New article: Disability Hearings: Contacting Your Lawyer
Salem, Oregon disability lawyers answer your questions about Oregon Social Security disability benefits
We come to work every day with one goal in mind: to protect you and the ones you love. We are dedicated to helping the disabled residents of Salem and the Willamette Valley obtain the Oregon Social Security disability benefits they deserve.
If your application for Oregon Social Security disability benefits has been denied, then you surely have experienced the frustration that comes with dealing with a government bureaucracy. Undoubtedly, you have questions. We built this website to provide answers and to help you regain a sense of control over the Oregon disability benefits application process. To help you get started, we have answered, below, a few of the questions we hear frequently, and included links to related articles and videos in our library. Additional information can be found on the 100+ pages of this site.
Frequently asked questions
My doctor says that I’m disabled. Isn’t that enough for the Social Security Administration to grant my application for Oregon disability benefits?
No. In order to be awarded Oregon disability benefits, you must meet the Social Security Administration’s strict definition of “disabled.” The regulations provide that a person is “under a disability” if his “physical or mental impairment or impairments are of such severity that he is not only unable to do his previous work but cannot, considering his age, education and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in the national economy…” For some examples of how this definition is applied, read Examples of who is and who is not disabled. You may be surprised at the results.
How does the Social Security Administration decide if I am “disabled enough” to receive Oregon disability benefits?
In every case, the Social Security Administration engages in a 5-step sequential analysis to determine if an applicant should be awarded disability benefits. Think of the five steps like a flowchart. An “incorrect” answer at any step will result in a denial of Oregon Social Security disability benefits.
Why was my application for Oregon Social Security disability benefits denied?
There are many possible reasons for the denial of your application for Oregon Social Security disability benefits. It may be that your application and supporting documents failed to demonstrate that you have a “severe” medical condition. It may be that the decision-maker overestimated your ability to work. Often, the denial is in error. To learn more about erroneous denials and potential fixes, read the article Common errors in denial.
Should I appeal?
Yes. Nationally, and in Oregon, approximately 65% of initial applications for Social Security disability benefits are denied. Requests for reconsideration (the first level of appeal) have an even lower success rate. However, Social Security disability applicants who are persistent and follow the appeals process through to a hearing before an administrative law judge are awarded benefits more often than not. You can learn more about the appeals process here: Appealing a Denial of Benefits (our free e-booklet); Your Disability Hearing (a series of articles); and How the Judge Determines Disability (a short video on the left side of this page).
I have not worked in some time. Am I still eligible to receive Oregon disability benefits?
Perhaps. The Social Security Administration manages a number of disability programs that provide financial and medical benefits for qualifying individuals who are not able to work until normal retirement age because of a disability. One program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability, pays benefits if you have little or no income or assets, even if you have never worked or have not worked in a long time. Even children may be eligible to receive SSI benefits. For more information on SSI benefits, read SSI eligibility requirements.
We can help
You do not have to take on the Oregon Social Security disability system alone. We know Oregon disability law, and we have the resources and the experience to support and guide you through this process. If you have been denied benefits under any Oregon Social Security disability program – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI); Supplemental Security Income (SSI); Adult Disabled Child (DC); or Widows and Widowers benefits – and you would like us to review your case, please take a moment to complete the Free Claim Evaluation form at the top of this page.
We wish you success..