Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) was originally set up to provide income to all U.S. citizens – like those in Cartersville – who are disabled and can’t work. However, the process for applying for SSDI and getting approved is lengthy and often leaves those who truly need the money without support.
Plus, many lawyers will take on SSDI claims without having the necessary experience to increase your chances of approval. That’s why, to have the best shot at getting your disability claim accepted and receiving income, you need a Cartersville personal injury lawyer to help.
Our attorneys at John Foy & Associates are some of the most experienced Social Security Disability lawyers in Cartersville and all of Georgia. To get started, we can set you up with a free consultation with one of our lawyers. During this consultation, we’ll listen to your situation and look at your application if you’ve already started it or have applied and been rejected.
How does the Social Security Administration (SSA) Decide Who Gets Approved and Who Doesn’t?
Under the federal Social Security Act, anyone who has worked in the past and develops a medical disability (physical or psychological) that now prevents them from working will be provided with monetary benefits. These benefits are meant to help disabled individuals pay living expenses and also help support any dependents.
At its core, this is what the Social Security Administration (SSA) – the agency that handles disability claims – is looking for evidence of before they will start paying you SSDI benefits. However, the government is hesitant to hand over benefits.
Paperwork errors, technicalities, lack of sufficient documentation, and other issues can lead to a claim getting denied. Many applicants struggle with providing exactly what the SSA is looking for to accept their claim because it can be such a lengthy review process with the need for lots of documentation.
What You Need to Get Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration has strict guidelines that you need to meet to be eligible for benefits. When the SSA receives a claim for SSDI, they will be looking for proof that you:
- Earned enough “work credits” (based on net earnings) under their guidelines
- Have at least 20 work credits over the past 10 years
- Were diagnosed with a medical condition
- Have a medical condition that is likely to last over one year or is terminal
- Cannot perform the duties of your previous job or a new line of work because of your medical condition
The amount of work credits you need depends on the age at which you were disabled. For example; someone disabled between the ages of 31 and 42 would need 20 credits in the last five years of work, while someone age 62 or older would need 40 work credits within the last 10 years.
However, if you didn’t work enough or weren’t employed recently enough but are still disabled, this could qualify you for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a different system. For this, you will still need to provide proof that you have a low income to the Social Security Administration.
Keep All Documentation
The Social Security Administration closely scrutinizes applications when deciding who gets approved and who doesn’t. If you don’t have precise documentation to support each claim about your income, medical condition, and the fact that it has disabled you from working, you can get denied – and many people do without legal help.
That’s why it’s so beneficial to hire a Social Security Disability lawyer. They can go through your application with you and ensure you provide everything the SSA is going to be looking for.
Get the strong arm
How Long does It Take for a Lawyer to Get You Disability?
In general, there is a five-month waiting period for you to start receiving benefits after you apply, and you’ll get your first check the month after you’re approved. That’s a total of six months between when you apply and when you get paid. If your application is unclear or even denied, that process can be even longer.
That period is just between application and approval, though. It takes even longer to gather all the materials that you need and fill out all the forms. On your own, this can take a while. It’s much faster with a lawyer by your side. Not only is it easier to get your application together, but having a good claim makes it easier for your approval and filing process to go faster.
When you get your first disability check, you may also receive past-due benefits for the months that you were waiting for approval. That helps, but you should be getting checks as soon as you can so you can support yourself. A lawyer can fast-track your approval process so you can start getting paid as soon as possible.
What Is the Maximum Attorney Fee for Social Security Disability?
Many Social Security Disability attorneys in Cartersville, including our firm, take contingency fees. That means they only get paid if you have a successful claim, and their payments come out of a portion of your initial payout. Because of that, there’s no risk of paying a lawyer upfront and then not getting any results.
For normal personal injury cases, lawyers that take contingency fees usually base their payment on any number of factors surrounding the case such as difficulty and extra expenses. However, for SSD cases, there is a cap. The maximum attorney fee for Social Security Disability is $6,000 or 25% of your past-due benefits, whichever is less.
Because contingency fees only come from past-due benefits, you can keep all future checks from the SSA all to yourself. To find out more about how much legal help may cost you, feel free to get a free consultation with an SSD lawyer in Cartersville today.
If I Worked Part-Time or Was Out of Work, do I Still Qualify for SSDI?
As long as you meet the requirements for work credits over the number of years in the time period for your age range, and you have a medical condition that prevents you from working, you should qualify for SSD insurance. The amount of time you worked does not need to be full-time or over a consecutive period as long as the company you worked for paid taxes to the Social Security Administration on your behalf (or you paid self-employment taxes to the SSA).
If you had stretches of time when you were out of work or not working all the time, it doesn’t disqualify you from benefits as long as you meet the main requirements and can provide proof that you meet them. If you’re unsure whether you meet the work credit requirements because you weren’t working all the time in the last several years, a Social Security Disability lawyer can help you find out your eligibility and how to best demonstrate it in your application.
Talk to a Cartersville Social Security Disability Attorney for Free
Don’t let the lengthy process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance – or a denial of your application – keep you from seeking the benefits you need and deserve. You’ve worked for years and paid into the system, and SSD is your right; it’s the law.
The Social Security Disability lawyers at John Foy & Associates have been helping clients improve their SSD applications for 20+ years, and we know what the Social Security Administration is looking for when they award SSD benefits. Let us give you a FREE consultation to look over your application and discuss how we can help you improve it. Call us today or fill out the form to your right to get started with your free consultation.