If an injury or illness leaves you disabled and unable to work for a living, the Social Security system makes financial assistance available to you through the Social Security Disability (SSD) program. Unfortunately, those who deserve SSD benefits often find out that obtaining the assistance they deserve is a lengthy, bureaucratic process.
Most SSD applicants have to appeal an initial denial of benefits to get payments they are due. The Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review issues more than half a million hearing and appeal decisions every year and is home to one of the federal government’s largest case backlogs.
The Becker Law Office helps disabled workers in obtain the benefits they deserve. We can ensure your SSD claim documents your disability and its effect on your ability to work for a living to the satisfaction of the Social Security Administration. Call us or contact us online for a free discussion of your claim today.
The Social Security Disability program is an insurance program funded by all workers’ Social Security taxes. Its purpose is to assist workers who can no longer work. But applicants must demonstrate that they meet specific criteria before they will receive SSD benefit payments.
The SSD program received 2.5 million applications for disabled worker benefits in 2014 and made awards in 32 percent of the applications, according to the Social Security Administration.
First, an SSD applicant must have a condition that prevents them from performing substantial gainful work. The Social Security Administration requires evidence that:
An applicant for SSD benefits must also have a history of employment and payment of Social Security taxes. Generally, you can qualify if you have paid into the Social Security system for 40 quarters – 20 of which were in the 10 years before you became disabled.
To prove your eligibility for SSD benefits, you must fill out multiple forms and provide a variety of information through:
To prove you have a demonstrable physical or mental disability, your medical records must show that your condition matches an impairment in the Social Security Administration’s list of impairments.
The most common disabilities qualifying for SSD benefits include:
If your condition does not match a listed impairment, the medical evidence in your application must convince case examiners that your condition is equivalent to a listed impairment.
If you have already applied for Social Security Disability benefits and been turned down, you are not alone. The 810,000 applications approved in 2014 represented the lowest number granted since 2008. Most first-time claims are rejected, and most claim applicants then find themselves in a lengthy appeals process.
You have four opportunities to appeal a decision on your SSD application. At each level, you’ll have 60 days after receiving a decision about your claim to request a new review. The appeals process includes:
The SSD application and appeals process is complex and includes important deadlines that must be met. You are not required to have an attorney’s assistance until you reach the final appeal, which goes to a federal court. However, rules of evidence and procedure are observed in hearings, and the SSA will have seasoned professionals to present their case against your claim.
An experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer from the Becker Law Office can help you with the complexities of the Social Security Administration’s disability claims process, whether we join your case from the initial application or at any point in the appeals process. Our objective is to ensure you obtain the benefits you deserve as quickly as possible and with as little stress on you as possible.
If you believe you are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, you should file a complete application for benefits as soon as possible. If your claim has been denied, you must file for an appeal on time or lose you opportunity to obtain benefits. Regardless of the current status of your SSD benefits application, the Becker Law Office can help you obtain a proper decision faster and with fewer burdens on you.
If you are a disabled worker in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, or Tennessee, contact a Becker Law Office SSD lawyer to discuss your case in a free initial consultation today.