Social Security Disability (SSD) Benefit applications can be overwhelming, and SSD attorneys are skilled at handling common and unique issues that arise throughout the process. Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) applications and disputed cases are won and lost on medical evidence. Legal counsel can provide a compelling story, based on relevant medical records, facilitating an expedient resolve and faster access to the proper disability benefit amounts to which a disabled person is entitled.
Social Security disability benefits come from two different programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
- Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), only provides benefits to disabled workers who already paid taxes into the trust fund.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI), provides financial assistance and health coverage benefits to disabled Americans who have not worked enough to qualify for SSDI.
SSDI provides monthly benefits to eligible disabled Americans whose conditions prevent them from working for at least 12 months. This program is designed for people who paid Social Security taxes throughout their working years and meet SSA’s work history and medical definition of a disability. SSDI attorneys can assess an individual’s situation to make sure they meet qualifications for benefit application. Benefits are paid monthly when individuals are unable to work for a year, or more due to disabilities. Benefits can be short term, or continue until the age of retirement, when they are converted to retirement benefits paid at the same amount. An SSDI attorney can outline the necessary requirements for the receipt of benefits.
Qualification for SSDI benefits is dependent on work credits from a person’s total annual wage, or self-employment income. Forty credits are customarily necessary to qualify, with 20 of those credits earned in the last ten years of working before becoming disabled. Younger workers sometimes qualify with fewer credits. An SSDI attorney can assist with explanations related to work credits. There are special situations where individuals may apply for SSDI benefits, including disabled children, widows’, or widowers’ benefits, blind individuals, and wounded warriors and veterans.
Attorneys who have experience with social security disability applications assist individuals who need to properly document medical conditions, and produce relevant supporting evidence that provides proof that a disability should be covered. They collect, compile, and review medical documents and timelines that provide evidence of the disability through:
- Medical records outlining symptoms and treatments relevant to disability status.
- Physician testimony important due to doctor’s medical education, medical diagnoses, and first-hand knowledge of an individual’s symptoms leading to their disability.
- Treatment failure revealing that the applicant attempted all normal treatment methods.
- Employer and co-worker testimony providing first-hand accounts of how the disability affects safety, efficiency, and capabilities that would hinder applicant’s job abilities.
- Lawyer testimony after approval on the initial application.
Seek legal counsel.
Guidance can be provided by experienced SSDI attorneys as they help individuals prepare disability applications. Lawyers will explain differences in program benefits, necessary qualifications, and eligibility considerations.