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Social Security Disability Lawyers 


Committed to getting you the Social Security disability or Supplemental Security income benefits you need 

Applying for Social Security benefits can be daunting. The application feels unending. There are complicated decisions, such as what constitutes evidence of disability. You become even more discouraged when you discover most people do not get the essential benefits they need the first time they apply. It’s not surprising that many disabled individuals give up before they even get started. The New Port Richey Social Security disability attorneys at Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. have the experience necessary to guide you through this legal chaos. We tenaciously represent your interests, helping you obtain  the Social Security Disability benefits you need in a timely manner.

What are the eligibility requirements for Social Security Disability Benefits (SSD)?

To qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) you must show you have earned a  specific number of work credits in a job covered by Social Security and that you have a defined disability. Most individuals need at least 40 work credits before they are eligible for disability benefits. Credits are earned based on your yearly wages or income. While the amount of money needed for a credit changes over time, you can earn no more than four credits per year. At least 20 of the work credits must be from the last ten years of work immediately preceding the period in which you became disabled.

Once you have established that you have the necessary credits, you must demonstrate that your condition is completely disabling and long-term. Total disability is established when the following criteria are met:

  • You can no longer do the work you once did;
  • You are unable to do other work because of your condition;


  • Your disability will last one year or more, or result in death.

Our experienced New Port Richey Social Security Disability attorneys work hard to prove that you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Trust us to skillfully guide you through this complex process.

If you do not qualify for SSD, you may still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides monthly payments to elderly, blind, and disabled individuals. Medical eligibility for this program is the same as that for SSD,  with a few important differences. To obtain benefits under  the Supplemental Security Income program, you do not need to meet the work requirements of SSD, but you must show you do not exceed a federal monthly income limit, or have  more than a defined amount of assets. Individuals qualifying for this program are normally also eligible for Medicaid and food stamps. SSI is also available as a supplement for those receiving Social Security Disability  benefits.

Not meeting the SSD requirements does not mean you are not entitled to support. Our knowledgeable New Port Richey Social Security disability lawyers fight for you, so you can get the funding to which you are entitled.

How long does it take to get benefits?

Obtaining benefits can be a lengthy process. Most people do not collect benefits after their initial application. In fact, less than 30 percent obtain their benefits quickly.

If your initial application is denied, you can ask for reconsideration. If that does not succeed, as it usually does not, then you can ask for a hearing before an administrative law judge. It is at this stage that most people, approximately 50 percent, finally secure Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, it can take a long time to get a hearing scheduled. In fact, in Florida, Tampa Bay has the longest waiting period for a hearing— more than seventeen months. Statistically, individuals who hire a lawyer to represent them at the beginning of the process succeed in getting benefits more rapidly.

Let our dedicated Pasco County Social Security lawyers work hard for you every step of the way

Attempting to get SSD or SSI benefits on your own can be like trying to find a pot of gold at  the end of a rainbow. You know where it should be, but you cannot find it. Our Pasco Social Security disability lawyers have the experience and knowledge to steer you in the right direction. For more than 45 years, the Social Security lawyers at Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. have provided skilled legal guidance to those seeking SSD or SSI benefits.  Call us at 727-835-5536 or contact us online today for  a free consultation.

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