Citizens of McDonough who have a medical condition that prevents them from working can apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, but getting approved for those benefits can be difficult. Applicants are routinely turned down, especially on the first try, which can be disheartening if you need that money to support yourself and your family. Sometimes a simple error can lead to rejection, while at other times there wasn’t enough information in the application to prove the medical condition is disabling you from work.
Whatever the reason, it can be hard to know what the Social Security Administration (SSA) is looking for if you aren’t trained in the process. If you’ve already applied and been rejected, we can look at the reasons behind it and make the necessary improvements. If you’re in the process of applying or are planning to apply, we can help you with the entire process, putting together a complete application and walking you through any hearing or appeals processes.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Social Security Disability Attorney in McDonough?
If you have the right lawyer, it will cost you nothing upfront to hire them. Many McDonough Social Security disability attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis, which means their payment comes out of a portion of your initial payout. That way, there’s no risk of paying more for a lawyer than you get in benefits.
To ensure that SSD applicants have enough left after lawyer fees to support themselves, there is a cap on how much law firms can charge in contingency fees. In Georgia, a lawyer cannot ask for more than $6,000 or 25% of your past-due benefits.
Since your payment only comes from past-due benefits, any recurring payments you receive from the SSA are all yours. To find out more about how your lawyer would get paid and how much that may be, get a free consultation with one of our SSD attorneys. We will assess your case and let you know how much your contingency fees might end up being.
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How Long Does It Take for a Lawyer to Get Your Disability?
That depends. In general, there is usually an average six-month waiting period for Social Security Disability benefits. That’s because, after you apply, the SSA usually takes around three to five months to come to a decision on your application. That timeframe can be shorter or longer, though, depending on the complexity of your claim.
After the SSA makes their decision, you’ll receive your first check when the next month rolls around. When you do, you’ll also receive past-due benefits for the months that you had to wait after your application.
With a Social Security disability lawyer in McDonough, though, there is a chance that your waiting period could be shorter. The stronger and clearer your application is, the easier it is for the SSA to come to a decision. While it does take a lawyer some time to gather the necessary materials, they also make sure you have a claim that clearly shows your needs.
How Does Social Security Disability Work in McDonough?
Social Security Disability, or SSD, is a program set up by the government as part of the federal Social Security Act. The purpose of SSD is to provide benefits to workers who can no longer continue working due to a medical condition.
SSD benefits are what allow workers to still pay their bills, have a home, and take for themselves and their families even after they are prevented from working. If a person is approved for SSD, they will start receiving monthly payments through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
There are a few areas of confusion when it comes to Social Security Disability benefits in McDonough. Here’s what you need to know:
Social Security Benefits Are Paid through Taxes
SSD is not a handout. When you were working, you paid Social Security taxes that were taken out of each paycheck. SSD works the same way as the Social Security you can collect when you retire. When you are disabled from working, you are entitled to SSD benefits because you paid for them when you were employed.
You Need to Have a Work History
Since SSD benefits are paid through the taxes you paid while working, to qualify you must have worked regularly over the past 10 years. This time does not need to be continuous, though. If you were unemployed or working part-time at some point during that time, you can still qualify.
If you don’t have a long enough work history but are low income, you might still qualify for a separate but similar program called Supplemental Security Income, or SSI.
The Type or Nature of Disability Doesn’t Matter
To qualify for SSD, your condition doesn’t have to be a result of an injury on the job (unlike with workers’ compensation cases). Any disease, illness, or injury that keeps you from working in any line of work can qualify for benefits.
How Do I Know If I’m Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?
There are two main eligibility requirements for SSD benefits:
- You must have a medical condition that now prevents you from working.
- You must have enough work credits in the past to qualify for benefits.
If you become disabled at age 31 or older, you typically need at least 20 work credits within the 10 years before you became disabled. These work credits are determined by how much you earned. When the Social Security Administration is determining your eligibility for benefits, they will look at your work history and earnings.
The amount of income needed for credits increases a little each year as average income levels also increase. In 2019, for example, you can receive one work credit for every $1,360 you make. There is a maximum of four work credits “awarded” per year. These credits will stay on your record even if your job changed or you weren’t working for a while.
What You Need to Show for Approval
To be approved for SSD benefits, you’ll need to present proof you have the necessary work history and also have a medical condition that prevents you from working. Your application will need to show:
- Your medical condition has been diagnosed by a doctor
- The condition is either terminal or expected to last for at least a year
- You cannot continue to work in your line of work because of the condition
- You can also not work in other lines of work because of your condition
- Because of your work history, you have enough work credits to qualify for SSD
Does Having a McDonough Social Security Disability Lawyer Really Make a Difference?
Yes, it can make a huge difference, especially with Social Security Disability applicants. Most people who have a disabling condition meet the above conditions easily – but you must have the right kind of documentation and thorough details in your application to convince SSA of your need for benefits.
A Social Security Disability lawyer will know what the SSA is looking for to approve someone, and they will be able to guide you in everything your application should include. The sooner you can get approval, the sooner you’ll have access to the funds you need to continue living your life.
Talk to a McDonough Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free
Don’t delay getting help with your SSDI benefits application. The McDonough Social Security disability lawyers at John Foy & Associates understand how important disability benefits are to a worker. We want to help you make your application as clear and thorough as possible, so the Social Security Administration will see your medical condition is truly disabling and you need these benefits.
For a FREE consultation to talk about your application, call us today or fill out the form to your right to get started.
404-400-4000 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form