English Blogs

los abogados de Lowell especialistas en los beneficios del Seguro Social

Arthritis and Ineffective Ambulation

By English Blogs

Lawrence disability attorneyIf you suffer from arthritis or joint dysfunction, your Lawrence disability attorney may try to build your case by showing that your impairment prevents you from being able to ambulate effectively. By proving this, your Lawrence disability attorney can have your disability evaluated under the musculoskeletal listings.


Your Lawrence Social Security disability attorney can explain that the lack of an ability to ambulate effectively is defined by the Social Security Administration as an extreme limitation on your ability to walk. This impairment must be one that interferes in a serious manner with your walking ability and ability to complete certain activities. This does not require you to be completely incapable of walking. Instead, your Lawrence Social Security disability attorney can explain that this means that you do not have sufficient functioning of your legs that allow you to walk without using a device to assist you.

Effective Ambulation

In contrast, effective ambulation consists of being able to sustain a reasonable walking pace over a specific distance that is correlated with your ability to complete daily living activities and to be able to travel without needing the assistance of a companion to school or work.


A few examples of ineffective ambulation include not being able to walk without a walker, two crutches or two canes, not being able to carry out basic activities, such as shopping or banking, not being able to use public transport and not being able to climb a few stairs without using a hand rail.

Talk to a Lawrence Social Security Disability Attorney

If you would like more information on this subject, contact Lawrence disability attorney Gerard A. Palma at 888-295-4955.


Lowell disability attorney

How the Social Security Administration Uses the Listing of Impairments

By English Blogs

Lowell disability attorneyClients of a Lowell disability attorney often have questions regarding how the Social Security Administration (SSA) will go about finding a claimant disabled.

A Lowell Disability Lawyer Will Explain How the SSA Finds a Person Disabled

When the determination of disability is made, the SSA utilizes the Listing of Impairments and the Medical-Vocational Guidelines. The Listing of Impairments has medical findings which can lead to a finding of disability without examining if a claimant is capable of doing work he or she did in the past.

The Medical-Vocational Guidelines will be examined if the claimant cannot receive disability benefits from the Listing of Impairments and is unable to do past relevant work.

Understanding the Listing of Impairments

To view the Listing of Impairments, go to These are the findings that will be made for impairments of a physical or mental nature. A Lowell disability lawyer will explain that when a claimant is found to have an issue on the list, they will have a good chance of receiving disability benefits. The claimant might also receive a finding for disability if an impairment that isn’t on the Listings is deemed to be as severe as one that is on the Listings.

A Lowell Disability Attorney Will Explain How a Treating Doctor’s Assessment Influences a Claim

The SSA uses the Listings for fact-finding; it is not based on a doctor’s opinion. For the purpose of deciding whether or not a claimant should receive benefits, the SSA will use a doctor for medical evidence. The SSA, however, will make the final decision. The SSA claims that there is a specific expertise that they have and the doctors do not. In reality, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will take a doctor’s opinion into account if it is supported by facts.

Contact an Experienced Lowell Disability Attorney

If you have questions about how the Listing of Impairments affects a decision by the SSA, a Lowell disability attorney can help. Call Gerard A. Palma at 888-295-4955 today.

A Lowell Disability Lawyer Discusses Three Substantial Gainful Activity Tests

By English Blogs, Social Security Disability Library

A Lowell Disability Lawyer Discusses Three Substantial Gainful Activity Tests

Man in a wheelchair Lowell Disability Lawyer When you meet with your Lowell disability lawyer and are self-employed, they will advise you about the three tests the Social Security Administration employs in order to determine whether you are engaged in substantial gainful activity, or SGA. If you are, your claim may be denied.

The First Test

The Social Security Administration has SGA guidelines that provide the maximum amounts that can be earned while not qualifying as substantial income. Under the first test, you will be found to be involved in SGA if your income exceeds those limits and the services you provide are significant. Even if you pass the first test, the agency may still find that you have been involved in SGA if either of the other tests apply.

The Second Test

The next test looks at how your work compares to that performed by people in your community who are not disabled. They will consider the number of hours you work, your responsibilities, how much energy is required, and the skills involved in comparison with those who are unimpaired. If your work is comparable, you will be found to be engaging in SGA.

The Third Test

Even if your work is not comparable, it may be deemed as SGA if it is worth more to the business than what is listed in the guidelines. They will consider the value of your work to the business itself for this test.

