Mike Murburg, P.A. is dedicated to the representation of our clients. It is the mission of each Tampa Social Security disability attorney at our firm to zealously and responsibly represent the injured and disabled in a caring and professional manner, to pursue their rights and to obtain the fullest amount of compensation that the law will allow.
All our case consultations are free. No fees or costs are ever due up front to retain us in personal injury, wrongful death or disability matters.
In addition, our experienced legal assistants are readily able to fulfill the duties of the support staff, assisting in the filing of applications and other filings pertaining to your case. At Mike Murburg, P.A. we earn our reputation one case at a time.
Understanding the Social Security Disability Application Process
In general, when someone wants to make an SSDI or SSI claim, he or she can go to the local Social Security Office in their particular area to submit an application. However, the majority of claims are filed either over the internet at SSA.gov or by appointment over the phone at 1-800-772-1213. When you apply, you will need to have your Social Security number available, as well as the names, addresses and phone numbers of all treating physicians and those doctors who know about your condition. Making a list of all prior employers, as well as a description of your jobs over the 15 years prior to filing your claim will be helpful too.
Once you have gathered all this information, if you would like to come in and discuss your claim in greater detail, please feel free to call 813-264-5363 and schedule an appointment with us. While you are here, we can answer your questions and even set up your over-the-phone intake appointment with the Social Security Administration. Just give us a call. We want to be your Tampa Social Security disability attorney.
Our Tampa Social Security Disability Attorney Explains Disability Benefits
For adults, Social Security disability benefits traditionally fall under three categories: Social Security disability insurance benefits (SSDI), supplemental security income benefits (SSI), Social Security disabled widow’s benefits (DWBs) and disabled adult child benefits (DAC).
Generally speaking, if you are disabled and cannot work and you have earned enough Social Security credits (you must have earned Social Security credits in 10 of the last 20 quarters prior to the onset of your disability), SSDI benefits are payable to you from the Social Security disability benefit insurance that you accrued while you worked (on the books) and paid into the system by way of your weekly or monthly payroll deductions or self-employment taxes.
If you have not earned enough quarters, and you are indigent, then you may be eligible for SSI benefits if you cannot work.
If you are a surviving spouse who is over 50, develops a disability within seven years of the spouse’s death and either has not worked or has benefits payable under your own Social Security number that are less than those that would be payable under your deceased spouse’s Social Security number, you are eligible to receive disabled widow/widower’s benefits. However, please note that eligibility for the benefit relies on your inability to work due to a severe underlying physical or mental condition that occurs within seven years of the death of your spouse to whom you were married 10 years or more and who earned enough Social Security credits on his or her own account.
Disabled adult child benefits are Social Security disability benefits for “adult children” who are disabled and between the ages of 19 and 22 and beyond, as long as they do not recover from their disability or marry.
A Note About Social Security Benefits for Children with Disabilities
If you are or have a disabled child under the age of 18 who has a severe disability and are of limited means and financial resources, benefits may be paid regardless of the parents’ ability to work. A child may be eligible for benefits until the age of 18 if that child has a mental or physical condition that is so severe that it results in severe or marked functional limitations. Just like adult SSDI, SSI and adult child SSI, the condition must either last or be expected to last 12 months or more or is likely to result in death. The child also cannot be gainfully employed at any SGA levels discussed below.
Unlike proof in an adult or adult child case, the SSA must consider only certain domains of function or “Functional Equivalence” that involve the non-adult child’s ability to:
- Acquire and use information
- Attend and complete tasks
- Interact and relate to others
- Move about and manipulate objects
- Care for themselves
In addition to the above, the SSA must look at the overall health and wellbeing of the child. One “extreme” limitation or two “marked” limitations so diagnosed by a treating physician in the domains referenced above will entitle the child to benefits when all other financial entitlement restrictions have been met.
If you have any question as to whether or not your child meets the Functional Equivalence, Mike Murburg and his team have a “Childhood Disability Evaluation Form” in the RFC/form section of this website that you may download and take to your child’s physician to complete. If you do so, we will be happy to discuss your or your child’s potential SSI case.
Denied? A Tampa Social Security Disability Attorney Can Help You File an Appeal
If you are denied benefits at the initial stage of your application (as the majority of applicants are), you will need to appeal your claim within 60 days of the denial. If you do not timely file your appeal, which is known as a “Request for Reconsideration,” you will have to refile again and ultimately proceed to the back of the line. As a Tampa Social Security disability attorney, Mike Murburg is often asked about what needs to be said when filing an appeal. However, there is no need for confusion or anxiety. As long as what you say is truthful, you can simply state, “I am still unable to work fulltime at any Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) due to the reasons set forth in my original application.” It can be that simple.
Once you have been turned down and are at the appeal stage of the process, it is probably a good idea to hire an experienced Social Security disability attorney like Mike Murburg to help you with your claim. Why? To be sure, things will get more difficult as you progress through the process and the earlier you retain counsel, the more time he or she will have to obtain all the necessary medical records and opinions to successfully handle your file.
What Medical Conditions Will Qualify You for Social Security Disability?
Every year, the Social Security Administration updates its information on what conditions will qualify you for Social Security Disability. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability, you must have earned enough work credits to qualify for insurance, and you must have recently been working. You must show that you cannot work and will likely be out of work until you die or at least for one year. What are some medical conditions that qualify you for Social Security Disability?
- Musculoskeletal Problems: Back problems, or other problems that result in limited mobility
- Heart failure or coronary disease
- Vision or hearing loss, certain speech disorders
- Respiratory diseases like asthma or COPD
- Neurological disorders including MS, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease or epilepsy
- Mental illness, like depression, schizophrenia, or mental retardation
- Immune system disorders, including HIV, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
- Certain types of liver disease or digestive disorders
- Kidney disease
- Blood disorders or bone marrow disorders
These are just some of the conditions listed in the manual. However, sometimes a person’s condition is severe, and it doesn’t match a condition listed in the manual. Individuals may still qualify to apply for Social Security Disability. To support your medical claim, you’ll need to submit evidence. This information to support your claim may include:
- Medical records
- Prescriptions for drugs
- Side-effects for prescription drugs
- Medical reports
- Testimony from personal care workers, family, or friends
- Evidence from school or other work training programs
- Other evidence
If you are unsure about whether you qualify for Social Security Disability, consider reaching out to a Tampa SSD attorney today. A lawyer can review your medical records, documents, and other evidence to help you understand what your options might be. A social security lawyer can also help you with the appeals process if your claim is initially denied.
Let a Tampa Social Security Disability Attorney Help You
As you can see, the practice of Social Security disability law is a very specialized one. That said, it is critical that any attorney you hire be completely knowledgeable of the Disability Evaluation Under Social Security guidelines, the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) and the Grids in order to properly obtain necessary opinions from physicians, develop your testimony and cross examine the Vocational Expert. Your attorney must be prepared to phrase proper hypotheticals to the VE and the ALJ so that all critical aspects of the case can be properly considered. As a Tampa Social Security disability attorney, Mike Murburg does this exclusively for a living and he is well aware of these criteria and the Vocational Experts and ALJs that use them. For instance, if you lose at Step 5, you have the right to further appeal any errors that you think the ALJ made in deciding your case.
For a list of our frequently asked questions about SSI and SSDI, please click here.
15501 North Florida Avenue
Tampa, FL 33613-1245
Tel: (813) 264-5363
Fax: (813) 961-6011