Author

Scott Lewis

Posts
March 10, 2011

Social Security’s Electronic Folder and Your Indiana Social Security Disability Claim

With all of the increasing technology we experience on an everyday basis, it should be no surprise for Indiana disability claimants to find out their Social Security disability claim file is loaded onto a compact disc (CD) for viewing purposes. In an attempt to go paperless the Social Security Administration (SSA) has turned to having all of your disability development scanned and turned into space saving technology.  Indianapolis disability lawyer Scott Lewis believes this transition is not only easier for viewing purposes, but has cut down on unnecessary file storage for the Social Security Administration and also Indiana Social Security disability representatives. Indiana Social Security disability appeals claimants may wonder what exactly is contained in their electronic Social Security disability claim folder.  The items in your Social Security disability claim folder are referred to as exhibits.  There are different sections of the folder and they may include: Payment documents/decisions Jurisdictional documents/notices Non disability development Disability development Medical records If you are currently waiting on an Indiana Social Security disability hearing and the Social Security Administration has mailed you a compact disc with your Social Security disability file on it you will want to take a good look at it to ensure your file is complete.  While some of the sections may be difficult to understand, the medical records section should be closely examined to ensure all of your physician(s) records are present and up to date.  Indiana disability lawyer Scott Lewis strives to ensure his clients electronic file is complete and all necessary documents have been submitted to the Indiana offices of the Social Security Administration. If you show up at your Indiana Social Security disability hearing and your file is not complete, some Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) will allow you additional time to submit missing documentation; however, there is no guarantee an … Continued

Filed under: Claims Process || Tagged under:
0 comments || Author:

March 9, 2011

Where Will My Indiana Social Security Disability Hearing Be Held?

Indianapolis disability attorney Scott Lewis travels throughout the state of Indiana and various other states to represent Social Security disability claimants at their Social Security disability hearing.  Due to various reasons, he is able to practice Social Security disability law in many different geographic locations.  At times, when one of his Indiana Social Security disability claimant moves, Mr. Lewis will travel to another city or state to remain as his or her client’s disability case representative.  Many Indiana Social Security disability claimants may wonder where exactly will their disability hearing take place as they are approaching their hearing date.  Once the hearing date is established by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the disability claimant will be notified in writing by the SSA of the date, time, and location of their hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) is in charge of conducting hearings and giving out disability benefit decisions in determining if an individual is eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  Currently, ODAR has 10 regional offices, 161 hearing offices (including 7 satellite offices), 5 national hearing centers, and 2 national case assistance centers.  There are approximately 1,300 Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) in the field organization. ALJs may travel to other sites such as local Social Security offices to conduct hearings if needed. In most cases, Social Security disability claimants will be assigned the hearings office or location closest to their listed residency.  In order to find the ODAR office closest to you, visit ODAR’s website.  The Indianapolis ODAR hearings office is located in downtown Indianapolis.  This hearings office services Social Security fields offices for Anderson, Bloomington, Columbus, Indianapolis Downtown, Indianapolis Northeast, Indianapolis West, Kokomo, Muncie, and Richmond. Disability Attorney Scott Lewis frequents the Indianapolis ODAR hearings office … Continued

Filed under: Hearings Process || Tagged under:
0 comments || Author:

March 8, 2011

Child Social Security Disability Benefits and a Few Words From Indinapolis Disbility Lawyer Scott Lewis

