Social security disability benefits provide a great resource for those Fayetteville residents who qualify. It provides much-needed funds to live on and support your loved ones when you may not have any other options. But, as valuable as it is, SSD benefits are hard to get because of the complicated application process and even more confusing internal procedures that set up barriers for those who need these benefits. Having someone help you through this process who knows the system and what to expect can be extremely helpful. Getting a Fayetteville Social Security disability lawyer can significantly increase your chances of getting benefits.
John Foy & Associates has the experience you need to put the best information forward on your SSD application. We can also help you with your SSD appeal if you have already been denied as well. The hurdles that the Social Security Administration (SSA) puts up to get benefits can be frustrating—but you shouldn’t give up! Let our team help you through this process. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What is Social Security Disability?
Social security disability benefits (sometimes referred to as “SSDI”) are the product of a federal insurance program that helps individuals who have been injured and are no longer able to work. The inability to work must be long-term to qualify. “Long-term” according to the Social Security Administration is longer than one year. Social security benefits are not available for short-term injuries as the government assumes that you will be able to use savings, short-term disability benefits, or other resources to help you through a short-term loss of income, regardless of whether that is true or not.
SSD benefits are only available to those who meet certain qualifications, including:
- Minimum prior work experience
- Specific physical or mental diagnosis
- A determination that you cannot work for at least a year
- Income restrictions
You must go through an application process to get benefits. This process can be very frustrating and take a considerable amount of time in many cases.
What is the difference between SSDI and SSI?
Social security disability benefits are sometimes referred to as “SSDI,” which stands for “Social Security Disability insurance.” These benefits are similar to Social Security Income (SSI), but they have some important differences. Although both programs are overseen by the Social Security Administration, they have different goals and criteria to get benefits.
- SSDI Benefits: These benefits are funded through payroll taxes. It acts as an “insurance” for those who are injured, on or off the job. You must have worked for a certain number of years to qualify for benefits. As such, it depends on having the ability to work at some point in your life.
- SSI Benefits: Although these benefits are similar, they are strictly based on need. Many people qualify that have no work history at all. This program is funded by general taxes. It is most often used by individuals who have never been able to work because of their disability.
Generally, it’s easier to get SSDI benefits compared to SSI benefits, but the facts of every situation are slightly different. SSI benefits are more likely to be used by those who were born with a disabling condition or acquired a medical issue very early in life. SSDI benefits are most likely to be used by those who were hurt in an accident or contracted an illness later.
What are the qualifications to get Social Security Disability Benefits?
Qualifying for SSD benefits can be very complicated. But, you can work through each of the requirements if you think of them as being in three general categories.
- Medical criteria
You must be considered disabled to get SSD benefits. Because the term “disabled” means different thing to many people, the SSA has set out a precise definition. You must be unable to do the type of work you were doing previously. You must also be unable to adjust to a different kind of work, and your period of disability must last for more than one year or be expected to continue for more than a year. Although most people assume that you cannot work at all to qualify for benefits, you can still earn up to $1,179 per month and still be considered disabled.
SSA has a list of disabling conditions that will qualify for SSD benefits. While you don’t necessarily have to have one of these conditions, it makes it easier to qualify. Keep in mind that just one medical condition doesn’t have to inhibit your ability to work. When you consider all of your medical conditions together, you must be unable to work.
- Work qualifications
SSDI is an insurance program. That means that you have to pay a certain amount into the program to get anything out of it. You do this by earning “work credits.” You earn these credits by making a specific amount of money for a period of years. You can earn up to four credits each year. You need a total of 40 credits, and 20 of those must have been received in the 10 years before you became disabled.
Work credits are based on the amount of wages that you earn. For example, in 2018, a single credit is $1,320. That means that you will receive your four credits for the year when you make $5,280. The value of a work credit is adjusted periodically for inflation.
- Procedural requirements
Getting SSD benefits is not automatic. You must go through the application process, which includes filling out a form and going through an interview. Many people are denied at this initial stage of the process. You shouldn’t give up if this you! The majority of applications are immediately rejected at this first round of application. While you don’t have to go to court directly, there is an appeal process that you should use in these situations.
Talk to a Fayetteville Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free
We know money is tight when you are applying for SSD benefits. That is why we offer a free consultation service to determine whether we are a good fit for your needs. You can meet our team, and we can evaluate your factual situation. You have nothing to lose! Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.