Social Security Disability was set up to provide income to those who become disabled and can no longer work to earn money. Unfortunately, people in Mableton who truly qualify for these benefits still find themselves getting denied. This can happen for a number of reasons, but working with a Mableton Social Security Disability (SSD) lawyer can help.
A lawyer who is experienced in how the system works will be able to look at your application and find areas for improvement. If you have already been denied benefits, they can help you improve your existing application and appeal the denial. At John Foy & Associates, these are the types of services we’ve been providing to clients for over 20 years.
Contact us today to discuss your case and how we can help. Our goal is to get you the benefits you need and deserve to support yourself and your family. Call us today at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started with a FREE, no-risk consultation.
Six Facts to Understand About Social Security Disability in Mableton
Social Security Disability, or SSD, works differently than other disability programs, and there are strict qualifications one must meet to be approved. There are other issues that make it difficult for someone to get benefits even if they really qualify. Here are some of the basic facts to understand about SSD.
1. Social Security Disability is Not a Handout
If you have worked much at all, you’ve paid into the SSD system. The funds for these benefits are taken out of each worker’s paycheck (or self-employed income) as Social Security taxes. Therefore, if you worked previously and become totally disabled, you have the right to seek benefits from the system you’ve paid into through taxes.
2. SSD is Meant to Replace Lost Income
The system was set up under the Social Security Act, and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) officially became law in 1956. SSD is meant to help replace some lost income for those who can no longer work because of a disabling condition. The benefits can help provide for the disabled worker and their dependents.
When someone gets approved for SSD, they will receive regular, weekly income to help with living expenses. Again, these are benefits you have paid into throughout your working life.
3. You Must Be Completely Disabled
The qualifications for SSD are strict. Unlike other disability systems, you must be completely and totally disabled. There are no partial or temporary benefits available. The assumption is that partially or temporarily disabled individuals will turn to other programs, such as workers’ compensation, for that assistance.
4. There Are Two Main Criteria You Must Meet to Qualify
To even be considered for SSD benefits, you must meet (and be able to demonstrate that you meet) these two qualifications:
- Being diagnosed with a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s definition of “disabling”
- Having earned enough work credits through Social Security
The SSA is the government agency that provides SSD benefits. They define a disabling condition as one that prevents you from working at all—including adjusting to any new types of work or doing work you performed in the past—for at least one year or having a condition that will result in death. If you have not yet been disabled for a year, you’ll need to show that your condition is expected to last for at least a year.
Besides having a disabling condition, you must also have earned enough work credits. You earn work credits through income you have made, and you can earn up to four work credits per year. The amount of income it takes to earn one work credit changes each year (for example, in 2020, every $1,410 in wages or self-employed income is worth one credit.
Most people need at least 40 work credits with 20 of those being earned in the last 10 years. However, younger applicants will have fewer credit requirements. If you have questions about your work credit qualifications, contact an SSD lawyer in Mableton today.
5. Payments Through Social Security Disability Are Modest
It’s important to understand that the payments applicants receive through SSD are not huge. According to the SSA, the average disability benefit paid through Social Security in 2019 was $1,234 per month. This was barely above the poverty line for that time, but for many disabled individuals, these payments are necessary to meet their basic living needs.
6. There is a Zero Tolerance for Fraud
When the SSA inspects Social Security applications, they are carefully checking for fraud. Suspicious claims are investigated through the Cooperative Disability Investigations program. The hope is that protecting the system from fraudulent claims will provide more benefits to those who truly need them.
The problem is that since guidelines are so strict for SSD approval, many truly qualifying applicants can slip through the cracks. Small paperwork errors, lack of enough medical documentation, or other issues with applications can lead to a quick denial. This is why it’s so beneficial to have a Social Security Disability lawyer look at your application and see if there are areas to be improved before you submit your claim.
Medical Conditions That Qualify as “Disabling” Under SSD
The SSA maintains a Listing of Impairments with conditions that have been considered serious enough to keep someone from performing gainful activity. Here are the 14 sections with some conditions listed under each:
- Musculoskeletal system impairments like major disfunction of joints, disorders of the spine, amputation, and fracture of an upper extremity
- Special senses and speech impairments like loss of central visual acuity, loss of visual efficiency, and hearing loss with a cochlear implant
- Respiratory disorders like asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic respiratory disorders, and bronchiectasis
- Cardiovascular system impairments, like chronic heart failure, heart transplant, recurrent arrhythmias, and chronic venous insufficiency
- Digestive system impairments like chronic liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and short bowel syndrome (SBS)
- Genitourinary disorders like chronic kidney disease and nephrotic syndrome
- Hematological disorders like disorders of bone marrow failure and sickle cell anemia
- Skin disorders like dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, burns, and bullous disease
- Endocrine disorders like thyroid gland disorders, pituitary gland disorders, and adrenal gland disorders
- Congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems like non-mosaic Down syndrome
- Neurological disorders like epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and benign brain tumors
- Mental disorders like schizophrenia, depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and eating disorders
- Cancer (malignant neoplastic diseases) like soft tissue cancers of the head and neck, lymphoma, and leukemia
- Immune system disorders like systemic lupus erythematosus, inflammatory arthritis, HIV, and Sjögren’s syndrome
Talk to a Social Security Disability (SSD) Lawyer in Mableton for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we can help you through every step of your Social Security Disability application. Call us today for a FREE consultation at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.