Many lawyers will say they take on 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 from the court system, and you need an attorney who is intimately familiar with how it works.
Having an Augusta Social Security disability attorney on your side can be the difference between getting your benefits approved and having them denied. Your Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits are important, and getting them could determine whether you can pay your rent, cover basic bills, and provide for your family.
Social Security Disability Benefits
SSDI benefits are for individuals who have previously worked but are now unable to 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 (an injury or disease) happened. Any condition that prevents you from working counts. However, it is not easy to get approved. In Augusta, many people find their applications are too time-consuming or they’re being turned down even though they should qualify. A lawyer can make sure you don’t miss out on benefits you’ve earned.
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Qualifying for Social Security Disability
The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a set of criteria to evaluate each claim, as per U.S. Code §423. This criteria is supposed to determine:
- Whether you worked enough to qualify for benefits
- Whether your specific health condition qualifies as a disability
While the criteria may be complicated, 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, an Augusta Social Security disability lawyer can help you collect the documentation needed to prove your claim.
Types of Conditions that Count As Disabilities for SSDI
There is not necessarily a strict list of conditions that do and do not count as disabilities. 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 back issues
- 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 are recognized as causing a disability, but still take extensive documentation to get approved.
A Social Security disability attorney can help you plead your case saying you cannot work because of your condition, whether it’s on the list provided by the SSA or not.
What If You’ve Already Been Denied Social Security Benefits?
You should speak with a lawyer if your claim has recently been denied. You may still qualify for benefits even though your claim was turned down for any reason.
Your attorney can help you appeal and challenge this denial for 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.
Your Eligibility for SSI Benefits
The SSA can calculate your eligibility based on how much you currently earn versus what you’re spending on medical expenses. Augusta Social Security disability lawyers can help you assess your case. To qualify for SSI benefits, you must be able to show that your disability is preventing you from being gainfully employed and that you will remain in that state for the next year.
How Much It Costs to Hire an Augusta Social Security Disability Lawyer
You may think it’s a crazy idea to even consider hiring an attorney when you’re filing for Social Security disability, but the good news is that hiring a lawyer is more feasible than you may think. This is because many Social Security disability lawyers work on contingency, so you don’t have to pay a dime until and unless you win your case.
You have nothing to lose when you hire a Social Security disability lawyer in Augusta, GA, to help you with your claim. If you don’t win, you don’t pay them anything. It’s that simple.
What a Social Security Disability Attorney in Augusta Can Do for You
A legal team can help ensure that your claim meets the SSA’s requirements and that you recover the benefits you deserve. A Social Security disability lawyer in Augusta can guide you through each step in the appeals process and can:
- Help compile information from your Social Security file and medical records
- Review notices of denied claims
- Sit in for you during any SSA interviews or conferences
- Request reconsideration of appeals on your behalf
- Prepare you and witnesses for any hearings
Augusta Social Security Disability Lawyers Can Help Appeal Your Claim
Over half of all disability applications are denied, according to SSA data. While the reasons for denial vary by application, they are generally categorized as either medical or technical denials. Common examples of each type of denial are:
Medical Denial Reasons
- Lack of medical evidence and documentation
- You didn’t arrive for scheduled medical exams
- You failed to follow the recommended treatment prescribed by a doctor
- Your disability isn’t long-lasting
- Substance abuse is a contributing factor to your disability
Technical Denial Reasons
- Incorrect documentation
- Errors in paperwork
- Previous denials
- Your income is too high (for SSDI)
- You have been convicted of a crime
If you are among the majority of Social Security disability applicants whose application is denied, it’s time to consult an experienced Social Security disability lawyer in Augusta who can counsel you on what steps to take.
Talk to an Augusta Social Security Disability Attorney 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 over 20 years of experience navigating the Social Security Administration and getting benefits approved for our clients, often on the first application or appeal.
To learn more about how your rights can be protected, call our office or fill out our online form to speak with a member of our team today in a free consultation.