Other Considerations

If you are a sole proprietor, your work will be deemed significant even if you work very few hours. If more than one person runs it, your work will be considered significant if you provide more than half of the work.

Contact a Lowell Disability Lawyer

If you are self-employed and are applying for disability, you may need to get help from a Lowell disability lawyer. You can schedule a consultation with a Lowell disability lawyer at the Palma Law Offices, P.C., by calling us at (888)295-4955.

VA and SSA: Lowell Social Security Disability Attorneys Outline What Veterans Need To Know

By English Blogs, Social Security Disability Library

Lowell Social Security Disability AttorneysVA and SSA: Lowell Social Security Disability Attorneys Outline What Veterans Need To Know

There are considerable differences between the way the Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration handle claims of disability. Since disabled veterans are eligible for both, Lowell Social Security disability attorneys can offer useful advice.

Percentage Of Disability

One major difference between the Social Security Administration and the VA is that the SSA does not recognize a percentage of disability. In other words, you cannot be 10%, 40% or 99% disabled under SSA disability rules. You are either disabled or you aren’t. The VA does recognize these percentages and assigns benefits accordingly.

You Must Be Proactive

If you are a disabled veteran pursuing a Social Security disability claim, it is best that you obtain your medical records yourself rather than depending on the Veterans Administration to release them to the SSA, since the VA does not always do this readily. You should also submit duplicates of your medical records, rather than the originals, to the SSA. It is not unheard of for records to be mislaid, misfiled or lost, so keep your originals secure.

Counsel from Lowell Social Security Disability Attorneys

While you may certainly pursue your claim on your own, legal counsel will be important to you if your initial claim is refused. You have the right to appeal your case to an administrative law judge, and an attorney experienced in Social Security disability cases will be helpful to you at your hearing. Your attorney will assist you in preparation and will be with you during the procedures.

We Work For You

At the Palma Law Offices, P.C., Lowell Social Security disability attorneys are standing by to assist you with your Social Security disability claim. Contact us at (888) 295-4955 for a free consultation today.

A Disability Attorney in Lowell Explains Past Relevant Work

By English Blogs, Social Security Disability Library

disability attorney in lowell balance gavelA Disability Attorney In Lowell Explains Past Relevant Work

Whether or not you are still able to do past relevant work is one of the central criteria that determines your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. In the paragraphs below, an experienced disability attorney in Lowell explains what this entails.

Past Relevant Work Defined

There are specific requirements that a job must meet in order to be considered “past relevant work” under the SSA’s guidelines. A position that meets this criteria is one in which you:

• Have worked within the previous fifteen years. If you were receiving Social Security disability and your status has expired, past relevant work is work you did within the fifteen years before your last date of Social Security disability status.

• Have worked for a sufficiently long period of time to learn the skills necessary to perform the work correctly.

• Were paid sufficient wages such that the job was “substantial gainful activity.” A position can be considered substantial gainful activity regardless of whether it is full-time or part-time if the wages meet the requirements.

What This Means To You

The task facing you and your lawyer is to establish that you are no longer able to complete the tasks required by the least demanding position you held during the last fifteen years according to the criteria shown above. Whether or not the position is still open, similar work is available in the job market or that type of work can be found at all is not the issue. You have to show that your impairment makes it impossible for you to accomplish the minimum requirements of the job, or the probability is that you will not be declared disabled.

Contact Your Disability Attorney in Lowell Today

Let us put our expertise and experience to work for you. Contact your disability attorney in Lowell by calling the Palma Law Offices, PC at (888) 295-4955 today.

Lowell Disability Attorneys Discusses Inflammatory Bowel Disease

By English Blogs, Social Security Disability Library

gavel stethoscope Lowell Disability AttorneysLowell Disability Attorneys Discusses Inflammatory Bowel Disease

