Have Questions About the Disability Claims Process for Social Security or Veterans Benefits? Check Out Our FAQs

Dealing with the disability application or appeals process always comes with plenty of questions. Whether your questions are about Social Security or VA Disability, here are some of the questions we hear the most at our Omaha law firm.

  • Page 20
  • I’m preparing for my Fremont disability claim appeal hearing in a few months and read somewhere that getting letters from someone who knows me might help my case get approved. Who should I consider asking to write an affidavit letter?

    In many cases, the administrative law judge determining disability appeals won’t put a lot of weight into an affidavit letter written by a friend or family member. Not only are friends and family believed to have bias, often the letters aren’t written in a persuasive way.

    However, our Fremont disability law firm has seen cases where an affidavit letter played a significant role in deciding an individual’s claim. Done correctly, letters can be an extremely powerful tool

    So whom should you ask to write an affidavit letter? Ideally, it should be someone:

    • Who lives with you or sees you several times a week.
    • Who has known you for a few years.
    • Who you rely on for assistance in daily tasks such as cooking, shopping, or doing household chores.
    • Who can be counted on to complete the letter in time for your hearing.
    • Who you believe will be able to write an objective, focused letter with concrete examples of the problems your limitations and symptoms create for you on a daily basis.

    If you have questions about affidavit letters, or any part of the disability claim process, speak with a Fremont disability lawyer today. Contact Cuddigan Law at 402-933-5405 or [email protected] for an evaluation at no charge. Also, ask how you can receive a free copy of our report: Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case.

  • Where is the vocational expert at my Sarpy County disability claim appeal getting the information about the duties necessary to perform my past jobs? Is it possible that she might have information that doesn’t match my experience?

    The vocational expert (VE) at your hearing is working from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Occupational Titles, or DOT.

    DOT is a comprehensive resource, providing general descriptions of most of the jobs that are available in the United States. DOT also provides the VE with the requirements typically necessary to work at each job title, including:

    • Educational background
    • Physical demands
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Typical length of training period


    The VE will compare your work history to the corresponding listings in DOT to determine how much skill and exertion was necessary to successfully perform your past jobs.

    Even if you are working with a Sarpy County disability attorney, you’ll want to keep track of the job titles and descriptions the vocational expert selects from DOT to ensure that you agree with the selection. DOT descriptions don’t always line up with a claimant’s experience. If you find this is the case for you, explaining the difference may effectively counter the VE’s assessment.As part of your prehearing preparation we will review your work history and job duties and review the vocational expert's description of your past work.

    Does the process of applying for or appealing a Social Security disability claim leave you feeling overwhelmed? The Sarpy County disability attorneys at Cuddigan Law may be able to help. Get the process back on track with a no-cost case evaluation. Call 402-933-5405 or email [email protected] today. Also, be sure to ask for our free report, Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case.

  • If the vocational expert believes that there is a different kind of work I might be able to perform during his or her testimony at my Bellevue SSDI benefits appeal hearing, how much information is he or she required to give about that job?

    Identifying a job or jobs that someone with your impairments should still be able to perform is one of the primary roles of the vocational expert testifying at your Bellevue disability claim appeal hearing. In other words, it’s a vocational expert’s job to possess a profound depth of knowledge about the current and local job market.

    Because of this, the VE is required to offer a fairly large amount of information about any job they feel you are capable of performing. The VE references the Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) to give you the following required information:

    • The title of the job.
    • The number assigned to the job title in DOT.
    • How many jobs of this type are available locally and nationally.

    Any jobs the VE suggests must currently exist in significant numbers in both the local and the national economy.

    While a VE may know a lot about job titles and the functions necessary to perform them, he or she won’t possess that same depth of knowledge about your health conditions and limitations. Because of this, your attorney is allowed to cross-examine the expert, improving your chances of avoiding another denial.

    Do you want to appeal a denied Social Security disability claim? Talk to a skilled Bellevue disability benefits attorney before you take another step. Contact us at 402-933-5405 or [email protected] Also ask for our informative and free report, Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case. Don’t wait another day!

