If you’re struggling to get Social Security disability benefits in Augusta, you need the right lawyer to help you. Many lawyers will say they take Social Security disability cases, but they don’t all have experience in this field of law. The Social Security application and appeals process is very different than the court system, and you need an attorney who is intimately familiar with how it works. In many cases this can be the difference between getting your benefits approved and having them denied.
At John Foy & Associates we will give knowledgeable, experienced advice on your Social Security claim. John Foy & Associates has over 20 years of experience navigating the Social Security Administration and getting benefits approved for our clients. We understand that getting your Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits could determine whether you can pay your rent, whether you can cover basic bills, and even whether you can provide for your family. Let us help you. Call us at 706-400-4000 and get a free evaluation of your SSDI claim today.
What can Social Security Disability (SSDI) do for me?
SSDI benefits are for individuals who have already worked hard during their life but are now unable to work because of a disability. The benefits consist of a regular payment every two weeks that serves as a substitute income. This right is guaranteed by the Social Security Act, a key piece of legislation that provides a safety net for all American workers. It does not matter how the disability happened. It could be an injury or a disease, and it may or may not be related to an on the job accident. Any condition that prevents you from working will count.
But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get approved. In Augusta, many people find their application being turned down even though they have a legitimate disability and should qualify. Others find the amount of documentation they need so frustrating that they don’t even apply. Both of these are tragic cases where a qualified worker is missing out on benefits they’ve earned.
How do I know if I qualify for SSDI?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a set of criteria to evaluate each claim. These criteria are supposed to determine two things:
- Whether you worked enough to qualify for benefits
- Whether your specific health condition qualifies as a disability
The criteria are complicated, but the main things they look for are:
- Did you earn enough “work credits” (work long enough)?
- Have you worked recently (at least 20 work credits in the past 10 years)?
- If you haven’t worked enough or it wasn’t recent, is your income below the Social Security limit?
- Do you have a medical condition that’s been diagnosed by a health professional?
- Is your medical condition terminal? If it’s not terminal, will it last a year or more?
- Does your condition prevent you from working in your previous line of work?
- Does it prevent you from adjusting to a new line of work?
Both mental health conditions and physical conditions can qualify. In either case, you will need documentation to prove your claim. Your lawyer can help you with this.
What types of conditions count as disabilities for SSDI?
Many people think there is a strict list of conditions that do and do not count as disabilities. This is not exactly true. Any condition can count as long as it prevents you from working. The SSA does maintain a list of conditions they already recognize as causing disabilities. These “disabling conditions” include:
- Musculoskeletal problems including many back problems
- Cardiovascular conditions such as coronary artery disease
- Sensory and speech issues including low vision and hearing loss
- Respiratory illnesses including severe asthma
- Neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis or epilepsy
- Mental disorders including major depression, anxiety disorders and schizophrenia
- Immune system disorders like rheumatoid arthritis
- Digestive tract problems such as irritable bowel syndrome
- Kidney disease
Some conditions on this list are so severe they qualify for a “Compassionate Allowance,” meaning you are automatically qualified for SSDI. Other conditions on the list are recognized as causing a disability, but still take extensive documentation to get approved.
Many of the clients we see do not have conditions that automatically qualify. Usually, you have a condition that has seriously affected your life but you still have to plead your case to the SSA. This is what a Social Security disability lawyer specializes in. We can help you prove that you cannot work because of your condition.
What if I’ve already been denied Social Security benefits?
If you have already had your claim denied you need to speak to a lawyer immediately. You may qualify even though your claim was turned down. Many of the clients we work with had their claim denied for frivolous reasons—because they couldn’t assemble all of the paperwork they were asked for, or simply because they made a mistake in filling something out. In many cases, applicants are denied because they trusted the diagnosis of a doctor chosen by the SSA instead of going to a doctor who will give an unbiased opinion. All of these types of refusals can be challenged.
There is a process for appealing your SSDI claim. This process is every bit as complex as the original application and often an appeal will come under even more intense scrutiny. If you have already had your claim denied once, you should talk to a lawyer before you appeal it.
Talk to an Augusta Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free
You should not be denied the benefits you need because of a problem with the paperwork. At John Foy & Associates, we know how to guide you through the process and maximize your chances of success. We have gotten countless clients approve for SSDI, often on the first application or appeal. Call us at 706-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.