Newton, Massachusetts is seven miles outside of Boston and is the eleventh largest city in Massachusetts. Approximately 83,000 people call Newton home, residing in its 13 distinct villages. Over 300 years old, Newton was named one of the nation’s safest cities in 1999. Overall, an affluent town, the average median household income in Newton is $112,230, but the cost-of-living is an astounding 94.8% higher than the national average. Newton’s economy benefits from the healthcare and technology industries and the area’s top employers include Mitchell Martin, Tech Target, and the Fauchner Hospital.
Applying for Newton Social Security Disability Benefits
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA,) 4.9% of Massachusetts residents are currently receiving Social Security disability benefits. Their average monthly payment is $1,144. Although many disabled Newton residents may have a higher payment amount, due to earning higher wages while working, many of them likely endured a long, stressful Social Security disability application process.
Across the nation, those who apply for Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits wait an average of 3-4 months for a decision, and over 70% of these decisions are denials. Even those who have paid into the system for years and are suffering from multiple illnesses or injuries may be surprised when their SSA decision letter states that they are still able to work. That’s because the SSA must determine that you are unable to perform (essentially) any job to be found disabled within their standards, and not just your previous job(s). It can be difficult to prove this, but a Newton Social Security disability attorney could be able to help.
If you’re applying for disability benefits in Newton, there are several things that a skilled Newton disability lawyer can do to benefit your claim. First, they can ensure that all of your relevant medical records are submitted to the SSA. They can also obtain specific written opinions from your doctor(s), which the SSA usually puts great weight on when making the decision on whether or not to grant you benefits. If the SSA sends you to be examined by one of their doctors, your Newton Social Security attorney can review that doctor’s report and may be able to find evidence within your file to discredit any potentially damaging opinions contained within.
When a disabled worker in Massachusetts has their application for Social Security disability benefits denied, the first step in the SSA’s appeal process is the filling of a “Request for Reconsideration.” Only about 10% of claims are approved upon reconsideration, and this decision takes an additional 2-4 months to receive. This means that a disabled worker may have endured a wait of 6 months or more even before reaching this point. Unfortunately, they may still have several more months to go before their claim even reaches the stage in the process where it is most likely to be approved - which is their disability hearing.
Upon receiving a reconsideration denial, a disabled Massachusetts worker (or their representative) can then file a “Request for Administrative Law Judge Hearing.” This goes to a hearing office office in Boston which is responsible for scheduling these hearings for Newton residents with disabling conditions. The average wait for a hearing, from the date that this request is filed, is 330 days. This can cause a great hardship to a disabled Newton workers who is unable to work, and is attempting to support their family on little or no income. In some instances, those who are applying for disability benefits may be able to work, or attempt to work, without hurting their claim. A knowledgeable Newton Social Security lawyer can advise you of your options if you’re considering attempting to work while your claim is pending.
Hiring a Newton Disability Lawyer
It can be very beneficial to hire a Newton disability attorney or disability advocate at any stage in the Social Security application process, but even more so while you are waiting for your disability hearing to be scheduled. A Massachusetts disability attorney can use this time to examine the SSA’s claim file and analyze how to specifically counter their decision to deny your application. They can also obtain updated medical records, and in some cases may even be able to prepare a brief to the judge asking that your claim be granted without proceeding with the hearing (this is called an “on the record request.”) A Newton Social Security lawyer can also prepare you for your hearing and cross-examine any witnesses that the SSA may hire to appear.
Unlike those who handle many other types of cases, a Newton Social Security disability lawyer isn’t paid on an hourly basis. In fact, there is no upfront cost at all. Massachusetts Social Security attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they’re only paid if, and when, you are awarded benefits. In this case, their fee would be 25% of the amount of “back-benefits” you receive, up to a cap of $6,000.
A Newton disability attorney will also represent Social Security applicants residing in Middlesex, Essex, Norfok, and Suffolk counties, as well as nearby cities such as Watertown, Needham, Belmont, Weston, Cambridge, Arlington, Lexington, Medford, Wayland, and Dedham.