  • What issues does the Social Security Administration look for when deciding if I’d be able to adjust to a different kind of work? Should my Omaha SSDI lawyer highlight issues like this in my disability claim appeal hearing?

    There are so many individuals who qualify for disability without meeting the standard set by Social Security’s stringent impairment standards. Analysts, examiners, and judges determining your case are trained to keep an eye out for situations where it is highly likely that an individual will not be able to adjust to a different type of job.

    A good Omaha disability attorney will typically ask you if you have any problems like this over the course of an initial evaluation, but just to get the ball rolling, let’s review a few possible issues that could come up:

    • You are 55 years of age or older.
    • You can’t speak English.
    • You can’t read or you have extremely low reading comprehension.
    • You don’t have any recent job training or skills that could be transferred to a lighter-duty job.
    • You didn’t graduate high school.

    Keep in mind that your chances of approval increase when you have more than one issue on this list. Unfortunately, as with everything in SSD, there are no “home run” problems in this category that will always get your claim approved.

    Ready to learn more about the Social Security disability application process? Don’t wait—get a free evaluation from an Omaha disability lawyer today. Call the Cuddigan Law Group at 402-933-5405.

    Our information-packed report, Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case, is available to you FREE – ask how you can get a copy today!

  • I am unable to work and awaiting a Social Security Disability Decision, am I eligible for Medicaid ?

    According to Omaha Social Security lawyer this question is often asked. Medicaid is a partially federally funded program for low income individuals administered by the states.To qualify an individual must be poor and fall into one of the eligibility categories. The categories include children, pregnant women and the disabled.So you may ask why if I am disabled,and poor why am I not eligible for Medicaid. The problem is that states are allowed to write the qualification rules.In Nebraska and Iowa the public policy has been that you are not actually able to receive Medicaid benefits until you are found disabled.However some individuals are approved immediately so we urge all individuals to apply. See https://dhhs-access-neb-menu.ne.gov/start/?tl=en. The phone number is 800-430-3244. The is more information about eligibility at https://www.medicaidoffice.net/nebraska-medicaid-eligibility-me28

  • I received a Notice of Overpayment from the Lincoln SSDI compensation benefits I stopped receiving a few months ago. It’s saying that I need to pay the difference in 30 days, but I’m no longer getting benefits so they can’t take it out of my check. I don’t really have the financial resources to repay them right now. What will happen if I don’t repay?

    First, you didn’t mention if you agree that you were overpaid or not. If you don’t think there was an overage, or you think the figure they give is inaccurate, you may want to address the matter with a Lincoln disability benefits attorney. It is possible to file an appeal explaining that you disagree with the notice.

    Because Social Security is a federal agency, they have several methods of collecting the overage from you, even though you are no longer receiving disability benefits. These include:

    • Garnishing your wages
    • Taking your federal tax refund
    • Taking future benefits if you start receiving SSDI again
    • Reporting you to the credit bureau

    However, even if you’re pretty sure the overage is correct, you have options. For example:

    • You can apply for a debt forgiveness waiver.
    • You can work out a repayment plan with Social Security.

    Either way, remember that you are working within a limited time frame and start the process today.

    If you’re still wrangling with the disability claims process, consider calling a Lincoln disability attorney. Because there is no back pay these cases are only handled on an hourly basis. Contact Cuddigan Law at 402-933-5405 or [email protected] to learn more. Also, order a copy of our complimentary report, Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case.

  • If Social Security Finds Me Disabled When Do I Qualify For Medicare?

    Omaha Disability Attorney Tim Cuddigan explains that eligibility for Medicare is two years after the month of entitlement for benefits. A few rules apply to Medicare eligibility. Applicants do not qualify for cash benefits more than one year prior to the date of their application. Individuals who are found disabled must serve a five month waiting period before they are eligible for cash benefits. This eligibility for cash benefits is what Social Security calls the month of entitlement.These  rules can be confusing especially the term of month of entitlement. An example might be helpful to explain these rules. An individual's date of onset of disability is January 1, 2008 based on the medical and other evidence  However this individual does not apply for disability until January 1, 2010. He is approved for benefits on June 1, 2010 with the onset date of January 1 2008 and the month of entitlement for benefits is January 1, 2009. In computing his eligibility for Medicare, his waiting period of five months is served before he eligible for cash benefits or his month of entitlement This individual is eligible for Medicare benefits on January 1, 2011.This is two years after his month of entitlement of January 1, 2009.

