SOCIAL SECURITY APPEALS

Reitan Law Office offers a Free Initial Consultation for Disabled individuals who have been denied Social Security Disability (“RSDI”) or Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits.

Reitan Law Office has represented injured and disabled Minnesotans for more than 30 years and would be happy to discuss your Social Security claim and the Appeals process with you. There is no charge to meet with us and ask your questions.

If Reitan Law Office represents you in your Social Security Disability or Social Security Income Appeal, there is no charge for attorney fees unless you recover.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss your RSDI or SSI Application or Appeal. Please also feel free to review the information below concerning the Social Security disability programs and the Appeals process.


I.
SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY AND SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME

II.
COMMON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY AND SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME

III.
SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY AND SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME COMPARED

VI. SSI ADVOCACY CONTRACT WITH THE STATE OF MINNESOTA

I.
SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY AND
SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME

SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY – TWO PROGRAMS

When you talk to Social Security – two different disability programs may be discussed:

( RSDI ) Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance

and

( SSI ) Supplemental Security Income

Both programs provide monthly income for the disabled but the rules are different.


Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance -- RSDI:


1. Totally disabled from gainful work for a period of one year; and

2. Eligibility based on work history (insured status).

Supplemental Security Income -- SSI:

1. Totally disabled from gainful work for a period of one year; and

2. Paid to people with low income and limited resources.

Reitan Law Office wants to help you with your claim for RSDI or SSI. Reitan Law Office would be glad to answer your questions without cost or obligation.
 

SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY
DON’T GET FRUSTRATED

It is very, very important to "appeal". Just because Social Security has denied your claim doesn’t mean that you won’t eventually win.

You can ask Social Security to look at your claim again. This is called a Request for Reconsideration. This request needs to be in writing and needs to be filed within 60 days of your notice of denial.

Don’t be surprised if you were turned down on the original application and on the Request for Reconsideration. You can appeal that decision again. This time it is to a judge who makes the decision. Again this Request for Hearing must be filed within 60 days of your notice of denial.

It is very important to bring your appeals within 60 days and to appeal until you get a hearing.

National figures show that while only 17% of those who request reconsideration are granted benefits, 68% of those who are denied on reconsideration and take their claim to a hearing are awarded benefits.

Reitan Law Office wants to help you with your claim for RSDI and SSI. We would be glad to answer your questions without any cost or obligation.

DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY AND CAN I AFFORD ONE ?

There is no charge to meet with us. If you choose to retain us and we choose to accept your case, then we enter into a contingent fee agreement. Until and unless we do this, there would never be a charge to you.

It is extremely important that you have an attorney at the hearing level of your appeal. After your original denial, the first appeal is to file a Request for Reconsideration. If you want to retain us at this level, we can file this appeal for you and we have the forms in our offices. If you are turned down on reconsideration, you need to file a Request for Hearing. Again, we have the necessary forms in our offices.

Reitan Law Office wants to help you with your claim for RSDI and/or SSI. We would be glad to meet with you and answer your questions without cost or obligation.


II.
COMMON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY
DISABILITY AND SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME

Common Questions and Answers for Social Security Disability and SSI Applicants
Am I disabled enough to apply for Social Security benefits?

Just because you have not been able to find work does not mean you are disabled. The definition of disability under Social Security is the inability to engage in any gainful activity for a period of one year. It is not easy to convince Social Security that someone is disabled even when they genuinely cannot work. Proper preparation of your case is important in convincing Social Security of your inability to work.

If you really cannot work, apply for Social Security disability benefits and do not become frustrated. Keep appealing denials until you have a hearing before an administrative law judge.

How do I apply for Social Security disability or SSI benefits?
You can telephone the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. When you call them they will give you an option of going to the Social Security office to apply for benefits or having your application taken over the phone. Southern Minnesota offices are located in Mankato, Austin, Fairmont, Marshall, Rochester and Winona. Twin Cities offices are located in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Edina and Brooklyn Park. A complete listing of addresses and phone numbers for all Minnesota Social Security offices can be found on the Legal Resource page. If you choose to go to the Social Security office, the person at the 800 number will schedule an appointment for you and give you directions to the Social Security office. If you want to apply by phone you will be given a date and an approximate time to expect a phone call from someone at the Social Security office who will take your application over the phone.

