If you are no longer able to work in Newnan because of an injury or condition, you may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD). The problem is that SSD applicants are denied every day, even if they fit the qualifications for benefits. You should know that SSD is your right, and a Newnan Social Security Disability lawyer can help.
Representation from an experienced lawyer is often the difference between approval and denial of Social Security Disability benefits. Our SSD lawyers know what is required to finally get approved for the money you so desperately need.
At John Foy & Associates, we’ll offer you a FREE consultation and discuss how we can help with your case. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started today.
What Social Security Disability Means in Newnan
Workers in Newnan and the rest of the United States pay into Social Security from a portion of each paycheck. That means, if you become disabled and unable to work, you can file a claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. These are benefits most people have paid into for all of their working life, so it’s not a handout but rather money you are entitled to if you qualify.
How to Know if You Qualify for Social Security Disability
The SSD system was created as a type of insurance for those who can no longer work and earn money. Disabled individuals need a way to continue supporting themselves and their families. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), to qualify for benefits under SSD, you must have:
- Paid into the system through jobs covered by Social Security
- Earned enough work credits through Social Security
- A medical condition that meets the definition of disability under Social Security
The qualifications and approval for SSD should be straightforward, but they rarely are. Applicants are routinely denied benefits and left wondering why. This is why we recommend working with a Newnan SSD lawyer. An experienced attorney can look at your application and determine how it can be improved to increase your chances of approval.
Medical Conditions that Qualify for Social Security Disability
To qualify, the SSA must agree that you fit their definition of disability. There are five main questions they use to decide if you’re disabled:
1. Are You Working?
You typically cannot meet the SSA’s definition of disabled if you are working and making more than an average of $1,220 per month. The SSA will look at your application to see if you are currently working.
If you are not currently working, your application will be sent to a Disability Determination Services (DDS) office where the following questions will apply. The main office in Georgia is the Disability Adjudication Services (DAS) in Stone Mountain.
2. Is Your Condition “Severe”?
To qualify for SSD, you must have a condition that greatly limits basic working abilities like walking, standing, sitting, lifting, and being able to remember important facts. Your condition must disable you from working for at least 12 months.
3. Is Your Condition on the List of Disabling Conditions?
If your condition is considered to be severe enough, the DAS office will check their “Listing of Impairments” maintained by the SSA. If your condition is not present on the list, they will determine if it is as serious as another listed condition.
A disabling condition prevents you from completing any substantial gainful activity. If the office decides yours is this severe, your application will move to question number four.
Compassionate Allowances and Quick Determinations
There are two situations in which the SSA approves claims faster. One is Compassionate Allowances, which are cases that often qualify for SSD as soon as the administration has confirmed the diagnosis. They involve very severe medical conditions like Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) or acute leukemia.
The other situation where approval may be extradited is Quick Disability Determinations. This process uses advanced computer technology to quickly screen applications where disability approval is highly likely.
4. Can You Perform Any Work You Used to Do?
If your application meets the above criteria, the SSA will determine whether you can still perform any past work. If you cannot perform any work you used to do because of your condition, your application will move to the final step.
5. Can You Do Another Type of Work?
The SSA will see if you can perform any other type of work in spite of your condition. They will consider various factors like your age, work background and experience, education, and skills when considering other types of work you may be able to do.
If you cannot perform any type of work, including what you used to do and new forms of work, it will be determined that you are disabled.
SSD Work Credit Guidelines in Newnan
Besides not being able to work because of your condition, you will also need to have earned enough work credits to qualify for disability benefits.
Work credits are based on your total wages each year. You earn one work credit after a certain amount of wages, which changes each year. In 2019, you can earn one work credit for each $1,360 of wages you make. You can earn up to four work credits per year.
Most people need to have 40 work credits, 20 of which you earned within the last 10 years, to qualify for Social Security Disability. If you are younger than the average person applying for SSD, you may need fewer work credits to qualify.
Talk to a Social Security Disability Lawyer in Newnan, GA for Free
The Social Security Disability application process can be extremely confusing and frustrating. You might not know where to turn or how to fix the issues leading to your denial. Thankfully, a lawyer who understands Social Security Disability cases can help.
At John Foy & Associates, we have been helping disabled individuals get approved for SSD benefits for over 20 years. We will work with you on your application and help you know what to fix to improve your chances of approval. Contact us today for a FREE consultation to talk about the details. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online now to get started.