You can apply for disability benefits, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), without a lawyer, and you may be successful. With this said, a lawyer may serve you in several ways, as applying for SSDI and SSI can be a complex process consisting of hurdles which a lawyer could assist you with.
Know Your Right to Social Security Disability
When you pay taxes as a member of the workforce, a part of your tax payments goes into Social Security. While you are entitled to Social Security at a certain age, payments made to Social Security are also used to provide financial relief to those who suffer from medical conditions that prevent them from working.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a list of conditions and impairments that may qualify you for benefits under SSDI. The list includes a variety of medical conditions that impact your:
- Cardiovascular system
- Digestive system
- Musculoskeletal system
- Mental health
- Immune system
- Neurological system
Serious diseases, such as cancer, may be covered, depending on the specifics of your case. Generally, you could qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits if:
- You are an adult (18 years or older)
- You have a medical condition that has prevented you from working for at least one year
While these are the most basic prerequisites for obtaining SSDI benefits, fulfilling these prerequisites does not guarantee that you will be approved for benefits. Some of the other factors that may impact whether you receive benefits or what amount of benefits you receive could include:
- Your age
- Your work history, including the number of years you spent in the workforce before becoming disabled
- What medical documentation you can provide for your injury
- The severity of your injury
- Whether you have dependents
See this SSA document for further information regarding qualification for disability benefits.
For a legal consultation, call 828.286.3866
The Social Security Disability Insurance Application Process Can Be Complex
You are able to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance on your own, and you can use this checklist from the Social Security Administration to do so. You may also want to know that the majority of applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance are denied on their initial claim, as reported by the SSA.
You may find the process of applying for Social Security-funded disability benefits difficult because:
- You do not have the time or patience to engage in what could be a long, drawn-out, and at times confusing process
- The language in documents pertaining to the benefits application may be unintentionally misleading or confusing
- You may encounter questions or requests for information that you do not have the knowledge or resources to respond to accurately
- You may be asked to complete tasks that are difficult or impossible for you to complete as a result of your disability
While you can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) without help from another party, such as an attorney, you may find that you would prefer having help from a lawyer.
How a Lawyer May Be Able to Assist You in the Application Process
If you are in a physical state that has compelled you to apply for Social Security-funded disability benefits, then you may benefit more from an attorney’s assistance.
Some of the services that an attorney may offer you may include:
- Explaining any confusing or unclear language that you come across during the application process
- Handling the administrative application process on your behalf, as the SSA permits you to grant this power of representation to a third party
- Collecting medical records that prove the nature and severity of your disability
- Submitting your initial application
- If your initial application is denied, following up with an appeal
- Accompanying you to interviews or to a hearing and any other processes required to complete your application or appeal
- Advising you not to take actions that could disqualify you from benefits
- Defending your rights
A lawyer could provide you benefits in the form of:
- Time saved
- Clerical mistakes not made
- Effort and energy preserved
Hiring a lawyer is not a guarantee that you will be awarded the benefits you seek, but a lawyer may offer you tangible services that you find value in during the benefits application process.
Call Our Team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, Today
We will work on your behalf in seeking benefits that could:
- Reduce the financial strain on you and any of your dependents
- Allow you to receive the medical care and other essential services that you need
- Serve as a financial buffer between you and a more difficult existence
We understand that disability can be extremely difficult to cope with. Call our team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, today at (828) 286-3866 to learn more about how we may be able to assist you.