Ober & Pekas – Helping You Resecure Your Life

If you fifind yourself in the position of looking for a lawyer to help with your Long-Term Disability or Social Security Disability claim, there’s one thing you want: security. The security to pay your bills, to not worry about how you’re going to make it from day to day. At Ober & Pekas, we understand and we

want to help you get the benefifits you deserve. If you can’t work because of your physical or mental condition, let’s talk. We can help you appeal for Long-Term Disability or Social Security Disability benefifits. Give us a call today to get started.

Eligibility »

Applying for Disability Benefits »

Denied Disability Benefits »

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) »

Working With a Disability Attorney »

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  • Eligibility

    • Q: Who is eligible for disability benefits from Social Security?

      Under Social Security rules, you’re only considered disabled (and eligible for benefits) if a medical condition or injury is expected to keep you from working for at least 12 months (or result in death). Your disability can be a physical condition, a mental condition or a combination of both.

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    • Q: Who decides if I’m disabled and eligible for benefits?

      After a Social Security Disability claim is filed, the case is sent to a disability examiner. The examiner makes the initial decision on your claim.

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    • Q: How does Social Security decide if I’m disabled?
      1) You must be unable to do any substantial work because of your medical, physical or mental condition.
      2) Your medical condition must have lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year or is expected to result in death.
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    • Q: Does my age matter when trying to receive disability benefits?

      Yes. The Social Security Administration looks at age as one of the factors when determining disability. The administration evaluates age as follows:

      • 18-49 is a younger worker;
      • 50-54 is closely approaching advanced age;
      • 55-59 is advanced age;
      • 60-64 is closely approaching retirement age.

      The Social Security Administrations rules take into consideration that as people get older, they become less adaptable and less able to switch to different jobs to cope with health problems.

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    • Q: If I win my case, will I receive medical help in addition to cash benefits?

      That depends. If you’ve been eligible for Social Security Disability for two years – whether you’ve actually received the benefits or not – you qualify for Medicare. If you’re awarded Supplement Security Income (SSI), you won’t receive Medicare, but rather Medicaid, a needs-based program that provides for a number of prescriptions and doctor visits each month.

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    • Q: What are the important deadlines I need to watch?

      INITIAL FILING—You need to apply for Social Security Disability benefits within a certain timeframe (usually five years) after you’re unable to work. However, every month you wait will reduce the total amount of benefits. If you wait longer than five years to apply, you may not qualify for any benefits. We strongly recommend that you apply for Social Security Disability benefits as soon as you are unable to work.

      APPEAL – The next important deadline is the appeal. If your initial claim is denied (and most are), you’ll only have 60 days from the date of your decision letter to file an appeal with Social Security. If you don’t file an appeal within 60 days, you give up your rights to the appeal process. Even worse, you’ll have to start the application process all over again. We strongly recommend you engage an attorney to help you file your appeal.

      FEDERAL APPEAL – If your claim qualifies for benefits, but has been denied on appeal, it can still be appealed outside the Social Security system by appealing in Federal court.

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  • Applying for Disability Benefits

    • Q: If I need to apply, what should I do?

      First you contact Social Security. Second you will need to provide information on your medical conditions, treatment, medication, and work history. You can apply online at www.ssa.gov,call (800) 772-1213, or call Ober & Pekas for help.

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    • Q: How long does it take to get disability benefits once my claim for benefits is filed?

      It can take approximately four months to receive a decision on your initial application. If your application is denied, it can take an additional year and a half to get a decision as your claim works its way through the appeals process. However, certain circumstances can shorten that time period, so let our attorneys determine if any are applicable to your case.

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  • Denied Disability Benefits

    • Q: If I applied, but was denied, what should I do?

      Now you file a written request for reconsideration within 60 days of the denial notice. After there are four levels of review: Reconsideration, Hearing, Appeals Council, and Federal Court.

      If you were denied, we strongly recommend you contact an attorney. The appeals process is complex so you should contact someone who knows the law of the Social Security system.

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    • Q: What will happen at my hearing?

      A hearing is conducted by the Office of Disability Adjudication & Review of the Social Security Administration. An Administrative Law Judge will preside over your case and a testimony is taken under oath.

