

To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. That means that if you worked “off the books”, your employer did not pay into the disability insurance program and you will not be eligible for SSDI benefits. In addition to meeting the definition of disability, you must have worked long enough and recently enough to qualify for disability benefits. The SSA determines if you are eligible by looking at your “work credits.”

Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or income. You can earn up to four credits each year. The amount needed for a credit changes from year to year. The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
If you qualify to apply for benefits by your work history, you must also have a medical condition that meets Social Security's definition of disability.

What most people don’t understand is that the definition of disability under Social Security Disability Insurance is different than that of other programs. SSDI pays only for total disability and does not provide benefits for partial disability or for short-term disability. SSA’s definition of disability is very strict.

If you are denied benefits based upon your initial application for SSDI, you have the right to an appeal of their decision, before an Administrative Law Judge, or ALJ. At that hearing, you will able to testify about your disability, present witnesses to help prove your claims, examine your case file to ensure that the ALJ has all of your medical records and allow the ALJ to “see” your injuries. The SSA case workers do not give away these benefits easily; in fact, they act like it is coming out of their own pockets because it essentially is. I strongly recommend that you retain an experienced Social Security Disability Insurance attorney in Brooklyn and Staten Island to represent you at your hearing and throughout your appeal. An experienced SSDI attorney understands what information that the SSA is looking for and will work with you to obtain that information before the hearing. If the information that you provide to the ALJ is incomplete, you will most likely again be denied benefits. In fact, for those persons that applied for SSDI benefits in New York, almost 62% were denied. For those that appealed their initial denial, a staggering 85% of applicants were denied! Only 15% of those that appealed were awarded benefits.

If you have any questions or have been denied Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, we will review your case and denial letter at no charge and suggest a strategy to help you to obtain your deserved benefits. Contact Frank J. Dito, Jr., your Staten Island and Brooklyn, New York Social Security Disability Insurance attorney, for your free initial phone consultation today by calling 718-701-2776.

7 QUICK HITS ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS
  • Social Security provides a regular monthly payment that supplements any current disability benefits already received.
  • Social Security provides annual cost of living increases.
  • Regardless of your age, after receiving SSDI benefits for 24 months, you will be eligible for Medicare benefits, including Part A (hospital benefits), Part B (medical benefits), and Part D (drug benefits).
  • If you receive SSDI benefits, any COBRA benefits may also be extended from 18 to 29 months.
  • SSDI entitlement "freezes" your Social Security earnings records during a person's period of disability. Because those years while you are disabled and not working will not be counted when computing future benefits, your Social Security retirement benefits may be higher.
  • If a person receives SSDI benefits and they have a dependent under age 18, the dependent may also be eligible for benefits.
  • SSDI will provide a person the opportunity to try to return to work while still allowing them to receive disability benefits.

Have questions regarding your disability benefits?

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions section to find out more information about your Social Security disabilty case.