Unfortunately, it’s not easy to get approved for Social Security Disability benefits in Hampton. Many applicants are denied on their first try, even if they have paid into the system and truly have a disabling condition. If this is similar to your situation, don’t give up. Many times, providing more information or clarification can improve your chances of approval. Most applicants also benefit from the help of a Hampton Social Security Disability (SSD) lawyer.
If you have worked for many years and you are now disabled, SSD should be your right as an American citizen. At John Foy & Associates, we can help you pursue the benefits needed to pay your living expenses, put food on the table, and support yourself and your family. Not every lawyer has experience working on SSD claims. We bring over 20 years of experience to the table. To discuss your case at no cost, call us at (404) 400-4000 to schedule a FREE consultation.
How to Know if You Qualify for Social Security Disability in Hampton
Generally, you should qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits if you:
- Have worked and paid into Social Security through taxes and
- Have a medical condition that now prevents you from working
This seems straightforward, but there is a lengthy process the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses to assess each application.
The SSA wants to make sure any applicant truly qualifies for benefits, and they will be looking for concrete proof. Sadly, that means many people fall through the cracks even if they meet the criteria. This is why we recommend working with a Social Security Disability lawyer in Hampton who can help improve your application.
Determining if You Are Disabled
The SSA asks five questions when deciding if you are disabled:
- 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?
To qualify for SSD, you will need to have a total disability, meaning you cannot do any type of work because of your condition. This is why the SSA will assess whether or not you can perform any work, including past work or alternative forms of work. Your condition is “severe” if it prevents you from doing any substantial gainful activity (SGA).
The SSA will see if your condition is on to their Listing of Impairments. These are conditions considered severe enough to prevent SGA. If your condition is not on this list, they will determine if is equal in severity to another listed condition.
Work History Requirements
Having a total disability is just one piece of the SSD puzzle. Since benefits are paid through taxes taken out of each worker’s paycheck, the SSA will want to see you have personally paid into Social Security—and that you have done so for long enough.
Every year, you can earn up to four “work credits” based on wages you’ve earned. The number of wages needed per work credit changes each year. In 2019, you earn one work credit per $1,360 of wages. Once you have earned four times that ($5,440), you’ve hit your maximum of four credits per year.
If you are age 62 or older, you generally need 40 work credits with 20 of those earned in the last 10 years before you became disabled. Younger workers need fewer work credits and years of work to qualify. Between ages 31 and 60, the requirements range from 20 to 38 work credits.
Providing Proof of Your Disability in Hampton
Even if you know you meet the above qualifications, you will still need to prove them to the SSA. Here are some ways to do that:
Show a Strong Medical History
One of the top reasons Social Security benefits get denied is a lack of sufficient medical evidence to prove the disabling condition. It’s vital to have a lot of medical documentation, beginning as soon as you were first disabled. To get all the records and information needed, you might need to:
- Contact past and current doctors’ offices
- Ask past employers, family, or friends about when your condition started to affect your work
- Consult with a Hampton Social Security Disability lawyer who can help you build your claim
Choose the Right Doctors
You will need records from your doctor(s) that include their assessment, diagnosis, prescribed medications, and treatment plans for your condition.
It’s best to go to a conventional medical doctor over an alternative one, such as a naturopathic doctor, as the SSA may not take them seriously. Also, a specialist’s opinion is often better than just your primary care doctor’s. If you need help determining which doctor is best, a Social Security Disability lawyer can help.
You should also maintain clear communication with your doctor. Be upfront about all the ways your condition limits you. You and your doctor will need to be in agreement about how your medical condition disables you.
Detail How the Condition Affects You
Besides proving the severity of your condition and that you cannot work, personal testimony may help too. Keep a journal of what you do each day. Detail how your condition impacts your ability to do daily tasks, such as standing, sitting, walking, lifting things, and more.
It needs to be clear that your condition and its symptoms prevent you from fulfilling the actions of full-time work. You might also make a list of friends, family members, or co-workers, who can detail how your condition impacts your abilities.
What to Do if Your Claim Gets Denied in Hampton
If your application gets denied, it’s not the end. Don’t give up, and don’t start a new application. The SSA offers a process to appeal the decision on your current application. If you begin another application, you can actually hurt your chances of getting approved.
At this point, it’s best for most SSD applicants to consult with a Social Security Disability lawyer in their area. If you were denied, there’s something about your application that needs improvement. An attorney can help pinpoint the problem and address it in the strongest way.
Talk to a Hampton Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free
Going through the Social Security Disability application process is not easy or stress-free for most people. That’s why John Foy & Associates is committed to making the process easier for you—and winning you the benefits you deserve. We have been helping disabled individuals get the money they need to support themselves (and their families) after becoming unable to work.
We’re also happy to not take any fees unless we win your case. It’s risk-free to work with us—and to contact us. The consultation is FREE. To schedule your FREE consultation today, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.