Free Consumer Reports

  • Long Term Disability Guide

    Robbed of Your Peace of Mind? Your Guide to Long Term Disability Benefits

    View Details

  • Hiring a Great Long Term Disability Attorney

    The Key To Hiring The Right Long Term Disability Attorney

    View Details

  • #

    The Smart Long Term Disability Guide For Preparing Your Statement and Field Visit

    View Details

  • Social Security Disability Guide

    Your Rights To Social Security Disability Benefits - Your Guide to Getting Benefits Now

    View Details

Tag Archives: Sharon Barrett

5. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is a painful condition that usually affects the upper or lower extremities. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy pain is severe, burning, sharp and the effected areas are extremely sensitive to touch or even temperature changes with the skin turning blue. This is a progressive disease, which means you must have aggressive and early treatment to stop or slow the progression of the disease process. Pain specialists can provide medication that can even block the nerves that interrupt the pain signals reducing your pain intensity. RSD can be caused by injury to a nerve or can be cause by something like a simple trauma. Sometimes there even isn’t an injury.

The pain is mediated by the sympathetic nervous systems, one of the finest defense mechanisms. But unfortunately, the sympathetic nervous system overreacts causing this puzzling and painful condition.

If you suffer from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits if you are no longer able to work. Contact RSD Social Security Disability expert Sharon Barrett for more information on your rights to Social Security Disability benefits.

No. 2 – My spouse is working. Will their income affect whether I’m entitled to Social Security Disability benefits?

If you’re applying for SSI disability benefits and your spouse works, this may prevent you from getting SSI. If you get SSI, the amount earned by your spouse can potentially reduce the amount of your check.

However, if you’re applying for Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI), then your spouse’s earnings have no effect on your claim. It won’t impact your eligibility to apply for disability benefits, to get disability benefits or have any impact on the amount of your benefits.

Answering these broad-based questions isn’t easy. Help is a phone call away. You can contact Nancy Cavey, an experienced long-term disability attorney at 727-894-3188.

No. 7 – Are you eligible for Social Security Disability?

To be eligible to file an application for Social Security Disability benefits you have to be insured. What? Now, I know that you haven’t completed a disability application or paid a premium, so what do I mean by being insured?

The payroll deduction that your employer makes into the Social Security system is how you become insured. You have to be in the workforce for 20 out of 40 quarters to be insured.

If you have a gap in your work history because of illness, you may have lost your insured status for Social Security Disability, or you may simply have never worked.

If that’s the case, the Social Security office will take an SSI disability application. What’s that? SSI covers individuals who aren’t eligible for Social Security Disability and don’t have assets in excess of $2,000.

To be eligible for SSI, you must have a physical or mental impairment (or both) that:

(1) is considered severe;

(2) lasts for at least 12 months, or is anticipated to last that long based on your medical records;

(3) prevents you from working at the lightest job you held in the last 15 years;

(4) prevents you from performing suitable other work based on your age, education, work skills, and physical or mental limitations.

If you are not insured for Social Security Disability purposes, you may still be eligible for SSI.

At Cavey & Barrett we can help you determine whether or not you meet the criteria to be insured for Social Security Disability.

Answering these broad-based questions isn’t easy. Help is a phone call away. You can contact Nancy Cavey, an experienced long-term disability attorney at 727-894-3188.

No. 8 – I’ve been denied Social Security Disability benefits. What do I do next?

You have three choices: you can give up, file a brand new Social Security Disability application, or you can file an appeal.

I’m a fan of Winston Churchill, and my motto is “Never give up!”

You have to understand that most initial disability applications are denied and, in fact, are also denied a second time at the “request for reconsideration” stage.

Your chances of winning at the disability hearing stage level rise significantly, particularly if you have attorney representation.

We rarely contemplate having you start over with a new application and only suggest it if there is some technical reason for your denial. At Cavey & Barrett we can analyze the basis for the denial and help you decide whether or not you should appeal or file a new claim for disability application.

