When you are unable to provide for yourself or your family because of a physical or mental disability, you may feel overwhelmed. Luckily, you have options for recovering funds to support you. You may be able to file a claim for Social Security benefits. A Social Security disability lawyer from our firm can work with you.
Our attorneys at Schiller & Hamilton understand how challenging it can be to file a Social Security claim. Waiting for the benefits you deserve can be frustrating, but we can use our experience to fight for the money you deserve.
What Is Social Security Disability?
Social Security disability is split into two programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both programs provide financial assistance to people who meet certain requirements.
If you paid Social Security taxes on your earnings for long enough, you may qualify to receive benefits for you and certain family members through the SSDI program. If you meet the requirements for a qualifying disability and have limited income and resources, adults and children can receive benefits from the SSI program.
Hiring a Social Security disability lawyer can be beneficial to you. Our lawyers will help you gather materials and documentation proving you meet eligibility requirements so you can pursue the financial assistance you need. The claims process can be highly complicated. Our lawyers are prepared to guide you throughout your case, no matter how complex it becomes.
How Is Social Security Disability Eligibility Determined?
To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of a disability and have worked in jobs that pay into Social Security. You may be considered disabled by the SSA if:
- You are not able to participate in any successfully gainful activity to earn money each month because of a physical or mental disability
- Your condition is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months or result in death
SSDI payments are beneficial for disabled individuals who are prevented from working because of their disability. You may also qualify for the SSI program. To qualify, you must:
- Be blind
- Be disabled
- Be 65 or older
- Have low income and few assets
You could be eligible for both SSDI and SSI, depending on the details of your situation. Our team can help you file a claim for both of these programs when you hire our Social Security disability lawyer.
Qualifying Disabilities for Social Security Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) lists medical conditions for each major body system. If your condition is listed, the examiner who helps with your case will move on to the next question in the eligibility process.
If you are over 18 and your condition falls into one of the following categories, you may be eligible for benefits, according to the SSA:
- Musculoskeletal Disorders
- Special Senses and Speech
- Respiratory Disorders
- Cardiovascular System
- Digestive System
- Genitourinary Disorders
- Hematological Disorders
- Skin Disorders
- Endocrine Disorders
- Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems
- Neurological Disorders
- Mental Disorders
- Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
- Immune System Disorders
Qualifying Disabilities in Children
The major body system areas listed for adults can also apply to children under 18. Another area children can qualify that differs from adults is Low Birth Weight and Failure to Thrive.
If your condition or your child’s disability doesn’t appear on the list, the SSA must decide if the illness is as severe as the other conditions listed. Don’t let the list turn you away from seeking the resources you need. Our attorneys will help you determine if you are eligible to apply for Social Security disability benefits.
The Waiting Period After Completing Your Application
You must complete the application process correctly, ensuring you have provided accurate and appropriate information related to your medical condition. Once you have applied for benefits, it could take three to five months to hear back about your decision, according to the SSA.
If your application is approved, you could be entitled to back pay. Your application date for benefits and when your disability began may determine how many payments you will receive.
What do I Do if I’m Denied Disability Benefits?
The Social Security benefits application process can be complicated, but with the help of a Social Security disability lawyer, we can help ensure your application has the adequate information needed for approval. Although, if you are denied benefits, you have the right to appeal the denial of your claim and we will fight for the compensation you need.
Claims can be denied for various reasons, some reasons being:
- Impairment is not severe, nor will not last for 12 months
- You can still perform current work or complete other work
- Your impairment is a result of a drug addiction or alcoholism
- There was not sufficient medical evidence to support your disability
You generally have 60 days to file an appeal. The appeals process involves:
- Requesting reconsideration: You ask the SSA to re-evaluate its decision on your case.
- Attending a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ): You can request a hearing for the opportunity to explain why you need benefits in your own words.
- Asking for a review of a hearing decision: You ask an Appeals Council to review your case to see if the ALJ made an error in their decision to deny your claim.
- Filing a Federal Court action: You file a lawsuit for a judicial review of the decision on your case.
Although this process can seem complicated, our team is here to support you.
Contact Us to Learn More about Our Social Security Disability Lawyer Today
If you are applying for benefits or need help with a denied claim, our Social Security disability lawyer is ready to work with you. Call Schiller & Hamilton today to get started on your case with a free consultation. You can ask us any questions you have and explain the details of your case to a member of our team.