Lawyers in Atlanta concentrate on different areas of the law, which is why you should always do thorough research about local attorneys before hiring one to represent you.
When you work with an Atlanta personal injury lawyer, you are partnering with a professional who understands the process for a Social Security benefits claim. When you choose a lawyer who does not have this experience, you can miss out on money that is owed to you or have your claim denied.
At John Foy & Associates, we are known as The Strong Arm across Georgia and we work hard to help our clients. Our team has recovered over $1 billion in jury awards and settlements over the last two decades. We have the experience and skills needed to help you obtain the Social Security disability you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation so we can discuss your case and your options.
What Are Social Security Disability Benefits?
Suffering an injury on the job can leave you confused and unsure of what to do next. In the US, workers are protected after a workplace accident by disability insurance provided through the Social Security Administration. Most people know very little about this system and how it works in Atlanta.
Understanding how the program affects you is essential to use it effectively and receive what you are owed. Social Security disability is a type of insurance that the federal government provides to injured workers who will not be able to return to their regular jobs for the foreseeable future. The insurance is designed to provide individuals with a way to pay their bills and take care of their families when they do not have regular employment income.
The system was designed to help people, but over time, changes and bureaucratic policies have made it difficult to navigate successfully. Filing claims correctly and on time is a cumbersome and confusing process. Many people rely on guidance from a Social Security disability lawyer to do it right.
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How Much Money Can I Receive for My Disability Benefits?
The amount depends on your average lifetime income prior to becoming disabled. For example, if you earned an average of $32,000 a year over the course of your working life, that will be the baseline income used to compute your benefits.
There are some important details to know about the amount you can receive, such as:
- Most recipients will get between $700 and $1,700 monthly
- The average amount of benefits paid per person in 2022 is $1,358 per month.
- The current maximum amount you can receive is $3,345 per month.
To receive the maximum amount, you must have collected 40 Social Security credits over your working lifetime and reached full retirement age. Once you have been approved for benefits, there is a mandatory waiting period of five months before payments begin. The application process usually takes three to five months, but this time counts towards the waiting period.
To fill the void between losing the ability to earn income and the time your payments start, you should ask your Social Security disability lawyer in Atlanta whether you qualify for Supplemental Social Income (SSI).
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) vs. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) is meant to provide benefits for those who have worked and become disabled. But when a person has not worked for long enough or recently enough and needs assistance, there is another program called Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This system is mostly meant for older adults and those who have limited financial resources.
In the right circumstances, you may even qualify for both of these programs. They have slightly different requirements, but a skilled disability attorney can help you determine how much you may be eligible to receive.
Why Hire a Social Security Disability Attorney in Atlanta?
While you may or may not use a lawyer when you first apply for Social Security disability, you should absolutely hire an attorney with disability claim experience if your claim is denied. They and their team of legal professionals can guide you in the following situations:
- If you are not familiar with the filing process
- If you easily get overwhelmed by the paperwork or process
- If English is not your first language
- If you want to increase your odds of being approved
- If you were previously denied benefits and want to file an appeal
- If you need to obtain documents or information to give you a slight edge of winning
- If you are trying to ensure you get the legal maximum financial gain
Whether an accident occurs at work or in any other location, it often cannot be prevented. Being injured in a car crash by a reckless driver is not your fault, but you may be out of work for a long time. You may even suffer a permanent disability that prevents you from holding down a job for the rest of your life.
Without a successful Social Security disability claim, you may lose your home, be unable to pay your bills, or even face seeing your family go hungry. You can keep this from happening to you by contacting a disability lawyer at John Foy & Associates. We specialize in Social Security litigation and will fight for your rights to maximum benefits so you can return to a normal life.
Our attorneys will visit you at home or in the hospital to listen to your story and get your claim underway.
Factors that Strengthen a Disability Case in Atlanta
Injuries that make you eligible for Social Security disability can be difficult enough to recover from, but adding the stress of winning your well-deserved benefits makes it even harder. The benefits payments are meant to provide you with income when you cannot work for a year or more. They can be paid for either mental or physical disabilities, and you should provide all the information needed to strengthen your claim so it will be approved.
Claims can be denied for a number of reasons, but as upsetting as this can be, you do not need to simply accept the decision. If you filed for benefits without the assistance of an attorney, you might have overlooked rules governing your eligibility. You could also leave out valuable information that supports your claim.
Qualifying for a Social Security Disability Claim
Relying on a skilled disability lawyer can keep you from making these kinds of mistakes. There are several factors that go into qualifying for Social Security disability. If you feel you qualify, or even if you are uncertain if you qualify, call a lawyer.
Our team of lawyers will do everything we can to get you the disability benefits that you deserve. We can review the list of important qualifications with you and help you determine if there are exceptions that can help your claim. People generally qualify for Social Security disability benefits when they meet one or more of these criteria:
- You have worked long enough under the Social Security Administration’s guidelines.