Of course, at Cavey & Barrett we find that the best course of action is normally to file a timely appeal. In fact, we suggest that you file it as soon as possible.

At Cavey & Barrett we can help you with the appeal process and, in particular, help you fill out the disability claim forms to make sure that you have properly explained your functional limitations and the difficulties that you have. Never give up on your claim!

Answering these broad-based questions isn’t easy. Help is a phone call away. You can contact Nancy Cavey, an experienced long-term disability attorney at 727-894-3188.

No. 9 – Should I file a new disability application with the Social Security Administration?

At Cavey & Barrett we find that most disability claimants who have been denied Social Security Disability should appeal their disability denial instead of filing a new disability application.

As we’ve explained, it’s in a claimant’s best interest to move your case to the disability hearing stage. Unfortunately, there are hoops that you have to jump through before you get to that administrative law judge. You first have to have your disability application denied, file a request for reconsideration, be denied, request a disability hearing, and finally (at long last) get in front of the administrative law judge where your chances of winning are significantly increased.

Every time you file a new disability application you start all over again and stop your progression through the disability appeal process.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t situations where you may want to start with a new application instead of appealing. For example, you may have been denied because you were still working or you’ve earned too much to be considered as being disabled. In that situation, it would make little sense to file a disability appeal but rather file a new application once you’ve stopped working.

At Cavey & Barrett we find that every situation is unique but that generally the best course of action is to file an appeal.

Sharon Barrett can provide you with expert legal advice on your Social Security denial and whether you should file a new application.

Answering these broad-based questions isn’t easy. Help is a phone call away. You can contact Nancy Cavey, an experienced long-term disability attorney at 727-894-3188.

No. 10 – I’ve been denied Social Security Disability benefits. Can I appeal?

Absolutely. Your notice of denial will provide you information regarding how you go about filing an appeal.

There are some things that you need to be aware of:

(1) The majority of Social Security Disability claims are denied. Nationally, about seven out of 10 initial claims are denied and eight out of 10 requests for reconsideration are denied. In Florida, the denial rate is approximately 64.9 percent;

(2) A large percentage of Social Security Disability claimants who are denied and who decide to appeal are eventually approved for benefits. Follow Winston Churchill’s famous statement, “Never give up!”

(3) At each step of the disability evaluation process, you have the right to file an appeal if you’ve been denied. At Cavey & Barrett, we can assist you with filing the necessary paperwork and make sure that your appeal is timely filed;

(4) The disability appeal has to be filed within 60 days of the date of the denial. Unfortunately, Social Security Administration is rather strict about holding you to that 60-day timeline;

(5) The first appeal takes about 60 to 90 days, and you should expect to be denied;

(6) The request for reconsideration also takes about 60 to 90 days and you should expect to be denied once again;

(7) At the next stage, you can file a request for a hearing and, unfortunately, it will take 24 to 26 months to get a hearing. There are cases in which Cavey & Barrett may be able to get a request for a hearing put on a quicker basis if you qualify for a compassionate allowance.

Remember to appeal, appeal, appeal. Your best chances of obtaining Social Security Disability benefits are before the administrative law judge.

Answering these broad-based questions isn’t easy. Help is a phone call away. You can contact Nancy Cavey, an experienced long-term disability attorney at 727-894-3188.

No. 11 – My condition is improving. Should I still proceed on my Social Security Disability claim?

Yes! Many Social Security Disability applicants have medical conditions that get worse, get better, get worse, get better… This cycle can keep on repeating itself and is found in situations like fibromyalgia, back problems, lupus, MS, and depression.

Because your condition may get better and worse, some disability applicants should really think twice about giving up their claim, even when it seems their condition might be improving.

If your condition is improving and you choose not to file an appeal on a claim within the 60-day appeal period, you’ll be forced to start over with a brand new application, which will cause you to start all over again, getting back in line.

