If you can no longer work due to an injury or illness, you might be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. These benefits could provide you with the financial stability you need when you cannot maintain employment.
These benefits can profoundly impact your life, but only if your application is approved. Unfortunately, many disability applications are denied at first. A Toronto Social Security Disability lawyer can help you to navigate this system and go after the benefits you need.
Understanding Social Security Disability Benefits in Ohio
Social Security Disability includes not one but two individual programs. These programs include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). While each of these programs is designed to assist the disabled, they have important differences.
What is SSDI?
The benefits paid out through SSDI are exclusively for members of the workforce who have become disabled. In addition, there are options for the family members of disabled workers to apply for benefits.
The government funds SSDI benefits through payroll tax receipts. For that reason, only workers who have substantially contributed to these taxes over the years are eligible for benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) awards these benefits based on the number of work credits you have at the time you apply.
Work credits are a way to calculate your payroll tax contributions. You can earn up to four work credits per year if you work full time. You may be eligible for SSD with a minimum of 20 credits, which is approximately five years of work. It is also necessary for some of these credits to have been earned recently. Even if you do not qualify for full benefits, you could still be entitled to partial benefits.
What is SSI?
The eligibility requirements for SSI are different than SSDI. Because these benefits are paid through general funds instead of payroll taxes. SSI exists to support low-income individuals who have become disabled.
To qualify for SSI, you must have resources that are below the limits set by the SSA. However, these limits take into account more than just your paychecks.
The assets you own, like real estate or investments, will be considered in your application for SSI. If your asset levels are too high, you could be ineligible for benefits through SSI. Speaking with a Social Security Disability attorney can help you understand the application limits.
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability lawyer serving Toronto, call 412-661-1400
Appealing an Unsatisfying SSD Outcome in Toronto
You have the right to appeal a denial of your SSD benefits. It is important that you appeal your denial in a timely fashion, Missing a deadline can mean a loss of benefits or back pay.
In either case, having an attorney by your side could improve your chances of success at the appellate level. In total, your case could go through four levels of appeals. If you receive a favorable outcome at any level, your appeal ends, and you will receive the benefits you deserve.
The first tier of appeal in a Social Security Disability case is known as a request for reconsideration. This type of appeal asks for the SSA to reconsider the decision. However, the decision is reviewed by someone other than the parties that issued the initial denial.
If the reconsideration does not go your way, you have the right to appeal to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ hearing is similar to a trial, but it is technically an appeal that occurs within the SSA itself. You have the right to be represented by an attorney at this hearing.
Appeals Counsel Review
The highest tier of appeals within the SSA is a review by the Appeals Counsel. You have the right to seek review from the Appeals Counsel, but they are not obligated to hear your case. Instead, the Appeals Counsel determines whether they review the decision of the ALJ for errors. If the Appeals Counsel does not take up your case, you can still appeal the decision to a federal court.
You have the option to appeal to a federal court in cases where the Appeals Counsel rejected your appeal or refused to hear it at all. At this stage, you must file a lawsuit that petitions the court to review your case. A federal judge will look into the record of your case to determine if the decision was made in error.
Toronto Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
What if I Have More Questions About Social Security Disability?
Our firm understands that pursuing Social Security Disability benefits can be a confusing process. For many people who have worked most of their lives, the thought of receiving these benefits at all might be foreign. It is not uncommon to have questions about how SSD benefits work, what you might be entitled to recover, and what the Social Security Disability application process may look like.
The good news is that you can get all the answers you need during a free consultation with our lawyers representing the areas of Toronto, Ohio. Our firm offers free consultations for those seeking SSD benefits. When you reach out to our office, we can review your eligibility and advise you on the strength of your claim.
At Berger and Green, our SSD attorneys can also explain the process of filing a claim as well as appealing a denial. Your initial consultation is the right time to ask any question you might have about the process.
You Could Benefit From Discussing Your SSD Claim with an Attorney
To receive Social Security Disability benefits, you will need to meet the qualifications for either SSI or SSDI. These requirements are strictly enforced by the SSA, making denied claims a common occurrence. Thankfully, the right legal counsel could help you with your claim or even your appeal.
The attorneys of Berger and Green are ready to help you navigate the Social Security Disability process. Each step of the way, we will advise you on your best path forward. When you are ready to get started, a Toronto Social Security Disability lawyer is here to help. Reach out as soon as possible for your free consultation.