Getting approved for Social Security Disability benefits in Dallas is not easy—even if you clearly qualify. The approval process is lengthy and complicated, which is why having a Dallas Social Security Disability (SSD) lawyer is highly recommended.
It’s common for well-deserving people to slip through the cracks when it comes to SSD benefits. But you should not have to stress about how to support yourself (and your family) after paying into this system for most of your working life.
At John Foy & Associates, we can help you pursue the benefits you need after becoming disabled from working. Our lawyers know how to build a strong application based on what the Social Security Administration is looking for. Contact us today at (404) 400-4000 for a FREE consultation to get started.
How Social Security Disability Benefits Work in Dallas, GA
The Social Security Act was signed in 1935 as a safety net for Americans who were retired. Disability insurance was discussed at that time, but it was not included in the Act. Twenty years later, in 1956, Congress finally put the Social Security Disability Insurance program into effect.
Social Security Disability, or SSD, is a tax-funded insurance company set up by the government to provide income to those who can no longer work because of a disability. SSD insurance benefits are meant to help you pay living expenses, such as rent and food, for you and your family.
Social Security Disability Insurance Is Not a Handout
SSD is not a benefit the government offers for nothing. To be eligible for SSD benefits, you must have paid a certain amount into Social Security through payroll taxes at a job.
If you have accrued enough work time then become unable to work because of a medical condition, you have the right to SSD benefits you paid into. This is similar to Social Security, which you have the right to receive after retirement.
Also, your condition does not need to have happened at work for you to qualify. Any type of condition that disables you from working may qualify.
How to Know if You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits
To qualify for SSD benefits, you must prove that:
- You have worked enough in the past 10 years (at jobs covered by Social Security) and
- You have a disabling condition that prevents you from working for one year or more
All applications for SSD go through the Social Security Administration (SSA). They have a step-by-step process for assessing each applicant and their condition.
Work Credits for SSD Benefits
To see whether you have worked long enough and recently enough, the SSA looks at your work credits. These are based on total yearly wages in the last ten years. You can earn up to four work credits per year.
The amount of work needed per credit changes each year. In 2019, you earn one work credit per $1,360 of income you make. You can earn a maximum of four work credits per year if you make at least $5,440.
The amount of total work credits you need to qualify depends on the age at which you became disabled. Most adults need 40 work credits total with 20 of those earned in the last ten years. Younger people will generally require less.
Disabilities That Qualify
If the SSA can confirm you have enough work credits to qualify, they will then look at the condition that prevents you from working.
They’ll determine if your condition qualifies by asking five questions:
- Are you working?
- Is your condition “severe”?
- Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?
- Can you do the work you did previously?
- Can you do any other type of work?
If you are working in the current year and make more than an average amount per month ($1,220 per month in 2019), the SSA will typically not consider you disabled. If you are not working, your application will go to Disability Determination Services (DDS) for questions two through five.
Your condition must be severe enough to prevent you from working in any line of work. DDS will check to see if your condition is on the SSA’s Listing of Impairments. Your medical condition does not have to be on this list to qualify, but it will need to be as severe as conditions that are listed.
What to Do if Your Social Security Disability Application Is Denied in Dallas
It can be incredibly frustrating if you believe you qualify but your application still gets denied. Don’t give up or assume you can’t receive benefits. There are steps you can take.
Appeal the Denial
Request an appeal right away. You may 60 days to appeal an SSD application denial, but the sooner the better. A Dallas Social Security Disability lawyer can help you do this.
Don’t Start a New Application
Many people who make an SSD claim either don’t appeal a denied application or begin a new one. Do not begin a new application until you’ve gone through the appeals process. If you do, you will have to start over with the whole process—and you’ll likely be denied for the same reason as before. You have the best chance of winning benefits if you appeal the original denial.
Figure Out Why You Were Denied
To make improvements to your case, you will need to understand why the SSA denied you. When you get your notice of denial, it will contain a description of the reason you were denied benefits. It could have something to do with your work history, medical records, or simply a lack of sufficient information to prove your disability.
The information about why you were denied can help you make improvements to your initial application. It’s best to hire a Social Security Disability lawyer in Dallas at this stage. They will understand what the SSA is looking for to approve a claim. Your lawyer can help you make the necessary improvements to your application.
Talk to a Dallas Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free
Applying for Social Security Disability benefits—or appealing a denied application—can be an overwhelming process. At John Foy & Associates, we understand how important these benefits are for you and your family. We also know many claimants are worried about legal fees when hiring a lawyer, which is why we don’t charge you any fees unless we win your case.
You should receive the benefits you paid into for so many years. Let us help you pursue the money you deserve, starting with a FREE consultation. Call us today at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started with your free consultation.