The Social Security Disability (SSD) program is a federal insurance program that provides benefits to workers (and children) with long-term disabilities that make them unable to work. To qualify for these benefits as an adult, you must have paid into this insurance program for a minimum number of years. You must also meet a very specific definition of “disabled.” Because of these very detailed requirements, many people are denied benefits from their initial application Stone Mountain—and can even be denied after multiple appeals. This is why it’s so important to use a Stone Mountain Social Security Disability lawyer. Using a lawyer can increase the likelihood that you get benefits.
John Foy & Associates has helped hundreds of people get SSD benefits over their 20 years serving residents of Stone Mountain and the surrounding area. We understand that getting these benefits could mean the difference between being able to live independently instead of living with family or friends. We also realize that being denied benefits can be frustrating and confusing. We have been through this process many times on behalf of clients, and we can help you too. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What kind of information do I need to provide with my SSD application in Stone Mountain?
The Social Security Administration is the federal agency in charge of reviewing SSD applications. But, they will usually use regional state-run entities to help process applications. As part of your initial application, you should provide a variety of supporting documents. If you don’t give SSA any additional information, they are much more likely to deny your claim. These documents may include things like:
- Medical evidence. Evidence of your disability from your doctor is perhaps the most important piece of your application. Medical evidence should indicate not only what your medical conditions are, but how severe they may be. You should also have an opinion from a doctor about how long your disability is expected to last. Your medical records will need to be extensive—they should include both past and present medical information.
- Employment information. You should also include information about, at least, your last five employers. If your previous five employers don’t go back 15 years, you may want to add a few more in too. Provides dates when you started and finished work as well as a general description of what you did. If you had accommodations at a job, it might be a good idea to get a letter from that employer confirming those accommodations. If your employment ended because of your disability, a letter describing those facts might be helpful too.
- Prescription information. It’s also a good idea to include information about what medications you’re currently taking. Your doctor or pharmacist in the City of Stone Mountain will likely be able to provide you with a complete listing. You can also get a letter from your doctor indicating how long they are expecting you’ll have to take this medication.
- Other insurance information. If you have another type of insurance, such as through short-term disability or workers’ compensation, it might be helpful to include information about those benefits. In some cases, SSA will be able to contact that insurance company to get information about your disability that can help your claim for SSD benefits.
- Vital information. You will also need evidence of essential information, such as your birth certificate. You can send in a copy, but if you meet an SSA representative in person, you should bring the original. Other vital information, including information about your spouse and children, should be provided as well.
- Evidence that shows your daily activities. Letters of support from friends and family can also be helpful for your application. SSA will want to know what your daily life looks like. Your family may be the best resource to indicate what you do on a regular basis, including how your disability affects your abilities to do basic things, like chores around the house or taking care of children.
Gathering all this information can be a daunting task. But, having someone on your side who has experience building these applications can be an invaluable resource.
How does SSA decide whether someone is disabled?
The Social Security Administration has a precise definition of “disability” that they use to evaluate your application. In fact, they even have a nearly comprehensive listing of conditions and illnesses that they consider disabling for purposes of receiving SSD benefits. As a rule, your disability should:
- Inhibit your ability to work in any occupation; and
- Affect you for at least one year
The one-year requirement doesn’t have to be certain, but you should have an indication from your doctor that they expect that your condition will last at least one year. You don’t have to be permanently disabled to get SSD benefits—there is only a one-year duration requirement.
Keep in mind that just because your doctor says you are disabled, that does not automatically mean you are disabled. But, that type of opinion is vital to your application.
SSD defines “work” for our purposes as “substantial gainful activity.” That is a certain level or type of work. That means that you can still work a few hours and be considered disabled for purposes of SSD. Your specific condition will dictate how much money you can earn and still be eligible for benefits. These amounts are low—they are generally under $1,170 per month (roughly $14,000 per year).
Talk to a Stone Mountain Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free
If you have been denied benefits or you are considering applying for the first time, it’s a good idea to involve an SSD lawyer. Our team can evaluate your situation and determine if you qualify for benefits. We can also help you word your application in a way that will increase your chances of receiving SSD benefits. John Foy & Associates can also be a valuable resource at any step in the appeal process. 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.