Plantation, Florida got its name from the former owner of the land it now sits on – the Everglades Plantation Company. This picturesque town of approximately 85,000 residents is part of the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metropolitan area and is home to many educational and healthcare establishments.
The University of Phoenix and American Incontinental University are among the area’s top employers, along with DHL and Goodwin Biotechnology. Although the cost-of-living is nearly 18% higher than the national average, the median annual household income is also a higher-than-average $66,135.
Applying for Plantation Social Security Disability Benefits
Approximately 6.2% of those receiving Social Security disability benefits nationwide reside in Florida, for a total of about 520,000 current beneficiaries in the state. While that may sound like a lot of people, what is not often realized is that there are many more disabled Florida workers whose applications for Social Security disability benefits were denied, and who are currently undergoing Social Security’s often-lengthy appeals process.
It takes an average of three to four months to receive a decision when applying for disability benefits in Florida. Far more than half the time, this decision is a denial. Hiring an Plantation disability attorney upon the initial filing of your application can increase the chances that you will be in the minority of applicants who are approved at this first level.
That’s because a Plantation Social Security lawyer knows what specific evidence the Social Security is looking for when evaluating your claim, and can review your medical records to ensure that the most important sections are brought to the attention of your claims adjudicator (the Social Security Administration employee who makes the decision on if your application is allowed.)
Hiring a Plantation Disability Attorney
If you didn’t work long enough or make enough money to be covered under the Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) program, you could be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Although the requirements as far as proving a medical disability are the same as in SSDI, SSI is a needs-based program and has strict asset and income limits. If you’re applying for SSI benefits, it’s important to obtain the advice of a Plantation Social Security disability attorney who can ensure that your SSI eligibility is being properly evaluated and can advise you as to how you can be sure to maintain this eligibility.
After receiving a denial, a Plantation Social Security disability applicant can appeal this decision by filing a “Request for Reconsideration.” Very few disability claims are approved at this level, and this decision will take another one to three months. Upon receiving a second denial, a request to appear at an Administrative Law Judge Hearing can be filed. While this is the step where the highest percentage of claimants have their benefits granted, the wait for a hearing can be extremely long, causing unwanted financial and personal stress on the disability applicant and their family. The Ft. Lauderdale Social Security office schedules these hearings for those who are applying for disability benefits in the Plantation, Florida, area, and the average wait time for a hearing is just over a year.
If you’ve already been denied disability at initial or reconsideration levels, it’s not too late to retain the services of a Plantation Social Security attorney. The Social Security Administration has a very specific definition of “disabled,” and a skilled Plantation disability lawyer can formulate legal arguments based on your specific situation to demonstrate to the judge how you meet this definition. They can also prepare you for the hearing by letting you know what to expect and giving you an idea of what types of questions the judge may ask.
After an Administrative Law Judge hearing, it can take another one to three months for the judge to issue their decision. This means that a Plantation disabled worker could wait a total of two years or more while going through the Social Security disability appeals process. Even if you are awarded benefits following your hearing, having your Plantation disability lawyer review your award letter can be an important step to take in confirming that the Social Security Administration calculated your monthly payments and back benefit amount correctly.
Unlike many other attorneys, Plantation Social Security lawyers are not paid hourly, and are only paid if you are awarded benefits. If your claim is not successful, they do not receive a fee, and there is no upfront cost to hire a Florida disability attorney. In the event that you are awarded benefits, your Plantation disability lawyer would receive a fee equal to one-quarter of your back benefit payment (capped at $6,000), and this is often paid to them directly from the Social Security Administration.
Plantation, Florida Social Security disability attorneys also represent other Broward County claimants, as well as those in nearby Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Collier Counties, and those in nearby towns such as Browardale, Melrose Park, Sunrise Heights, Lauderhill, Golf Estates, and Hacienda Village.