When a medical condition leaves you unable to work in Sandy Springs, your financial situation can fall apart quickly. And you may be feeling frustrated because your application for Social Security Disability benefits (SSD) has been denied. You are not alone. SSD applications in Sandy Springs are routinely denied because there isn’t enough documentation, there’s a mistake in the paperwork, or the people evaluating the application simply don’t understand your condition. But you don’t have to endure months with no benefits. A Sandy Springs Social Security disability lawyer can help.
At John Foy & Associates, we know what the government wants to see in an SSD application. We know how to assemble the documentation and present your case—and we’ve been doing it successfully for over 20 years. We can help with your initial application, appeals, and hearings. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your application. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How do I get Social Security disability benefits in Sandy Springs?
SSD payments are part of the federal Social Security Act. The purpose of the act is to make sure that people aren’t forced into poverty simply because they can’t work anymore, whether that’s because they’re retired, injured or ill. SSD payments specifically apply to people who have worked in the past, but now have medical conditions that leave them unable to hold a job. Your SSD income can help you keep a roof over your head, pay your bills and support your family.
You are entitled to SSD payments because you earned them through working and paying Social Security taxes. Here’s what you need to know:
- SSD is not a government handout. When you were working, you had Social Security taxes deducted from every paycheck. You probably thought you would receive Social Security when you retired, but your disability has forced you to leave the workforce early—and that means you can also collect Social Security earlier than you otherwise would have.
- You can qualify based on ANY disability that keeps you from working. Disabilities include diseases, injuries or any medical condition that prevents you from doing your job. It does not have to be related to your former job in any way.
- Work history is important. To collect Social Security, you must have paid into the system. In general, you must have worked regularly over the past 10 years, but you may qualify even if your work was part time or there were times when you were unemployed. If you have a low enough income, you may qualify under a similar program even if you can’t meet the work history requirement.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates applications and administers the SSD program. In the City of Sandy Springs, the SSA often denies applications, even when the applicant should be approved for benefits. To avoid this, it’s best to get a lawyer working on your application or appeal as soon as possible.
How do I qualify for SSD benefits in Sandy Springs?
Anyone who used to have a job but can no longer work because of a medical condition should qualify for SSD benefits. But the process ins’t that simple: to get benefits, you must show the SSA that you are eligible. You will need to submit documents to prove the following:
- You have a medical condition that a doctor has diagnosed
- Your condition is either terminal or expected to last a year or more
- Because of your condition, you can no longer do your job
- You also can’t do any other job you’re qualified for
- Your condition would make it difficult to do other potential jobs
- Your work history qualifies you for SSD because you have earned enough Social Security “work credits”
- You have earned at least 20 work credits in the last 10 years
- If you haven’t earned enough work credits, you have a low income
Most of our SSD clients meet all of these criteria, and yet many of them have been turned down for benefits because they haven’t submitted enough documentation to convince the SSA.
Will my condition count as a disability?
Many medical conditions can count as disability, but in most cases you have to submit documentation to show the SSA that your particular condition is severe enough to keep you from working.
A few conditions, like kidney failure or terminal cancer, automatically count as disabilities. All you need is a diagnosis and an adequate work history to qualify for benefits.
But for most conditions, the standards are less clear. The SSA has a list of “disabling conditions”—medical conditions that sometimes cause disability, but not always. If you have one of these conditions, you will have to prove to the SSA that you have a serious enough case to prevent you from working. Common disabling conditions include:
- Heart conditions, including heart disease and heart failure
- Low vision and blindness
- Serious neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Mental health disorders
- Severe back pain
- Severe asthma
You can find a full list of conditions here.
You can still qualify for benefits even if your condition isn’t on the list. However, you will need to present even more documentation to show the SSA the facts about your condition and its severity.
Can I appeal my application after it was denied?
Yes. An appeal is an opportunity to have your application reviewed again after it was denied. Depending on the reason your original application was denied, we have found that you might actually have a better chance of approval on appeal. But to present a successful appeal, you can’t just resubmit your original application. You must look at the reasons your application was denied and provide the documentation and evidence that will address those issues.
There are multiple levels to the SSD appeals process, and eventually your case will be heard by a judge rather than an SSA employee. Judges may understand the law more thoroughly and they may be more likely to rule in your favor, especially in a controversial case. Eventually, though, you will run through all your appeals and you will not be able to get benefits without starting a new application. By then, many months will have passed with no benefits coming in. That’s why we think it’s best to get a lawyer to help you as soon as possible.
Talk to a Sandy Springs Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free
It can be hard to accept the fact that you can no longer work because of your health, and harder still to bear the financial impact. At John Foy & Associates, we want to help you get the benefits you deserve as soon as possible. We offer a free consultation to discuss your SSD application and explain what we can do for you. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.