Were you denied in your application for Social Security Disability (SSD), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Veteran’s Disability? We can help you appeal that decision. It can be a complicated process, so having our lawyers represent you helps make sure you’re following the right process.  Our disability lawyers have successfully represented thousands of clients like you in front of Social Security’s Administrative Law Judges in Akron, Ohio and Cleveland, Ohio.  We would be happy to help you as well.

Social Security Appeals

For Social Security appeals, the process for obtaining SSD or SSI benefits can often involve multiple appeals. If denied at the initial determination, you can request an appeal. The request must be in writing and received within 60 days from the date you received the decision letter. You can mail in the appeal or fill it out online at www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/appeal.

Four Levels of Appeals

There are four levels of appeals in which Social Security makes a decision as to whether a person is disabled at each stage.


At the reconsideration level, your claim is completely reviewed by another party who was not included in the initial determination. This includes re-examining all evidence originally submitted and any new evidence. You do not need to be present. However, if the appeal is for a denial based on your health improving to the point you no longer need disability benefits, you may meet with a Social Security representative in person to explain why you believe you still need the benefits.


If your reconsideration appeal is denied, you can ask for a hearing before an administrative law judge who was not involved in the initial determination or reconsideration. Before the hearing, you may need to offer more evidence or clarification on current information. You may also review your current file and add new information.

At the hearing, the administrative law judge will question you, your witnesses, and any other witnesses (such as medical or vocational experts). These other witnesses may offer information, and you or your counsel can question them.

After the hearing, the administrative law judge will make a decision which you will receive by mail (it often takes a few months between the hearing date and when you receive a decision).

Appeals Council

If you disagree with the administrative law judge’s decision, your next step is to ask for a review by the Social Security Appeals Council. The Appeals Council looks at all requests for review, but may deny the request if it believes the hearing decision was correct. If it reviews your case, it may decide the case itself or return it to an administrative law judge. Usually, at the Appeals Council stage (and beyond), the issue is not just a matter of whether or not we feel you are disabled, the issue is really whether Social Security broke it’s rules in the way in which they found you not disabled.

If your request is denied, you will receive a letter stating so. If the Appeals Council reviews and overturns your case, the result is not normally an outright win. Instead, the case will usually be returned to an administrative law judge with directions to rectify any errors in the prior hearing/hearing decision.

Federal Court

If you disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision, the last appeal is to file a lawsuit in a federal district court.

Smith Godios Sorensen Inc.represents clients at all levels of the appeal process, as well as the initial application stage. The process can be complicated, but our experience can help to make sure your appeals or applications are filled out correctly and you follow the processes set forth by Social Security. Contact us and let us help make the appeals process easier for you.

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Along with Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income disability is our lawyers’ main practice area. SSI is a government program designed to help older, blind and/or disabled individuals, as well as children with disabilities, who have little or no income and cannot work. It is meant to offer assistance for basic needs – food, shelter and clothing.

It follows the same standards in terms of whether a person is disabled as Social Security Disability. However, this program is funded by federal tax revenue, not Social Security taxes. It is a means based program, and is not based on the Social Security taxes that you have paid into the system.

Qualifying for SSI

You may have a limited income and still qualify for some SSI benefits, but there are limits as to how much you can make, and limits as to the assets you can have. These income limitations vary depending on your marital status, whether you have children, and the source of your income. The asset restrictions generally allow for one house that you live in and one car. Beyond that, you’re typically limited to $2000 ($3000 for couples) in assets, including:

  • Cash, on hand or in the bank
  • Land or real property (other than the exception for one house)
  • Retirement accounts
  • Stocks
  • Life insurance
  • Any other assets that could be converted to cash and used for food or shelter

Let Smith Godios Sorensen Inc. Help You Determine If You Qualify

The qualifications and application process can be complicated and confusing. We can help you determine what benefits you may be eligible for, we can help you fill out and submit the appropriate applications, and we can help you appeal any denial of benefits. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 877-351-2086.  Our disability attorneys regularly represent disability clients at Court in Akron, Ohio but our clients also come from the surrounding areas of Cuyahoga Falls, Barberton, Stow, Norton, Wadsworth, Medina, Green, Fairlawn, Richfield, New Franklin, Canton, Kent, Massillon, Ravenna, Rootstown, Tallmadge, Uniontown, Canal Fulton, Brunswick, and Wooster.