The amount of inquiries Indianapolis Social Security attorney Scott Lewis receives on a weekly basis concerning child Social Security disability benefits is quite large.  The parent(s) or guardian(s) of these children have many questions concerning the eligibility criteria for qualifying for disability benefits.  The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program can provide disability payments to children from birth to eighteen years of age if they meet medical and resource requirements. Indianapolis disability attorney Scott Lewis finds many families fail to receive payments for a disabled child due to Social Security’s income and resource rules.  The Social Security Administration will not only consider income and resources of family members living with the child, but also the income and resources of the child.  Indianapolis Social Security disability attorney Scott Lewis finds most families are surprised to find the threshold for income and resources is usually a lower figure than they had anticipated.  So even if your child meets the medical disability requirements set by the Social Security Administration your claim can be barred due to income and resource restrictions. Now in the event your family and child’s income and resources are below the limit set by the Social Security Administration, you next must meet the Social Security Administration’s rules for disability.  The child must have marked and severe functional limitations with a mental or physical condition, or a combination of conditions that have lasted or is expected to last for a period of twelve months.  Also, for 2011 the child can not be working and earning over $1,000 a month. When it comes to examining the mental or physical disability the child experiences, the Social Security Administration will consider: Functioning in motor skills. Functioning in personal skills. Functioning in cognitive and communicative skills. Functioning in response to stimuli for infants. Functioning in concentration, persistence, or … Continued

Filed under: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) || Tagged under:
0 comments || Author:

March 5, 2011

Indianapolis Social Security Disability Lawyers Like Scott Lewis Offer A Contingent Fee Agreement

If you are an Indiana disability claimant trying to make ends meet while struggling through the Social Security disability process, chances are you do not have the extra money to pay for up front attorney’s fees.  At times, individuals entering the Office of Disability, Adjudication and Review (ODAR) or commonly known as the hearing office make statements that they do not have an attorney with them because they cannot afford an attorney.  These individuals are unaware that Indiana disability lawyers like Scott D. Lewis represent Indiana disability appeal claimants on a contingency basis. What is a contingent fee agreement?  In the case of Indiana Social Security disability lawyer Scott Lewis, it means you will pay no up front costs and you will only pay a fee if Mr. Lewis wins your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim.  The fee agreement is based on Mr. Lewis being paid on a percentage of your past due lump sum amount and cannot exceed a certain monetary figure set by the Social Security Administration (SSA).  On the other hand, if Indianapolis Social Security lawyer Scott Lewis is unsuccessful in winning your Social Security disability claim, there is no percentage paid, no maximum amount, and therefore no fee for his legal services. If disability attorney Scott Lewis wins your claim, the Social Security Administration generally takes his fee directly out of your past due lump sum that you are owed by the Social Security Administration.  Why would the Social Security Administration owe you a past due amount?  The Indiana Social Security disability appeals process can be very lengthy.  By the time you are awarded Social Security disability benefits, you may have accumulated money that you are due considering the date you first became disabled or in some cases your date … Continued

Filed under: Social Security Disability Attorney || Tagged under:
0 comments || Author:

February 26, 2011

The Third Party Function Report and Your Indiana Social Security Disability Benefits

Scott D. Lewis often hears from his Indiana Social Security disability clients and their families that they are confused by the paperwork they receive from the Social Security Administration (SSA).  The forms are usually requesting information in applying for and appealing their Indiana Social Security disability claim.  One of these forms is called the “Function Report – Adult – Third Party”.  It is also known as form SSA – 3380 – BK.  Now with that mouthful out, are you afraid to pick up your pen and start the application and appeals process?  Well, Indianapolis disability lawyer Scott Lewis advises his clients and their families to not be intimidated in completing forms required by the Social Security Administration.  Most of these forms Mr. Lewis’ office can assist in completing or guide you, family, or friends through in completing the forms if you wish to complete them for yourself. The Third Party Function Report has various parts and these include: General Information that includes names, relationship to the disabled person, contact information, and other data. Information about daily activities including how a typical day is, whether the disabled person can care for themselves on a personal level, preparation of meals, house & yard work, mobility, shopping, money management, hobbies, and social activities. Information about their physical and mental abilities of the disabled person. Finally, a remarks section. Indiana disability attorney Scott D. Lewis tells these third parties that complete this form to be as thorough as possible.  It is important to be truthful and remember their is a reason this form is being asked to be completed.  It is to determine if the Indiana disability claimant has a disabling condition that is severe enough to prevent them from securing and maintaining substantial gainful activity.  In other words, if the Social Security Administration believes you are able to … Continued

