The Social Security Disability Application Process
If you become disabled and your condition is expected to last for at least one year , consider applying for Social Security Disability benefits. The sooner you start the application process, the less time you will have to wait for your benefits. The process can take a long time and require intensive documentation. It may be necessary to appeal a negative decision. The help of an SSDI lawyer can guide you through the complex and demanding process.
How Much Will It Cost
Most cases will cost you little or nothing up front. Lawyers take their fees from any retroactive benefits youre awarded from Social Security. The fee is limited to 25% of your past-due benefits, up to a maximum of $6,000.
The attorney will have you sign a document that allows Social Security to pay the law firm directly. Most lawyers will only get paid if they win your claim for you. If you get nothing, you owe the lawyer nothing.
Because the lawyer will likely have to request medical, school, work, and psychological records that come with a cost, they might pass on that fee to you. This should be a couple of hundred dollars at most. There may also be small fees related to postage and copying expenses.
Before hiring a lawyer, ask about the fee structure. If they tell you that its all paid by the Social Security Administration, ask about any extra fees that might come out of your pocket.
Since it costs you nothing unless and until you win, consider talking to somebody if you file a claim and get turned down initially.
Do I Need A Disability Attorney
Although you are not required to hire an attorney to represent you in your Social Security claim, people with experienced representation tend to win their cases more often than those who are not represented. Our knowledgeable staff will ensure that important information gets associated with your file at Social Security, and we are adept at meeting deadlines and avoiding unnecessary delays. We will contact your medical providers to secure all relevant medical records and provide them with questionnaires designed to facilitate a successful outcome. If a hearing becomes necessary, our attorneys will prepare a legal brief setting forth the basis for a favorable decision and will attend the hearing with you to present your case. Contact us today for a free evaluation.
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Your Claim Receives Personalized Attention
At the Social Security Law Center, your social security disability claim receives personalized attention from attorneys focused on your best interests. We strive to deliver unsurpassed legal services to ensure the approval of your benefits. When you work with a social security disability attorney from our law firm, you will receive the individualized attention your case can benefit from.
Our team is small enough that youll know your attorney but strong enough that we can go toe-to-toe with the bureaucratic process and even the Federal District Court. With us, youre not just a case. You deserve to have lawyers who will fight for you.
Your first meeting will be with an attorney, not a paralegal, and you wont have to go into a hearing alone. We know that when you hire a legal team, you need someone to offer you legal counsel and information every step of the way. Were ready to support you with legal expertise, strategy, and compassionate counsel.
How To Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits
Injured workers, such as those that are eligible for workers’ compensation, should apply for Social Security Disability benefits as soon they become disabled. You can apply for SSD benefits by scheduling an appointment with a Social Security Administration representative or by applying online. The claims representative assigned to your case will answer any questions you may have about the application process.
He or she will also handle the paperwork needed to send your claim to Disability Determination Services , which will make an initial determination as to whether you are considered disabled under the SSAs requirements. The claims representative will also determine the disability programs for which you may be eligible, as well as determine benefits you are eligible to receive based on your work history.
We highly encourage applicants to speak with a Social Security disability attorney before beginning the application process. An attorney will be able to explain the process for filing for benefits and gather the documents needed to submit a claim.
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Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability While Collecting Workers Compensation
Yes. Workers Compensation is an assistance program for injured workers that is managed by state statutes. Social Security Disability is a federal program. Participation in one program does not exclude you from receiving benefits from the other. However, the total benefits amount that you are eligible for under Social Security Disability may change if you are receiving Workers Compensation.
Consult with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney at Brown & Crouppen for assistance in understanding the laws as they apply in your state.
Are You Eligible For Social Security Disability Benefits
Because SSD is an insurance program, you must have worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes through employment to accrue a benefit from this program. An applicant for SSD must show payments into the Social Security system for 40 quarters 20 of which were in the 10 years immediately prior to becoming disabled.
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How Disability Attorneys Can Help Your Ssdi Case
While people have to live with the reality of their injuries on a day-to-day basis, the Social Security Administration uses strict rules and tables to standardize who gets benefits and who doesnt. To ensure a successful claim, you have to learn how to speak the language of the SSA regulationshow to navigate their increasingly complex set of requirement and translate your daily life into a legal case. Thats precisely what a Social Security disability attorney does.
We can do the following to maximize the odds your case will be approved on appeal:
- Gather sufficient medical documentation
- File the appropriate forms prior to the hearing
- Develop the best strategy for handling your case
- Gather expert testimony on your functional limits
- Schedule the exams youll need to undergo
- Prepare you for your appeal hearing
The first thing an attorney can do for you, is give you realistic expectations. Years of experience teach attorneys how to gauge the odds of success. After a consultation, we’ll be able to tell you if pursuing an appeal is right for youwhich saves time and trouble.
