If you have worked much at all in the last 10 years and become disabled in Dacula, you probably qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The problem is that many applicants are denied coverage even when they meet the qualifications. If this happens to you or you need help with your initial application, it’s time to speak with a Dacula Social Security disability (SSD) lawyer.
Our Social Security disability lawyers at John Foy & Associates thoroughly understand how the SSD process works. We have spent the last 20 plus years helping applicants get the benefits they need and deserve. We know how important this money is for you and your family, and we’re ready to help. To get started with a FREE consultation today, call (404) 400-4000 now.
What You Need to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits in Dacula
The Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews each application using a set of criteria. To meet the basic qualifications, you will need to have:
- A medical condition that prevents you from earning substantial gainful activity.
- Earned enough work credits within the past 10 years.
Medical Condition Criteria
Your medical condition must meet SSA’s definition of disability. It must greatly limit your ability to perform basic work activities for 12 months or more.
The SSA will also look to see if your medical condition falls under their listing of impairments, which are conditions they consider serious enough to keep someone from earning substantial gainful activity. (A medical condition not on the listing of impairments list may still qualify if it is determined to be as severe as those listed.)
Substantial Gainful Activity
Substantial gainful activity means work that earns you more than a specific amount each month. If you are earning more than that dollar amount, you will not be considered disabled by the SSA.
The substantial gainful activity amount varies per year. As of 2019, it is $1,220 for non-blind applicants and $2,040 for blind applicants.
How You Earn Work Credits
The SSA will look at your work history and any current work you are doing. They will ask the following questions when assessing your SSD application:
- 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?
You must also have earned enough work credits (and worked recently enough) to qualify. The amount of work credits you need vary by age and year. In 2019, every $1,360 earned equals one work credit. You can earn up to four work credits per year.
Most disabled individuals will need to have at least 40 work credits with 20 earned in the last 10 years before you became disabled.
Many people who fit these criteria find themselves getting denied by the SSA. That’s because the review process is complicated, and the SSA is looking for certain details before they approve you.
Four Reasons SSD Benefits are Often Denied
Here are some of the most common reasons you might get denied SSD benefits, even if you qualify.
1. Not Enough Documentation on Your Condition
Many applications get denied if the SSA does not see sufficient evidence of how a medical condition prevents someone from working. You will also need to show that your condition is severe enough to prevent you from working for at least 12 months (or that it will result in death).
To prove that you are disabled from performing work, you will need thorough medical records and documentation of treatments. You may also need notes from your doctor saying you are unable to perform work as you did before. Many times, applications are denied simply due to a lack of paperwork or mistakes in filling out documents.
A Social Security disability lawyer can help determine what all forms of documentation you need to include.
2. Earning Too Much Money
As mentioned above, you must be unable to earn substantial gainful activity to qualify for SSD benefits. If you earn more than the allowed amount, even if you are working part-time, you will be denied benefits.
3. Failure to Follow Treatments or Cooperate
You must also be following all treatment plans your doctor prescribes and communicating with the SSA about your application. If you are unreachable or not keeping up with treatment, your application will likely be denied.
This is another reason a Social Security disability lawyer can help. They can communicate with the SSA on your behalf so you may not have to. However, you will still need to stay in contact with your lawyer throughout the process.
4. Being Denied Before
Sometimes, if you were previously denied benefits and begin a new application, the SSA may deny you benefits. This is why it’s best to appeal a denied application before opening a new claim. You will also need to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after your denial. They can look at the reasons you were denied and help fill in any blanks in your application.
How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits
Three are three ways you can apply for Social Security disability benefits:
- Online through the Social Security Administration website
- Through calling the Social Security Administration by phone
- In person at a local Social Security office
What You Need to Apply
To begin your application, you will need the following information ready:
- Your Social Security number
- Proof of your age
- Names, contact information, and medical records from medical professionals who have treated you, including the dates you saw them
- Tests and lab reports
- Names of all medications you take for the condition
- Proof the previous work you did and where you were employed
If you are worried about making mistakes during your application or just need questions answered, contact a Dacula Social Security disability lawyer. They can ensure all details are considered and that your application is as strong as possible.
Talk to a Social Security Disability (SSD) Lawyer in Dacula, GA for Free
At John Foy & Associates, we have been helping SSD applicants strengthen their applications for more than 20 years. We know that many well-meaning individuals are denied benefits every day, even though they truly qualify. We want to help. To discuss the details of your claim and how to get started, give us a call at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for a FREE consultation.