If you have a medical condition that prevents you from working in Decatur, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are your right. Unfortunately, applying for these benefits can be difficult. The process is slow and complex, and you’re likely to have your disability doubted or challenged.
Many SSD applicants find that their claim gets rejected purely because of a paperwork error or not including the right documentation. Don’t let your benefits get denied. Talk to an experienced Decatur Social Security disability lawyer from John Foy & Associates.
Can a Lawyer Help Me Get Social Security Disability?
Yes, in many cases, a lawyer can help you get the disability benefits that you need. SSDI applications can be very difficult to figure out on your own, and it can be hard to figure out how to get the necessary materials. Having an attorney by your side will significantly increase your chances of getting benefits.
In some cases, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may even deny your first claim. In that event, you should talk to an SSDI lawyer in Georgia about your situation. We can help you through the appeals process and make sure that this time around, you have what you need for a successful claim.
If you’re not sure whether you should hire an attorney for your Social Security Disability claim, you can always get a free consultation with our team. One of our lawyers can assess your case and tell you what steps you should take to secure your compensation.
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What Is the Maximum Attorney Fee for Social Security Disability?
Because of regulations imposed by the Social Security Administration and the federal government, the maximum amount that your attorney can charge for SSDI is $6,000 or 25% of your initial retroactive benefits, whichever is less.
That’s the maximum amount, but your lawyer’s fees will depend on details such as the difficulty of your case, the amount of time your lawyer has to work, and the amount of compensation you receive. Every case is different, so what your lawyer does for you – and how much they make – won’t be the same for someone else.
When you meet with us for your initial consultation, we will give you a better idea of how much your attorney will make. We charge nothing up front, so there’s no risk in hiring one of our Social Security disability attorneys in Decatur.
How does Social Security Disability Work in Decatur?
In 1935, the federal Social Security Act created a number of social safety nets to protect working Americans. One of these programs, SSDI, is designed to help provide a living for people who used to work for a living, but are no longer able to.
The program works a lot like an insurance policy: if you develop a disability or disease that prevents you from earning an income, it will provide you with an ongoing paycheck. This money can help you pay your bills and provide for yourself and others.
Some of the most important features of SSDI include:
- SSDI is not a “handout.” You, the worker, paid for this program through paycheck deductions for many years while you were working.
- Your disability does not have to be work-related to qualify. Any injury or disease that prevents you from working counts.
- SSDI eligibility is based on how many hours you have worked in the past. However, even people who have not worked full-time consistently may qualify, and there are exemptions for people with low income.
SSDI was designed to help people. Unfortunately, the government is not always eager to approve an application. The Social Security Administration in Decatur, GA (the agency in charge of SSDI benefits), has a reputation in the City of Decatur for turning down applications based on technicalities.
They routinely challenge valid disabilities and put the burden of proof on the person applying. This is why it makes such a big difference to have a professional work on your application.
How do I Know If I Qualify for SSDI?
Generally speaking, if you have worked for a living in the past but can no longer work because of a medical condition, you qualify. That’s not always true, though and it can be hard to prove to the SSA that you deserve benefits.
In order to find out for sure if you qualify for SSDI, you can meet with one of our Social Security disability lawyers in Decatur. They can assess your situation, take into account every factor, and tell you if you have a valid claim. If you decide to get the help of an experienced attorney, we will gather evidence to prove that you deserve benefits.
What Are the Requirements to Receive SSDI?
Some of the factors that the SSA looks at include:
- Have you been diagnosed with a valid medical condition?
- Will your condition last at least a year (or, if not, is it considered fatal)?
- Does your condition prevent you from working in your normal line of work?
- Would your condition also make it difficult to work in a new line of work?
- Have you worked enough hours in the past (earned enough “work credits” through Social Security deductions)?
- Did you work in the recent past (at least 20 credits in the past 10 years)?
If you meet all the criteria above, you qualify. If you meet all of them except the work credit requirements, but you have a low income, you could also qualify for benefits.
What Kinds of Conditions Are “Disabilities” for SSDI?
Any condition can count as a disability if it stops you from being able to work. This can include diseases, infections, injuries, genetic conditions, and psychological conditions. But proving that it prevents you from working is harder with some conditions than it is with others.
To make the process easier, the SSA maintains a long list of conditions that they know can count as disabilities. If you have any condition on their list, it doesn’t mean you automatically qualify but it does make it easier to prove your case. Examples of these conditions include:
- Serious back pain
- Heart conditions such as heart failure
- Hearing loss, vision loss or blindness
- Nerve conditions like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis
- Mental disorders such as major depression, schizophrenia, severe anxiety disorders and others
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Severe cases of asthma
These are just a few examples from the complete list of SSA “disabling conditions.” Additionally, some very severe conditions such as kidney failure and many types of cancer, are so serious that they are automatically considered disabilities and qualify under a “compassionate allowance.”
For most other conditions, however, you will have to show documentation showing exactly how severe the condition is and why it prevents you from working. Do not give up – if your condition legitimately interferes with working, you can qualify for SSDI.
What Can I Do If My SSDI Application Was Already Turned Down?
If your application is denied, it’s not the end of the road. We recommend doing two things:
- Don’t lose hope. Many claims are turned down the first time and can still get approved later on appeal.
- Talk to a lawyer who is experienced with SSDI claims. This can make a crucial difference in getting your acclaim approved.
Once your application is turned down, the SSA offers an appeals process which is your “second chance” at getting benefits. This process is important because, if you pursue your claim far enough, eventually it will be heard by a judge rather than a government bureaucrat.
Judges are outside of the SSA system and will often enforce your rights even when the SSA has tried to turn you down. For many “controversial” disabilities, like fibromyalgia or diabetes, getting your case in front of a judge can make all the difference.
If you are going to appeal your case, it’s important that you don’t just resubmit the same paperwork. The SSA turned you down for a reason and you need to figure out exactly what was missing before you re-submit, or you’re likely to just get denied again and again.
Eventually, you can run out of appeals and lose your chance at benefits altogether. This is why it’s so important to talk to an SSDI lawyer.
Talk to a Decatur Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free
We have been helping people with disabilities get approved for SSDI for more than 20 years. In our firm, we take SSDI claims seriously. We know that you need your benefits to pay the mortgage, afford groceries, and take care of your family. We have worked for decades to understand the strategies that get SSDI applications approved.
Your benefits can be your lifeline when you’re not able to work. Don’t let your application be denied. The Decatur Social Security disability lawyers at John Foy & Associates have the experience and knowledge to help you get approved for SSDI. Call us or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.