Social Security Disability (SSD) was set up to provide income to those who become disabled and can no longer work. Sadly, people who qualify for these benefits find themselves getting denied. Working with a Social Security disability lawyer in Mableton can help.
A lawyer who is experienced in how the system works will be able to review your application and suggest improvements. If you have already been denied benefits, we can help you improve your existing application or appeal a denial. At John Foy & Associates, these are the types of services we’ve been providing to clients for over 20 years.
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 for Social Security Disability. 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 SSD 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:
A Disabling Condition
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the government agency that provides SSD benefits. They define a disabling condition as one that prevents you from working at all – 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.
Earned Enough Work Credits Through Social Security
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 2021, every $1,470 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 our team of Mableton Social Security disability attorneys.
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 2021 is only $1,277 per month. For many disabled individuals, these modest payments are essential to meet 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.
Since guidelines are so strict for SSD approval, many qualifying applicants can slip through the cracks. Small paperwork errors, lack of medical documentation, or other issues with applications can lead to a quick denial.
This is why it’s so beneficial to have Social Security disability lawyers in Mableton look at your application before you submit your claim.
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How Much Does Social Security Disability Pay per Month?
The Social Security Disability pay rate may change every year. As of 2021, recipients receive between $800 and $1,800 per month. The average payout is $1,277 and the maximum is $3,148. Use the SSA online benefits calculator to estimate your monthly benefits.
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 specific conditions listed:
- Musculoskeletal system impairments like major dysfunction 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
Even if you do not have one of these specific conditions, you may still qualify for Social Security Disability. An attorney from John Foy & Associates can explain the top 10 disabilities that qualify you for SSD benefits.
Do You Need a Lawyer to File a Disability Claim in Mableton?
You do not need a lawyer to file your SSD claim but you will most certainly benefit from the legal assistance. A knowledgeable SSD lawyer in Mableton will ensure that your application is complete and free of errors that could delay your benefits. As with personal injury cases, Social Security disability recipients also tend to see increased benefits with a lawyer’s assistance.
Your lawyer can help you by:
- Pinpointing your disability onset date
- Argue how your condition satisfies SSD requirements
- Seek testimony from medical professionals
- Gather relevant medical evidence
- Assist you with an appeal, if needed
- Write a statement for the Administrative Law Judge
- Prepare you for questions you may need to answer
Call a Mableton Social Security Disability Attorney Today
Contact a Mableton Social Security disability attorney from John Foy & Associates today to discuss your case and learn 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 or contact us online to get started with a free, no-risk consultation.