Filed under: Claims Process || Tagged under:
0 comments || Author:

February 25, 2011

Appointment Of Representative Forms For Your Disability Claim

Some individuals applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits may decide they need representation to help navigate what can be a confusing disability process.  In order for Indiana disability attorney Scott Lewis to represent you in your disability claim and be recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA), he must have an Appointment of Representative Form (Form SSA 1696) completed and submitted to the SSA. The Appointment of Representative form is a fairly easy form to complete, but at the same time is a vital piece of paperwork to ensure representation in your Indiana Social Security disability claim.  The main parts of SSA form 1696 include: Claimant information including name and Social Security number. The authorization to appoint the representative which includes the type of claim, release of information, and whether you have more than one representative.  A signature, address, telephone number, and date are also needed by the claimant. The acceptance of appointment is then completed which contains information about the lawyer or representative involved with the claim. The two final sections concern waiver of the fee and waiver of direct payment. When Indiana Social Security Lawyer Scott Lewis is hired to represent a disabled claimant, he tries to get this form into the Social Security Administration early so he has access to the disability claimant’s information.  Without the submission of the Appointment of Representative form, the Social Security Administration will not release any information or speak with Mr. Lewis about the Indiana disability claimant’s appeal. Many Indiana disability claimants do not know they have a right to be represented in their Social Security disability claim.  Indianapolis disability lawyer Scott D. Lewis offers a free consultation and his fee agreement is contingent on a favorable outcome in your case.  In other words, plain … Continued

Filed under: Claims Process || Tagged under:
0 comments || Author:

February 20, 2011

A Few Thoughts About Doctors Not Supporting Your Indiana Social Security Disability Appeal

Social Security disability attorney Scott Lewis has seen doctors that will go to great lengths (usually short of going to your hearing of course) and doctors who refuse to help at all, and everything in between.  So what can you do when your treating physician will not support you in your Indiana Social Security disability appeal? It probably depends on why they will not support you.  There can be a variety of reasons why your doctor won’t support your disability claim.  Perhaps you simply do not get along with your doctor, or your doctor does not believe your disability prevents you from working, or finally maybe your doctor says he/she will help you, but will not assist you with your disability claim when push comes to shove.  In Indianapolis disability lawyer Scott Lewis’ experience, a cooperative treating physician can have a huge impact on you receiving a favorable outcome in your Social Security disability claim. So what can you do when your physician is not willing to help you?  It may depend on your health care coverage.  You may be limited on who you can see pursuant to your medical coverage.  It may help you to discuss your concerns with your treating physician.  Indiana disability lawyer Scott Lewis encourages his clients to try and have a good relationship with their doctor(s).  It is important to remember that physicians are people too and have likes and dislikes like all of us, and it makes sense if they like you they may be willing to go that extra mile for you in helping to establish your disability and your inability to hold down a full time job. Some Indiana disability claimants have the option of switching physicians when they are unhappy with their treating physician.  One of the problems Indianapolis disability attorney Scott … Continued

Filed under: Medical Treatment || Tagged under:
0 comments || Author:

