Let Us Guide You...
If you have suffered a serious injury or illness that has left you disabled and unable to return to your job, our team at the Cutter Law Firm, will help you understand your options for getting Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
For many people, filing a Social Security Disability claim is an intimidating prospect. After a serious injury or illness, navigating the paperwork and confusing language of the application can be too much to handle on your own.
As your attorneys, we will guide you at each step. If you qualify for SSD or SSI benefits, we will help you fill out and file forms properly, gather opinion evidence from medical professionals, work with your doctor and other health care providers, and if necessary, file and carry out an appeal if your initial claim is denied.
Common questions we address when first meeting with you include:
- What is the difference between Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income?
- How do I apply for SSD or SSI benefits?
- Can I appeal if my claim is denied?
- What types of injuries and illnesses qualify for benefits?
- What if I’m suffering from a mental health condition? Do I still qualify for benefits?
Because the Social Security Administration denies a significant number of applications, people with genuine needs can benefit from the assistance our lawyers provide. With more than 20 years of experience helping people in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska, we are confident that we can provide answers and help you get the benefits you need to lead a better life.
Please click on a tab below to learn more.
- Understanding Social Security Disability (SSD)
- Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Applying For Your SSD or SSI Benefits
- Appealing A Denied Claim
- Railroad Disability Claims
- Over 50 Social Security Claims
- What Types Of Injuries Qualify For Benefits?
- Do Mental Health Conditions Qualify For Benefits?
- What Types Of Illness Qualify For Benefits?
WHAT IS SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY INSURANCE?
Social Security Disability is a social service the federal government provides to citizens who have an established work history (if you have worked for five of the past 10 years) and pay their taxes. Qualifications for benefits include:
- You are unable to work due to your disability.
- You are unable to work for 12 months or are reasonably expected to be unable to work for 12 months
- You are under the age of 65.
- You have worked for at least five of the past 10 years.
- You have a limited income (depending on your income, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income).
- You have medical evidence from a doctor supporting your claim.
Although it may sound simple, the fact is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) regularly denies people who genuinely need financial assistance. The application process is complex and confusing. Even seemingly minor mistakes on an initial application can result in a denial of benefits. As your lawyers, we can help you understand the type of benefits you qualify for, file an application or appeal a denial and guide you through every step.
AM I ELIGIBLE FOR SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME (SSI)?
Supplemental Security Income is a need-based program designed to provide financial aid to disabled people with few assets and almost no income. Many of the requirements for SSD and SSI benefits are the same; however, there are some important differences pertaining to SSI:
- You can be any age to apply for SSI benefits (minors and adults may receive benefits).
- Your household income must be below a certain level and you must have very limited assets.
- You must have a physical or mental disability that prevents you from working and earning an income.
- Your disability must have lasted or be expected to last 12 months or more.
- You must provide documentation from a physician verifying that you are disabled.
Our attorneys will work one on one with you to determine if you are eligible for SSI. We will review your household income, work history and medical information to see if you meet the thresholds. If you qualify, we will guide you through the application process, gather the medical information needed to strengthen your claim, and if you are denied, file an appeal.
WE ARE YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM WHEN APPLYING FOR SSI BENEFITS
If you, your child or another loved one is disabled and unable to work, contact us at the Cutter Law Firm. Although there are plenty of lawyers and firms out there handling SSD and SSI claims, we are proud to be a local practice, committed to helping people right here in our communities
WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO CALL US AT THE VERY START
If you think you have a claim to disability benefits, we encourage you to contact us. You may have already talked with another lawyer who told you to fill out and file the application on your own. At our practice, however, we are your partners throughout the entire process.
It all begins with a free consultation.
- When you schedule an appointment, you can expect to thoroughly discuss your claim with our attorneys, who live and work right here in the Midwest. With more than 20 years of experience handling all aspects of Social Security Disability law, we are confident that we can provide you with clear, honest representation to help you secure benefits and move forward with your life.
If you think you may be eligible for SSD benefits, call us before you apply.
- We’ll review your circumstances, employment history and medical records. Our attorneys will be happy to answer your questions, assist you with your application and discuss the next steps in the process. There’s no fee for this service.
If you applied for benefits and your claim was denied, call before you appeal.
- Contact our office within 60 days of your denial notice. We will file a request for reconsideration or request for hearing. You can count on our attorneys to develop an appeal strategy that will produce the best results in the least amount of time.
We’re with you every step of the way.
- It can take several months or more than a year to obtain a decision on your disability claim. Throughout the process, we will provide representation and regular updates on the progress of your case. As your partner, we are available to provide honest case analysis and encouragement. Remember, we charge no fee until we win your claim.
Count on us for professional legal representation.
- We work hard to develop the strongest possible claim. The decision to approve or deny eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits is often made at an administrative hearing or in appellate court. It is here that our attorneys’ experience and perseverance are most valuable. After over 20 years of practicing Social Security Disability law, we know how to develop and argue your case for maximum results.
THERE IS NO NEED TO WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE DENIED
In the past, many people simply waited until their initial application was denied before contacting an attorney. At the Cutter Law Firm, we can help you from the start. If you are unable to complete the online application, we can schedule a time to sit down with you and complete the process together.
YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM WHEN FILING AN APPEAL
At the Cutter Law Firm we understand the frustration disabled individuals and their families are going through because we work with them every day. As a firm dedicated to handling Social Security Disability claims, one of the most valuable services we offer is helping people who have had their claims denied pursue SSD appeals.
