Social Security Disability benefits are available to those in Norcross who cannot work because they have a serious medical condition. To qualify, your medical condition must last at least one year. There are many other qualifications, but the main one is whether your health forces you out of work. To get SSD benefits, you have to apply—and many people get rejected unfairly. A Norcross Social Security Disability lawyer may be able to help you get approved.
The SSD application process can be intimating. In some cases, people who would qualify for benefits don’t even apply because they don’t know where to start. Let John Foy & Associates be your guide in the application process. We have helped many other people get the disability benefits they deserve by helping them with their application—and we offer a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How do I qualify for Social Security Disability benefits?
You have to meet two “tests” to qualify for SSD benefits: one about your work history, and one about your health condition.
Your work history: The first test is based on how much money you put into the Social Security system before you became disabled. You have to earn at least 40 “work credits” to qualify. A work credit is based on how much money you earn in a particular year. You can make four work credits per year. In 2018, for example, a work credit is $1,320. That means that once you make $5,280 for the year, you’ve earned all four of your work credits for the year. Twenty of your 40 work credits must have been collected within ten years of when you became disabled.
If you’re not sure if you meet this, an attorney can get you an answer. The short answer is that most people who were even partially employed over much of the past 10 years are likely to qualify.
Your health condition: The other qualification is based on your medical status. You must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disabled to get benefits. Their definition includes:
- You cannot do the same job that you did before you became disabled;
- You are not able to adjust to other work because of your disability; and
- Your disability has lasted one year or is expected to continue for at least a year.
Some medical conditions will almost automatically qualify for benefits. But, those are very serious and often life-threatening, such as many forms of cancer. They are set out in the “Blue Book.”
Even if your condition is not included explicitly on SSA’s list of severe health conditions, you can still get SSA benefits. Your Norcross SSD benefit lawyer can help.
What do I need for my Social Security Disability application?
Everyone’s SSD application is going to contain different information. Your medical condition and its status will have a significant effect on what you should put on your form, for example. It’s a good idea to collect the following information to include in your application:
- Birth and citizenship information. Those who are citizens, permanent residents, and lawfully present foreign workers can often get SSD benefits. They must have paid into Social Security to qualify.
- Marriage and divorce data. You’ll need information about your former spouse if your marriage lasted longer than 10 years or ended in death.
- Information about children. If children are considered disabled before the age of 22, under the age of 18 and unmarried, or between 18 and 19 and are going to college full time, then you will need the names and birth dates of those children for your application.
- Military data. If you are or were a member of armed forces, you will need your dates of service and information about the branch in which you served.
- Employment details. You should be able to provide basic information about your prior employers for the past two years. You will need your overall earnings data as well. You can usually find this data on your tax records.
- Medical expert information. You must provide the name and contact information of someone who can talk to the Social Security Administration (SSA) about your medical condition. Usually, this person is your regular, treating doctor, but not always. You should also be able to give contact information for every doctor you have seen about your medical condition. For many people, that will mean specialists in addition to your regular doctor. SSA will also want to know where to get all of your medical records.
- Listing of medical problems. The application must include a listing of each and every medical condition that you have. It’s important not to downplay any of your conditions or symptoms—they want to know everything you are experiencing and how that is affecting your ability to work. This is your opportunity to tell them everything.
- Education and training background. Part of proving that you are entitled to SSD benefits is showing that you cannot perform any work—not just the last job where you worked. The SSA will look at your training, experience, and education to determine if you could work in another field.
Your SSD lawyer will be able to help you gather all of this information—you don’t have to go through this process alone.
How can an SSD attorney help with getting benefits?
You can apply for Social Security Disability benefits alone. But, it often isn’t a good idea. Having a Norcross Social Security Disability lawyer help you with your application and any appeals that may be necessary significantly increases your chances of getting benefits.
The final appeal in the SSD process is going to a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. This hearing is a lot like going to court for your benefits. In those situations, the difference is dramatic:
- 50% of applicants with a lawyer will win benefits
- But, only 23% of applicants without a lawyer will win benefits
This difference is because of how unnecessarily complicated the SSD process is. Don’t take chances. Getting benefits to help support you and your family is too important to risk going it alone.
Talk to a Norcross Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free
Disability benefits are supposed to help you through a difficult medical circumstance. You should apply for this benefit if you think you qualify—and we can help. Don’t let valuable benefits pass you by because you assume that you won’t get them. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.