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 may 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.
Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 to schedule a free legal consultation with a Social Security disability lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL. Our team of proficient lawyers has helped many individuals obtain SSDI benefits after an unexpected medical condition disrupted their lives. Contact us to see how we can help you obtain SSDI benefits.
Understanding the SSDI Program
Social Security Administration (SSA) pays monthly benefits to disabled individuals—regardless of age—who have worked for a certain amount 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” the 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 the amount of credits you have earned that can help you qualify for benefits.
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 disability or a short-term disability. According to SSA, workers’ compensation, insurance, savings, and other resources are available for these types of disabilities.
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, FL review these questions with you, and discuss your medical condition and whether you are able to work.
When SSA Does Not Consider You Disabled
SSA does not consider you disabled if:
- You are still working and you earn an average of $1,180 or more each month.
- Your medical condition does not interfere with basic work-related activities or if it does not interfere 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.
Health Condition Listings
The SSA has a “listing of impairments” that describe conditions considered severe enough to prevent you from “doing any gainful activity.” The listing 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 not eligible 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 the duration of your digestive problem.
To prepare we will obtain documents such as:
- Endoscopy reports
- X-ray imaging
- Computerized axial tomography (CAT scan)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
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 can help you appeal the decision. Our legal team has years of experience in appealing SSDI applications that were 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. The 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 with filing your initial application as well as appealing a denied decision.
The SSA’s Three-Step Appeals Process
The SSA gives claimants three ways to appeal:
- Reconsideration by the state Disability Determination Service
- A hearing before an administrative law judge
- A review by the Appeals Council
If these appeals are unsuccessful, the SSA allows claimants to file a lawsuit in a federal district court.
The SSA does not reverse most denials at the reconsideration level, but a “substantial portion” of claims are reversed at the hearing level or above.
Before You File a Claim, Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733
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 at 1-800-747-3733 to meet with a Social Security disability lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL, to discuss filing for the disability benefits you need to move on with your life.