Palm Harbor Social Security Disability Lawyer

Can you differentiate between Social Security Disability Insurance and Social Security Supplemental Income? Unless you or a loved one have had a need for either program, you may not be familiar with the difference between Social Security Supplemental Income and Social Security Disability Benefits.  They serve two very different purposes and the qualification process for each is also unique to each program. Many people who are disabled and cannot work are confused about the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). There are some cases where an individual may apply and be denied for one form of Social Security benefits, while the individual is actually eligible for compensation from the other program. The primary difference is that in order to qualify for an SSDI claim, you must have worked and paid into the system for the length of time specified by law. On the other hand, qualifying for SSI does not take your past work history into account. A Palm Harbor social security disability attorney can eliminate the confusion by offering advice, representation and guidance to help you secure everything you’re entitled to receive. Our legal team can represent you as you apply for benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or Social Security Supplemental Income benefits can be challenging to secure and many need to file appeals if they originally omitted important information during the application process.


While there are differences, the criteria used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine eligibility for SSDI and SSI is similar in other areas, including whether:

  • The severity of your disability or illness;
  • Whether you are able to perform the type of work you did in the past to earn a living. This is known as “past relevant work;” and
  • Whether you are able to perform other work that is widely available in the “national economy,” given your age, education and experience.

Many people also wonder what type of debilitating injuries or illnesses the SSA commonly approves for claims. A few of these include:

  • Musculoskeletal conditions, such as herniated discs, lumbar/spinal stenosis and other severe back problems;
  • Specifically diagnosed cardiac (heart) conditions;
  • Respiratory diseases such as asthma and COPD;
  • Neurological conditions such as seizures or stroke;
  • Serious diseases including cancer and hepatitis-C; and
  • Loss of speech, vision or hearing.

These ailments often impact workers who are injured in the course of their employment, ultimately resulting in long term or even permanent disabilities.  Based in Palm Harbor, Fl, our law firm has an elite team of personal injury and disability lawyers who can offer legal advice, guidance and representation if you need help seeking workers’ compensation or even wish to file a lawsuit in your case.

What are the SSDI Approval Rates in Florida?

Understanding the differences is not enough, especially in Florida where the initial approval rate for a first time applicant is 26.8%. Nationally, the average is 31.7%. Even when a reconsideration review is requested, applicants are then only approved in 8.9% of those cases. Having a qualified Florida SSDI attorney can mean the difference in approval and denial and can greatly improve your approval odds.If your case is denied and you file an appeal, a qualified legal advocate is a must-have in your corner.

Do I Really Need a Social Security Lawyer?

The team at Jeffrey W. Hensley, P.A. work to help our fellow Floridians who are suffering from severe injuries or illnesses and who need the benefits of one or both of these programs. When you first contact us, our goal is to provide an honest and accurate assessment of your unique circumstances and the chances of whether we can help you qualify. If, based upon our extensive experience in this area of the law, we determine that you have a valid claim, we work diligently in our efforts of managing your claim from the initial application process and until we secure an award of benefits.

We have developed a series of streamlined case management systems to ensure your case is won at the earliest possible opportunity with the maximum award of past due benefits. Because we are familiar with the intricacies of Florida law and federal guidelines, we successfully assist our clients past the typical stumbling blocks most face without the benefit of a SSDI lawyer. We remain in constant contact with your doctors to be sure we have the evidence necessary to win your case, and we maintain close contact with SSA staff to ensure timely processing of your claim.

If you have been denied a claim in the past, Jeff and his team can provide legal assistance with that as well. We have successfully appealed cases involving a wide range of injuries and illnesses. The key to success is often “packing your file” with information such as medical records, test results, questionnaires and/or opinions from qualified doctors that substantiate your illness and physical limitations.

Our unique combination of medical knowledge and courtroom experience proves particularly valuable during the reconsideration phase or in an SSDI administrative hearing. You will also be pleased to know that when you contact us about your Social Security disability claim, you take no financial risk because we receive no fees unless your claim is approved and our fees are deducted from your payments.

Remember, though, if you are declined and choose to seek legal representation to assist with your appeal, you should know that you only have a small window of time to file your appeal. In most instances, it’s 60 days. The sooner you reach out for help, the sooner we can put the proverbial wheels in motion.

Palm Harbor social security disability attorney


The Benefits of Having a SSDI Lawyer

Did you know that statistically, those who have a slip and fall lawyer are twice as likely to be approved at a disability benefits hearing?

Here’s what we do for our clients, both before and during the hearing:

  • We gather all of the medical records necessary to argue your case
  • We ensure we have the statements and opinions needed from your medical team
  • Prepare you for questions asked by the Administrative Law Judge

Note that appealing an SSDI or SSI decision from the Social Security Administration doesn’t require legal representation, but having a knowledgeable attorney who speaks on your behalf is a big advantage and significantly increases your odds of not only winning your claim but also ensuring a fair “onset date” which can make a big difference in the amount you receive.

The reality is people who apply for these benefits have a true need. The waiting game for many is almost unbearable and frankly, in many instances, it makes little sense to an outsider. When there are definitive medical issues that have been more than adequately documented, it can be hard to understand why the delays are so long. A disability lawyer willing to fight on your behalf can make a world of difference. We invite you to contact our offices today to learn more about what Jeff Hensley can do for your disability claim. To discuss your eligibility for Social Security benefits, contact our slip and fall lawyers at 727-781-3433.