If you are disabled and can no longer work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits (SSD). But getting approved in Roswell is not easy. Many people who are truly disabled are nonetheless turned down for benefits—even if they have a long work history. Sometimes there’s a paperwork mistake or not enough documentation. Other times the government workers processing the claim simply don’t understand your medical situation. No matter what the reason, getting turned down is frustrating, and the delays mean needless financial struggles. A Roswell Social Security disability lawyer can help.
At John Foy & Associates, we want to make the SSD process as frustration-free as possible. You have a right to Social Security benefits, and we know what kind of documents and evidence the government needs to approve your claim. We can prepare an application, prove that your condition counts as a disability, attend hearings and handle appeals. We will consult with you for free about your application. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How do Social Security Disability benefits work in Roswell?
Most people think of Social Security as a government program that gives you a regular paycheck after you retire, but it can also help those who are disabled. The benefits are paid for with deductions from workers’ paychecks. You paid into the system while you are working, so you can get Social Security when you need them. For SSD benefits, you do not need to be of retirement age—SSD benefits are paid to people who used to work, but now have a medical condition that prevents them from earning a living. SSD payments can help you stay in your home, pay utilities and buy food, clothing and other necessities.
There are several important things to know about SSD:
- It is not a handout. You are only eligible for benefits because you paid into the system while you were working.
- Any disability can count, as long as it keeps you from working. Your disability might be a result of an injury or a health issue, and it doesn’t matter if it happened on the job.
- Your work history is important. You must have worked regularly during the past 10 years. However, this does not mean you had to work continuously—you may qualify even if you had spots of unemployment or worked part-time. If you do not have a long enough work history, you may still qualify for a similar program if you have a low enough income.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) processes SSD applications. People who apply for SSD in the City of Roswell regularly have their applications turned down by the SSA, even though they should easily qualify. To keep this from happening to you, it’s important to hire a lawyer on your side as early in the process as possible.
How do I qualify for SSD in Roswell?
SSD is available to people who used to hold a job, but can’t work anymore because of a medical condition. However, to be approved for benefits, you must prove your eligibility. You must show that:
- You have a doctor’s diagnosis of your medical condition
- Your medical condition is terminal, or it is expected to last for a year or longer
- Because of your medical condition, you can’t perform your job
- You also can’t do other kinds of work you’re qualified for
- It would be hard for you to do other jobs you might potentially do
- Your past work history has given you enough “work credits” to qualify for SSD
- You have recent work history (earning at least 20 credits in the last 10 years)
- If you don’t have enough work history, you have a low income
Even if you meet these requirements, the SSA wants to see particular types of documents and evidence—and it can be hard to put together the documentation that will convince the SSA.
Is my condition a “disability”?
Many types of medical conditions can make it impossible for you to hold a job. In theory, all of them should count as disabilities. But in practice, some disabilities are easier to prove to the SSA than others.
A few very serious conditions, like terminal cancer, automatically count as disabilities. All you need is a doctor’s diagnosis.
For most conditions, though, things aren’t as clear-cut. The SSA recognizes that many conditions can keep you from working, but aren’t always serious enough to count as disabilities. This means that you must prove that in your particular case, your condition is serious enough that you are unable to work. The SSA has a long list of these “disabling conditions.” Some of the more common ones include:
- Serious heart conditions and heart failure
- Blindness and other serious vision problems
- Neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Mental health conditions
- Frequent, severe back pain
- Serious cases of asthma
The full list of conditions is here. But your condition may count as a disability even if it’s not on the list. You will just need to submit extra documentation to prove that your condition has caused you to be unable to work.
The SSA already denied my application. Can I appeal?
Absolutely. In fact, many people who are denied benefits on their first application have much better luck on appeal. However, to win an appeal, you must submit something different than your original application. Your application was denied for a reason, and you need to understand the reason and correct any problems or deficiencies when you file your appeal.
If you lose your first appeal, you can file additional appeals, and eventually your case will be heard by a judge. Judges tend to understand the law better than government workers, and sometimes they are more sympathetic to uncommon conditions or in close cases. However, there is a limit to how many appeals you can file, and if you use up all your appeals your only option is to start over with a new application. This involves waiting many months without benefits. That’s why it’s best to have a lawyer on your team sooner rather than later.
Talk to a Roswell Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free
At John Foy & Associates, we know the devastating toll a disability can take on your finances and your future. We’ve helped many people get SSD benefits that have allowed them to stay in their homes and put food on the table. Let us help you. We offer a free consultation to explain the process and discuss your claim. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.