Becoming disabled can come as a shock not only on a physical level. Disability can also cause concerns and worry about your financial future and how to support those you love. While Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is available through the Social Security Administration (SSA) to provide assistance to those with disabilities, the process can be lengthy. Benefits may be denied at the initial claim as well as at any reconsideration levels.
Understanding Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI can pay benefits to you when you become disabled, provided that you have worked a certain amount of time and paid Social Security taxes. In order to receive benefits, you must have collected a certain amount of work credits before your disability and have a condition that qualifies as disabled, according to the SSA’s definition.
Benefits are calculated on average lifetime earnings. Certain benefits may also be available for eligible family members such as the spouse or children of a claimant.
Social Security will consider disability benefits for those who:
- Cannot do the work they did before
- Cannot take up alternative work due to their medical condition
- Have a disability that is expected to last at least a year or result in death
While it is possible to file a Social Security disability claim on your own, an Erie social security disability insurance lawyer can prepare your case appropriately and help you with every aspect of filing for benefits. While claimants may not know where to start and end up with their claim refused, we are familiar with the laws and regulations of SSDI and could help you get the benefits you deserve. Contact Berger and Green now for a free consultation at (412) 661-1400.
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability insurance lawyer serving Erie, call (412) 661-1400
The Evaluation Process for Social Security Disability
Since many SSDI applications end up denied and having to go through the appeals process, it can be useful to familiarize yourself with the evaluation process for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has developed a comprehensive screening process for those applying for SSDI.
Severity of Disability
The SSA will want to establish whether your condition is severe enough to stop you from carrying out basic work tasks and activities. If not, you may not be considered disabled. If yes, SSA will check your condition against their list of disabling medical conditions, also called the “Blue Book.” If your medical condition is listed and the severity of your disability sufficient, according to the SSA Blue Book, you will be considered disabled. You will, however, have to submit medical records showing your condition and severity.
Ability to Work
If your disability is not listed in the Blue Book, you may still qualify for SSDI. The agency will then want to determine whether you are able to work. First of all, SSA will try to assess if you can potentially do the work you did previously. If you are unable to do so, the agency will assess whether you could carry out another type of work. If Social Security comes to the conclusion that you could adjust to other suitable work, you will not receive disability benefits, and your claim will most likely be denied.
Something else to consider is that receiving benefits, even if you are approved, can take some time. The application process itself can take several months, and there is also a mandatory waiting period of five months before you receive any payments. According to the SSA, your first benefit—if you qualify—will be paid out in the sixth month after the agency finds that your disability began.
Do not wait and apply for disability benefits as soon as possible. Your Erie social security disability insurance lawyer can help prove your eligibility for benefits. Contact Berger and Green today for advice at (412) 661-1400.
How Berger and Green Can Help You
Facing life with a disability can be tough. Having to deal with all the paperwork and appointments for filing a claim for benefits can seem overwhelming and confusing. Unfortunately, not knowing how to file a claim properly, or missing any crucial supporting documentation, can lead to denial of your claim.
However, you do not have to struggle with this on your own. Berger and Green can be by your side every step of the way and help you prove eligibility. We can assist with your application from the first day and not only when your initial claim has been denied. We can provide you with practical help as well as legal advice regarding your claim. Other ways in which Berger and Green can help you progress your case include:
Assessing Your Application
We can review your application and determine your next best steps for receiving Social Security disability benefits. We understand the application process and can present your case strongly, ensuring that your application is complete and includes the necessary paperwork required.
Gathering the Necessary Documentation
We can help Social Security gather the necessary documents to prove your claim and submit them to the SSA in a timely manner, including medical records proving eligibility. We can also determine whether you need to do any further tests to prove your condition and eligibility for disability benefits. If your case has been denied, we can review why and take the necessary steps to appeal. Throughout the entire process, we can keep in close contact with the SSA to progress your claim.
Help with Administrative Hearings
If your claim is denied, you may have to attend a disability hearing with an Administrative Law Judge as part of the appeals process. Your Erie social security disability insurance lawyer can prepare you adequately for the hearing, make sure that you are comfortable with the proceedings, and know what to expect. We can also represent you and argue on your behalf at the administrative hearing.
The appeals process can be arduous and lengthy; however, we can be by your side throughout and work hard on helping you pursue the benefits you and your family deserve.
Erie Social Security Disability Insurance Lawyer Near Me (412) 661-1400
Call Us Today
Whether you are in the initial stages of filing your first SSDI claim or have already had your claim denied, we can help you. Call Berger and Green now for a free, no-obligation review of your case by dialing (412) 661-1400.