Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federally regulated insurance program funded by your payroll tax dollars. As such, it operates similarly to any other insurance plan.
If you become disabled and cannot return to your job, you have a right to file for SSDI benefits. If your disability meets the criteria set by the Social Security Administration, you may receive disability benefits. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. In fact, most disability claims are rejected each year.
Berger and Green can help you with your SSDI case. Call our law firm today to get a free case evaluation and see how a McCandless Social Security Disability Insurance lawyer can handle your case.
Determining Whether You Qualify for SSDI Benefits
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), you may be classified as disabled if your accident or medical condition prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity.
Per the SSA, “a person who is earning more than a certain monthly amount (net of impairment-related work expenses) is ordinarily considered to be engaging in [substantial gainful activity].” This amount can change yearly.
For 2020, the substantial gainful activity threshold for SSDI is $1,260 for non-blind applicants. For blind applicants, the threshold is $2,110. Determining what income counts toward this threshold can be difficult, but a lawyer can help you make sense of this criterion.
In addition to establishing your inability to engage in substantial gainful activity, you must meet the following conditions to qualify for SSDI:
- Your disability is caused by a physical/mental disability.
- Your disability has lasted or is projected to last at least 12 months.
- You are under the full retirement age
- You have the proper number of work credits.
It is important to have a basic understanding of your eligibility before you apply for SSDI.
What to Know About Work Credits
If you do not have enough work credits, you will not be eligible for SSDI. For each year you work and pay Social Security taxes, you receive a specific amount of work credits. How many work credits you need depends on your page. A 55-year-old worker will need more work credits than a 25-year-old worker.
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability insurance lawyer serving McCandless, call (412) 661-1400
What to Expect from the SSDI Application Process
You can apply online, by telephone, or at a local Social Security office. You will likely be required to provide legal documents such as:
- Work history
- Military discharge papers
- Recent W-2 or a tax return
- Proof of citizenship/legal residence
- Social Security number
Depending on your condition, satisfying the medical criteria can be straightforward. This is especially true if you have a condition found in the SSA’s Listing of Impairments. Conditions found in the Listing of Impairments include back injuries, heart or respiratory disease, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, auto-immune disease, or neurological disorders with certain medical findings.
If you do not have a qualifying condition, Social Security will need to evaluate your residual functional capacity. Your residual functional capacity, or RFC, tells the SSA what tasks you are capable of handling and for how long.
Our team can help you determine what steps you might need to take to qualify. Call our office for a free case evaluation by dialing (412) 661-1400.
McCandless Social Security Disability Insurance Lawyer Near Me (412) 661-1400
What to Expect if Your Claim Is Denied
The SSA denies many applications because applicants did not fill out the applications properly, failed to include vital information, or did not follow SSA instructions. If your claim is rejected, you do not need to start the application process all over.
You have 60 days to enter into the appeals process by submitting a Request for Reconsideration. If the SSA upholds the denial during this process, you can ask for a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. If your case does not succeed at this level, there are 2 other stages you can navigate to get your benefits.
You have a right to legal representation at any point throughout this process. Call Berger and Green to help you with the appeals process. We may guide you through each step of the process. Some of our legal services include:
Reviewing Your Claim
Our legal team reviews your claim and goes over all of the previous paperwork. If we find errors in your application or need more information, then we can work with you to address the issues. We can fill out your appeal paperwork for you to ensure that it is 100 percent accurate and thorough.
Make Sure SSA Knows About Your Medical Condition
If you do not submit enough compelling evidence to prove your disability, SSA will turn down your application. Also, they may send you to their own doctors to verify your claim. We can ensure the SSA has the appropriate information about the applicant’s medical providers.
Represent You During the Appeals Process
The appeals process follows four levels that include reconsideration, a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge, an Appeals Council review, and a Federal Court review. Our lawyers can attend to all hearings and reviews to present your case and lay out the facts. Having legal representation may give you peace of mind.
Let Our Law Firm Help You with Your SSDI Case
Do not take chances with your Social Security disability benefits. Call Berger and Green at (412) 661-1400 to get a free case review to discover if our McCandless Social Security disability insurance lawyers can take on your case.