Because it takes so long to get a hearing in front of an administrative law judge, we rarely recommend that Social Security Disability applicants stop pursuing their Social Security Disability claim. You never know what your physical or mental condition might be like by the time you get in front of the administrative law judge.

Answering these broad-based questions isn’t easy. Help is a phone call away. You can contact Nancy Cavey, an experienced long-term disability attorney at 727-894-3188.

No. 12 – Help! My claim for disability benefits has been denied. What should I do next?

The second step in the Social Security Disability evaluation process is filing a request for reconsideration. There are some secrets that you need to know:

(1) when you file your request for reconsideration, provide updated information regarding any visits you’ve made to doctors, hospitals, and clinics since you filed your initial application together with the addresses of those medical providers;

(2) If you have the most recent medical records, submit them with your request for reconsideration. Why? Your request for reconsideration can be held up while the office of disability determinations waits for your updated medical records. However, keep a copy of your request for reconsideration and the medical records that you have submitted. Send this information to the Social Security Administration by certified mail, return receipt requested;

(3) Keep a copy of your original disability application and review it when you submit your request for reconsideration. Why? Unfortunately, Social Security Disability applicants will sometimes leave off the names and addresses of medical providers or even forget physical or mental conditions for which they have been treated. If you have forgotten something, you want to include that information on your reconsideration appeal;

(4) Consult with Cavey & Barrett before you turn in your request for reconsideration. You have sixty (60) days to file your request for reconsideration, and every day you wait adds more time to the process. Schedule an appointment with Cavey & Barrett so they can review your initial Social Security Disability application, the denial letter you received from the Social Security Administration, and help you properly prepare and timely submit your request for reconsideration.

Answering these broad-based questions isn’t easy. Help is a phone call away. You can contact Nancy Cavey, an experienced long-term disability attorney at 727-894-3188.

No. 14 – When should I get a Social Security Disability attorney?

The answer depends on you and your needs. We find that some claimants benefit from having representation at Cavey & Barrett from the very beginning, so that they understand the Social Security Disability claims process and get assistance in filling out their initial application. Others find that Cavey & Barrett assists them in avoiding missed deadlines and having to avoid the stress of dealing with the Social Security Administration.

More often than not, Social Security Disability applicants come to Cavey & Barrett after their initial application has been denied. While we are more than happy to represent you at any stage in the Social Security proceedings; we think that getting an attorney after the first denial is crucial in advancing your claim to the hearing stage.

At Cavey & Barrett, we think that waiting to get representation until just before your Social Security hearing is tempting fate. Why? During the course of your claim, Cavey & Barrett make sure that the Social Security Administration receives your ongoing medical records and is kept up to date with your medical treatment. We prepare a brief for the court prior to the hearing, setting forth the reasons why your claim should be accepted and, of course, if we have to go to a hearing, we prepare your court hearing. Waiting untill the last minute doesn’t help anyone prepare for your big day in front of the administrative law judge.

Answering these broad-based questions isn’t easy. Help is a phone call away. You can contact Nancy Cavey, an experienced long-term disability attorney at 727-894-3188.

No. 1 – Is the long-term disability carrier entitled to repayment because I got Social Security Disability benefits?

Have you read your long-term disability policy? Does it provide that future benefits can be withheld to recover any overpayment arising from a retroactive payment of benefits such as Social Security Disability benefits?

In the case of White v. Coca Cola Corporation, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia upheld a provision in Coca Cola’s long-term disability plan that allowed Coca Cola to withhold future benefits to recover a retroactive payment of Social Security benefits in the amount of $38,124.90 that Mr. White received.

They reduced Mr. White’s payments for 60 months to recover the overpayment, and he appealed. The court agreed with Coca Cola and found that they were entitled to reduce future long-term disability benefits because of the lump sum payment of Social Security benefits.

At Cavey & Barrett we can assist you in reviewing your long-term disability policy to determine whether or not your long-term disability carrier is entitled to recoup any overpayment for Social Security benefits.