Depending on their situation, people with disabilities can apply for two different types of benefits. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you with your claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
Get help from a Social Security disability lawyer in Titusville, FL. Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine to get a free consultation.
Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has strict rules about who is eligible for Social Security disability benefits. You must have a significant medical condition that prevents you from working in order to qualify for these programs.
Be aware that the SSA denies a lot of claims on the initial filing. Some of the factors that can lead to a claim denial include:
- Inexperienced or unqualified doctor: The SSA sets specific criteria for doctors or medical professionals to qualify to perform residual functional capacity (RFC) assessments, which forms a large foundation of your claim. If the doctor performs the RFC incorrectly or is unqualified to perform an RFC, the SSA may deny your claim.
- Errors on paperwork: If you omit information or err when filling out the paperwork to file your claim, the SSA may use the error as grounds to deny your claim.
- Incomplete medical information: If you fail to provide the required medical records and other paperwork, the SSA may deny your claim due to incomplete medical information.
If your claim was denied, you still have options to continue your fight for disability benefits. An attorney can help.
Three Categories of Conditions That May Qualify for Benefits
The SSA can authorize disability benefits to people in any one of these three groups:
People with Significant Medical Conditions in the SSA Blue Book
The SSA evaluates the medical severity of illnesses or injuries using the criteria of the Blue Book, also called the Listing of Impairments. The Blue Book provides specific criteria the SSA can use to determine if a person’s illness or injury qualifies for disability benefits.
“Equal Severity” Medical Conditions
If your illness or injury is not in the Blue Book, but it is just as significant as a condition found in the Blue Book, we can argue to the SSA that your condition qualifies as falling within the “equally severe” category.
Medical Condition Prevents You from Working
Let’s say that you have a disease that is not in the Blue Book and is not of equal medical severity to a diagnosis found in that guide, but in your situation, your medical condition prevents you from working to support yourself. This category is the most difficult one to prove; however, it is possible to qualify for Social Security disability benefits in this situation.
Additional Requirements for Social Security Disability Benefits
No matter how significant your medical condition is, you must also pass these three tests to be eligible for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits:
- You earn less than $1,220 a month in 2019 (unless you are blind, and then your earnings limit is $2,040 a month); and
- You have built up enough work credits for your age; and
- You are unable to work to support yourself at your current job, your previous job, or any other job, even with modifications to your work environment or additional education or job training.
Work Credits Explained
SSDI benefits are only available to people who have paid enough money to the Social Security system. The money that your employer takes from your paycheck and sends to the government for Social Security taxes provides the funding for this program.
You earned one work credit for every quarter (three-month period) that you worked at a job that paid into Social Security. The number of work credits you will need to be eligible for SSDI benefits will depend on your age at the time that you became disabled. Younger people do not need as many work credits because they have not had as much time to accumulate them.
Your Options if You Do Not Have Enough Work Credits
Some people meet the medical severity test, but they do not qualify for SSDI benefits because they do not have enough work credits. For people in the situation, the government created Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The guidelines for SSI are strict. The purpose of the SSI program is to prevent disabled people from being destitute. If a disabled person meets the low income and low asset requirements of SSI, he or she might qualify for these benefits.
How a Lawyer Can Help with Your Social Security Disability Claim
The Social Security Administration does not require you to have a lawyer handle your disability claim, but it can be a good idea to have professional legal help with this difficult process.
- You have to get your medical records together to prove your condition. You might have to go through multiple evaluations. You may have to navigate the appeals process to get the benefits you deserve.
- All of these steps could be difficult even if you were in perfect health. If you have a medical condition severe enough that you are not able to support yourself through employment, the last thing you need is a legal battle. While a Social Security disability lawyer in Titusville, FL takes care of the Social Security disability process, you can devote your attention to your health and well-being.
- There are deadlines your case must meet to get Social Security disability benefits. If you miss the deadline or make a mistake, you can lose out on your benefits or have to go through even more delays before you receive your benefits.
A Social Security disability lawyer in Titusville, FL at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help. We can gather the medical and vocational evidence needed to prove your eligibility for benefits. We can also help with a personal injury case if you became injured in an accident that somebody else caused.
We Can Help.