Social Security Disability Attorney Serving Rochester

Personal, respectful representation during a difficult time in your life

At Donald R. Bleier Attorney at Law, I take the time to explain to my clients all the requirements for filing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). As an attorney who's represented New Yorkers in SSDI cases for more than 16 years, I've found that clients are less anxious and perform better at hearings when they not only understand the process but also are comfortable with it. This is why I work with you personally and prepare you thoroughly for hearings.

Understanding the SSDI program

Unfortunately, many hardworking people are injured at work during their career. While some injuries are minor, others result in long-term disability. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a 20-year-old has a 30 percent chance of becoming disabled before retirement. SSDI was created by the federal government to help those responsible workers who are no longer able to work due to disability. The program provides cash payments to those eligible, including retroactive Social Security Disability benefits.

To be eligible for SSDI benefits, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have worked for a sufficient number of years in jobs where you paid Social Security taxes
  • Have a medical condition that meets or equals the SSA's definition of disability
  • Not exceed the maximum permitted substantial gainful activity (SGA)

To satisfy the first requirement, you must have worked long enough and recently enough to have earned sufficient work credits. While work credits change yearly, in 2013, you earn one work credit for each $1,160 you earn, up to four credits or $4,640. The total number of credits required to qualify varies by age. For example, a 54-year-old would require 32 credits with at least 20 of those credits earned in the 10 years prior to disability.

What are my chances of winning an SSDI claim?

After the 2007 financial crisis, applications for Social Security Disability increased greatly. Currently, cases take a minimum of three to six months but often take much longer. Some can even take more than two years from the initial filing to the final determination. One reason Social Security determinations take so long is that multiple denials and appeals are common. Statistics show:

  • Approximately 70 percent of initial applications for SSDI benefits are denied
  • More than 80 percent of first appeals are denied
  • Roughly 50 percent of second appeals before an administrative law judge are denied

However, working with an experienced attorney who understands the law and the system greatly increases your chances of securing benefits. As an attorney with years of experience helping clients navigate the Social Security system, I'm an effective and fervent advocate. I know how to correct problems with your application and present a disability claim that meets all requirements for you to receive the SSDI benefits you and your family need.

Put my Social Security experience to work for you

At Donald R. Bleier Attorney at Law, I handle your SSD/SSDI case from start to finish. I work with you each step of the way, thoroughly preparing you for hearings and ensuring you understand the process. For your free consultation, please call me at 585-454-2190 or contact me online.