Social Security Disability Lawyers in Vermont


Experienced Vermont Lawyers
Call 802-482-2905 for a free consultation.

Social Security Disability Lawyers in Vermont

Whether you are filing an initial claim for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits, or you have been denied after filing a claim, the attorneys at Kohn Rath Danon Scharf Jarvis & Modun are available to help you.

The Social Security Disability Insurance Benefit (SSDI) is part of the social insurance program administered by the Social Security Administration. People are most familiar with the retirement portion of this program. A working person who reaches retirement age can automatically draw his or her Retirement Insurance Benefit from this program. However, a working person who becomes disabled before reaching full retirement age can also draw this benefit when he or she meets certain criteria. In order to qualify for SSDI, most people must:

  • Work prior to becoming disabled.
  • Earn a minimum number of work credits during the course of his or her working life.
  • Earn a minimum number of credits in the years immediately preceding his or her date of disability.

A person accrues credits by earning wages or self-employment income and by paying Social Security taxes on those wages or income. For someone 30 years or older, the general rule of thumb is that you must have five good years of earnings in the ten years before you became disabled.

Sometimes a person qualifies for insurance benefits because another family member has worked, even if the qualifying person has not worked. These benefits are often called auxiliary or survivor’s benefits. A surviving widow or widower may qualify for benefits. Children of a disabled worker may qualify for benefits as well. In some cases, an adult child can qualify for benefits on a parent’s Social Security account if he or she became disabled prior to age 22 and has not married.

Dealing with a permanently disabling condition is often overwhelming. Losing the ability to work and perform various tasks can have mental and emotional consequences for victims. Although people want to work, there are many instances where disabilities prevent them from doing so. The Vermont attorneys at Kohn Rath Danon Scharf Jarvis & Modun strive to help those who are living with disabilities move forward and understand the options available to them. Contact our law firm in Vermont today to get started with your claim today.

What If I Do Not Have Enough Credits To Qualify For Social Security Disabiltiy Insurance Benefits?

If a disabled person does not qualify for SSDI because he or she lacks the necessary credits, he or she may still qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is a needs-based benefit program for the aged and disabled. Unlike for SSDI, you do not need work credits to qualify. However, you must fall below Social Security’s thresholds for family resources and income. These thresholds are quite low. For example, an individual may not have more than $2,000 in non-excluded resources to qualify for SSI. If he or she is married, the couple may not have more than $3,000 in non-excluded resources. Some types of resources are not counted, such as the value of a home or car. In addition, earned income and unearned income are counted differently. Only about half of any earned income counts toward the income threshold, whereas most other types of income count dollar-for-dollar toward it. The income threshold usually changes each year.

The Definition of “Disability” for Social Security

Social Security considers a person disabled if he or she cannot work for at least 12 months because of one or more medical conditions. To determine whether a person is disabled, Social Security uses the following 5-step process called the “sequential analysis.”

  1. First, it considers whether the person is working.
  2. Next, it considers whether a person has a severe medical condition (or conditions) that has lasted or can be expected to last at least 12 months (or is expected to result in death).
  3. Next, it considers whether the medical conditions are so severe that they meet or equal a “listing” level condition. Listing level conditions are medical conditions so severe that Social Security presumes them to be disabling without considering how they impact a person’s ability to work.
  4. If a person is not disabled because of a listing level condition, Social Security must then determine whether that person can return to work he or she has done in the past. To determine this (and the next step), Social Security considers how the person’s medical impairments affect his or her ability to engage in work-related functions such as sitting, standing, lifting, bending, concentrating, and working with people.
  5. Finally, if a person cannot return to past work, Social Security must determine whether he or she can return to other work that exists in significant numbers in the national economy, considering the person’s functional capacity, age, education, and vocational background.

How Does a Person’s Age Affect a Claim?

Age can be an important factor in disability claims. As a person gets older, Social Security changes its presumptions about a person’s ability to make adjustments to other work. Social Security assumes that people who are 50 years old will have a more difficult time adjusting to other work than people under 50 years of age. At 55 years old, it assumes an even greater difficulty adjusting to other types of work. This means if you are 50 years or older and have significant medical conditions you, will have a greater chance of success because once a person is 50 years or older, he or she no longer must prove an inability to do all types of work.

Can a Disabled Child Get Benefits?

Yes, a child can receive SSI benefits if he or she is disabled. The Vermont disability lawyers at Kohn Rath Danon Scharf Jarvis & Modun have represented many children making SSI claims. The disability analysis is a little bit different for children. Social Security does not consider whether the child can do past work or other work. However, it does consider whether the child is working; whether he or she has a severe medical condition or conditions; whether the medical conditions meet or equal the childhood medical listings; and whether the conditions are functionally equivalent to the listings. If you believe that your child may be entitled to SSI because of a disability, give us a call at (802) 482-2905 for a free consultation.