Filing for consumer bankruptcy is a decision that you should not make without an experienced bankruptcy attorney. You need to know your options and what they mean. It can be difficult and confusing. That is where Smith Godios Sorensen Inc. comes in. We know how to help you avoid common pitfalls that cause bankruptcy errors and delays.

Bankruptcy Attorney, Do You Need One?

There is no guarantee that a bankruptcy will be approved. Working with an attorney can make it more likely that your bankruptcy is approved . We also help you with:

  • Meeting all the legal requirements of filing for bankruptcy.
  • Handling your bankruptcy filing in the most efficient and timely way possible.
  • Determining whether to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 or Chapter 13

Whether you should file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy depends on your income and the types of debt and assets you have.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows a person to wipe clean many types of debt. There are some exceptions to discharging a debt, including:

  • Most student loans.
  • Court ordered child or spousal support.
  • Some taxes.

If you make too much money to qualify for Chapter 7 or if you want to keep a home or auto in which you are behind on mortgage or auto loan payments, you may qualify for Chapter 13. Chapter 13 bankruptcy helps people reorganize their finances and repay their debt in a manageable way. It is also an option to help pay for the debts that are not covered under Chapter 7.

Foreclosures, Evictions and Repossessions

If you are facing foreclosure on your home or eviction from your apartment, bankruptcy may help you stay in your home longer or permanently.  Or, if your property is at risk of repossession, bankruptcy may stop, or at least delay, this process.

If you face either of these scenarios, you should contact us immediately. You want to file for bankruptcy before a court grants judgment against you in any foreclosure or eviction matter or before creditors attempt to repossess your property.

Contact us today to discuss your options and let us help you make the bankruptcy filing process as easy as possible.

If you feel though you have a legal issue that is not related to disability, we would still like to hear from you as we might be able to help. It is never a good idea to make legal decisions on your own and without the advice of an attorney. Please contact us if you have a legal matter that you need help with.

Do you need a DUI Lawyer? Did you get charged with Driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), or operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI), is the crime of driving a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other drugs.

In Ohio, if you are 21 or older, the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) for an OVI is .08%.  The threshold for those under 21 and commercial drivers is even lower.  A DUI /DWI charge in Ohio carries severe penalties, many of which are mandatory.  Many citizens do not know their rights when stopped by the police.  To have any chance of successfully defending a DUI/DWI case, you need a lawyer who has experience and is knowledgeable in this highly complex area of law.  There are a number of defenses that can be used to avoid a conviction, let us help you present these issues in court.

We, at Smith Godios Sorensen Inc., have the DUI Lawyers experience to help you if you are charged with DUI/DWI.   We have fought for Defendants for many years and we would appreciate the opportunity to help you with your case.  Contact us for a free consultation if you are in need of a DUI/DWI attorney.  While being charged with a crime is almost always going to be negative experience, we believe that we can assist you in making your situation better.

To schedule a free consultation, call us toll-free at 877-230-5500 or contact our firm online.

Are you behind on your mortgage payments? Has the bank initiated a foreclosure lawsuit against you? If so, you need to protect your rights. Give us a call as soon as possible and we might be able to help you defend a foreclosure lawsuit and/or work out a deal with the bank that allows you to stay in your home.

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider causes injury to someone as a result of negligence or wrongdoing. This can happen from an error related to prescribing medication, incorrectly diagnosing an illness or injury, or a mistake during surgery. Medical errors can injure a patient at any time.

If you feel as though you or a family member has been injured as a result of a medical professional’s negligence, please give us a call or contact us via our website. While we do not undertake medical malpractice cases on our own, we may be able to point you in the right direction by associating with other attorneys who regularly handle these matters.

One of our practice areas at Smith Godios Sorensen Inc., is personal injury. We represent individuals who have been injured as a results of another’s actions. If you have been injured in a car accident or because of the intentional actions of another, please contact us. We might be able to help you when negotiating with insurance companies or when filing a complaint in Common Pleas Court.