The process of appealing a denied claim can feel like jumping through hoops. There are tight deadlines, bureaucratic processes and numerous other headaches that we can help you avoid or, at the very least, navigate.
As your attorneys, we can help you at all steps of the appeals process. Once you receive a denial letter from the SSA, we can start taking action. Whether helping you file an appeal, gathering evidence and opinion letters from medical professionals, or going before an administrative law judge or the appeals council, we will present your case in the most clear and effective manner possible.
By serving clients in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska, we know firsthand the subtle differences in how the SSD appeals process works in different states. We will provide you with the necessary information to carry out an appeal wherever you are located.
APPEALS CAN TAKE TIME
The fact remains that appealing a denied claim can take a long time, even up to a year or more. Do not be discouraged. Working closely with you, we can offer advice on how to provide for your family and find alternative means for getting by.
As a practice completely devoted to handling SSD claims, we will explain the types of benefits available — including those reserved for U.S. railroad workers through the Railroad Retirement Board’s disability benefits program.
In short, railroad employees who have suffered disabilities and who meet the minimum employment requirements may qualify for disability benefits. In addition to meeting the employment and minimum income standards, you will need to provide medical evidence of your disability supported by a doctor. If your initial application is denied, our lawyers can help you file an appeal and represent you throughout the process.
With more than 20 years of experience working with clients in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska, we understand that suffering from a physical or mental disability can make even simple tasks a serious challenge. Filling out forms, gathering medical records and trying to get answers regarding SSD and other types of benefits are the last things you want to be doing. As your representatives, we want to make the process as simple and headache-free as possible.
WE CAN HELP IF YOU CAN NO LONGER DO YOUR JOB
We work with people across the full spectrum of careers. Whether you work at the Ford assembly plant in Kansas City, at a manufacturing job or behind a desk in an office building and cannot return to your previous position or perform a similar job because of a disability, you may qualify for SSD benefits.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at SSD applicants who are over 50 a bit differently. There still needs to be strong evidence supporting a mental or physical disability and an established work history, but age is a significant factor in the SSA’s decisions to award or deny claims.
For example, a 55-year-old assembly line worker with limited education may have few options for finding work if he or she becomes physically or mentally disabled. In such a case, the SSA may award benefits because the disabled worker would likely be unable to get the training or education needed to find a new position.
As your attorneys, we can sit down with you, explain the eligibility requirements for securing SSD benefits and help you through each step of the application and appeals process. Although it may be slightly easier to secure SSD benefits if you are over 50, there are still plenty of other factors to address.
MENTAL AND PHYSICAL DISABILITIES MAY GO HAND IN HAND
If you suffered a serious and traumatic physical injury that left you disabled, it’s possible that you may also be dealing with mental health issues such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When applying for Social Security Disability benefits, it’s important to document all applicable ailments — including symptoms that are associated with mental health disabilities.
Common mental health issues and psychological disabilities that qualify for SSD and SSI benefits include:
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Autism and other pervasive developmental disorders (PDD)
- Anxiety-related disorders
- Intellectual disability
Whether you or a loved one suffers from a long-term mental health issue that has lasted for at least 12 months or is expected to last for at least 12 months, we will sit down with you, explain the Social Security Administration’s criteria for qualifying mental health disabilities and stand alongside you when filing a claim or appealing a denial.
In many instances, mental health problems can lead to substance abuse. It may seem like a secondary issue, but if the SSA determines that drug or alcohol use factor into your mental health issues, you can be almost certain that your claim will be denied. It’s for this reason that we need to work together to determine if substance abuse issues will factor into your claim.
SOME INJURIES ARE OBVIOUS, WHILE OTHERS ARE DIFFICULT TO PROVE
Just as each person we work with is different, each case we handle presents its own unique issues. For example, if you suffered a sudden and serious back injury such as a spinal fracture, you are probably dealing with more than just the physical effects. You may also face mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression.
At the Cutter Law Firm, helping people secure Social Security Disability benefits is all we do. We know how to use medical evidence to clearly outline all contributing ailments and injuries that factor into your disability — including illnesses and injuries that may be difficult to prove. Whether filing an initial application or initiating an appeal after being denied, we can help you pursue SSD benefits for the following types of injuries, illnesses and disabilities:
- Injuries that cause serious chronic pain, fatigue, swelling and numbness
- Herniated cervical, thoracic or lumbar disks
- A fractured spine or vertebrae and other serious back and neck injuries
- Hip and knee replacements
- Arthritic conditions
- Serious skin disorders
- Major organ transplants (heart/liver/lung)
- Heart attack or stroke
Numerous other disabilities qualify for benefits. As mentioned, if you exhibit other conditions, such as mental health issues or a serious illness, we can help you take the necessary steps to secure benefits.
WE HELP GOOD PEOPLE GOING THROUGH TOUGH TIMES
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or another debilitating illness, you have more than enough on your mind. When your condition makes it impossible to work full time for a year or more, the financial assistance provided by SSD or SSI benefits can help provide for your family.
Common illnesses and ailments we see include:
- Degenerative arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Liver, kidney and Crohn’s disease
- Symptoms from congestive heart failure
- Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis
- Skin disorders
- Neoplastic diseases
- Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and neuropathy
- Complications from diabetes mellitus
- Brain trauma, traumatic brain injury (TBI)
If you are unable to maintain your job because of a debilitating illness, don’t make assumptions about your options. We will work closely with you to gather medical evidence and build your claim. As experienced lawyers who handle Social Security Disability claims exclusively, we know the ins and outs of the application and appeals process.