When an accident, impairment, or illness stops you from working, you may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. You may apply for SSD on your own, but without providing relevant documentation, you risk getting denied benefits from the government program. A Social Security Disability lawyer in Miami, FL, can help.
Before applying for SSD, let the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine review your claim. Call us today at call 1-800-747-3733 for a free legal consultation with a member of our disability team. Our lawyers have extensive experience helping accident victims and disabled individuals throughout South Florida receive the SSD benefits they deserve.
What Is the SSD Program?
SSD is a program that pays monthly cash benefits to individuals who have not been able to work for a year or more because of a disability. To receive the benefits, you must have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of “disability.”
SSD benefits continue until recipients can go back to work on a regular basis. The program also has work incentives that provide continued benefits and health care coverage to help you transition back to a job.
What Is the SSA’s Definition of Disability?
The SSA has a strict definition of disability. You meet the definition of disabled if you:
- Cannot do the work that you did before;
- Cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition; and
- Will suffer from your disabling condition for at least a year or your doctor expects it to result in your death.
You cannot receive SSD benefits for partial disability or short-term disability. If you need partial benefits, our lawyers may be able to help. If your injury occurred at work, for example, you could qualify for workers’ compensation.
How Do I Qualify for SSD?
To qualify, you must have worked long enough—and recently enough—to be “insured.” This means you worked in jobs covered by Social Security. To determine whether you have worked long enough, the SSA uses work credits. These credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year.
The number of work credits you need to qualify for SSD changes depending on your age. Our attorneys can review your work history to determine if you have enough work credits to qualify.
In addition, the SSA will need to see evidence that your condition keeps you from earning a living. If you make under a certain income limit each month, you should meet this requirement.
Finally, you need to suffer from a disabling medical condition before the SSA will approve you for benefits.
What Type of Medical Condition Do I Have to Have to Qualify for SSD?
The SSA has a list of medical conditions that qualify for disability. We can review the list with you to determine whether your condition qualifies. If you suffer from a condition that is not on the list, we may still be able to help you qualify for benefits.
Most of the qualifying impairments are permanent or expected to result in death, or the listing includes a specific statement of duration. For example, many accident victims who suffer from a spinal cord injury or a serious back injury qualify for benefits. If a traumatic brain injury keeps you from working, you could also be eligible for disability.
In addition to having a medical condition on the SSA’s list, you must meet specific diagnostic criteria. Our lawyers can work with your doctor to determine if you meet the criteria under your listing.
Why Should I Call an SSD Lawyer?
An SSD lawyer can help you complete the application process and provide relevant documentation related to your medical condition and work history. More specifically, our legal team knows the intricacies of this process and what it takes for the SSA to approve your application.
We will go over every aspect of the process with you to make sure you have your work documents, W-2 forms or self-employment tax returns, doctor’s reports, test results, and other medical records SSA requires.
What Information Should I Include With My Application?
SSA requires an extensive amount of personal background information, including:
- Your birth date, place of birth, and Social Security Number;
- Information aboutyour current spouse and any former spouse; and
- Names and dates of birth of your minor children.
The application also asks for detailed information about your medical condition and work history, including:
- Contact information, patient ID numbers, and dates of treatment for all doctors, hospitals, and clinics;
- Names of the prescription medications you are taking and who prescribed them;
- Names and dates of medical tests you have had and who ordered them;
- Your earnings for last year and this year;
- Your employers’ names and addresses for last year and this year;
- A copy of your Social Security Statement; and
- A list of previous jobs you workedbefore you became disabled and the dates you worked at those jobs.
Once you file your application, a claims examiner will review your application and decide whether to approve you for disability benefits.
When Should I Apply for SSD?
You should apply as soon as you become disabled. Because the SSD application process is extensive—and because you do not want to risk denial—it is important to seek legal counsel prior to applying for benefits. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you access documents and other specific information SSA requires.
If the SSA approves your application, your SSD benefits will not begin until your sixth full month of disability. This waiting period begins with the first full month after the date your disability began.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Today for Help With Your Application.
If you suffered an accident or an illness that prevents you from working, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 to schedule a free legal consultation.
We will serve as your legal representative, guide you step by step through the SSD application process, and help you seek the benefits you deserve.