At Smith Godios Sorensen Inc., we are grateful for the service of our military veterans. For this reason, we have supplemented our Social Security Disability practice to include veterans’ disability as one of our major practice areas. Since 2007, our partner, Christopher Godios, has been representing veterans before the VA Regional Office and the Board of Veterans Appeals.

We focus on helping veterans obtain service-connected disability benefits for injuries or medical conditions that can be related to a veteran’s time in military service.  A medical condition can be related to a veteran’s military service if their service caused the medical condition or if a medical condition began while a veteran was on active duty.  In addition, there are many medical conditions that the VA has presumed are related to military service.  You can also recieve VA service-connected disability if a service connected condtion has caused or exacerbated another medical condition.  For example, if your back pain is service connected and you have depression because of the level of pain that you experience, did you know that you could also get VA benefits for your depression?

If you are unhappy with your VA decision, we may be able to help you file your appeal.  If you hire us, we will only charge a fee if we help you win additional benefits.  If you win your VA disability case, you will usually be awarded back pay to the date of your most recent application (in some cases it can go further back).  Our standard veterans’ disability fee is 20% of any back pay that is awarded.

While we do not file claims/applications for VA disability (just appeals) we are more than happy to offer free legal advice to vets who are considering filing a claim. Please call us if you would like to run things by an attorney before applying for VA benefits.  Please also be advised that there is free help out there for the claims/applications process from qualified individuals who work at various service organizations like the DAV, VFW, American Legion, and the County Veterans’ Service Commission.

Please see the following links for more information about service connected claims, including two very common issues, PTSD and TDIU-Do your Service-Connected Conditions Prevent You From Working (TDIU).

Social Security Disability

We have done Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income applications and appeals for many years.  Our disability lawyers have successfully obtained disability benefits for thousands of people in the Akron area.  We can help you next.

Do you believe that you are unable to work full-time?  Are you currently receiving medical treatment from a doctor, nurse practitioner,  therapist, or other health care worker?  Have you had medical testing or imaging that shows you have a serious health problem?  Do you see a psychiatrist or therapist because you have mental health concerns that make it difficult to work?  Are you over age 50 and no longer able to do what you used to do for work? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits.

Along with SSI disability, Social Security Disability is the  main area of practice for our lawyers.  Each one of our disability attorneys have spent their entire career helping the disabled obtain Social Security.

There are several types of disability benefits:

  • If you have worked for approximately 5 of the last 10 years, then you may qualify for Disability Insurance Benefits on your work record.
  • If you are disabled and over 50 years old, you may qualify for Widow’s Benefits on your spouse’s work record.
  • If you became disabled before age 22, you may be eligible for benefits on your parents’ work record.
  • If you are unable to work and have limited financial resources, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income benefits.
  • If you have limited household income/resources and your child has serious impairments which interferes with their ability to learn, pay attention, socialize, or use their hands/move, then your child may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income benefits.

If you have any doubt at all about whether you qualify for Social Security Disability or Supplmental Security Income, you should give us a call.  Our experienced and skilled disability lawyers offer free phone consultations and we are happy to take your call.  If you are out of work or only able to work part-time because of your health (mental or physical), you should give us a call to see if you qualify for disability.  If we take your case, we charge no fee unless you win.  If you have already been denied disability, you should call us right away so that we can help you appeal.  If you miss an appeal deadline, you could lose out on recieving a substantial amount of Social Security back pay.

Contact us on our website or call us at 877-230-5500 to talk about whether you may be eligible for any benefits.  Our social security disability lawyers regularly represent disability clients at Court in Akron, Ohio but our clients also come from the surrounding areas of Cuyahoga Falls, Barberton, Stow, Norton, Wadsworth, Medina, Green, Fairlawn, Richfield, New Franklin, Canton, Kent, Massillon, Ravenna, Rootstown, Tallmadge, Uniontown, Canal Fulton, Brunswick, and Wooster.  Find a Social Security Disability Lawyer near me.