Millions of individuals and families rely on Social Security disability benefits as a primary source of income. Over 10 million disabled workers received Social Security disability benefits in 2015 (SSA). Getting approved for benefits is challenging, though. There is a rigorous application process and the SSA is very particular about what it considers a qualifying disability.
But it is certainly worth it. The average SSDI benefit in 2015 amounted to $1,165, significant monthly income that can be a godsend for you and your family. A Social Security disability (SSD) lawyer in Beaver County at Berger and Green can assist you with the entire disability benefit application process.
Call our office to learn how we can help you pursue the benefits you need: 412-661-1400.
What types of disabilities merit SSD benefits?
Any type of physical or mental condition that severely inhibits your functional capacity and prevents you from working can qualify you for SSD benefits. Some of the most common conditions for which people file for disability include:
- Musculoskeletal conditions, e.g., spinal disorders and burns
- Nervous system disorders, e.g., multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s
- Cardiovascular disorders, e.g., heart disease and chronic pulmonary insufficiency
- Cancers, e.g., brain cancer and lymphoma
- Mental disorders, e.g., depression and autism
- Respiratory disorders, e.g., asthma and cystic fibrosis
- Immune system disorders, e.g., HIV and arthritis
- Digestive disorders, e.g., liver disease and GERD
- Blood disorders, e.g., sickle cell anemia and hemophilia
Why do I need a lawyer for my SSD case?
While it is not mandatory to have legal representation to apply for SSD, having a lawyer assist you with your claim can be invaluable. The SSA denies approximately 70 percent of initial claims, most often because the applicants did not provide enough medical evidence, made mistakes on the paperwork, or were not clear about their rights, responsibilities, or the criteria.
Berger and Green disability lawyers can help you avoid a wrongful denial. We will guide you through the application process and assist Social Security in collecting the evidence necessary to support your case. And should the SSA deny your benefits or shut them off prematurely, we will be ready to appeal your case and protect your rights.
How can Berger and Green help me with my disability case?
We have helped hundreds of disabled people in Beaver County with their SSD cases. We know how important your benefits are, and our job is to do what it takes to help you secure them. Our disability lawyers can help with any disability claim-related tasks at any stage of the process.
Some of the things we will assist with include:
- Determining if your condition meets the SSA’s definition of disabled
- Helping Social Security to gather evidence to help prove your case to the SSA
- Ensuring your documents and forms are thorough and accurate
- Acting as your advocate during the claims process
- Answering any questions you have about disability benefits or the application
- Keeping you informed about the status of your case
- Appealing your claim if the SSA denies your benefits
What criteria must I meet to collect SSD benefits?
The SSA only provides Social Security disability benefits to those who it considers totally disabled. If you are only partially disabled and can still work, the SSA will not approve you.
The criteria for SSD benefits are basic but strict:
- You must have a SSA-defined disability. This means that you must have a condition that either meets a listing in the SSA’s Blue Book, or that is severe enough that it impairs your ability to work at any job.
- Your disability must have lasted, or be expected to last, a year or more or result in death.
- You must satisfy certain financial or work history requirements. SSI applicants must have a very limited income and limited assets, and SSDI applicants must have sufficient work credits on their record.
How can I improve my chances of winning my disability benefits?
There are three important things you can do that will greatly improve the chances of the SSA approving you for disability:
- Collect as much evidence as you can. This includes evidence from both medical and non-medical sources. Have your doctor write detailed notes about your condition and the limitations it causes. Ask your employer, coworkers, family, social workers, and friends to write letters that share their insight into how limiting your disability is. Write your own account of how your condition is affecting your life and ability to work. The more thorough and detailed your records, the better.
- Consult a disability lawyer. Berger and Green offers free disability benefit consultations and we provide our services on a contingency basis (we do not get paid unless you win your benefits), so there is no risk to you. Claims facilitated by lawyers often fare far better than those filed by claimants themselves. It only makes sense to have a professional who is on your side help you.
- Stick to your doctor’s recommendations. You must adhere to your treatments and attend all of your medical appointments to qualify for disability benefits. Your medical records must show consistent If you skip treatments and appointments, the SSA will assume you are not disabled or are not interested in getting better, and it will deny or cease your benefits.
Call Berger and Green for a FREE consultation today.
Our team at Berger and Green has a sincere passion for helping people living with disabilities in Beaver County. We can provide the advice and representation you need to navigate the SSD application process and collect the benefits you are entitled to.
Contact our office 412-661-1400 to talk to one of our staff members about your disability case today. We will schedule an in-person or phone consultation with one of our caring, highly qualified attorneys and help you take the next step to secure your benefits.