If you live in Merrill or the surrounding area and have questions about Social Security Disability, here are some possible questions and answers (This is general information; please talk to a lawyer about your specific case or situation as none of the information on this website is legal advice):
Question: Who is Eligible for Social Security Disability (SSDI, RSDI)?
Answer: A person is eligible for Social Security Act if that person is unable to engage in “substantial gainful activity” due to an impairment or combination of impairments either physical or mental. The medical problems that cause your disability must last at least 12 months, or be expected to last 12 months by your doctor.
Question: How Severe Must My Impairment(s) Be?
Answer: Your impairment(s) must be severe enough to essentially prevent you from working consistently. Social Security will first check to see if any of your impairments are on a list of impairments that they have. If it is, you may be found disabled in this early stage of the process. If not, you may still be able to prove you are disabled if you can show that the severity of your impairment prevents you from performing any past work you have done, and also from performing any other work that does exist in substantial numbers in the economy. Normally, a person who applies for Social Security Disability is not working a full time job.
Question: Can I Appeal if My Claim for Social Security Disability is Denied?
Answer: Yes. Many people are not approved for benefits until they have appealed several times. The Social Security Administration has many applications for benefits and you may not get a thorough review of your case until you are able to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. If you believe you are disabled, you can keep appealing until you get to a hearing before a judge. You normally have 60 days to file an appeal of a decision or denial by the Social Security Administration. However, consult with an attorney as the time frames for filing appeals can be different, depending at what stage of the appeals process you are at.
Question: What Happens at a Social Security Hearing?
Answer: Many things happen– the Judge hears the evidence that the Judge will use to decide your case. Most importantly: The hearing will likely happen fast. You must submit all evidence, including medical records, with the Social Security Administration prior to your hearing. You will testify at your hearing, and of course you and any of your witnesses should provide honest and complete answers to the judge. Medical Doctors and Vocational experts may also be present and may testify about your medical conditions, ability to work, and jobs that may be available. If the vocational expert provides testimony that suggests that there are jobs in the workforce that you can still do, then you will need to ask questions to challenge these opinions and test them against your evidence. This is a difficult task to perform well. An experienced attorney can do this for you. A good lawyer can properly present your case and cross examine witnesses.
Question: How much does it cost to consult with Attorney John Jokela about my case?
Answer: Nothing! First consultations are free. Just call our office or send us an Email to set up your free consultation with an attorney. You can always contact us directly at the contact information appearing on this website. Call 715-845-9000. John is happy to meet with you in Merrill or you can come to his office in Wausau, Wisconsin. If you hire John, there are no up front costs, and no fee until and unless we win.