HOW TO WIN NEVADA DISABILITY BENEFITS
THE DISABILITY PROCESS IN NEVADA
If you live in Nevada and need disability benefits, you also need an Nevada disability attorney. Most people who are suffering from a disability and can no longer work should apply for disability benefits. Your disability can be either a mental condition, a physical condition, or both. You may need Nevada’s free or low cost mental health resources. However, you must be unable to work for 12 months or more. You can apply for disability benefits no matter where you live in Nevada. There are Social Security offices in Las Vegas, Reno, Henderson, and North Las Vegas. All of these local Social Security Administration offices can accept your SSD and SSI disability application.
Fortunately, the federal government offers two programs to help you. The first is SSD benefits. Social Security Disability (SSD) are for those who work and pay into the Social Security system. The second is SSI benefits. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is for those who work sporadically or who work below a certain income level. SSI is also for those who have a disability and do not have a work history. While these are federal programs, a Nevada state agency decides who is disabled and who is not.
APPLY FOR SSD & SSI NEVADA BENEFITS
In order to win disability benefits in Nevada, you first need to apply for benefits. There are many ways to apply for disability benefits, no matter where you live. You can apply in person at a local office in Nevada. Likewise, you can call the SSA and they will send you a paper application or help you apply over the phone. You can also apply without leaving your home. Because you can submit your disability application to the SSA online at the Social Security Administration’s website.
As stated earlier, your disabling condition can be mental or physical. Mental conditions that could qualify for disability benefits are Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, or Borderline Personality Disorder. Some people have a combination of a mental and physical condition that prevent them from working. For example, physical conditions that can be disabling are Multiple Sclerosis, Lumbar Arthritis, Herniated Discs, Traumatic Brain Injury, Lupus, or other disabling physical diseases. If you cannot work due to disability for 12 months or more, then you should apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.
After you submit your application to the SSA, a claims examiner from the Nevada State Disability Adjudication office will review it. There is such an office in both Carson City and Las Vegas. The review your medical records to determine if they should approve or deny your benefits. The Nevada Disability Adjudication office only approves 34% of the initial applications it reviews. You can call their offices, if you have a question or concern about your case, at 775-885-3700.
DISABILITY BENEFITS FROM THE STATE OF NEVADA
Nevada pays an additional amount of SSI benefits to those who are blind. The monthly SSI amount depends on your living arrangements. A blind person living on their own will receive a total of approximately $880 in state and federal payments. A person living in someone else’s household will receive a total of $727.96. And those living in private nursing homes receive a total of $1,162 per month, but the majority of that money goes to reimburse the facility.
Nevada residents are also automatically eligible for Medicaid from the State of Nevada when they are approved for SSI. Unlike some states, Nevada does not pay temporary short-term benefits to those who are disabled.
APPEALS AND OFFICE OF HEARINGS OPERATIONS IN LAS VEGAS
After your case proceeds through the initial and reconsideration stages, your attorney will file a request for a hearing. The initial stage is after you file your application. It usually takes 3-6 months for the SSA to evaluate your case. The reconsideration stage occurs after you appeal an initial denial of benefits. At the reconsideration stage, the SSA may send you to see a consultative examiner. Finally, if you receive a reconsideration denial, it is time to apply for a hearing. If you hire us as your disability legal team, we will file that request for you.
The Las Vegas Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) is in the downtown federal building in Las Vegas, Nevada. The office has a number of judges who hear disability cases. It will take some time to obtain a hearing date. On average, it takes approximately 12 to 18 months to get a hearing in the Las Vegas hearing office. The SSA also holds hearings in Reno, Nevada. Your case is assigned to one of the hearing offices depending upon where you live.
HIRING A DISABILITY LAWYER WITH THE EXPERIENCE TO WIN YOUR SSD & SSI BENEFITS
If you want legal representation at your disability hearing, and you should, hire Cannon Disability Law. You need to know the questions the administrative law judge will ask you. Also, you need to know what are the most important issues in your case. That is why you hire an SSD lawyer, because we have gone to court before and we know what is going to happen. We can also help you by reviewing the questions judge’s typically ask at disability hearings. If you speak Spanish, we also have an attorney and staff that speak fluent Spanish.
WHAT DOES YOUR REPRESENTATIVE DO FOR YOU IN COURT?
In court, there are always rules and there are ways you can explain your case that will make the most sense to the judge. You may think that you can go into court on your own and explain your disability to the judge. However, this would be a mistake. The reason it is a mistake is there is more to court than just talking about your disability. First, the judge is asking specific questions about your disability in relation to the SSA’s regulations. If you are not familiar with the regulations, you may not understand the purpose of the hearing questions.
THE MEDICAL EXPERT AND THE VOCATIONAL EXPERT
Second, there are other witnesses besides you. For example, the administrative law judge (ALJ) might decide to call a doctor to testify. If the judge does this, the doctor is paid by the SSA, but is supposed to be an impartial witness. The doctor will be there to testify about whether or not your physical or mental impairments meet or equal SSA’s listings. Will you be able to cross-examine the doctor?
Finally, there is almost always a vocational expert at the hearing. This witness is also a witness that the judge calls to testify. Like the medical expert, they are paid by the SSA. Vocational experts are people who train in understanding the requirements of jobs. The vocational expert is at the hearing to testify as to whether you can return to your past work. Additionally, the vocational expert will testify if there is other work that you can do in the national economy, considering your impairments. Will you be able to cross-examine the vocational expert?
If you don’t hire an attorney, there is a good chance you will not win your case at the hearing level. Don’t take that chance. Hire a lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada with the experience you need to win your case. In the last 30 years, we have won over 20,000 disability hearings for our clients. If you contact us today, we can help you too.