If a physical or mental disability has made it challenging to provide for yourself and your loved ones in Bluffton, SC, Social Security Disability benefits could help you meet your basic needs and replace lost income.
A Bluffton Personal Injury Lawyer from Schiller & Hamilton can complete and file your application and represent you if the SSA denies your initial claim. Call us for a free consultation today.
How Does Social Security Disability Benefits Work for Bluffton, SC, Applicants?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Each program serves its own purpose and eligibility requirements.
The SSDI program could be the answer if you have spent years in the workforce paying your fair share of payroll taxes. SSDI benefits can replace your wages if your disability prevents you from working. However, this is only if you have the appropriate work history.
SSI benefits are not tied to your prior work history. Instead, they are available to certain disabled people or children who need support. However, strict income limits apply to SSI benefits. Anyone who makes too much money will not qualify.
For a free legal consultation with a Bluffton Social Security Disability Lawyer call 1-803-366-0333
Qualifying for SSDI in Bluffton, SC
When it comes to SSDI, eligibility is all about your previous work history. To receive SSDI benefits, you must have the minimum number of work credits within the past 10 years. You must also have a medical condition SSA considers disabling according to its Blue Book Listing of Impairments.
The time you spend working in jobs that Social Security covers will earn you work credits. You generally need 40 work credits for the past 10 years to get the maximum benefits available. A person who works full-time will typically earn up to four credits per year.
Meeting the SSA’s definition of a disability requires that you have a severe condition that prevents you from working. Certain conditions like cancer are automatically considered disabling. You might have to provide documentation, such as your medical records, to show you have a disability to secure your benefits.
Bluffton Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 1-803-366-0333
Qualifying for SSI in Bluffton, SC
SSI is different from SSDI in that it doesn’t consider your work history. There is no requirement related to work credits. In fact, you could qualify for SSI without working a day in your life.
You must satisfy certain criteria to qualify for SSI. First, you must either have a disability that SSA recognizes, blindness, or are age 65 or older. Next, you must fall below a certain income threshold. This threshold is strictly enforced, leaving SSI as an option only for people with little to no income or resources.
Our Bluffton Social Security Disability attorneys can help you understand if you qualify for these benefits. Call us today for a free consultation.
What Are My Options If SSA Rejects My Bluffton Social Security Disability Claim?
You still have options to pursue if the SSA denies your initial benefits claim. There is a process for appealing these denials, but navigating it is challenging. However, our Bluffton Social Security Disability lawyers can make managing it easier.
Schiller & Hamilton’s disability benefits team is ready to help you appeal your denial and get the benefits you deserve. We understand why SSA denies claims so we can use the appeals process to fight for a positive outcome. The appellate process has four steps, and you could see the SSA reverse course and accept your claim in any of them.
You Can Ask the SSA to Reconsider
The first step involves asking the SSA to reconsider its denial. This process involves someone other than the person who initially rejected your claim to review the decision. In some cases, this review will lead to a favorable result. Often, the reviewer will uphold the original decision.
You Have a Right to an Administrative Hearing
If your request for reconsideration is unsuccessful, the next step is a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This administrative hearing is similar to a court proceeding, and it could be your best chance for an official to reverse your denial. At this stage, your attorney can offer additional evidence that addresses the reason for the benefits claim denial.
The Appeals Council Is the Highest Level of Appeals Within the SSA
The highest level of appeal within the SSA is known as the Appeals Council. Anyone unhappy with the result of their claim at the administrative hearing has the right to request the Appeals Council to take up their case. However, the council can accept or deny requests as it sees fit. That means there is no guarantee it will hear your appeal.
You Could Appeal Your Denial to a Federal Court
The final step in the appellate process steps out of the SSA entirely. If you are not content with the outcome of your appeal, you could file a federal lawsuit and have a judge review the decision. This is the final step in the appellate process, and a denial at this level is final.
Let Our Social Security Disability Lawyer in Bluffton, SC, Help Your Claim
Securing Social Security Disability benefits is challenging, and denied claims are commonplace. Despite this, many people hire an attorney to help them secure benefits that ease their financial situation. Legal representation can make the process easier to manage and allows disabled claimants to take care of their health while an attorney works on their claim.
Working with a legal professional can also help claimants manage their expectations about how long it takes to get Social Security Disability in South Carolina. Schiller & Hamilton is ready to lead your claim. Call us right away for a free consultation to learn how our Bluffton Social Security Disability lawyers can start working for you.