Residents of Lithia Springs who become disabled because of a medical condition or injury may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. These benefits can help keep you afloat by providing weekly income for your living expenses. The problem is that many SSD applicants slip through the cracks—even if they qualify. Thankfully, a Lithia Springs Social Security Disability lawyer can help you work through the confusion and seek the benefits you need.
At John Foy & Associates, we have seen firsthand how stressful the SSD process can be for applicants. You simply need assistance paying for your costs of living since you’ve become disabled, and it can feel like there are endless loops to jump through before you can get approved. That’s where we strive to make the process as easy as possible—and work to get you benefits.
It’s common for most applicants to get denied on the first try, so don’t give up. Whether you haven’t applied yet or you’ve already been denied before, contact us for a FREE consultation and we’ll discuss how we can help. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us here online to get started with your FREE, no-risk consultation.
How Social Security Disability Works in Lithia Springs
Social Security Disability Insurance—shortened to SSDI or SSD—is a federal insurance program paid through Social Security taxes. Every worker has these taxes taken as a portion of each paycheck, so the program is not a handout. You have likely paid into it through your entire working career.
When a worker becomes unable to continue working because of a disabling condition, they should be able to access SSD benefits to provide supplemental income for themselves and their dependents.
SSD is provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA), an independent government agency. When you apply for SSD benefits, it’s the SSA that evaluates your claim and decides whether or not you qualify.
How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits in Lithia Springs
The eligibility rules for receiving SSD are different from other benefits. Unlike programs like workers’ compensation, you cannot receive partial or temporary disability benefits through Social Security. You must have a total disability.
To be eligible for benefits, you must:
- Meet the SSA’s definition of disability and
- Have earned enough work credits for your age
Let’s look at each of these factors more closely.
Meeting the Definition of Disability
As mentioned above, to meet the SSA’s definition of disability, you must have a total disability. That means you:
- Cannot perform work that you used to do
- Cannot adjust to another type of work
- Have a disability that has lasted or is expected to last at one year or more (or result in death)
If you are able to perform any type of work or are expected to be able to return to work, your application will likely be denied. That being said, the SSA will sometimes determine that an applicant can still work—when they really cannot. If that describes your situation, reach to a Lithia Springs SSD lawyer right away.
Those who receive SSD benefits are some of the most disabled in the United States because of how strictly the SSA defines disability. According to facts from the SSA, beneficiaries of these benefits are over three times as likely to die in a year compared with other people their age.
It’s also a common misconception that only “older people” can qualify for SSD benefits. Children and young adults can be affected by serious medical conditions or become disabled, as well. These benefits should be available to anyone who truly needs them.
Earning Enough Work Credits
Along with meeting the definition of disability, you must also have earned enough work credits through Social Security to qualify for benefits. Work credits are based on your yearly wages (or self-employment income). Here’s how it works:
- The amount of income you must earn per work credit changes each year. In 2020, you can earn one work credit per $1,410 you earn.
- You can earn up to four work credits (or $5,640 in the year 2020) per year.
- Most people need at least 40 work credits with 20 of those earned in the last 10 years before you become disabled.
- Younger workers who become disabled will have fewer work credit requirements.
For most people, if they have worked much at all in the past 10 years, they will qualify for this portion of the SSD requirement.
The SSA will examine each of these qualifications to determine whether or not you qualify for benefits. They will also be looking for comprehensive evidence of the severity of your disability. Some applications get denied—even when the applicant qualifies—because they don’t provide enough information.
Denied for Social Security Disability Benefits? You Can Appeal
If you have already applied for SSD benefits and got denied, do not give up hope. It’s easy to feel defeated and assume you will never qualify, but we have seen countless applicants get the benefits they need even after a denial. The biggest difference is usually that they worked with a Social Security Disability lawyer.
If you were denied, you can appeal your application. A lawyer will look at the reason for your denial, your previous application, and identify where your application can be improved to increase your chances of approval. Many times, some significant tweaks (that your lawyer can easily make) are required to fully demonstrate your qualifications.
Talk to a Social Security Disability (SSD) Lawyer in Lithia Springs, GA for Free Today
You don’t need to deal with the SSD application or appeal process on your own. In fact, we recommend working with a lawyer from the beginning. At John Foy & Associates, there are no upfront fees to work with us—and the consultation is always FREE—so you can start working with us right away.
Let us give you a FREE consultation so we can talk through the details of your situation and come up with a plan for you. Our goal is to get you the benefits you so desperately need and deserve. To get started with your FREE consultation today, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.