If you have a medical condition that prevents you from working in Decatur, Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits are your right. Unfortunately, applying for these benefits can be difficult—the process is slow and complex, and you’re likely to have your disability doubted or challenged. Many SSDI applicants find that their claim gets rejected purely because of a paperwork error or not including the right documentation. Don’t let your benefits get denied. Talk to an experienced Decatur Social Security Disability lawyer.
John Foy & Associates has been helping people with disabilities get approved for SSDI for more than 20 years. In our firm, we take SSDI claims seriously—we know that you need your benefits to pay the mortgage, afford groceries and take care of your family. We have worked for decades to understand the strategies that get SSDI applications approved. Let us give you a free consultation to look over your application. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How does Social Security Disability work in Decatur?
In 1935 the federal Social Security Act created a number of social safety nets to protect working Americans. One of these programs, SSDI, is designed to help provide a living for people who used to work for a living, but are no longer able to. The program works a lot like an insurance policy: if you develop a disability or disease that prevents you from earning an income, it will provide you with an ongoing pay check. This money can help you pay your bills and provide for yourself and others.
Some of the most important features of SSDI include:
- SSDI is not a “handout.” You, the worker, paid for this program through paycheck deductions for many years while you were working.
- Your disability does not have to be work-related to qualify. Any injury or disease that prevents you from working counts.
- SSDI eligibility is based on how many hours you have worked in the past. However, even people who have not worked full-time consistently may qualify, and there are exemptions for people with low income.
SSDI was designed to help people. Unfortunately, the government is not always eager to approve an application. The agency in charge of SSDI benefits, the Social Security Administration, has a reputation in the City of Decatur for turning down applications based on technicalities. They routinely challenge valid disabilities and put the burden of proof on the person applying. This is why it makes such a big difference to have a professional work on your application.
How do I know if I qualify for SSDI?
Generally speaking, if you have worked for a living in the past but can no longer work because of a medical condition, you qualify. But you will need to prove these facts to the SSA. Some of the factors they look at include:
- Have you been diagnosed with a valid medical condition?
- Will your condition last at least a year (or, if not, is it considered fatal)?
- Does your condition prevent you from working in your normal line of work?
- Would your condition also make it difficult to work in a new line of work?
- Have you worked enough hours in the past (earned enough “work credits” through Social Security deductions)?
- Did you work in the recent past (at least 20 credits in the past 10 years)?
If you meet all of these criterion then you qualify. If you meet all of them except the work credit requirements, but you have a low income, you could also qualify for benefits.
What kinds of conditions are “disabilities” for SSDI?
Any condition can count as a disability if it stops you from being able to work. This can include diseases, infections, injuries, genetic conditions and psychological conditions. But proving that it prevents you from working is harder with some conditions than it is with others.
To make the process easier, the SSA maintains a long list of conditions that they know can count as disabilities. If you have any condition on their list, it doesn’t mean you automatically qualify but it does make it easier to prove your case. Examples of these conditions include:
- Serious back pain
- Heart conditions such as heart failure
- Hearing loss, vision loss or blindness
- Nerve conditions like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis
- Mental disorders such as major depression, schizophrenia, severe anxiety disorders and others
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Severe cases of asthma
These are just a few examples. The complete list of SSA “disabling conditions” is here. Additionally, some very severe conditions such as kidney failure and many types of cancer, are so serious that they are automatically considered disabilities and qualify under a “compassionate allowance.”
For most other conditions, however, you will have to show documentation showing exactly how severe the condition is and why it prevents you from working. Do not give up—if your condition legitimately interferes with working, you can qualify for SSDI.
What can I do if my SSDI application was already turned down?
We recommend doing two things:
- Don’t lose hope. Many claims are turned down the first time and can still get approved later on appeal.
- Talk to a lawyer who is experienced with SSDI claims. This can make the crucial difference in getting your acclaim approved.
Once your application is turned down, the SSA offers an appeals process which is your “second chance” at getting benefits. This process is important because, if your pursue your claim far enough, eventually it will be heard by a judge rather than a government bureaucrat. Judges are outside of the SSA system and will often enforce your rights even when the SSA has tried to turn you down. For many “controversial” disabilities, like fibromyalgia or diabetes, getting your case in front of a judge can make all the difference.
If you are going to appeal your case, it’s important that you don’t just resubmit the same paperwork. The SSA turned you down for a reason and you need to figure out exactly what was missing before you re-submit, or you’re likely to just get denied again and again. Eventually you can run out of appeals and lose your chance at benefits altogether. This is why it’s so important to talk to an SSDI lawyer.
Talk to a Decatur Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free
Your benefits can be your lifeline when you’re not able to work. Don’t let your application be denied. John Foy & Associates has the experience and knowledge to help you get approved for SSDI, and we offer a FREE consultation to discuss your case. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.