How an Attorney Can Help Appeal Your Case in Rhode Island

If medical problems have made it difficult for you to work, you could be able to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two kinds of disability benefits that provide monthly funds to disabled workers.

It can be challenging to be approved for benefits as the condition must be expected to result in death or last a year or longer and it must meet specified medical criteria. The SSA uses a medical guide, which is called the Blue Book, to determine if an individual is indeed disabled.

Most claims for disability benefits are denied. If during the initial review a claim is denied, you can file an appeal and request a reconsideration review. If during the reconsideration your claim is once again denied, you can request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ).

There are literally countless reasons for claims being denied, but some reasons are much more common than others. As an example, if Disability Determination Services (DDS) does not have hard medical evidence, they cannot determine the severity of your condition or your ability or inability to work.

Because of this, claims are denied because of a lack of medical evidence. If the claimant is working enough to earn more than the limit for substantial gainful activity (SGA) the claim will also be denied.

Another common cause for claim denials is failing to continue with follow-up care so your condition cannot be updated. In Rhode Island, 33% of claims are approved during the initial review and 11.3% of claims are approved during the reconsideration review.

Visiting the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in Rhode Island

If your claim has been denied during the initial review and on the reconsideration level, you will appeal and ask for a hearing before an ALJ. These hearings are held at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). In Rhode Island, there is one ODAR.

Located in Providence, the ODAR has eight judges and there is an average wait of 10 months for a hearing date. It takes an average of 325 days to have a claim processed in Rhode Island, which is much less than the national average of 577 days.

However, fewer claims are approved in the state on the hearing level than the national average. At the Rhode Island ODAR, about 39% of claims are approved compared to 43% nationally.

At the hearing, the ALJ will ask you about your work history, your transferrable skills, your educational background, your limitations, and your restrictions. A vocational expert will also be present and will work ask questions to determine what kind of work, if any, can be done by you now and in the future.

Because of the complexity of a hearing, a lawyer can improve the odds of being approved for benefits. An attorney will know what kinds of questions you will be asked and will help you prepare for the hearing and the questioning process.

How an Attorney Can Help Appeal Your Case in Rhode Island

Getting Help From A Disability Attorney

If you are unable to work because you have medical issues, you should consult with a Social Security lawyer. An attorney can help you through the process. A lawyer can even file your initial claim.

Your attorney will file any appeals, handle all correspondence between you and the SSA, and can visit the local SSA office or DDS to determine if all your medical records and documentation are in your file so you can get a fair review. Your lawyer will also represent you at the hearing and will help you prepare for the questioning. There are several SSA offices in Rhode Island.

  • Social Security Administration
    1 Empire Street
    Providence, RI 02903

  • Social Security Administration
    30 Quaker Lane #1
    Warwick, RI 02886

  • Social Security Administration
    4 Pleasant Street
    Pawtucket, RI 02860

If you are ready to pursue your disability benefits claim, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page. Your details will be shared with a disability lawyer who will give you a free initial consultation and who will help you determine how to proceed with your claim.

Get your claim on the right track today with the help of a Social Security attorney.

Additional Resources