What happens if I am denied benefits and I do not appeal within 60 days?

If you do not appeal within 60 days you will have to start over with a new application. This further delays getting benefits and also potentially could result in losing some back benefits. It is essential that you appeal a denial timely. It is better to appeal as soon as possible to get through the bureaucratic denial system faster. Often cases are not granted until they have had a hearing.

How do I appeal?

You can appeal by telephoning the Social Security office and making arrangements for your appeal to be handled by phone or going to the Social Security office to put in your appeal. After the original denial, the first stage of appeal is to file a Request for Reconsideration. If you want to retain us at this level, we can file this appeal for you and we have the forms in our offices.

What are the biggest mistakes people make when trying to get disability benefits?
By far the biggest mistake is the failure to follow through with a timely appeal. Social Security weeds people out by frustration. A large percentage of those who follow through with their appeal rights eventually are granted benefits. However, more than half the people who are originally denied fail to request reconsideration.

Another mistake is failure to obtain appropriate medical care. Some people, partially through frustration, fail to continue to follow-up periodically with a doctor because they have chronic problems and the doctor is not able to help them. The result is they stop going for treatment. It is important to get good medical treatment for chronic medical problems and also to provide evidence of the disability to Social Security.

Since medical evidence is so important, should I have my doctor write a letter to the Social Security Administration and should I attempt to gather medical records and send them to Social Security?

You can do this if you wish.. However, Social Security will be gathering all your medical records. Through years of experience, it seems as if the deck is stacked against people until they get to the hearing stage. It is most important to have proper medical records available to the hearing judge.

Do I need an attorney to apply for disability benefits?

No, you do not. Our office seldom represents people at the initial stage. We often get involved in the reconsideration stage. We feel, however, that it is extremely important that you have an attorney at the hearing level of your appeal.

When should I contact an attorney about representing me?
As soon as you receive a reconsideration denial or upon initial denial.

How much do you charge?

The standard fee is 25% of back benefits, subject to a maximum of $5,300. This means that one-fourth of your first check will automatically be deducted by Social Security. No attorney fees will be taken out of future benefits. In addition to the attorney fee, it is your responsibility to pay costs of getting medical records or medical opinions.

Do you have any other advice about getting through the initial or reconsideration steps?
Yes. First, do not get frustrated. It is essential that you follow through with your appeals to at least the hearing level. Give Social Security all the information it asks in a straight-forward and candid way. Be truthful about your limitations but do not minimize them. Lastly, appeal any denial immediately.

If we have other questions, may we discuss them with you?
Yes, there is no charge to meet with Philip or Benjamin Reitan. If you choose to retain us and we choose to accept your case, then we would enter into a contingent fee agreement. Until and unless we do that, there will never be a charge to you.

III.
SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY AND SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME COMPARED


IV
SSI ADVOCACY CONTRACT WITH THE STATE OF MINNESOTA

Reitan Law Office is pleased to be one of a limited number of law firms in the State of Minnesota to have a grant contract with the State of Minnesota where the Department of Human Services will pay Reitan Law Office’s attorney fees for individuals who, with firm’s representation, successfully receive Supplemental Security Income Disability benefits. In order for an individual applying for Supplemental Security Income Disability benefits to be eligible under the grant contract they must be a current recipient, at the time they retain Reitan Law Office, PLLC to represent them, of one or more of the following programs funded or administered by the Department of Human Services:

  • General Assistance (GA);
  • General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) including those persons upgraded to the Medical Assistance (MA) program through the State Medical Review Team;
  • Group Residential Housing (GRH);
  • Family Stabilization Services (FSS);
  • Diversionary Work Program (DWP);
  • Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP);
  • Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA); and/or
  • Title IV-E Foster Care.

If you are represented by Reitan Law Office, PLLC and are eligible under the SSI Advocacy Contract, Reitan Law Office’s attorney fees will be paid by the State of Minnesota Department of Human Services instead of through the standard 25% contingency.

If you have any questions regarding the SSI Advocacy Contract, please feel free to contact us.

If you have any questions regarding the above information or would like a free consultation with Attorney Philip Reitan or Attorney Benjamin Reitan please call and schedule an appointment. We would be pleased to meet with you and discuss your potential claim. Thank you.