Even before government-imposed shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders forced the majority of the population to temporarily restrict limit activities outside of their homes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, being unable to leave home was the way many people with disabilities lived. Something as simple as seeking advice and representation from an NM disability lawyer could be a challenge for someone with an injury, impairment or illness that prevents them from leaving their home.
Getting the legal help you need to file a claim for Social Security disability benefits or to file an appeal when a claim is denied can be accomplished without leaving your home. Meeting with your disability lawyer, filing a new claim and other steps in the application and appeal process related to disability benefits can be accomplished without the need for you to leave home.
If a severe physical or mental condition that is expected to last for at least 12 months prevents you from being gainfully employed, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The following are only a few of the conditions that may qualify for disability benefits:
An evaluation by a lawyer who is familiar with Social Security Administration rules and guidelines and knows the evidence and documentation needed to prove the existence of a qualifying condition can be accomplished without the need for you to leave home.
Representation by an experienced disability lawyer gives you someone with the skills and knowledge to overcome challenges presented by what can be a complex process. Your lawyer serves as your advocate with the ability to review the contents of the file related to your Social Security disability claim to determine the steps and documentation required to improve your chances of achieving a favorable result.
The assistance of a disability lawyer can give you a better understanding of the claims process. For example, you may have a condition that prevents you from returning to the type of work you did before, yet your claim for disability benefits was denied. An experienced disability benefits lawyer may review your file and determine that the documentation you submitted with the application failed to clearly establish that the condition also prevents you from engaging in another type of gainful employment.
Applications for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can be filled out and submitted electronically. Whether you cannot leave home because of your disability or because of a COVID-19 stay-at-home order, you can still apply for disability benefits.
A New Mexico disability lawyer can complete the initial application for benefits on your behalf and electronically submit it. The lawyer reviews your medical records and other documentation supporting your eligibility for benefits and arranges for their submission to the Social Security Administration on your behalf.
If you filed an initial application for benefits and received notification of a denial, a disability attorney can help by determining whether a basis for an appeal exists and filing a written request for an appeal. A request for reconsideration causes the application to be reviewed by someone who was not involved in making the first decision. Reconsideration is based upon the original application and documentation along with any new medical evidence or documents submitted by your lawyer.
The next stage of the appeals process is a formal hearing before an administrative law judge. Your attorney has the right to present evidence, including witnesses, and to cross examine witnesses. If you cannot leave your home, arrangements can be made for a video teleconference in place of an in-person hearing.
A hearing via video teleconference can be arranged for a remote location, including your lawyer’s office, but there is an alternative when video conferencing may not accommodate restrictions imposed by your disability. Social Security regulations allow for hearings to be held at the administrative law judge stage over the telephone when special circumstances require it.
Special circumstances, whether caused by COVID-19 or by your medical condition, preventing you from leaving your home need not interfere with your ability to file a claim for disability benefits or appeal the denial of a claim. An NM disability lawyer from the Decker Law Office is available for a telephone consultation to discuss and evaluate your claim.
Once you hire them to represent you, they will handle all aspects of your claim for Social Security disability benefits from the initial application through each level of the administrative appeals process without the need for you to leave your home. They also have the knowledge and experience of litigating cases in federal court should it be necessary to take your claim beyond the administrative process.