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Virginia’s Best Social Security Disability Guide

No recovery or win, then no attorney’s fee in disability cases

  • Richmond Virginia Social Security Disability Denials and Claims are my specialty.
  • Call me now at 804-358-4766 for a free evaluation of your case and I can help you obtain the benefits you deserve.
  • Don’t enter the courtroom for your disability case without an experienced attorney by your side!

Can a Virginia SSD attorney help with my denial?
What if I’ve been denied at the first step?
Will I be approved at the second step, the reconsideration?
Do I need an attorney?
What can Attorney Lutkenhaus do for me?
When should I contact Mr. Lutkenhaus?
What should I bring to my first appointment?
What is Mr. Lutkenhaus’ attorney’s fee?
Social Security Disability and SSI Compared
Lawyer Gerald Lutkenhaus | Top Attorney Social Security

CAN A VIRGINIA SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY ATTORNEY HELP WITH MY DENIAL?
Virginia Social Security Disability Lawyer can help you receive disability benefits from Social Security or from the SSI program, but you must be able to show you have physical or mental impairments that keep you from working for over 12 months. You have been denied because Social Security has decided you do not meet this test for disability. Remember the “test” is not whether you can find a job, but whether you are capable of working at a job. You also have to have support from your doctors showing that not only do you have an impairment but that this impairment is “disabling.”

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WHAT IF I’VE BEEN DENIED AT THE FIRST STEP?
Don’t give up. If you believe you have a good case, you should appeal. Failing to appeal is often a mistake. At the first step, Social Security denies two thirds (66%) of all cases. However, many of these cases are eventually granted. If you are denied, you should file for a Reconsideration within 60 days of the day you receive the initial denial.

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WILL I BE APPROVED AT THE SECOND STEP, THE RECONSIDERATION?
Probably not, but don’t be upset. If you are denied at this point, you should request a hearing within 60 days.  This is the step in the process where you have the best chance of winning. You and your attorney will have a chance to present your case before a Social Security Judge. You can have witnesses testify on your behalf. You will be able to testify about your medical condition, your work history, your education, and the current limitations you have.

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DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY?
Nationwide statistics show claimants do much better in hearings if they are represented by an attorney.
You should consider the advantages in having Gerald G. Lutkenhaus as your representative:

  • I have represented claimants in disability hearings for over 35 years.
  • I am a member of the National Organization of Social Security Representatives and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Subcommittee on Social Security.
  • In the July 1999 issue of Richmond Magazine I was selected in a survey of 2,000 attorneys as one of the Best Attorneys in the Central Virginia area.
  • I have represented claimants in the United States District Court.

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WHAT CAN THE LAW OFFICE OF GERALD G. LUTKENHAUS DO FOR ME?
Every case is different but some of the things we can do for you are as follows:
1.     Gather medical records
2.     Review your case under the appropriate Impairment Listings
3.     Refer you to your doctor for a report consistent with these Listings
4.     Copy and review your Social Security file for analysis
5.     If appropriate, request reopening of prior denials
6.     Review the prior actions of Social Security
7.     Prepare you and your witnesses for the hearing
8.     Cross examine Social Security’s vocational expert and doctors at the hearing
9.     Present the testimony of you and your witnesses at the hearing
10.    Present the appropriate argument at the hearing
11.    If appropriate, request a review of an unfavorable judge’s decision
12.    If necessary, represent you in a federal court review of your case

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WHEN SHOULD I CONTACT ATTORNEY LUTKENHAUS?
You should contact Gerald as soon as your claim is denied.  It takes time to prepare a case for a hearing.

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WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO MY FIRST APPOINTMENT WITH MR. LUTKENHAUS?
1.  All your Social Security papers (ie. copy of your denial)
2.  Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of your doctors
3.  Medical records
4.  List of all your prescriptions

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WHAT IS MR. LUTKENHAUS’ ATTORNEY’S FEE?
Most cases will be accepted on a 25% contingency fee. This means there is NO ATTORNEY’S FEE if you lose. Social Security rules require that Social Security approves all fees. You may be responsible for the costs of bringing your case to court.

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SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY INSURANCE (SSDI) AND SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME (SSI) COMPARED
Issue                            SSDI                                                            SSI                                                   
Medical disability           ………………..same standard for both programs………………..
Current income             ………………..must be under

SGA for both programs…………..
Earnings record            sufficient work quarter credits                         not required
Resource limit               none                                                            $2,000 individual; $3,000 couple*
Household income         spouse’s income doesn’t matter                      spouse’s income may reduce your benefit
Payment amount           proportional to earnings record                       max. $733/month*
Child benefit                 kids under 18 get 50% of parent’s benefit        N/A
Max. back-benefits        1 year before date of application                    date of application
Payments begin            5 months after date found disabled                 date found disabled
Medicare                     29 months after date found disabled                N/A*These figures are for the year of 2015 and are subject to change annually.

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