Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are available to individuals with an injury or illness that prevents them from working. However, to secure payments, you must demonstrate you have a condition that is disabling by going through a complex application process.
Berger and Green has over 40 years of experience serving the injured, so we know what it takes to get the payments you need and deserve. Our Wheeling Social Security Disability lawyers can take the burden of your claim off your shoulders and help you avoid common application errors. We can also fight for you during an SSD appeal and at your hearing.
Do You Have a Medical Condition that Qualifies for Social Security Disability?
Not all injuries and illnesses qualify as disabling by Social Security Administration (SSA) standards, even if they interfere with your ability to work. You must meet specific criteria, starting with your medical condition.
One of the first things the SSA will look at is whether your ailment is in its Blue Book, which lists conditions considered disabling. Injuries and illnesses in the Blue Book include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Chronic heart failure
- Chronic kidney and liver disease
- Burns and skin disorders
- Organ transplant
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Immune deficiency disorders
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
If the Blue Book doesn’t list your medical condition, you can still seek SSD. However, you must provide medical evidence proving your condition is as severe and debilitating as those listed.
For a free legal consultation with a Social Security Disability lawyer serving Wheeling, call 412-661-1400
Do You Meet SSD Work and Income Requirements?
SSD eligibility also depends on your work history and income. First, it is important to understand that Social Security Disability is an umbrella term for two distinct programs:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This program assists individuals who have earned work credits through employment contributions. In general, you must have a minimum of 20 credits (around five years of work) to qualify for benefits, but younger workers may need fewer.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI provides disability payments to individuals with limited resources and income. You do not need work credits to qualify.
Some SSD recipients qualify for these programs at the same time (concurrently). Our West Virginia SSD lawyers can help you understand your eligibility and file the appropriate applications.
In addition to the above requirements, your average monthly income cannot exceed the substantial gainful activity limit (SGA). According to the SSA, the SGA rate for 2023 is $1,470. If you can earn more than this monthly, the SSA does not consider your condition severe enough to prevent you from performing basic work-related activities and therefore does not believe you have a disability.
Don’t Wait to Apply for SSD Benefits
You should apply for benefits immediately if you cannot work because of an injury or illness. The application and appeals process can be lengthy, it’s in your best interest not to wait to file a claim once you know your condition will keep you out of work for 12 months or longer. Our firm can help you get started right away.
Wheeling Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Expected Social Security Disability Payment Amounts
Your SSDI payments are based on your work credits. The more credits you have, the more money you will receive. You can estimate your monthly payments using the SSA’s online Benefits Calculator.
SSI payments change annually according to economic indicators. The SSA reports that the monthly benefit rate for 2023 is $914 per individual.
Our Wheeling Social Security Disability Lawyers Can Manage Your Claim
More disability claims get denied than approved by the SSA. According to the Social Security Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, nearly 70 percent of initial applications do not end in a favorable decision.
Our Wheeling Social Security Disability Lawyers can file your application and ensure the SSA has the appropriate information regarding your health care providers. This may help you avoid common reasons for denial, which include:
- Insufficient medical evidence
- Clerical errors
- Records indicating your income exceeds SGA
- Failure to follow your doctor’s treatment plan
- Failure to cooperate with SSA requests for additional information
- Previously denied applications (you cannot refile, you must appeal)
We Handle SSD Appeals
If the SSA denies your claim or you disagree with your payment amount, our lawyers can help you navigate an appeal. There are four stages to the process:
- Reconsideration. We can ask the SSA to take a second look at your application. This stage rarely results in a reversal of the initial decision.
- Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). We can ask for an ALJ hearing by phone, video conference, or in person. We can represent you during this official preceding and bolster your claim by introducing new evidence (if available).
- Appeals Council review. If you disagree with the ALJ’s determination, we can ask the Appeals Council to review the decision.
- Federal court. We can take civil action and file your appeal in U.S. District Court.
We Care About Our Clients
Our experience assisting clients with disabilities has given us insight into how a severe injury or illness can upend your life. We want to get you the monetary resources you need while placing as little burden on you and your family as possible. We are here to listen to your needs, address your concerns, and respond to your issues. Just read what a previous SSD client had to say about our services:
“I’m so thankful…it’s like I can’t say it enough. They really stepped in and made things happen for me. If you are in a situation where you are unsure of your future, but you’re disabled, and you’re not sure how you’re going to make it to the next day, they can step in and make things happen for you.”
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Contact Berger and Green About Your Social Security Disability Claim
Contact Berger and Green to learn more about how our Wheeling Social Security Disability lawyers in West Virginia can fight for you. We take cases on contingency, meaning we can assist with your claim for nothing up front or out of pocket. Connect with an SSD lawyer from our firm near you today.