February 18, 2011

Social Security Disability Benefits for Degenerative Disc Disease

In Indianapolis disability attorney Scott Lewis’ experience, one of the most common disabling conditions his clients share is problems with their backs and necks. Disabling conditions in this area can include, but are not limited to scoliosis, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, sciatica, spondylolisthesis, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease. These conditions can cause severe chronic pain that may make it unbearable to maintain full or part time employment. One of the most common types of back pain is due to degenerative disc disease.  As we age, it is not uncommon for this condition to occur.  Causes of degenerative disc disease may include outer layer tears in the disc and fluid loss in the disc.  Depending on the location of the disc or discs affected usually dictates where a person feels the pain. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes degenerative disc disease in its Listing of Impairments under Listing 1.04 Disorders of the Spine.  It is important for Indiana disability appeals claimants to note that they do not have to meet or equal this listing in order to receive Indiana Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Securit Income (SSI) benefits.  The Social Security Administration may also consider an individual’s physical residual functional capacity.  Physical residual functional capacity refers to the limitations you may have considering items such as your inability to stand, sit, walk, and lift causing you to be unable to maintain employment.  The SSA may also consider the pain the claimant experiences when deciding if they are able to maintain employment. In Indianapolis Social Security disability lawyer Scott Lewis’ experience, good medical records are key to winning your Indiana Social Security disability claim.  Imaging tests such as x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI’s) may be critical in winning your disability claim.  It is also important to let your treating physician know the … Continued

Filed under: Qualifying Disabilities and Impairments || Tagged under:
0 comments || Author:

February 15, 2011

Social Security Disability Benefits and Completing the Disability Report Appeal

Many forms need to be completed when appealing a denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim. Indianapolis disability lawyer Scott D. Lewis advises his clients to be as detailed as possible when completing these forms. One of these forms is referred to as the “Disability Report Appeal”. The Disability Report Appeal (also know as form SSA 3441-BK) is filed in combination with forms needed to file a “Request for Reconsideration”, “Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge”, and “Request for Reconsideration Disability Cessation.”  It is important that Indiana Social Security disability appeals claimants file the correct forms to ensure there are no unnecessary delays in processing the needed paperwork. The Disability Report Appeal has various sections concerning: Information on the disabled person; (This includes basic contact information.) Information about the claimant’s disabling condition, illness, or injury; Medical record information; Medications the claimant may be taking; Medical tests that have been performed; Job/work information; Information regarding training and education; Support services you may have received; and A final section where the claimant can put information you do not believe was addressed in other sections of the report. Indianapolis Social Security attorney Scott Lewis receives many calls from his clients asking how they should fill this lengthy form out.  Mr. Lewis believes it is important to be as detailed as possible, but also stay focused on the question being asked.  The section(s) involving the Indiana disability claimant’s medical treatment can be very important when completing the form. It may be beneficial to take your time keeping in mind there are time constraints when filing a “Request for Reconsideration” or a “Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge”.

Filed under: Claims Process || Tagged under:
0 comments || Author:

February 14, 2011

Indianapolis Disability Attorney Scott Lewis Discusses Absenteeism in the Workplace and Social Security Disability

Indiana Social Security disability attorney Scott D. Lewis has many disability clients who claim that their disability causes them to miss too many days of work to hold down a job.  In Mr. Lewis’ experience, Indianapolis disability claimant’s who have a mental condition or a physical condition that causes them to be absent from work on a regular basis may be a factor in determining whether they receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. When a Social Security disability claimant gets denied SSDI or SSI benefits, the claimant has the right to appeal that decision made by the Social Security Administration (SSA) by requesting a hearing.  Once the disability claimant is in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), the claimant often sees other individuals in the hearing room.  One of these individuals may be a Vocational Expert.  A Vocational Expert is at the hearing to testify to which jobs the claimant may or may not be able to perform due to their disabling condition(s).  As Attorney Scott Lewis questions his clients regarding their disabling condition(s), he often finds that his Indiana disability clients have difficulty with regular attendance in a work setting.  Many times, disabling conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, chronic pain, and other disabling conditions can result in an individual’s inability to get out of bed every morning and make it to their workplace.  At the hearing, a Vocational Expert (or job expert) may testify that two or more absences per month may result in termination of employment. At times, in Indianapolis Social Security disability lawyer Scott Lewis’ experience, in the above line of questioning when the job expert states that no employers will permit this type of absenteeism, it may result in a favorable decision. At an Indianapolis Administrative Law Judge appeal hearing, claimants often find the line of questioning … Continued

Filed under: Hearings Process || Tagged under:
0 comments || Author: