If you are unable to work because of a physical or mental condition, you may be feeling stressed and overwhelmed. The process of applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be complicated, from filing paperwork to compiling necessary supplemental documents.
You are not alone. Our lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping people with disabilities pursue compensation through the government programs that are in place. We take your case seriously because we know how it can affect your financial future.
To speak with a member of our team or receive a free case evaluation, contact Berger and Green today at (412) 661-1400.
Determining Who Qualifies for Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has its own strict definition of what it means to be disabled.
Under its interpretation, you are disabled if:
- You cannot do work that you did in the past
- You are prevented from doing another type of work because of your condition
- Your condition is expected to last for at least one year or result in your death
Additionally, to determine whether someone meets its definition of disabled, the SSA relies on a step-by-step process that involves five questions:
- Are you working in a job where you earn more than $1,260 per month?
- Is your disability “severe” enough to prevent you from doing basic work that involves sitting, standing, lifting, walking, or remembering things?
- Is your condition included in the list of disabling conditions?
- Can you still do the work you did before your disabilities developed?
- Can you do any type of work, despite your impairments?
A Worthington, OH Social Security Disability lawyer can help you determine if a condition you have qualifies you for SSD benefits. Keep in mind that disabilities are not limited to physical capacity. If you have a mental disability that falls under the SSA’s list of disabling conditions, you may still qualify.
We can work with you to understand the limitations of your condition and include that in your documentation.
Residual Functional Capacity
Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) is the SSA’s assessment of what you can do, despite your disability. For example, even though you may not be able to lift heavy objects or stand for several hours, you may still be able to do a job that is less physically demanding.
To learn what you are capable of doing, the SSA will perform an assessment.
- Determine your eligibility by reviewing your medical records
- Request that your own doctor evaluate your ability to work
- Schedule and ask you to attend an exam with their physician
If a physician finds that your condition prevents you from doing the work you previously did as well as any other type of work, you may be approved for SSD benefits.
If you need help filing your application, we are here for you. Additionally, if your request for SSD benefits was denied, we can review your paperwork and evaluate why it was not approved. For a free, no-risk review of your case, contact Berger and Green at (412) 661-1400.
Understanding the Types of Disability Benefits Available
There are two disability benefits programs, which, depending on the nuances of your situation, may apply to you.
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): This type of SSD benefit is available to those who have worked long enough and have paid into Social Security. Their family members may also benefit from this program.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI): This program is designed for people who are in dire need, such as disabled adults and their children who have limited resources or income. It provides cash payment for essentials like food, water, shelter, and clothing.
A member of our team can work out which of these programs best applies to you.
Pursuing Disability Benefits After a Denial
If you were denied SSD benefits, you have the right to appeal the decision. Typically, you have 60 days from the time that you receive the notice to file an appeal.
This process consists of four different levels, which include:
- Hearing by a Judge
- Review by an Appeals Council
- Federal Court review
After your application was denied, the SSA will have sent you a letter explaining the reasons for their determination and provide guidance for further action. Our team understands that even the slightest error or misunderstanding can lead to the denial of SSD benefits. We can handle the appeal process on your behalf, ensuring that your paperwork is filled out correctly and file it before the 60-day window expires.
It is important to note that you must wait for a decision on your reconsideration request before we enter the hearing stage.
How a Worthington, OH, Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help
We are here to take the burden and stress off your shoulders, making sure that all your necessary paperwork is promptly filed and that it is all filled in accurately. We also are here to ensure that all required medical documents are attached (such as x-rays or CT scans) to your application.
If you are just starting the process, we can explain the qualifications and criteria for a disability and help you understand which program best fits your condition. A Worthington, OH Social Security Disability lawyer from our team may be able to assist you with any stage of the process. Whether you need help with your initial filing or you have been denied and are in the appeals process, we have the knowledge and resources to bring you some clarity.
We can also explore whether a personal injury lawsuit may be an option. In some cases, our clients’ conditions have been caused by an accident that was the result of another party’s negligence. When this is the case, we can also explore the option of pursuing compensation through a lawsuit.
We understand that the process of fighting for your SSD benefits is not easy. If you do qualify for benefits, we can evaluate your case and help you throughout the process.
For a free, no-risk consultation, contact Berger and Green now at (412) 661-1400.