If you have a medical condition that prevents you from earning a living as you once did and you have not yet reached retirement age, you could qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you apply for Social Security disability benefits as you work on improving your health.
You can schedule a free legal consultation with a Social Security disability lawyer in Port St. Lucie. Our team of proficient lawyers has helped many individuals obtain SSDI benefits after an unexpected medical condition disrupted their lives.
Understanding The SSDI Program
The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays monthly benefits to disabled individuals—regardless of age—who have worked for a specific number of years in jobs that pay Social Security taxes.
Besides working in jobs that cover Social Security, workers must earn a maximum of four Social Security “credits” for each year. Credits are the “building blocks” SSA uses to determine whether workers have the necessary amount of “covered work” to qualify for Social Security benefits.
When we meet with you, we can review your work history to determine whether Social Security covers your job. We can also determine how many credits you have earned that can help you qualify for benefits.
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability lawyer serving Port St. Lucie, 800-747-3733
Comparing Social Security Disability (SSD) And Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Many people wonder about the connection between SSD and SSI. SSA handles both of these financial assistance programs, functioning similarly in many cases. However, they do have several differences that we can consider.
SSI provides financial assistance to disabled individuals, just like SSD. However, SSA primarily uses the SSI program to assist individuals who experience a disability or cannot work due to their age, even if they did not pay into the Social Security program through their taxes.
A Social Security disability lawyer serving Port St. Lucie can help you review both programs, allowing you to determine your eligibility for coverage.
Port St. LucieSocial Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 800-747-3733
When SSA Pays Disability Benefits
SSA pays benefits only if a person has a total disability. Social Security rules consider you disabled when:
- You cannot do the work that you did prior to your disability.
- SSA decides that your medical condition prevents you from adjusting to other work.
- Your disability has lasted for at least one year or death is expected.
SSA will not pay benefits if you have a partial or short-term disability. According to SSA, workers’ compensation, insurance, savings, and other resources are available for these types of disabilities.
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SSDI Benefits And Your Family
Many people in Port St. Lucie become injured or disabled while acting as their family’s primary provider. In this situation, you may wonder if SSA will offer funding to help provide for your spouse, children, or other dependents.
In some cases, SSA provides SSDI benefits to other family members after an accident leaves you disabled. However, you must meet specific requirements to obtain these benefits.
A lawyer can review the benefit programs available to your family. For example, depending on your situation, your family may qualify for assistance handling medical expenses or grocery bills.
Port St. Lucie Social Security DisabilityYOU CAN TRUST US 800-747-3733
How SSA Decides Whether You Are Disabled
SSA’s process for deciding whether you are disabled involves asking five questions:
- Are you working?
- Is your condition considered “severe”?
- Is your condition in the list of disabling conditions?
- Can you do the work you did previously?
- Can you do any other type of work?
Have a Social Security disability lawyer in Port St. Lucie review these questions with you and discuss your medical condition and whether you can work during your initial consultation.
When SSA Does Not Consider You Disabled
SSA does not consider you disabled if:
- You are still working and earn an average of $1,180 or more each month.
- Your medical condition does not interfere with basic work-related activities or with the work you have done in the past.
- You can adjust to other types of work.
- Your medical condition is not the on SSA’s list of medical conditions.
Medical Condition Listings
SSA has a “listing of impairments” that describes conditions considered severe enough to prevent you from “doing any gainful activity.” The lsting includes impairments considered permanent and expected to result in death.
Some of the medical conditions on the list include:
- Cardiovascular problems, such as chronic heart failure and vein or artery disorders
- Digestive system disorders, such as gastrointestinal hemorrhage and liver dysfunction
- Respiratory disorders, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma
- Cancer, except certain cancers associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection
- Neurological disorders, such as cerebral palsy
- Traumatic brain injury
Having a medical condition that is not on the impairments list does not mean that you are ineligible for benefits. We may still be able to help you qualify for benefits through another part of the disability evaluation process.
You Need Evidence To Prove Your Medical Condition
We will discuss with you the specific type of medical and non-medical evidence SSA needs to determine how your health problems affect your ability to work. For instance, if you have a digestive system disorder, SSA wants to know about the severity and duration of your digestive problem.
To prepare, we will obtain documents such as:
- Endoscopy reports
- X-ray imaging
- Computerized axial tomography (CAT) scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies
We can help you obtain copies of your physical exams, laboratory test results, and other records needed to prove that your medical condition prevents you from working.
We Can Help You Appeal Your SSDI Decision
If you have already applied for SSDI and received a rejection notice from SSA, we could help you appeal the decision. Our legal team has years of experience appealing SSDI applications that SSA initially denied.
According to SSA, the most common non-medical reason for denying a claim is due to an insufficient number of recent work credits. SSA also denies claims because they do not consider a claimant’s medical condition severe enough to merit disability benefits.
We know what it takes to prove that you have a disability based on SSA guidelines. We can help you file your initial application and appeal a denied decision.
SSA’s Four-Step Appeals Process
SSA gives claimants four ways to appeal:
- Reconsideration by a Disability Determination Service field office
- A hearing before an administrative law judge
- A review by the Appeals Council
- Federal court review
SSDI And Workers’ Compensation Claims In Port St. Lucie
If you sustained an on-the-job injury that left you with a disability, you might qualify for both SSDI and workers’ compensation coverage in Florida. Workers’ comp coverage only applies if your injury occurred while you were working; you may receive SSDI even if your injury occurred away from work.
The Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation operates its workers’ comp program. Most businesses must carry this form of coverage for their employees. Generally, workers’ comp insurance helps cover your:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages at work
However, the program does not cover the total amount of your lost income. Instead, it provides a percentage of your average weekly wage. In addition, you must submit a claim about your accident to your employer to receive workers’ comp. This claim runs separately from any claim you file with SSA.
Workers’ Comp Affects The Amount of SSDI You Receive
You may receive both workers’ compensation and SSDI payments after an accident. However, your workers’ comp payment will affect your SSDI payout.
Generally, SSA reduces your SSDI payment if you also receive workers’ comp payments, ensuring that your total benefits do not exceed a certain level. A lawyer can review all the possible benefits associated with your claim to help you understand your compensation options.
Before You File a Claim, Contact The Law Offices Of Anidjar & Levine
Filing for SSDI is much more than just completing an application. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine will help you retrieve information needed for your application to complete this technical and complicated process.
Contact us today with our online form to meet with a Social Security disability lawyer in Port St. Lucie and discuss filing for the disability benefits you need to move on with your life.
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