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SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY LAWYER

COLUMBIA · LEXINGTON · WEST COLUMBIA · CAYCE

Nick Callas spent over a half hour explaining things to me that my last attorney failed to tell me. I have some appointments to make but as soon as I’m done Nick will be my first call! He was informative, knowledgeable, and understanding. Plus he was easy to talk to.

Trish Marsello – Client

I needed a second opinion on my disability approval. I’d been approved, but not for retroactive payments. I called the Callas Law Firm and spoke directly with Mr. Callas, which was refreshing. He advised me beyond my expectations in a friendly, kind and respectful manner. I highly recommend counsel like him and his firm. Thank you, Mr. Callas.

Eve Morales – Client

Mr. Callas was a tremendous asset in my workers compensation case. He was always on top of everything involved in my case. He doesn’t let the otherside sit on their hands and beat around the bush. He gets the job done.

Steven Howard – Client
Social Security Disability Attorney in Columbia, SC

Getting You The Benefits You Deserve

Suffering from a disability is taxing enough physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, if your disability prevents you from working, you must also tackle the financial strain of losing income.

 

The Law Office of Nicholas G. Callas, P.A. has represented hundreds of people who have suffered an injury and need help getting fair compensation.

How a Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help You.

Social Security Disability benefits are designed to help those with disabilities gain the financial support they need. However, navigating through the Social Security Administration, with its complicated regulations and forms, can be challenging.

For your convenience, there are three different methods available to complete your Social Security benefits application:

  1. Apply in person at a local South Carolina Social Security office to complete a paper copy (currently not available due to the COVID-19 virus),
  2. Apply over the phone, or
  3. Apply for SSDI benefits online at www.ssa.gov

You should consider contacting a Columbia, SC social security disability lawyer once you make the decision to apply for benefits. Also, an attorney can help at every stage of the proceedings which can help eliminate or reduce the stress associated with the disability process.

Initial Application

It usually takes about 4 – 6 months to receive a decision on your initial application. Unfortunately, the vast majority of applications are not approved. However, a denial at this stage doesn’t mean you won’t ultimately receive benefits since you have a right to file a request for reconsideration.

Filing a Reconsideration

A Reconsideration can be filed up to 60 days after the disability claim has been denied. A different claims examiner will review your application to see if the correct decision was made. You will be notified between 2 – 6 months after you submit the Reconsideration. Even fewer applicants are granted benefits at this stage.

Requesting a Disability Hearing

If you’ve made it to this stage and your reconsideration has been denied, we understand your frustration. It’s not the end of the road, however.

Once your reconsideration has been denied, you can request a hearing with an administrative law judge. This is done by filing a form called “Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge.” The average wait time for a hearing is 6 – 9 months, and usually the judge will not render a decision for another 2 – 4 months.

If You’re Denied At Your Hearing

If you receive an unfavorable decision you can request that the Appeals Council reviews your case. If that fails, the final step in the process is to file a lawsuit in federal district court.

Here’s Where We Come In

At the Law Office of Nicholas G. Callas, P.A., our staff has extensive experience helping clients gain approval for disability benefits at all stages of the proceedings.

During your initial interview with us, we help to create a plan to gather the evidence you will need to get your claim approved, including:

  • Developing the necessary medical and vocational evidence,
  • Interviewing potential witnesses who can help you to establish your claim, and 
  • Preparing documents and evidence to present in your application, reconsideration, disability hearing, Appeals Council review, and lawsuit in federal district court.

If a hearing is necessary, we will meet with you in advance and spend the necessary time to prepare you for the types of questions asked by the Administrative Law Judge.

Although we can help you to present your case at any stage of the proceedings, it is best to contact our office as soon as you decide to apply for social security disability benefits.

Types of Social Security Disability Cases We Routinely Handle

Social Security Disability Application

To qualify for Social Security Disability (SSDI), you must meet a number of requirements.

Your disability must result in “the inability to do any substantial gainful activity” due to a physical or mental impairment that 1) will result in death or 2) is expected to last for more than 12 months.

The disability also must prevent you from 1) performing the type of work you have done in the past and 2) performing “any other substantial gainful work that exists in the national economy.”