- You have worked recently enough under the Social Security Administration’s guidelines.
- You have earned enough work credits.
- You are unable to perform the work you did before.
- You are unable to adjust to other work because of your medical condition.
- Your medical condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year.
- You have earned less monthly income this year than the Social Security limit.
Factors that Automatically Qualify You for Disability Benefits
In some situations, you may automatically qualify for disability benefits through Social Security without struggling through most of the claim process. You may still need help from an experienced Atlanta Social Security disability attorney, but here are three factors that will automatically qualify you for disability benefits:
- You have a disease or injury that is found on the Social Security Administration’s “disabling conditions” list, you likely qualify.
- You are potentially eligible for a compassionate allowance if you have been diagnosed with a serious disease, including many disabling or terminal cancers.
- Meeting one or more of the special provisions such as having low vision, being a widow or widower, being the parent or legal guardian of disabled children, or being a wounded warrior allows you to qualify.
Medical Conditions that Entitle You to Automatic Approval
For many individuals, it is possible to obtain automatic approval for Social Security disability benefits when they are stricken with any of a variety of physical or mental impairments. The usual application process for disability benefits can take several months but having certain conditions allows you to skip a good part of the review process and begin receiving payments much faster. In cases such as terminal cancer, having that money can allow you to enjoy the remainder of your time with your loved ones instead of negotiating with a government agency.
Determining if you qualify for automatic approval is not as simple as finding your medical condition on a list. The advice of an experienced disability lawyer is valuable to help you understand any exceptions or extenuating circumstances that could weigh in your favor for approval. Some of the more common conditions that qualify include:
- Musculoskeletal problems, such as back conditions
- Cardiovascular conditions, such as heart failure or coronary artery disease
- Senses and speech issues, such as vision or hearing loss
- Respiratory illnesses, like COPD or asthma
- Neurological disorders, like multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, or epilepsy
- Mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, autism, or retardation
- Immune system disorders, like HIV/AIDS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis
- Digestive tract problems, like liver disease or IBD
- Kidney disease
Your impairment must be proven as “medically determinable,” meaning that it results from abnormalities in anatomy, physiology, or psychology that can be demonstrated using medically acceptable techniques. You need more than just a letter from a doctor or other medical provider saying you have the condition. You must provide scans, test results, treatment records, and other documentation obtained through approved clinical and lab testing procedures.
Why Are Social Security Disability Claims Denied?
The most common reason an application is denied is that it is not complete. Information may be missing, or the supporting evidence is insufficient. Submitting an incomplete or unsubstantial medical history can make it very difficult to win approval, so it is important to gather as many treatment records and test results as possible.
Providing documentation of how severe your disability is can be very beneficial for your case. Another reason you may be denied is if you are prescribed a treatment plan by your physician but fail to show evidence that you are following that plan. The Social Security Administration wants to see that you are actively trying to heal from your disability if you can.
You can also be denied if you refuse to cooperate with the administration or do not submit the requested material. Finally, you can have your claim denied if you have too much income.
Disability benefits are for those who are unable to work for a period of time due to an injury and resulting recovery time. If you are still working, even at a different job that is less demanding, your benefits may be denied. If you already have benefits, they can be reduced or discontinued if the Social Security Administration learns you are working while claiming disability payments.
What to Do If You Are Denied Benefits in Atlanta
Suffering an accident that keeps you from enjoying your life and supporting your family is devastating enough. Finding out your Social Security benefits claim has been denied can turn your entire world upside down with worry. Having a trusted disability lawyer who will fight for what you deserve can put some of those fears to rest.
As many as 65-70% of initial applications are denied for many different reasons. When you are denied, you can appeal the decision and make efforts to improve your claim.
You have up to 60 days to file an appeal asking for reconsideration. You should do this as soon as possible and have a disability lawyer review the material with you for a better chance at approval.
When you file your request to be reconsidered, you should provide any documentation that was missing or not supportive enough for your claim. You can be denied up to five times, but each time your claim is refused, it becomes harder to win benefits. This is when the experience level of your attorney will come into play.
Get Help from an Atlanta Social Security Disability Lawyer Today
When you are injured and unable to work, it is essential that you file a complete and strong claim for the benefits you are owed. An Atlanta Social Security disability lawyer from John Foy & Associates can mean the difference between receiving the payments you need and struggling to get by. With a successful claim, you can pay your bills, keep your home, and provide for your family while you are unable to work.
With a reputation as The Strong Arm in Georgia, our attorneys compassionately assist you in filing your claim and will be by your side during appeals and reconsiderations. You do not have to face an uncertain future until you can return to work. We offer free consultations and a team dedicated to your needs.
Call or contact us online to discuss your case today.