If you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome, Lowell disability attorneys may be able to help you prepare for your Social Security disability hearing. Although these conditions are among the most common digestive ailments in disability claims, they present unique challenges to successful disability appeals. With bowel disease, it is often the symptoms, rather than the disease itself, that interfere with employment. Bowel disease can be extremely debilitating and often results in time away from work due to various digestive and intestinal symptoms that force patients to spend extended time in or near a bathroom. These symptoms can be embarrassing as well as uncomfortable, leading many sufferers to avoid disclosing or documenting the symptoms of their condition. However, the Social Security Administration relies heavily on medical documentation of an inability to work. This legal standard can make it difficult to show that your specific condition prevents you from working. Lowell disability attorneys can help you understand the relevant rules and can prepare you for your disability hearing. Your lawyer will ask you questions about your physical health and will most likely ask you to gather documentation of your diagnosis and symptoms. You may also be asked, for instance, to calculate the number of days you were unable to work in the past year due to your medical condition. You may expedite some of these requests by preparing a list of your symptoms and a detailed employment history. Your Lowell disability attorneys can use these documents to ask you additional questions and prepare you for your hearing testimony. It can be difficult to navigate a Social Security disability appeal on your own. However, a lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and prepare you adequately for your upcoming hearing.

Contact Lowell Disability Attorneys

To talk about your inflammatory bowel disease with our Lowell disability attorneys, call Palma Law Offices, PC, at (888) 295-4955.

Working with Your Lawrence Social Security Disability Attorney

By English Blogs, Social Security Disability Library, Uncategorized

Working with Your Lawrence Social Security Disability Attorney

Lawrence Social Security Disability Attorney wheelchair on beachWhen you are trying to get approved for Social Security disability benefits, you may have questions about what your Lawrence Social Security disability attorney will do and what you can expect to happen at each stage. While each case is unique, your attorney at the Palma Law Offices, PC will generally follow these basic steps. Understanding them can help you in better assisting your lawyer.

Initial Consultation

Your first contact with your Lawrence Social Security disability attorney may either be over the telephone or in person. During this conversation, you can expect the lawyer to ask you some questions regarding your disabling condition. The lawyer will use this information to determine whether or not they are willing to take your case. The attorney may also have a trained staff person conduct this initial interview. If it appears as if you will likely not win on appeal, the attorney will probably not take your case.

Building Medical Support for your Claim

If your Lawrence Social Security disability attorney agrees to accept your case, you can expect to be asked to sign a medical release. This is important because your consent is required for your lawyer to obtain your medical records from all of the medical professionals and doctors who have provided you with treatment for your disabling condition. Upon a review of your medical records, your attorney may determine that additional medical testing or treatment is needed and request that you schedule appointments for them. Your Lawrence Social Security disability attorney may also use your medical records to decide which of your doctors should be asked to submit letters of support for your disability claim. They then may also decide which records should be submitted as evidence in your case, as you will have the burden of providing medical evidence showing how your disabling condition impacts your life and leaves you unable to work.

Preparing for the Hearing

Before your hearing, you may have limited contact with your lawyer, but they are working to prepare. They may ask you to gather records of your past employment in addition to medical records. At some point, you should expect your lawyer to ask you the same types of questions they expect you to be asked. You should be prepared to answer questions regarding your condition, the symptoms you experience and their frequency and intensity, as well as whether you have also developed co-occurring mental health problems like depression or anxiety. Other questions for which you should be prepared include the medications you take and their effectiveness, how your disabling condition impacts your ability to complete daily activities and tasks, any side effects you experience from your medications and the limitations your condition places on your ability to work. Additionally, you must also be prepared to answer questions regarding your work history and the types of normal activities your work requires. You’ll be asked how your disabling condition prevents you from being able to conduct those activities. A final area you can expect to be asked about is your level of education and whether or not you are literate.

Preparing Witnesses

In addition to you, your Lawrence Social Security disability attorney may determine that they need to call other witnesses to testify on your behalf. These witnesses may include your doctor, co-workers, friends or family. Before deciding whether or not to call these additional witnesses on your behalf at your hearing, your attorney is likely to first evaluate what the witness would say during their testimony. They do this to make certain that the testimony of witnesses is helpful to your case instead of hurtful to it. They will then call only those witnesses that are most likely to help you win approval.

Determining Arguments to Use

Since your Lawrence Social Security disability attorney will be presenting your case and arguing for approval at your hearing, they will first evaluate why you were initially denied, then developing their theory of your case. Some theories that may be used include that you are unable to work any longer, that your condition is among those officially listed by the Social Security Administration or that your current non-exertional or exertional limitations prevent you from being able to return to even a sedentary type of job.

Contact a Lawrence Social Security Disability Attorney

Getting help with your Social Security disability case is often vital to helping you win. To contact a Lawrence Social Security disability attorney at the Palma Law Offices, PC, call (888) 295-4955.

