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Need Help With Social Security Disability?
You've come to the right place. If you or someone you know is unable to work because of a long-term disability, a social security disability law office can help. Disabled workers may be eligible to receive social security disability (SSD) benefits from the government.
Use FindLaw to find a social security disability lawyer near you to help guide you through the claims process and resolve any problems that arise with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims and SSDI benefits.
What is Social Security Disability?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is one of the largest of several United States Federal programs with the purpose of providing assistance to persons with disabilities. Workers pay into SSDI out of their paychecks. When a worker suffers an injury or disability, they can file a claim to get benefits if they are no longer able to work. Before a disabled worker can get SSDI benefits, they have to qualify and go through the application process. Unfortunately, some workers are improperly denied benefits and have to turn to a Social Security disability lawyer for legal advice.
Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability?
Disabled workers can qualify for Social Security disability benefits but assistance is not automatic. An eligible individual has to apply to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and be approved to receive benefits. To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, an eligible applicant has to:
- Earn enough work credits; and
- Be considered “disabled" under the Social Security Administration's standards.
Work credits are based on annual wages and quarters of work. The amount of earnings to earn one quarter of credits changes every year. Most workers can earn up to 4 work credits per year. To qualify for SSDI, an individual needs 40 credits, with at least 20 credits earned in the 10 years prior to the disability.
The number of qualifying credits can be reduced for workers who have not worked long enough to accumulate 40 credits. Some people may be able to get benefits if they do not work, including disabled children, veterans, disabled young people, and surviving spouses.
A disabled worker also has to qualify with a disabling condition. The SSA has a list of qualifying impairments, which includes multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and certain types of cancer. For impairments that are not listed conditions, it is up to the SSA to determine whether the disability qualifies. Each person who files a Social Security disability claim has to provide the medical evidence to show an impairment and the severity of the impairment.
Why Was My Disability Claim Denied?
Social Security disability cases can be denied for several reasons. If the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies your claim, it may be because you did not earn enough work credits to qualify, do not qualify under an exception, or your medical condition is not considered disabling. However, an SSDI claim can be improperly denied for an injured worker because of clerical errors or the SSA employee made a mistake.
Can My Denied Disability Claim Be Reconsidered?
In general, you have 60 days to file a reconsideration if your claim is denied. The SSA should provide a specific reason for the denial. This can provide the information necessary to file a reconsideration. A Social Security disability lawyer can help you gather evidence in support of your claim, get a qualifying medical diagnosis, and file your reconsideration. If the reconsideration is also denied, you can request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
What Will Happen At My Social Security Disability Hearing?
You or your disability attorney can request a Social Security disability hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). An appeal has to be requested within 60 days after you receive notice of the SSA decision. If your appeal is filed too late, your claim may be dismissed. Claimants have the right to legal representation during the hearing. The hearing may be in-person or through video teleconference.
Your Social Security disability lawyer can submit any additional evidence to the judge before the hearing. During the hearing, the judge may question the applicant, and ask to hear from witnesses and the applicant's doctors. You and your lawyer may also be able to question any witnesses and submit additional evidence. After the hearing, the judge will provide a written decision regarding your claim.