In order to be entitled to Social Security disability benefits, a claimant must not only have earned 40 "covered quarters," but 20 of those quarters must have been earned in the 40 calendar quarters immediately preceding the onset of disability. This "insured status" rule creates a window of 5 years between the time a worker stops working and the onset of disability. The your Administrative Law Judge ruled was that your disability onset date did not occur while you had insured status, although you may have been disabled as of the time of your hearing, You would have had 60 days to appeal the disability onset date found by the ALJ, but even if you had appealed the chances of overruling the ALJ would have been very unlikely. Once the appeal period expired there was no "case" to pursue.
Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.
This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.
If you cannot find an attorney here on AVVO to take the case then Contact the Legal Aid Services organization or local or state bar association in your area for referrals to attorneys offering low cost or no cost initial consultations on Social Security matters. You can also contact NOSSCR or NADR to find a Social Security attorney in your area, look for one offering a free no-obligation initial consultation (most do) then meet with one or more and sign up with one you are comfortable with. Many attorneys do not take overpayment cases as there are no mechanisms in place under Social Security by which the attorneys can get paid, so it must either be done pro bono (for free) or the client has to come up with the money to pay the attorney's fee (hard for most SSI recipients to do.)
NOSSCR Lawyer Referral Service - For help in finding attorney representation, contact its lawyer referral service during Eastern business hours:
NADR - Find a Representative - telephone the automated system at 1-800-747-6131 or see: http://www.nadr.org/find-a-representative/ .
Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.
Avvo is a general question answer board, and is not meant for attorneys to solicit clients or potential clients to solicit attorneys. If you want an attorney, you may contact your local city, county or state bar association to see if they have a lawyer referral program, or you may contact your local legal aid office if you cannot afford an attorney.
You may also contact the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR) for the name and email address or telephone number of attorneys in your area. The telephone number for the lawyer referral service of NOSSCR is 1-800-431-2804. NOSSCR's website is www.nosscr.org.
In addition, you can find a Board certified specialist in Social Security by contacting the National Board of Trial Advocacy. They evaluate lawyers (independently) in many types of claims and require extensive experience and testing before a lawyer is certified. They have a section specifically for Social Security: The National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, Divisions of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.
Their link is: http://www.nblsc.us/
You may also contact NADR (National Association of Disability Representatives) www.nadr.org – automated Telephone Referral System at 1-800-747-6131.
Most attorneys who do any amount of Social Security work are members of NOSSCR and provide a free initial consultation. In any event, no attorney may charge a fee for work on a social security claim until it has been approved by Social Security. The fee limit is a maximum of 25% of past due or back due benefits you are owed, and many lawyers charge less than the full 25%, and the money is not paid until your claim has been approved.
I hope this information helps. Good luck to you!
Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.
The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.