The Social Security Administration (SSA) established the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program to benefit workers who have paid Social Security taxes throughout the course of their employment but can no longer work because of a disability. Unfortunately, even those who qualify often have a difficult time obtaining benefits, as the SSA denies most initial applications.
If you applied for SSDI after developing a physical impairment that limits your ability to provide for yourself and your family and received a denial letter, you have a limited amount of time to appeal your claim. The lawyers at Berger and Green can help by determining the types of information you need, guiding you through your appeal, and representing you at each step of the process. Contact our legal team right away at (412) 661-1400 to get started on your case with a Cranberry Township Social Security Disability Insurance lawyer.
Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
The SSA runs SSDI as a trust fund or an insurance program into which workers contribute through their Social Security taxes. To be eligible for SSDI benefits, you must have a significant work history and have contributed a certain amount of funding through Social Security taxes. If you qualify for SSDI benefits, you and your family may receive payments. An estimated 8.5 million people receive SSDI benefits, as well as more than 1.5 million of their dependents.
How to Qualify for SSDI Benefits
In addition to contributing to the SSDI through employment taxes, you must also have a condition that meets the SSA’s definition of a disability. The agency deems disabled any person with a mental or physical impairment that prevents them from participating in substantial gainful activity (SGA) for at least 12 months.
SGA, which includes income earned through working, is determined on an individual basis. You must be able to prove your disability status through medical documentation, and if the SSA feels that you have not submitted adequate evidence, they may deny your claim.
How Much You May Receive on SSDI
Although you have paid in to qualify for SSDI benefits, they will not provide pay equivalent to what you received during your employment. The SSA calculates your payment amount based on your earning history, but some still find it difficult to live on SSDI benefits alone.
Unfortunately, the United States offers far less in disability benefits than many other countries; in fact, most beneficiaries receive about $1,200 per month, and 90% receive less than $2,000.
If SSDI benefits alone are below a certain amount, you may also qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which some people can receive concurrently with SSDI. Contact the legal team at Berger and Green today at (412) 661-1400, and a Cranberry Township Social Security Disability Insurance lawyer can help you determine the types of Social Security disability you qualify for and help you file or appeal your claim.
Working While Receiving SSDI
If you can work in some limited capacity the SSA may allow you to earn an income through employment if you do not exceed a certain threshold. In 2021, beneficiaries could earn up to $1,310 per month and still receive SSDI benefits. However, you must report all of your wages to the SSA, and if you receive too much income, they can revoke your SSDI benefits.
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability lawyer serving Cranberry Township, call 412-219-5084
How a Cranberry Township Social Security Disability Insurance Lawyer Can Help if You Received a Denial Letter
The SSA gives applicants who received SSDI denials up to 60 days to dispute the decision through their appeals process. If you do not begin your appeal within this time frame, you must again submit a new application to the SSA again for consideration.
Review Your Initial Application
Applicants often find the SSDI application process long and confusing, and its specific requirements leave little room for even the smallest errors. If you accidentally left out certain information, we can help you determine what you need to gather before your appeal. We can also identify any administrative mistakes made on the SSA’s end that could have impacted the decision regarding your application.
Help You File for a Reconsideration
The first step in appealing your SSDI denial is requesting a reconsideration. During the reconsideration process, a SSA adjudicator who was not associated with your initial application review and did not contribute to the decision to deny your claim will examine both the original application and any additional documentation that may fill in any gaps. The adjudicator will then decide whether to reverse the decision or confirm your denial. Very few denials are reversed in the reconsideration stage, but if time remains, we can help you take the next step in the appeals process.
Request a Hearing
An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing allows applicants who were denied during both the initial application and reconsideration processes to present information and make their case in person to an impartial ALJ, who will then decide based on the evidence provided. Your lawyer will advocate on your behalf. It can take many months or over a year for Social Security to schedule the hearing.
Although the process is lengthy and complex, we can often obtain approval and back pay at this stage, and we will provide you with consistent legal support and updates about your case throughout this stage of your appeal. If we do not achieve results during your ALJ hearing, we can take your claim to the Appeals Council for further consideration.
Cranberry Township Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-219-5084
Contact Our Team Today for Help with Your SSDI Case
If the SSA denied your SSDI claim, it does not necessarily mean that you do not qualify for benefits. The lawyers at Berger and Green can investigate the details of your denial, determine your eligibility, and assist you through the appeals process to help you seek the SSDI benefits you need to provide for yourself and your family. Call our legal team as soon as possible at (412) 661-1400 for a free consultation.