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    What are the Acceptable Medical Sources for Disabled Evaluation?

    Last updated 1 day 16 hours ago

    Medical evidence is the cornerstone of determining your eligibility for SSI or SSDI benefits under Social Security disability law. When you file a disability claim with the Social Security Administration, you are responsible for providing medical evidence showing that you have impairment(s) and the severity of the impairment(s). Documentation must come from a medical professional as defined by the SSA as an “acceptable medical source.” Examples of acceptable medical sources are licensed physicians, licensed or certified psychologists, licensed optometrists, licensed podiatrists, and qualified speech-language pathologists. 

    The disability attorneys at Dixon & Johnston, P.C. can help you file your disability claim and appeal a rejected claim with the Social Security Administration. Contact us online or call us at (618) 207-3770 to speak with one of our experienced disability attorneys about your claim. 

    Creating a Budget to Adjust to Living on Your Social Security Disability Benefits

    Last updated 4 days ago

    If you are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, the amount you will receive each month will be based on your average lifetime earnings before your disability began. The Social Security Administration used a complex weighted formula to calculate benefits for each person, so the amount of money you will receive on a monthly basis varies. Regardless, you will typically earn less than you are used to, so you will need to create a budget in order to live on your monthly benefits. This video will help you get started on a budget that works for you and your family. 

    If you are filing an SSDI claim for the first time, or if your claim has been denied by the SSA, contact Dixon & Johnston, P.C. Our disability attorneys can make sure you get the benefits you are entitled to, including any back pay and adjustments. To learn how our disability law firm can help with your SSDI claim, call us at (618) 207-3770. 

    Understanding the Basics of Bankruptcy

    Last updated 12 days ago

    The loss of a job, divorce, medical emergencies, and the death of a spouse are prime examples of how easy (and how quickly) people can find themselves in debt. Good people get into debt all the time and find themselves in over their heads. While bankruptcy can essentially wipe the slate clean, it can have a major impact on your credit rating and may negatively affect your ability to borrow cash in the future. If you are considering meeting with a bankruptcy attorney, start with this article and learn the basics of bankruptcy.

    Types of Bankruptcy

    There are two primary types of bankruptcy for individuals: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, commonly known as liquidation, allows filers to give up assets in exchange for discharge of their debts. This is frequently the option for people who have little or no income and a lot of debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as debt adjustment, allows individuals to temporarily halt foreclosures and collection action while they execute a plan to repay their debts over a three- to five-year period.


    Although Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you eliminate or more successfully your debt, there are consequences to filing for bankruptcy in the U.S. The biggest impact of bankruptcy (besides being discharged from your debts and ceasing collection activities) is the change in your credit score. However, you can slowly rebuild your credit after bankruptcy and you may eventually be able to increase your credit score higher than it was before you filed. There is also the possibility of losing some of your possessions to the bankruptcy trustee.

    If you are considering Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, contact Dixon & Johnston, P.C. Our bankruptcy attorneys are here to put your mind at ease and help you get out from underneath the mountain of debt you are dealing with. Visit our website to learn more about our bankruptcy attorneys, or call our law office at (618) 207-3770 to speak with us today. 

    Check Out This Interesting New York Times Article!

    Last updated 14 days ago

    There was an interesting article in the August 17th  Sunday Magazine of the New York Times.  Unfortunately many of our bankruptcy clients have had horrid experiences with debt buyers who threaten and lie to them in the hope that they will make a payment.  Bankruptcy can clear these old debts off credit reports and solve most problems with the collectors, but this article helps explain how it is that you get calls on debts that are extremely old, or may have even previously been settled.  It’s a very interesting piece on the unsavory world of debt collections.

    ---John Johnston

    How an Attorney Can Help You Fight for Your Social Security Benefits

    Last updated 15 days ago

    Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are cash programs under the Social Security Administration that are supposed to help citizens in need of financial support. Unfortunately, many SSI and SSDI claims are rejected or the benefits awarded are unsubstantial. Whether you are filing a claim for the first time or appealing a rejected claim, a disability attorney can make sure you receive the benefits you deserve. Here is a look at some of the most important ways that a disability attorney can help with your Social Security claim.

    Gather and Develop Medical Evidence

    After your attorney agrees to take your case, he or she will start to gather the appropriate medical records needed to win your claim. Because the Social Security Administration frequently dictates the type of exam needed to win a disability claim, your attorney will review your medical records to determine if you need to undergo additional testing. Most importantly, your attorney will know what to do with bad medical evidence (if any exists) that could hurt your case.

    Prep You for the Hearing

    After your attorney has reviewed your file and submitted the appropriate medical records, he or she will meet with you and prepare you for the questions you are likely to face during your hearing with the judge presiding over your case. Answer your attorney’s questions as honestly as you can so he or she can represent you effectively in court.

    Argue Your Case

    If you are appealing a denied claim, having an experienced disability attorney on your side can greatly increase your chances of winning the benefits you deserve. That’s because your disability attorney will determine the best way to win your case by developing a “theory” of why you are disabled according to Social Security disability law. Your attorney can prove that your condition meets the SSA’s disabled requirements, that you cannot work now or in the near future, or that your exertion level is less than sedentary.

    If you want to start receiving the Social Security benefits you deserve, contact Dixon & Johnston, P.C. Our disability attorneys specialize in Social Security law, and we can help with both SSI and SSDI claims. Please call us at (618) 207-3770 to schedule your initial consultation with one of our experienced SSI and SSDI attorneys.  

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