Social security disability (SSD) benefits provide income to those who can longer work due to a medical condition. Unfortunately, applications routinely get denied even if the applicant qualifies. As a result, it often takes the experience of a social security disability lawyer in Ellenwood to get the benefits you need.
John Foy & Associates has been helping SSD applicants get approved for benefits for over 20 years. We understand how complex the system can be and how frustrating a denial is for you and your family. Call for your FREE consultation.
Why Should I Hire an Ellenwood Social Security Disability Lawyer?
You may wonder what exactly a social security disability attorney in Ellenwood does. We can do many things on your behalf that can help you get through the appeal or application process:
- Gathering medical records, doctor’s statements, and other evidence that shows your medical condition or disability.
- Ensuring that all of your application materials are correct and that nothing gets left out.
- Helping you do all the paperwork and prep work when you apply.
- Representing you during the appeals process.
- Informing you of all the legal options available for your unique case.
Hiring a lawyer can make the difference between getting your benefits or receiving a rejection notice. Regardless of where you are in the application process, it doesn’t hurt to learn more about what our social security disability lawyers can do to help you receive the benefits you rightfully deserve.
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How to Know If You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits in Ellenwood
SSD pays benefits to those who cannot work because of a medical condition. These benefits come from taxes that got taken out of each paycheck. In other words, SSD benefits aren’t handouts or charity from the government. Instead, the money is from a system you have paid into. To qualify for SSD, you must fit the following criteria:
- You obtained a certain number of work credits within the last 10 years while paying Social Security taxes.
- You have a medical condition that prevents you from doing any work for a year or longer or that will result in death.
These qualifications may seem simple, but breaking them down, it can be easy to see how the Social Security Administration (SSA) claims can get denied.
Amount of Work You Need to Have Done to Qualify
Even if you have a disability that prevents you from working, you can’t qualify for SSD unless you have worked enough under Social Security. The SSA determines this through “work credits” You earn work credits in several ways:
- You obtain work credits based on a certain amount of wages you’ve made.
- The dollar amount changes slightly from year to year.
- You can earn up to four work credits per year.
Most people need 40 work credits, with 20 of those credits earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you became disabled. For most people, this means they will not need to have worked much in the past 10 years to qualify.
If you were disabled before age 61, you would typically qualify with fewer credits the younger you are. For example, those disabled between the ages of 31 and 42 will only need 20 years and five years of work to qualify.
What Qualifies as a Disability, per the SSA
You must have a total disability to qualify for SSD benefits. This means:
- You can’t do work that you were doing before your disability.
- You also can’t do other types of work.
- The condition causing your disability will last or has lasted for at least a year or until your death.
Partial or short-term disabilities do not fall under this definition. The SSA will also look to see if your medical condition is on their list of impairments. This list contains conditions considered severe enough to keep someone from engaging in substantial gainful activity. Your condition does not have to be on this list, but it will need to be as severe as other listed conditions.
Information You Need to Apply for Social Security Disability
Even if you meet the above qualifications, you will need to prove them to the SSA. You will need to include the following in your application.
Work History Information
To demonstrate your work history, you’ll need to show:
- How much money you earned this year and last year
- Employer(s) names and addresses from this year and last year
- Up to five of the previous jobs you held in the past 15 years (and the dates you worked them) before you became disabled
- A copy of your Social Security Statement, which shows your disability insurance benefits
- Any other benefits you have filed or plan to claim for, such as workers’ compensation
Neglecting to provide work history information will prevent the SSA from approving your application.
Medical Condition Information
You will also need to outline the details of your medical condition. This includes the following information:
- The details of your medical condition or injuries that have disabled you from working
- Names, phone numbers, addresses, and dates of treatment for each doctor, clinic, or hospital you have seen
- Your patient ID numbers for each doctor
- All prescription medications you take and where you got them prescribed
- Medical tests you have had, their names and dates, and who ordered them
- The name, phone number, and address of an individual who can be contacted about your condition
The information you provide will prove that your medical condition or disability qualifies for SSD benefits.
Personal Information to Include
Your application will also need to include the following information about yourself:
- Your name, date of birth, place of birth, and Social Security number
- Information on your certain or past spouses, including names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, age, and dates of marriage or divorce
- Names and dates of birth of any minor children you have
If you qualify for benefits and want them paid electronically, you can also include your bank’s information and routing number.
Why Did the SSA Reject My Application?
There are many reasons why an application for SSD benefits can get rejected:
- Failure to provide sufficient information, documentation, or supporting evidence for your medical condition or disability
- Failure to complete the application forms correctly
- Too many past rejections or appeals
- Failure to take proactive steps to ensure health and longevity
- Addiction to drugs or alcohol
- The SSA doesn’t consider your condition or disability serious enough to warrant benefits
These are only the most common reasons. The reason why your SSD application got rejected may not even be on this list. Regardless of how or why you got rejected, don’t give up hope just yet. There’s always another option you can take as long as you have solid legal representation helping you along the way.
How to Get Help with Your Social Security Disability Application in Ellenwood
A lot of SSD applications get denied each year. Your application will need to demonstrate the severity of your condition and just how much it prevents you from regular work.
If you are struggling with your application or have been denied SSD benefits, an Ellenwood Social Security Disability lawyer can help. Attorneys with experience in SSD law and regulation will know what to change, alter, or add to strengthen an application.
Our social security disability attorneys in Ellenwood don’t take any upfront fees, and you only pay if we win your case. So you can get help without worrying about immediate costs, which is already a concern for most SSD applicants.
Talk to an Ellenwood Social Security Disability Attorney for Free
John Foy & Associates understands the stress and disappointment that comes with a denied application. We also know how overwhelming the application process can be. Let us take the weight off your shoulders.
Call us for a FREE consultation to discuss your case. We have been helping SSD applicants get the benefits they need for 20 years. To talk to us about your situation, call or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.
404-400-4000 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form