The Importance of the Doctor’s Report in Proving an SSD Claim

By English Blogs

The Importance of the Doctor’s Report in Proving an SSD Claim

The doctor’s opinion is one of the most important pieces of evidence needed for building a Social Security Disability Claim. A disability lawyer in Lawrence can answer questions from you and your doctor about the preparation of the report.

What Does the Social Security Administration Need From My Doctor?

disability lawyer in Lawrence

The SSA looks at what’s called “objective medical findings” relating to your claimed disability. Understand the doctor’s report, while critical, is not the only piece of evidence considered. Your disability attorney in Lawrence can discuss the conditions included in the SSA’s “Listing of Impairments” (those medical conditions typically found to support a disability claim). If your disability isn’t on the list, the SSA will look at how your impairment affects our ability to work. While it may be harder to prove your disability if it’s not on the list, supportive doctor’s findings may help overcome a denial of your benefits.

Can’t My Doctor Just Say I’m Disabled from Work?

No. As your disability attorney in Lawrence can advise, your doctor should talk to you and incorporate your opinion about your work limitations. However, your doctor must still use his/her own professional judgment when giving their medical opinion about your impairments. Your doctor should weigh your description of symptoms against a reasonable medical diagnosis and/or medication side effects etc.

If you have been injured and cannot work for a period of at least twelve months, you may be able to qualify for Social Security disability. It can help greatly to have an experienced disability lawyer on your side. Contact Gerard A. Palma at 888-295-4955.

A Qualified Lowell Disability Attorney Discusses Payments

By English Blogs, Social Security Disability Library

A Qualified Lowell Disability Attorney Discusses Payments

Scales of Justice Lowell Disability AttorneyA Lowell disability attorney can provide guidance when it is taking too long for your Social Security disability benefits to be paid.

Dealing with a Delay in Receiving Benefits

Your Lowell disability attorney will tell you that you have three options when it is taking too long to receive your Social Security disability payments. They are:

  1. Call your local political representative. Your local representative will have someone whose specialty is to deal with the Social Security Administration.
  2. Speak to a supervisor at the Social Security office in your area. This can expedite the payment if the supervisor contacts the payment center.
  3. Have your lawyer send a message to the payment center via fax. When you are receiving payment from the Office of Central Operations (OCO) located in Baltimore, a letter can be faxed straight to the processing units, also known as modules or “mods” for short.

Recommendations from the SSA Regarding Notice of Award

If you have not gotten a Notice of Award within 45 days of the date in which you received a decision in your favor, you or your lawyer should fax the SSA to inquire about the case. In the event that they do not reply within the next 45 days, send another fax to the same number and make sure that it is addressed to the module manager. Should there be no response within 45 days of the second message, send a third message and address it to the Division Program Manager. If there is no response to the third fax, wait 45 days and send a fourth fax to 410-966-0715 to contact the Center for Program Support. As always, make sure there are copies of all faxes.

Contact a Qualified Lowell Disability Attorney

If you have not received your benefits in a timely fashion, call (888) 295-4955 to speak to a Lowell disability attorney at the Palma Law Offices, PC today.

Mistakes in Applying for Disability Benefits

By English Blogs

Mistakes in Applying for Disability BenefitsLawrence Social Security Disability Lawyer

Basic mistakes in applying for disability can cost you benefits. Even if you are able to obtain benefits after certain mistakes, you will likely have to wait for a protracted period. However, with help from a Lawrence Social Security disability lawyer, you can avoid such costly errors. One of the biggest mistakes that Lawrence Social Security disability attorneys see clients make is not appealing a denial of benefits. More than fifty percent of claimants do not appeal the denial of their initial applications. Even if they do appeal, many who are denied reconsideration don’t request the additional hearing to which they’re entitled.

Lawrence Social Security Lawyers Urge You to Seek Medical Help

Another mistake many people make is not getting medical treatment for their disability. Fortunately, this is something Lawrence Social Security disability lawyers see less often than the mistake of not appealing. But it is still a serious error. If you have an illness or injury, it is imperative to seek medical attention in order for you to heal. It’s also important for legal reasons: medical records play a large part in whether Social Security grants your benefits.

Get Help from an Experienced Lawrence Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you have become disabled and are not able to work for at least 12 months, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. If you’re having problems applying for disability, talk to an experienced Lawrence social security disability attorney. Call Gerard A. Palma at 888-295-4955.

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