If you believe you are entitled to Social Security Disability benefits, seeking out legal counsel could be in your best interest. You could be entitled to benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. An attorney could assist with reviewing your case and filing your claim with the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The SSA denies disability claims on a regular basis. These denials can be disappointing, but they do not mean you should abandon your claim for benefits. You have the right to appeal your decision, which could result in a reversal in your favor. A Struthers Social Security Disability lawyer can help you with your claim.
Medical Requirements for Disability Benefits in Ohio
You must meet the medical requirements for Social Security Disability benefits, whether pursuing a claim for SSI or SSDI. It is not enough for you to live with a serious injury that hampers your quality of life. To qualify as disabled for the purposes of Social Security benefits, you must meet the following conditions
- You must have a condition like an illness or injury, and
- That condition must prevent you from taking part in substantial gainful activity.
In the perspective of SSA, substantial gainful activity generally means an inability to work full-time for a minimum of 1 year. If you are unable to maintain employment to support yourself, you could meet the medical requirements for disability benefits.
Different conditions could meet these requirements, including injuries or illnesses. Many of the most common conditions that qualify as disabilities with the SSA are compiled in the Blue Book, which is how the SSA evaluates disabilities. You will likely meet this medical requirement if you are diagnosed with a condition found in the Blue Book.
You could also meet this requirement even if your condition is not located in the Blue Book. Some people’s complete list of symptoms cannot be tied to a single, obvious source. Our firm could help you establish that you have a condition not listed in the Blue Book that prevents you from substantial gainful activity.
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability lawyer serving Struthers, call 412-661-1400
Non-Medical Requirements for Disability Benefits
In addition to medical requirements, there are also non-medical requirements for securing Social Security Disability benefits. These requirements differ substantially depending on whether you are seeking SSDI or SSI benefits.
SSDI benefits cover disabled members of the workforce who can no longer perform substantial gainful activity. These benefits are covered by the receipts of payroll taxes, and you are only entitled to recover them if you have contributed to those taxes over the years.
The SSA measures these contributions using something referred to as work credits. If you have 40 work credits, you are entitled to receive full disability benefits through SSDI. You can earn up to four work credits per year, assuming you work 40 hours per week. So, generally, less work credits may decrease the benefits you are entitled to recover.
However, this is not always correct. A Struthers Social Security Disability attorney at our firm can help you evaluate your work credits and the benefits you can receive.
SSI provides benefits to individuals who meet strict income guidelines and who do not have a strong work history and are unable to perform substantial gainful activity. These benefits are strictly means tested, meaning that if you make too much money or have too many assets you will not qualify. To calculate whether an individual meets the income requirements, the SSI will investigate such things including:
- Your income, like paychecks, royalties, or tips
- Your assets, like investments and property
- In-kind contributions, like having a free place to live
Struthers Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
You Could Be Entitled to Back Pay For SSI or SSDI Benefits
You might be surprised to learn that your benefits could begin to accrue before your application is approved. The SSA could offer back pay for both SSI and SSDI benefits depending on the circumstances.
Back pay is designed to compensate you for the time you spend waiting on your application to be accepted. If the SSA approves your SSI or SSDI application, you could be entitled to back pay for benefits starting on your established onset date.
It is worth noting that appealing a denial will not prevent you from recovering back pay. The appellate process can be lengthy in many cases. This could lead to a substantial amount of back pay owed following a successful appeal.
How an Ohio Attorney Could Help Your Disability Claim
It may not be a good idea to pursue Social Security Disability benefits on your own. The process can be long and challenging, and the consequences of a mistake are often steep. One wrong step during your application or appeal could cost you the benefits you need.
Thankfully, you have the right to hire an attorney to serve as your advocate. There are many ways your attorney could assist you with this process. Some of those ways include:
Advising You on Eligibility
The eligibility requirements for SSI and SSDI benefits are strictly enforced and difficult to understand. Our firm could review your circumstances. Then, we can advise you if you meet these qualifications and which qualifications you meet.
Preparing Your Application
Many of the mistakes that derail a claim for Social Security Disability benefits occur during the application process. An attorney from our firm could ensure that your application is correct and accurate. These efforts could avoid numerous reasons for a denial.
Filing Your Application
After advising you of the qualifications and preparing your application, an attorney could assist you with filing. This includes not only the application itself but any documents that must also be attached.
Appealing a Denial
Not all applications are approved. It is very important to remember that if your claim has been denied that you should not give up. An experienced Social Security disability lawyer will appeal your denial and represent you at your hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
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Talk to an Ohio Attorney About Your Social Security Disability Claim
If you are considering an application for Social Security Disability benefits, you should not proceed alone. Without legal counsel, a simple mistake can jeopardize your chance at receiving your benefits. The team at Berger and Green understands what is at stake.
Social Security Disability benefits could have a significant impact on your quality of life, and our firm is prepared to aggressively pursue them on your behalf. Let a Struthers Social Security Disability lawyer from our firm help. Call for a free consultation as soon as possible.