Connecticut lawyer, Michael F. Magistrali, answers your questions about Social Security disability benefits
At Michael F. Magistrali & Associates, we have been serving the disabled in Connecticut and western Massachusetts for more than 10 years. The people who seek our help are struggling with their disability and, in most cases, are also struggling to make sense of the often confusing and seemingly arbitrary rules and regulations that govern the Social Security disability system. This confusion causes a great deal of unnecessary anxiety. We created this website to remove some of that anxiety. Our goal is to educate, to provide information, and to answer the questions we hear most often from our western Massachusetts and Connecticut disability clients. Those questions include:
Will my application for Social Security disability benefits be granted?
The answer to this question is deceptively simple: Your application for Connecticut (or Massachusetts) Social Security disability benefits will be granted if you can prove that you are “disabled,” as that term is defined by the Social Security regulations. In making a disability determination, the Social Security Administration engages in a 5-step sequential evaluation process. In order to receive disability benefits, you must establish that:
- You are not presently employed; and
- You have a severe mental or physical impairment; and either
- Your impairment meets or medically equals a Listing Impairment; or
- You are unable to do your past work; and
- You are unable to do any other work that exists regionally or in significant numbers in the national economy.
Why was my Social Security disability benefits application denied?
Most initial applications for Connecticut disability and Massachusetts benefits are denied, as are most requests for reconsideration; often, the denial is in error. There are many reasons your claim for Social Security disability benefits may have been denied. Some common reasons include:
- The Social Security Administration overestimated your residual functional capacity – what you are capable of doing, despite the limitations caused by your impairment.
- The Social Security Administration did not consider all your impairments.
- The Social Security Administration determined your impairment was not “severe.”
- The Social Security Administration did not accurately assess your education level.
- The Social Security Administration did not properly evaluate your allegations of pain.
Do I need a Connecticut disability lawyer?
No rule or regulation requires you to be represented by a Connecticut disability lawyer in order to obtain Social Security disability benefits. However, as you have probably learned from personal experience or from perusing this website, the Social Security Administration speaks a language all its own; its rules and rulings often defy common sense. The guidance of an experienced Connecticut Social Security disability lawyer can only improve your chances of obtaining benefits.
Where do I start?
Whatever stage of the Social Security disability process you are in, we suggest you start by gathering information. Please take a few moments to review some of the 100+ pages of educational materials on our site. If you are unable to work, but you have not yet applied for Massachusetts disability or Connecticut disability benefits, the short video Are You Likely to Qualify provides an introduction to the disability determination process. The articles listed under Applying for Disability Benefits When…. explain how the Social Security Administration evaluates particular impairments; one or more of these articles may help you decide whether to file a claim for Connecticut or Massachusetts disability benefits. If you already have applied for Social Security disability benefits, but your application was denied, you will find practical advice and information about the appeals process here: Appealing a Denial of Benefits (a free e-booklet); How the Judge Determines Disability (a short video); and Your Disability Hearing (a series of articles).
The experienced disability lawyers at Michael F. Magistrali & Associates are available to help
The experienced disability lawyers at Michael F. Magistrali & Associates are available to offer counsel and personal assistance with your Connecticut or Massachusetts Social Security disability claim. If you would like to talk with us about your case, please call our Torrington, Connecticut office or send us an email. To help get this process started, please complete the Free Claim Evaluation form to your right. We will contact you promptly.
We wish you success.
Michael F. Magistrali
Greater Hartford disability lawyer,
serving Connecticut and western Massachusetts
Toll Free: (800)-330-9921
Michael F. Magistrali & Assoc., LLC
400 Prospect Street
Torrington, CT 06790