Millions of hardworking Americans pay into the Social Security system each month. Many may feel comforted by these paycheck deductions because they assume that they money they contributed will be available to them in the event they become unable to work due to a disability. Unfortunately, it isn’t always that simple or fair.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) denies the large majority of Social Security disability claims. Around 70% of disabled workers are denied upon their first application. Some of these individuals will eventually receive benefits at a later stage in the process, but they could be in for a wait of two years or more before actually seeing a disability check.
This is because the applicant is then forced to endure the SSA’s lengthy appeals process. If you’re a disabled worker and are applying for disability benefits in the Miami Beach, Florida area, hiring a Miami Beach disability attorney could increase the chances that your application will be approved at the initial stage and you will be able to avoid the inconvenient and stressful appeals process.
The Miami Beach economy is primarily based on tourism, with many large beach resorts in the area. Some of the largest that employ many Miami Beach residents include the Trump Miami Beach Resort, Deauville Beach Resort Hotel, and the Royal Palm South Beach Resort Hotel. The median household income in Miami Beach is $27,332 but the cost of living is over 21% higher than the national average.
Applying for Miami Beach Social Security Disability Benefits
Approximately 85,892 are lucky enough to call Miami Beach home. According to the Social Security Administration, around 4.5% of Florida residents are receiving Social Security disability benefits. This could mean that around 3,865 Miami Beach residents are currently being paid disability benefits. The average amount of a disability payment in Florida is $1,123.10.
When a disabled worker has their application for disability benefits denied, the next step is to file a “Request for Reconsideration.” After waiting 3-4 months for their first decision, it will take another 2-4 months for the reconsideration decision to be received. If this is also a denial the next step is for the claimant to file a “Request for Administrative Law Judge Hearing.” Then they’re in for even more waiting.
The office that schedules Administrative Law Judge hearings for Miami Beach Florida Social Security disability applicants is located in Miami. The average waiting time for a hearing to be scheduled out of this office is one of the highest nationwide, at 427 days. This is in addition to the several months the disabled worker spent waiting for their claim to be decided at the first two levels. Once the hearing takes place, it can take another two to three months for the judge’s decision to be issued.
Although a claimant’s best chance to have their application approved comes at this level, the wait to get here can be devastating. It can be extremely hard for a disabled Florida worker to live on little or no income for two years or more while they are applying for Social Security disability benefits.
Hiring a Miami Beach Disability Attorney
If they haven’t already done so, it’s extremely important for Miami Beach, Florida Social Security disability applicants to hire a Social Security lawyer while they’re waiting for their hearing to be scheduled. An attorney with knowledge of the Social Security disability process can formulate a legal argument to show the judge exactly how the claimant meets the requirements to qualify as disabled.
He or she can ensure that the SSA has all of the relevant medical records and other evidence and can prepare the claim to be presented to the judge in the most favorable light possible. If the SSA hires a medical or employment expert to testify at the hearing, an skilled Social Security attorney knows how to question the witness to the claimants advantage.
Miami Beach Social Security lawyers are paid on a contingent basis, meaning they only get paid in the event you are awarded benefits. There are no upfront costs to hire a Miami Beach Social Security disability attorney. In the event your application for benefits is approved at any stage, your Miami Beach Social Security attorney will receive 25% of your back benefits (up to a maximum of $6,000.)
A Miami Beach Social Security disability lawyer will also handle disability claims for other Miami-area residents, including those in Miami Shores, West Little River, Gladeview, Westview, and Hialeah.