Social Security Disability (SSD) is a system that provides income benefits to disabled workers in Valdosta and throughout the United States. Unfortunately, even if you meet the qualifications for these benefits, you might find yourself getting a denial letter and wondering what happened. This can be incredibly frustrating and confusing, but thankfully, Social Security Disability lawyers in Valdosta exist to help.
Our Social Security Disability lawyers at John Foy & Associates have been helping people get approved for their benefits for over 20 years. We know what the Social Security Administration is looking for when they review applications, and we can help you improve yours—starting with a FREE, no-obligation consultation. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to schedule your FREE consultation today.
What You Need to Apply for Social Security Disability in Valdosta
Before submitting an application for Social Security Disability, you’ll need to carefully review your qualifications so you can know what information to provide. Below are the two criteria you’ll need to meet.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) that provides these benefits is very strict when looking at applications and deciding who is eligible. That’s why it’s so beneficial to hire a Valdosta SSD lawyer who can help you with your application before submitting it.
You Must Have Earned Enough Work Credits
Social Security Disability is paid through Social Security taxes, which are taken from your wages or self-employment income. If you’ve paid into the Social Security system long and recently enough, you are entitled to benefits if you become unable to work.
If you have worked much at all in the past 10 years, you’ve probably paid into Social Security enough. The SSA uses work credits to see if you qualify. The amount of wages required for each work credit, also known as a quarter of coverage, depends on the national average wage index (AWI) each year.
Here’s what to know about work credits:
- You can earn up to four work credits per year.
- The amount of earnings you need per work credit varies each year. In 2020, every $1,410 in wages or self-employment income equals one credit.
- Most people need at least 40 work credits with 20 of those credits earned in the last 10 years before you became disabled. Workers younger than 62 years of age will require fewer credits.
If you have questions about work credits and how many you need, contact an SSD lawyer today.
You Must Meet the Definition of Disability
Social Security Disability defines a “disability” more strictly than other types of programs. You can only receive benefits if you have a total disability—not a partial or temporary disability.
The SSA considers someone disabled if they:
- Can no longer do work that they used to perform
- Cannot adjust to other types of work and
- Are expected to have the disability for at least a year (for the disability is expected to result in death)
To show that you are truly disabled, the SSA will be looking for clear evidence. You’ll need to provide documentation to support your application. This is where many people run into issues getting approved for benefits. Issues with paperwork or lack of sufficient documentation can lead to a denial, even if you definitely qualify.
To support your application, here are pieces of information you’ll need to include.
The following information will need to be provided in your SSD application:
- Full legal name
- Birthdate and location
- Social Security number
- Information for current and/or past spouses: name, birthdate, Social Security number, age, and marriage date
- Information on any minor children: names and birthdates
- Your bank and routing number if you want to receive your benefits online
Work History Information
To show that you’ve earned enough work credits through working and paying into Social Security, you’ll need to provide:
- How much money you’ve earned this year and the previous year
- The names and addresses of all employers for those years
- Up to five of the past jobs you worked in the past 15 years (ending the year you became disabled) and the dates you worked those jobs
- A copy of the Social Security Statement
- Any other benefits you are currently receiving
Medical History Information
You’ll also need to include solid proof of your disabling medical condition like:
- Your diagnosis information
- Contact information for every doctor you’ve seen and hospitals you were treated in
- Your patient ID numbers for each hospital
- Medical tests you received and when, where, and why you received them
- Prescription medications you are currently taking and when they were prescribed
- The full name, address, and phone number of someone who can be contacted about your condition
It can be difficult to keep track of all this information and know what is most important to include. That’s where a Social Security Disability lawyer can be so helpful to your case. They can ensure everything necessary is included to paint a picture of your disability and qualifications.
Where to Send Your SSD Application in Valdosta
Once you’re ready to submit your application, there are three different ways you can do so:
- Online through the Social Security Administration website
- Over the phone or
- At a local Social Security office
If you’ve already applied for SSD and gotten denied, don’t give up. A lawyer can look at your application and help you improve it. Then, they can guide you through the appeals process and work to finally get you approved for the assistance you so desperately need.
Talk to a Social Security Disability (SSD) Lawyer in Valdosta, GA for Free Today
Trying to get approved for Social Security Disability benefits is not easy. If it was, there wouldn’t be so many people slipping through the cracks even when they meet the qualifications. At John Foy & Associates, our goal is to get you the benefits you need and deserve as soon as possible.
We do not charge a fee unless we win your case, so there is no risk in contacting us. We’ll give you a FREE consultation to discuss the details and see if we’re a good fit for you. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to schedule your FREE consultation today.