If you live in LaGrange, Georgia, and have a medical condition that prevents you from working, you might qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD). The SSD program is meant to provide benefits for those who are disabled from working, but too many people slip through the cracks. If you need help submitting or appealing your application, talk to a Social Security Disability lawyer in LaGrange today.
Since the approval process for SSD is so strict, it’s common to get denied benefits even when you meet the qualifications. It usually comes down to simple changes or additional information that your application needs, and that’s where a lawyer can be so helpful.
At John Foy & Associates, we have been helping people get approved for the benefits they deserve for more than 20 years, and we don’t charge a fee unless we win your case. To schedule a FREE consultation and get matched with the best lawyer for you today, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.
How to Know if You’re Eligible for Social Security Disability in LaGrange
To know if you meet the qualifications for SSD, you’ll need to look at two factors:
- How disabling your medical condition is and
- The number of credits you’ve earned through Social Security taxes on your income
Basically, if you have a condition that keeps you from working and you’ve worked much at all in the past 10 years, chances are good that you can qualify. However, let’s dive deeper into the criteria you need to meet to get approved.
Your Medical Condition
You must meet the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s definition of disability, which is different than other programs. Social Security only provides benefits for total disabilities—not short-term or partial disabilities. You must be unable to perform any type of work, including jobs you did in the past or new types of work.
To access whether or not you have a disability under their criteria, the SSA determines whether or not you:
- Are currently working
- Have a condition that is considered “severe”
- Have a condition is present on the Listing of Impairments
- Can do work you used to do
- Can do other types of work
If you are not working, have a severe condition that is either present on the Listing of Impairments or as serious as a listed condition, and cannot do former or new types of work, you will be deemed disabled by the SSA.
Your Work Credits
To see if you’ve paid into Social Security enough through your income, the SSA will look to see how many work credits you have:
- Work credits are based on your total yearly earnings.
- The number of wages needed to equal one work credit changes each year. In 2020, $1,410 in income was equal to one work credit.
- You cannot earn more than four work credits each year.
The number of credits you need to qualify for SSD will depend on the age at which you became disabled. If you are 62 years old or older, you will need at least 40 work credits total with 20 of those earned in the last 10 years before you became disabled.
If you are younger than 62, you will require fewer work credits. For example, those between the ages of 31 and 42 will need at least 20 credits and at least five years of work.
If you’re confused about work credits or have any questions about your eligibility for benefits, contact a LaGrange Social Security Disability lawyer today. At John Foy & Associates, we can set you up with a FREE, no-risk consultation. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started today.
What to Know About the Social Security Disability Application Process
You can either apply for disability benefits online, over the phone, or in-person at a local SSA office. To complete the application, you will need information like:
- Details about you, including your name, birth date, place of birth, Social Security number, and bank account information (if you want to receive benefits electronically)
- Information about your medical condition like names of medications you are taking and patient ID number for the hospitals where you were treated
- Work information like how much money you earned this year and last year, up to five jobs you had in the last 15 years before you became disabled, and a copy of your Social Security Statement
After you submit your application, your claim will get processed at a Disability Determination Services (DDS) office. These include a network of SSA field offices and state agencies.
A field office will typically verify information not related to your condition, such as your employment history and Social Security credits. Then, your application will go to a DDS office where they’ll determine if you have a disability. The decision will be mailed to you.
If You Get Approved for Benefits
If it’s determined that you have a disability and meet the full criteria for disability benefits, the value of your benefits will be decided and you’ll be able to begin receiving benefits.
Your first disability benefits will be paid to you for the sixth full month after the date you became disabled.
If You Do Not Get Approved for Benefits
If you receive a letter saying that you did not qualify for benefits, the field office will keep your application on file. After a denial, you’ll want to contact a Social Security Disability lawyer in LaGrange right away. They can help you make changes to your application and begin to appeal the decision.
There are many reasons an SSD application may get denied. Common reasons include a lack of enough information to prove your disability or paperwork errors. Your lawyer will look at your application and determine what needs to be fixed, changed, or added.
You and your lawyer will work to appeal the denial and seek the benefits you deserve.
Get a Free Consultation with a Social Security Disability (SSD) Lawyer in LaGrange, GA for Free Today
The process of applying for SSD benefits can be long and frustrating, but it’s much more manageable with the help of an experienced and compassionate lawyer. At John Foy & Associates, we can provide that lawyer for you—risk-free. We have more than 20 years of experience working on these types of cases, and we do not charge a fee unless we win your case.
To schedule a FREE consultation and discuss how we can help, call (404) 400-4000 and contact us online today.