Will Your Outcome Be Different If You Hire A Disability Lawyer
Can you appeal a disability denial by yourself? Yes. But unless your case is very clear-cut and the evidence points strongly to your disability, you’re likely better off hiring a Social Security appeal lawyer.
We surveyed thousands of readers, and 60% of readers with lawyers were approved for disability benefits compared to 34% of those who didn’t use an attorney. Similarly, a government report from 2017 found that disability applicants who used representatives at hearings were allowed benefits almost three times as often as those without. For the details, see our article on whether hiring a disability lawyer helps your chances.
If you want to appeal a denied Social Security Disability claim and are considering hiring a representative, read our article on how a disability lawyer will handle your claim or arrange a free consultation with a local attorney.
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Qualifying For Ssdi Benefits
Earnings Requirements for Disability Benefits
Social Security laws state that, in order to receive disability benefits, you must meet two separate earnings tests:
- A recent work requirement based on your age at the time you became disabled
- A duration of work test that shows you worked long enough to receive Social Security benefits
Certain workers who are blind need only meet the duration of work test according to Social Security laws.
The number of work credits you need to qualify for SSDI depends on how old you are when you become disabled. If you are under 30 when you become disabled, you need to have earned at least one work credit per year since you left school. For people over 30, you need to have earned 20 work credits out of the last 40 possible quarters of a year. In other words, you need to have worked five out of the last ten years.
If you do not have enough work credits, you might qualify for Supplemental Security Income , but those benefits are only paid to people who are disabled and who are extremely poor. Basically, you must have less than $3000 in non-exempt assets for a married couple or $2000 for an individual.
This is technically stated as: Is the claimant engaged in substantial gainful activity ? § 404.1520 and § 416.920. SGA is in turn defined as earning above the cut-off set out in the regulations, currently approximately $850 per month.
How Does the Social Security Agency Determine If I Am Disabled?
Are You Unable To Work Due To Disability And Need Help With Your Ssdi Claim We Want To Help You
The Social Security Administration provides benefits to individuals suffering from a serious disability that prevents them from finding or maintaining work.
There are a number of different programs under which those with disabilities may qualify for Social Security disability benefits, but one of the most important is the Social Security Disability Insurance program.
SSDI pays disability victims based on their previous work history and income, and it can be an important source of support for those who may not otherwise be able to cover the costs of living on their own.
If you need help with a Social Security Disability Insurance claim, attorney Loyd J. Bourgeois is fully prepared to help you.
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Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI is a federal government program that provides benefits to workers who have lost the ability to earn an income due to a complete disability. Your medical condition must meet the SSAs disability requirements and you need to have earned enough work credits.
To qualify for SSDI benefits, you need to have worked at least five years out of the last ten. You must show that your disability is expected to last at least one year or is expected to be life-ending. You must also show that you are unable to perform any work that would be categorized as substantial gainful activity.
Reason #: Not Cooperating With The Ssa
If you fail to cooperate with the SSA during the application process, you will be denied disability benefits. This includes not providing requested medical records or failing to attend scheduled medical exams. The SSA cannot accept your complaints about pain without an evaluation from a certified physician.
It is vital that you remain in contact with the SSA representative handling your case and respond promptly to all requests. The SSA needs to be able to get in touch with you regularly about the status of your application.
While it is true that initial disability claims are denied more often than they are approved, hopefully knowing why you were denied can help you determine what you need to file a successful appeal. Our Phoenix Social Security Disability lawyers know how frustrating being denied SSD benefits can be. We are ready to provide the legal assistance you need in order to try to obtain the benefits you need.
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Types of SSD Claims
Generally speaking, SSD claims are broken up into four main categories. Understanding the differences between claims is essential to successfully applying for benefits. In addition to meeting several criteria outlined by the government, applicants can greatly benefit themselves by utilizing the guidance and legal advice of a skilled and respected legal professional.
These are the four main types of SSD claims:
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Common Social Security Disability Injuries
Federal Social Security laws maintain a strict definition of a disability. According to the Social Security Administration, to receive a disability benefit, you must prove the following:
- You cannot do any substantial work because of your medical condition.
- This condition or conditions has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 1 year, or to result in your death.
The administration assesses the overall ability of the claimant to engage in employment. During this analysis of whether the claimant receives disability benefits, the administration uses a specific set of regulations and listings describing certain conditions or diseases.