The Importance of Medical Evidence

Medical evidence and particularly any medical opinions given by your treating doctor or psychologist about your functional capacity are critically important to all SSDI and SSI claims. At Kohn Rath Danon Scharf Jarvis & Modun we work with your doctors, psychologists, and therapists to give Social Security a complete picture of your medical conditions and how they affect your life and ability to work. Some claimants believe that it is enough to simply have their doctors say that they are disabled. This is not true. Social Security does not consider statements from doctors saying that a patient is “disabled” or cannot work. What Social Security needs to see from your doctors are specific and convincing statements about how your medical conditions affect your functional capacity and why.

The Vermont attorneys at Kohn Rath Danon Scharf Jarvis & Modun have decades of experience helping our clients with their disability claims. We have experience representing claimants with numerous types of disabling conditions. Some of these include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Asthma
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Autism & spectrum disorders
  • Back injuries
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Brain injuries
  • Cancer
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Crohn’s disease & colitis
  • CRPS & RSD
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Epilepsy & seizure disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastrointestinal diseases
  • Hearing impairment
  • Heart disease
  • Hip injuries
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Kidney disease
  • Knee injuries
  • Learning disabilities
  • Liver Disease
  • Lupus
  • Lyme disease & post Lyme syndrome
  • Migraine & headaches
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Myelopathy
  • Neuropathies
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Parkinson’s disease & parkinsonism
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Pulmonary diseases
  • Schizophrenia
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Somatoform/conversion disorders
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Vascular disease
  • Vision impairment
  • Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome (VHL)

At Kohn Rath Danon Scharf Jarvis & Modun we know how medical conditions are likely to affect your ability to work, and we know the right questions to ask your doctors to bring out the type of medical evidence that Social Security needs to see. If you have a severe medical condition that hinders your ability to work, contact our team as soon as possible to see how we can help you.

How to Apply for Social Security Disability?

The best way to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits or Supplemental Security Income is to fill out the application on the Social Security Administration’s Website. Working with a reputable legal team in Vermont can help to ensure you are in the best position possible to prove your disability and secure the benefits you rightfully deserve.

Handling the Denial of a Claim for SSDI or SSI Benefits

Quite often, claims for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income are denied. If your claim is denied, you have the legal right to appeal the decision. In Vermont, appeals are first sent back to the Disability Determination Services for reconsideration. If the claim is approved at this point, payments will be administered. If the claim is denied after reconsideration, the claimant has the ability to request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. The Vermont Social Security Disability attorneys at Kohn Rath Danon Scharf Jarvis & Modun have extensive experience helping our clients handle cases presented to an ALJ. During the trial, applicants are able to present various forms of evidence, including testimony and documents from vocational and medical experts. Our Social Security Disability lawyers in Vermont help guide our clients and present evidence in the best way possible. If an ALJ denies your claim, either in whole or in part, you have the right to appeal the claim even further.

Our Social Security Disability Lawyers in Vermont Can Help You

Our team at Kohn Rath Danon Scharf Jarvis & Modun is available to help you through the social security disability process, from start to finish, to ensure you are rightfully compensated. Contact Kohn Rath Danon Scharf Jarvis & Modun today to see how we can help you. Schedule a free case evaluation with our legal team in Vermont by calling (802) 482-2905 at your earliest convenience. We are available to help you gather evidence, submit your claim, and fight for the benefits you deserve after becoming disabled. Contact us today to get started.


Our Attorneys:

Kohn Rath Danon Scharf Jarvis & Modun is a  Vermont law firm located in the Town of Hinesburg, providing a broad and comprehensive array of legal services to our clients.  Our attorneys have experience in many practice areas of the law. (Click on the name of a team member for additional information)

Roger E. Kohn
Roger E. Kohn
Partner - Former President of the Chittenden County Bar Association
David Rath
David Rath
Partner
Beth A. Danon
Beth A. Danon
Partner - Former President of the Vermont Association for Justice (the Vermont Trial Lawyers Association)
Craig Jarvis
Craig Jarvis
Partner
Amy Modun
Amy Modun
Partner

Experience Makes the Difference

WE ARE FAMILIAR WITH MOST DISABLING CONDITIONS AND WILL NAVIGATE INJURY LAWS IN WAYS THAT MAXIMIZE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. WE HAVE REPRESENTED PEOPLE WITH:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Asthma
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Autism & spectrum disorders
  • Back injuries
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Brain injuries
  • Cancer
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Crohn’s disease & colitis
  • CRPS & RSD
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Epilepsy & seizure disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastrointestinal diseases
  • Hearing impairment
  • Heart disease
  • Hip injuries
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Kidney disease
  • Knee injuries
  • Learning disabilities
  • Liver Disease
  • Lupus
  • Lyme disease & post Lyme syndrome
  • Migraine & headaches
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Myelopathy
  • Neuropathies
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Parkinson’s disease & parkinsonism
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Pulmonary diseases
  • Schizophrenia
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Somatoform/conversion disorders
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Vascular disease
  • Vision impairment
  • Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome (VHL)

Contact us for your Free Consultation…

Contact us Now!