Millions of disabled people depend on Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits to provide them with a stable financial resource. Approval for SSD benefits is a difficult and selective process that turns down many applicants who are seeking financial support for a disability that prevents them from working.
Having an experienced attorney on your side who is familiar with the SSD approval process and can make all the difference. At O’Connor, Acciani & Levy, our Covington social security disability lawyers are experienced in handling denied SSD claims and guiding applicants through the application process.
REQUIREMENTS FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY INCOME
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), you must meet a number of requirements from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Most importantly, applicants must have worked in jobs that paid taxes into Social Security and must meet the SSA’s strict definition of disability.
An applicant will be considered disabled if:
- You cannot perform the work you did previously
- You cannot adjust to another type of work
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death
Because SSDI is only available to those who can no longer work, there are limits to the amount of income applicants can earn from working. In 2016, the income limit is $1,130.
If you meet these requirements and were still denied SSD benefits, hiring an attorney is the surest way to obtain compensation. Our Covington lawyers are experienced in handling SSD approval cases and can work with you if your claim has been denied.
SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME
For individuals who are low income or who do not meet the previous work requirements for SSDI benefits, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This is a needs-based disability program that is available to adults and children with limited income and resources.
In order to be eligible for SSI, applicants must:
- Meet the SSA’s definition of disability
- Have less than $733 per month for individuals or $1,100 per month for couples in income from various sources
Children are only able to receive disability benefits through the SSI program because they have not previously worked and paid into Social Security. However, if their parent qualifies for SSDI, children may be able to receive benefits through the parent’s record.
Our team of Covington social security disability attorneys are well-versed in the many requirements for disability benefits and can help you determine which program is best for you. We will then guide you through the entire application and appeals process.
DOCUMENTS NEEDED FOR THE SSD APPROVAL PROCESS
If you are trying to apply to receive SSD benefits, or attempting to appeal a denied claim, you will need to have these documents and information readily available at the time of your application:
- A Social Security Number (SSN) for you and your spouse or children if they are applying as well.
- Pay stubs, W-2 form or your federal tax return as proof of your income within the previous year.
- Names, addresses and phone numbers of any physicians and medical facilities that you have sought treatment from for your disability.
- A list of any medications you are currently taking.
If you are having trouble obtaining any of these items, our Covington social security disability attorneys are able to assist you in finding the right documentation you need to qualify. We will provide you with a free consultation to review your SSD claim and determine the next steps you need to take.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE SSD APPROVAL PROCESS
The SSD approval process can be very difficult and selective. Many applicants are turned down for a variety of reasons and some find it to be a demoralizing moment that causes them to give up on receiving financial support for their disability.
After you have applied for SSD approval, the SSA will begin the approval process that could last anywhere from four to six months. The SSA will take the following steps before it grants approval:
- Your case will be assigned to a disability examiner who will review your disability application.
- The examiner will look up your disability in the SSA’s Blue Book of impairment listings and will determine if you meet the listed requirements for the disability.
- In most cases, the applicant will not meet the requirements of the SSA’s impairment listing. If this happens, the examiner will then examine documentation of your physical and/or mental state to determine if your disability fully prohibits you from working.
- The examiner will then compare their findings to your previous employment background to determine if you are still able or qualified to return to a prior job you have held within the last 15 years.
- If the examiner finds that your disability truly prevents you from working in a past or new field of employment, then you will be approved for SSD benefits.
With years of experience guiding applicants through the application and appeals process, we can help ensure your claim is complete and accurate every step of the way. If your claim is denied, having one of our Social Security lawyers in Covington by your side will help you tremendously when appealing the denial. It is important to always file an appeal if your claim has been denied, as a significant number of applications are approved upon appeal.
CONTACT OUR COVINGTON SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY ATTORNEYS
If you are applying for, or have been denied SSD benefits, hiring legal representation may provide the support and guidance needed for approval. The Covington Social Security Disability lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy will help you fight for your SSD benefits.
Do not let a denial get in the way of seeking financial support for a disability that has prevented you from being able to provide for you or your loved ones. We will provide you with a free consultation to review your claim and determine whether it requires further legal action.