Getting approved for Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI) in Lawrenceville can be difficult. Individuals with legitimate disabilities are routinely turned down, even if they have a long history of working prior to their disability. You may find yourself rejected because of a paperwork error, because the government doesn’t believe you have enough documentation, or simply because the person reviewing your application doesn’t understand the medical condition you have. The result is months of frustration—and no benefits until you get it resolved. Let a Lawrenceville social security disability lawyer help you.
John Foy & Associates has been helping people get their SSDI benefits for more than 20 years. We firmly believe that your benefits are your right, and we understand what the government is looking for when they review your application. We can put together the right documentation for your case, prove that your condition counts as a disability, and even handle appeals, hearings and judges. Let us give you a free consultation to discuss your application. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How do Social Security Disability benefits work in Lawrenceville?
SSDI was established by the federal Social Security Act which is designed to protect working Americans. The act created a number of programs to make sure that people who work for a living are not left vulnerable if they retire, get injured, or find they can no longer work. SSDI in particular is meant to provide an income to anyone who used to work for a living, but is now prevented from working by a medical condition. The income that it provides can help you pay rent, pay your mortgage, buy groceries and provide for your family. It helps you replace your lost income.
The basics of the SSDI program include:
- SSDI is not a handout. You helped pay for these benefits through payroll deductions through years of working for your living. You paid in, and if you can no longer work, you have a right to be covered.
- Any disability that prevents you from working can qualify. It can be a disease or an injury, and it does not have to have happened on the job.
- Your work history is a factor. To be eligible for SSDI benefits, you need to have worked on a regular basis over the preceding 10 years. However, you may qualify even if you were not a full-time worker or had spots of unemployment. And individuals with a low income may be eligible for similar benefits even if they have not worked enough in the past.
The government agency in charge of SSDI applications is the Social Security Administration (SSA). In the City of Lawrenceville, however, the SSA is known for turning down applications even when the person has a disability that should qualify. This is why it’s so important to have a lawyer assist you with filing or appealing your application.
What do I have to do to qualify for SSDI benefits in Lawrenceville?
As a rule, if you have worked for a living in the past but you no longer can because of a medical condition, you should be eligible for SSDI. But you have to prove your eligibility to the SSA first. The specific factors you have to prove include:
- You have a medical condition that has been diagnosed by a doctor
- If your medical condition is not terminal, it is expected to last for at least a year
- Your medical condition prevents you from doing your job
- Your medical condition also prevents you from doing other types of work that you would be qualified to do
- Whether your condition makes it difficult to perform other potential jobs you would be qualified to do
- You have worked enough in the past to qualify for SSDI (measured as how many “work credits” you’ve earned through Social Security)
- You have worked recently (20 or more work credits in the past 10 years)
- If you have not worked enough, you have a low income
Most disabled workers meet these conditions, but proving that you meet them can be difficult. You need documentation that is convincing to the SSA.
How do I know if my condition counts as a “disability”?
If it prevents you from working, it should count as a disability for SSDI. However, it is easier to get some conditions to count than others.
Some very serious conditions, like kidney failure or many forms of cancer, automatically count as disabilities. If you were diagnosed, you qualify; it’s that simple.
Most conditions, however, occupy a sort of “limbo.” The SSA recognizes that they can be severe enough to prevent you from working, but you still have to prove that your individual case is that serious. These are known as “disabling conditions” and the SSA maintains a long list of every condition that can qualify. Common examples include:
- Heart failure and other serious heart conditions
- Blindness or low vision
- Multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Mental disorders such as depression
- Severe back pain
- Severe asthma
There are many others. You can see a full list of these conditions here.
Even if your condition is not listed, it doesn’t mean you can’t qualify. It just means you will require additional documentation and evidence to show that it is severe enough to prevent you from working.
If my SSDI application was already denied, can I appeal it?
Yes. The SSA’s appeals process represents a “second chance” to get approved. In fact, depending on the specifics of your claim, you might actually be more likely to get approved on appeal than you were the first time. But you need to be careful—don’t just take the same application and file it again. You need to identify the exact reason it was denied in the first place, and then put together documentation that works.
If needed, it is possible to appeal your SSDI decision multiple times. Eventually your case will be heard by a judge instead of a government worker. Judges in SSA hearings tend to have a deeper understanding of the law, and are often much more open-minded than the SSA itself, especially on controversial conditions. But if you appeal too many times, you can eventually run out of appeals and have to start the whole process over—leading to many months with no benefits. This is why it’s so important to have a lawyer help you.
Talk to a Lawrenceville Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free
Your SSDI benefits can be the only thing allowing you to keep your home, pay your bills and take care of your family. Don’t risk getting denied and don’t let the process drag out for years. Let John Foy & Associates give you a free consultation and show you what we can do for you. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.