As a worker in Villa Rica, you pay into Social Security Disability (SSD). If you become unable to continue working because of a medical condition, you should have access to the SSD benefits you’ve paid into. These benefits are meant to provide the weekly income you need to support you and your family. Unfortunately, actually receiving these benefits can be difficult, which is where a Social Security Disability lawyer in Villa Rica can help.
At John Foy & Associates, our lawyers have been helping SSD applicants get the benefits they deserve for more than 20 years. We can help you, too—beginning with a FREE consultation. We’ll answer your questions and discuss how we can give you the best chance at approval of your application. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online today for your FREE consultation.
Key Facts to Know About Social Security Disability Benefits in Villa Rica
Social Security Disability insurance (SSDI) was created to act as a safety net for disabled workers and their dependents. Through SSDI, workers can receive benefits after being employed and paying into Social Security taxes. These taxes are taken as a percentage of each paycheck.
Anybody Can Become Disabled Without Warning
Disability can affect anyone—at any age. People often assume older adults are the main demographic for SSD benefits. The truth is, more than one-in-four 20-year-olds will become disabled before they are old enough to retire, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Social Security Disability is meant to provide benefits as income support for those who need it.
You Must Be Disabled According to the Social Security Act
To qualify for SSD benefits, you must meet the definition of “disability” as outlined in the Social Security Act. This means you must:
- Have a disabling medical condition
- Be unable to work because of your condition
- Be unable to work for at least a year
Your condition must also keep you from being able to perform work you did in the past or adjust to new types of work.
Social Security Has a No Tolerance Approach
To prevent people from taking advantage of the SSD program, the SSA and the Office of the Inspector General are aggressive in their analysis of each application. Any claims that seem suspicious are investigated early on, and an applicant must clearly fit the criteria before they are approved for benefits.
Since the guidelines for approval are so strict, many genuinely disabled people sadly fall through the cracks. They are denied the benefits they so desperately need even though they qualify. It usually takes the assistance of a Social Security Disability lawyer to determine where an application needs to be adjusted to win approval.
What Happens If Your Social Security Disability Application Gets Denied
If you were denied SSD benefits, don’t use it as a reason to give up. We understand how hopeless it can feel to get a denial, but you have options. First, you will want to request an appeal immediately. You have 60 days from the date of your denial to do this.
Always Appeal—Don’t File a New Claim
Most SSD applications that are denied do not get appealed. This is a sad fact, as appealing may give you another chance to request benefits.
It’s also very important that you do not file a new claim. Starting a new claim instead of appealing your existing one will cause you to lose your appeal rights and have to start all over. It can also affect your chances of approval for your new application, too.
There are Four Appeal Levels
The four levels of appealing an SSD application are:
- The reconsideration
- An administrative law judge (ALJ) hearing
- The Appeals Council review
- A Federal Court review
The first three steps can be requested online.
During the reconsideration, someone who had no part in the first decision will review all aspects of your claim. They will also look at any new evidence you and your lawyer have submitted.
2. ALJ Hearing
If you do not agree with the decision made after a reconsideration, you can request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ) who will review your application and reasons for your denial. The hearing typically takes place within 75 miles of where you live.
This ALJ will have had no involvement in any stages of your application yet. It’s best to already have a Villa Rica Social Security Disability lawyer on your side to help you during this hearing.
3. Appeals Council Review
After the ALJ hearing, if you disagree with what’s decided, you can request the Social Security’s Appeals Council review your application. The Council will look at all review requests, but they can deny one if they think the previous decision was in line with Social Security laws.
If the Appeals Council does decide to review your case, they might look at it themselves or send it to another ALJ to review.
4. Federal Court Review
If you do not agree with the Appeals Council’s decision or the Council denies reviewing your case, you have the right to file a lawsuit in federal district court. You will definitely want a Social Security Disability lawyer on your side at this point.
Talk to a Villa Rica Social Security Disability (SSD) Lawyer for Free Today
The entire process of seeking Social Security Disability benefits is lengthy, complicated, and frustrating. If you have been denied the benefits you need and deserve to support yourself and your family, call John Foy & Associates today.
Our SSD lawyers have been helping disabled workers get the benefits they desperately need for over 20 years. We are dedicated to giving you the best chance at approval possible—whether it’s your first time applying or you need help with an appeal. We understand what the SSA is looking for to approve an application, and we can help you improve yours.
To get started today with a FREE consultation, call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.