- Heart and blood vessel diseases
- Digestive system diseases
- Kidney diseases
- Blood and lymphatic diseases
When applying for disability benefits, the applicable agencies may request applications for disability benefits. This application will require several forms and may entail a face-to-face interview.
Disabled Widows And Widowers Benefits
These benefits provide financial assistance to widows and widowers between the ages of 50 and 60 who develop disabilities within seven years of their spouses death.
To apply for benefits after your spouses death, you will need to contact your local Social Security office. There are several pieces of documentation required. This includes the death certificate or notice from the funeral home, you and your deceased spouses Social Security number, your deceased spouses birth certificate, your marriage certificate, and your most recent tax forms.
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Apply For Benefits Online
You should apply for disability benefits as soon as you develop a disability. Follow these easy steps to apply online for disability:
- To start your application, go to our Apply for Benefits page, and read and agree to the Terms of Service. Click Next.
- On that page, review the Getting Ready section to make sure you have the information you need to apply.
- Select Start A New Application.
- We will ask a few questions about who is filling out the application.
- You will then sign in to your personal mySocial Security account, or you will be prompted to create one.
- Complete the application.
You can use the online application to apply for disability benefits if you:
- Are age 18 or older.
- Are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record.
- Are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.
- Have not been denied for disability in the last 60 days.
Note: If your application was recently denied, our application is a starting point to request a review of the determination we made.
You may be able to file online for SSI at the same time that you file for SSDI benefits. Once you complete the online process described above, a Social Security representative will contact you if we need additional information.
Social Security Is Insurance Youve Paid Forwe Will Help
Are severe medical or mental health conditions preventing you from working?
Have you applied for Social Security Disablity or Supplemental Social Security Insurance benefits on your own, only to be denied?
Do you need help fighting the government for your Social Security benefits?
Did you know that even if you dont have a strong work history, you are still entitled to Social Security benefits from the government?
Here at Oregon Social Security law firm Harris Velázquez Gibbens, we specialize in all types of Social Security Disability claims, including:
- Social Security Disability ,
- Adult or Child Supplemental Security Income ,
- Disabled Widow/Widower Benefits ,
- Childhood Disability Benefits , and
- Disabled Adult Child .
We fight for our Oregon clients throughout the entire process of your claim, from filing the initial applications and reconsideration appeals process through representation before an Administrative Law Judge at the hearing for disability benefits before the Social Security Administration .
We offer a free initial telephone or in-person consultation. We get paid on a contingency fee basis, so we only get paid attorneys fees when we win your case.
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Faqs About Social Security Law
How is a Social Security lawyer different from other types of lawyers?
Not all areas of law are the same. For example, criminal law and disability benefits law are two very different fields. You want an attorney who has specific and specialized knowledge of Social Security benefits programs
Who runs Social Security Law Center?
Teresa Grasso-Herlan is the managing attorney of SSLC.
Where is Social Security Law Center located?
Because we believe in the importance of local representation, we have offices in Tulsa and Bartlesville.
Can a lawyer help at steps other than a hearing?
Yes. When filing an initial application, a lawyer can help you arrange your evidence, check for errors, and ensure that your application is comprehensive. Cutting down on corrections or requests for more documents can help you get your case through the system faster.
When filing appeals, your lawyer can help you understand the process and why you were denied. They can help you file the correct type of appeal.
At the hearing, your lawyer will argue your case before the administrative law judge. Your lawyer can help you communicate with expert witnesses, present your evidence, and they can help you present facts that the judges questioning might have missed.
What if a lawyer asks for money upfront?
Types Of Disability Claims Administered By The Social Security Administration
SSI For individuals under age 65 who become disabled. Claimants must meet certain poverty requirements before their claim will be considered Benefits are adjusted for income. Individuals eligible for SSI also get Medicaid.
Childrens SSI For families with disabled children that meet certain poverty requirements if they do, a child may receive SSI if he or she is disabled. The test for whether or not a child is disabled is different, and usually harder to meet, than for adults.
DIWC A disability program for adults who have worked enough to have insured status under the Social Security System. For disability, a worker must have worked above a minimum amount of 5 out of the last 10 years . A person does not have to file before their work credits run out, but he or she must be found disabled before the work credits run out. Individuals who are eligible for insured disability benefits get Medicare.
DAC A child of an insured worker can draw benefits if he or she is found disabled before age 22 . The childs parent must have died while insured or become disabled and drawing insured status. A DAC who is drawing benefits will lose them if he or she gets married to someone other than another person drawing insured disability benefits.
SSDC This is not a separate type of claim, but it is the name of the type of claim for an individual worker who is both insured and meets the poverty requirements for SSI.
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