  • Is it okay for me to bring my husband or wife to my Fremont disability claim appeal hearing?

    Yes, you may bring your spouse, another family member or a friend to your appeal hearing. Many of our clients have told us that having the support of a loved one at the hearing was very important for them.

    You’ll want to remember:

    • If you’re working with a Fremont disability attorney, talk to him as soon as possible about bringing a guest. It’s possible that your attorney will want to meet with your husband beforehand.
    • Your hearing will be in Omaha at the hearing office.
    • We typically do not ask your guest to testify.
    • Your husband shouldn’t intervene during  your testimony, even if you can’t remember something or become confused. Your answers must be your own.
    • Any guest should also understand how to make the best possible impression on hearing day with regards to appropriate dress and behavior on the facility grounds.
    • It may be necessary to step back, look at the situation honestly, and make some hard decisions. If you have any doubts about bringing a loved one to your appeal hearing, it may be better to choose someone else or just attend with your legal representation.

    A skilled Fremont disability lawyer can serve you in the Social Security disability benefits claim process as a trusted advocate. Contact Cuddigan Law at 402-933-5405 or [email protected] today to request a no-cost evaluation. Also, order our free report: Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case.

  • How can I most effectively respond to the Administrative Law Judge during my Fremont disability benefits claim appeal hearing?

    Truthfully. According to our Fremont disability attorneys there are three mistakes unprepared claimants make at their hearings. All three are rooted in misrepresenting one’s situation.

    1. Downplaying symptoms – It’s hard to talk about the challenges and pain we deal with each day. However, locking into a ‘strong’ mindset makes it hard to offer a sincere portrayal of one’s situation to the Administrative Law Judge. You are at the appeal hearing because your impairments are making it impossible for you to work.
    2. Exaggerating symptoms – Being anxious that the judge won’t be able to discern the severity of your symptoms can lead to the opposite mistake: playing up the pain in a theatrical way. The bad faith this builds around your case could be very damaging to you in the long run.
    3. Being too vague – The most common mistake we see are claimants who don’t give enough information during the judge’s questions. It’s crucial to offer concrete examples of the problems your symptoms create for you on a daily basis, not one or two word responses that don’t make an impression. While you don’t want to ramble or go off-topic, you need to give answers that are informative and accurate.

    As you answer the judge’s questions, be truthful, be yourself, and offer real insight into your situation. To learn more about working with a Fremont, Nebraska, disability attorney, call Cuddigan Law at 402-933-5405 today. Also, ask for our free report: Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case.

  • Which jobs are appropriate to put in the ‘work history’ section of my Bellevue SSDI application?

    The information you provide in past relevant work—or your work history—is intended to help Social Security decide if your medical condition effectively prevents you from performing the type of work you used to do.

    When looking over a client’s job history, a Bellevue SSDI attorney will look for jobs for which the three following statements are true:

    • It is a job you had within the last 15 years.
    • The job lasted 90 days or longer, preferably at full time hours.
    • You received wages or some equivalent form of compensation.

    So while a seasonal job or one you only worked part time would probably need to go into your job history, an unpaid internship, or a job you were forced to leave shortly after starting for reasons related to your disability might not.

    There are a surprising number of cases where applicants aren’t sure if a job meets those three criteria or not. Most of us have fairly complicated job histories. It isn’t uncommon to feel some aspects of it are difficult to document.

    If you find this is the case for you, it may be in your best interest to have your case evaluated by a Bellevue disability benefits attorney before submitting your initial application for SSDI. Doing so could save you time and frustration.

    Contact the friendly professionals at Cuddigan Law at 402-933-5405 or [email protected] Be sure to get your free copy of our report, Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case. Don’t wait another day!