      The hearing is also private. The only people present will be the judge and the judge’s assistant, you, your attorney, and any witnesses you may want to have present. Often the judge may ask a vocational expert to testify about your ability to work.

      Medical records and a medical expert will be accepted as evidence. The judge or your attorney will ask you about your present medical condition, medical history, abilities, education, training, work experience and the limitations in your daily life caused by your disability. You or your attorney may make a closing argument that you are entitled to benefits under Social Security.

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    • Q: My neighbor received Social Security Disability and is not even disabled. Why was I denied?

      Most people who apply for Social Security Disability benefits are, in fact, denied. You may have been denied for any number of reasons – often through no fault of your own. For example, you may be denied benefits if your doctor doesn’t know what’s important to your particular claim.

      It’s important to contact a lawyer if you’ve been denied. The clock is ticking and you only have a limited time to appeal. The attorneys at Ober & Pekas can request “reconsideration” of your claim denial. Contact us today!

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  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

    • Q: What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program for people with little or no income or resources that have not paid enough money into the Social Security system to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

      If you have a disability and have not paid enough into Social Security, you may qualify for SSI. The monthly amount for SSI is based on financial need and determined by several factors including household income, your entitlement to SSD benefits, long-term disability benefits and/or Workers’ Compensation benefits.

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  • Working With a Disability Attorney

    • Q: Why do I need a lawyer to help me?

      The Social Security Disability system is laced with pitfalls and does involve thousands of different rules, regulations, and procedures. You can be denied benefits if your doctor doesn’t know the legal definition of disability. You can also be denied benefits if Social Security doesn’t receive enough evidence on your behalf. Your case can be dismissed altogether if an appeal is handled improperly.

      An experienced attorney – like one from Ober & Pekas – who knows the Social Security system can help your doctor explain your disability to you, submit important supporting medical evidence, analyze each part of your Social Security file, prepare your testimony before a court hearing, and even cross-examine medical experts who may testify at your case hearing.

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    • Q: What information will my attorney need?

      When you go for your first meeting with your attorney be sure to take along any Denial Notices you have received from the Social Security Administration. If you have already applied for Reconsideration or for a Hearing, take along your copy of the Request for Reconsideration or Request for Hearing.

      It would also be helpful if you took the following information:

      • the names and addresses of all doctors you have seen for your problem;
      • the approximate dates and number of times you have seen the doctors;
      • the names and addresses of all hospitals you have been treated as an inpatient or outpatient and the approximate dates;
      • the names and addresses of your employers during the last fifteen years, dates of employment by each employer, and a brief description of your job duties;
      • he name of each medication you are presently taking and the dosage, along with the name of the prescribing doctor.
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    • Q: When should I contact an attorney about representation?

      You should contact an attorney before you file a claim with the Social Security Administration. Our attorneys at Ober & Pekas can help you plan a strategy to win your case from the beginning. If you wait to get an attorney after you claim has been denied, you may harm your case with different damaging statements or other information. This information can be used against you on appeal.

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    • Q: Is Ober & Pekas very experienced in Social Security Disability?

      Yes. Our attorneys have handled thousands of disability claims throughout Arizona. Additionally, we have the largest support staff of any disability firm in Arizona. We want to represent you and help you win the benefits you deserve. Call us today for a free case evaluation.

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    • Q: Why do I need a lawyer from Ober & Pekas to help me?

      At Ober & Pekas, our attorneys have years of experience helping people in Arizona win benefits. We understand that every case is unique so we’ll treat your case with the highest level of care.

      If you try to win disability benefits on your own, you’ll quickly learn that it’s harder than you thought. Most people are denied. But Social Security’s own statistics show that you have a better chance of winning disability benefits when you’re represented by an attorney.

      If you need to apply, or if you were denied, give our attorneys a call today for a free case evaluation.

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    • Q: How much does it cost to hire Ober & Pekas for my Social Security Disability claim?

      The law regulates attorneys’ fees in Social Security Disability cases. So virtually every disability lawyer works on the same fee basis. The lawyer’s fee is 25% of the past due disability benefits you get. There is no fee if you don’t win.

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    • Q: I’m interested in talking with an attorney from Ober & Pekas. What should I do next?

      Contact our office today. We’ll arrange a consultation to determine whether you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. If you do, we’ll help you start the proceedings for the best chance to win.

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