The disability can be a medical condition, a debilitating physical or mental illness, or a long-term injury.

You also must have an established work history of jobs covered by Social Security.

SSDI benefits include:

  • Benefits missed from the time you become disabled to the time you began receiving SSDI
  • A monthly payment consisting of the amount of money you made before the onset of your disability
  • Medicare coverage, which will begin two years after you begin receiving SSDI benefits

SSDI Denied Claims

Many SSDI claims are denied initially. 

Whether we are retained before you file your SSDI application or after your application has been denied, your social security disability lawyer will work with your doctor and healthcare team to gather the evidence that you will need to qualify for benefits. 

There are several stages of appealing an SSDI denied claim: 

Reconsideration: First, the appeal will be considered by the SSA again, and you can submit new evidence. 

Disability hearing: If your reconsideration is denied, then the case can go to an administrative law judge. 

Appeals Council: If you are unsuccessful at your disability hearing, we then present your case to the Social Security Appeals Council. 

Disability lawsuit: If the Appeals Council denies your appeal, the final option is to file a disability lawsuit in the federal district court. 

Our team strives to get your case resolved as quickly as possible, because we know the financial strain that a disability can cause when you are not receiving social security benefits. 

We will work with you throughout your case, answering your questions and gathering the evidence and witnesses needed to establish your claim for benefits.

Supplemental Security Income

SSI is a program that is based on need rather than on your work history.

If you have a permanent or long-term disability, are low-income, or don’t have a sufficient work history to receive SSDI, you may still be eligible for SSI.

You must have under $2,000 in assets (or, if you are married, under $3,000) to qualify for this program.

Your supplemental security income attorney can work with you to determine if you are eligible for SSI and help you to gather the evidence you will need to get your SSI benefits approved.

The Most Common Questions We Get Asked Are…

How long does it take to go through the social security disability process?

Generally, claimants go through a three-step process – initial application, reconsideration and hearing. Currently, the Columbia SSA office decides an initial application in about 4 – 6 months. If denied, you will have 60 days to file your first appeal, called a request for reconsideration. A decision on the first appeal takes approximately 2 – 6 months. If your benefits are denied at the reconsideration, then a request for a disability hearing before an administrative law judge is filed. It takes about 3 – 6 months before the hearing is set. Other jurisdictions in South Carolina may vary in times between stages.

How are the amounts of my benefits determined?

Your Social Security Disability (SSDI) monthly benefit is based on the amount of social security taxes you contributed over your working career. If you have not paid enough in social security taxes or have not attained “enough credits,” you can still apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The 2021 maximum monthly SSI benefit amount in South Carolina is $794.00. You can find your monthly benefit amount by either calling your local SSA office or by creating an account at SSA.gov.

What does SSA consider in determining whether I should be approved for benefits?

SSA will consider your age, work history, educational background, and medical evidence in their evaluation of your application for disability benefits. During our initial meeting, we go over your work history, educational background, and medical documentation. Simply put, do your medical records adequately show your physical or mental limitations that prevent you from performing substantial gainful activity or working full-time? If not, we will help you to develop and present your medical evidence to best support your claim for benefits.

How can a lawyer help me with a disability case?

Your social security disability lawyer will help you to prepare and present your case by:

  • Explaining the application and appellate process,
  • Assisting you in completing the various forms and requests for information you will receive from SSA,
  • Gathering your medical records and evidence from your treating doctors in support of your case and ensuring that your medical evidence is submitted prior to any hearings, 
  • Explaining to you what to expect at the hearing and going over the likely questions that will be asked by an administrative law judge, and
  • Filing a disability lawsuit in the federal district court when necessary.  

What are the fees charged by an attorney in a disability case?

Fees charged by an attorney must be approved by the Social Security Administration. Our firm uses the standard federal contract which pays the representative a fee of 25 percent of the past-due benefits, not to exceed $6,000.00. If we are not successful in winning your case and obtaining past-due benefits, no fee is charged.

READY TO SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY?

It won’t cost you anything to speak with an attorney about your case.

Law Office of Nicholas G. Callas PA
1901 Gadsden Street, Suite B
Columbia, SC 29201

Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
***Available after hours and by appointments***

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.