If you are unable to work after an injury, unexpected medical condition, or workplace accident, it can be challenging to pay your bills and remain financially independent. Without an income, monthly living expenses in Spartanburg, SC, can become unaffordable, which is why Social Security Disability benefits may be worth exploring.
At Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, we understand how complicated applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be. A Spartanburg Social Security Disability lawyer from our legal team can review your eligibility, suggest program options that may be right for your situation, and help you apply. Regardless of the details of your situation, our legal team can help you through the SSD filing process every step of the way.
In This Article
- How Our Law Firm Can Help You Apply for SSD Benefits
- What Programs and Benefits Are Available?
- General Application Guidelines for Social Security Disability Benefits
- Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Contact Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, Today For Help with Your SSD Application
How Our Law Firm Can Help You Apply for SSD Benefits
You may currently be unsure about how to start the SSD application process, or you may be dealing with a denial. In either situation, our Social Security Disability attorneys can help. We can thoroughly review your application for any inaccuracies or missing information, help you file for the appropriate program, and aid you through the denial process, if necessary.
Our team will help you navigate the complexities of the application process for Social Security Disability benefits. When you hire us, we will review your application, and we can:
- Explain what information is needed to apply
- Check to make sure the answers you provide are complete and accurate
- Consult with a third-party medical professional who can offer an opinion about your condition
- Represent you in any hearings or interviews you have
- Update you regularly about your application’s progress
- Explain how laws apply to your case and answer your questions
It can help to have a legal representative working on your behalf throughout these proceedings. Any omissions or mistakes in an SSD application may only lengthen the process, leaving you without the benefits you need. Hiring an attorney from our team can also be beneficial because if your claim is denied, we can guide you through the appeals process.
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability lawyer serving Spartanburg, call 828.286.3866
What Programs and Benefits Are Available?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has two primary disability programs that issue monthly cash benefits to recipients. If your application is approved, you may be able to receive additional non-cash benefits, such as health insurance.
In the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, you and your specific family members receive benefits if you worked long enough, recently enough, and paid Social Security taxes out of your income. In contrast, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program offers benefits to both adults and children who are disabled and have limited income and resources.
To Qualify for SSD, You Must Have a Qualifying Disability
To qualify for benefits, you need to include information in your application that proves your disability prevents you from working. The SSA is looking for specific evidence from an acceptable medical source to show the existence of impairment. Proving your disability requires documents such as:
- Recent medical records, including any surgeries or medications
- Your medical history
- Mental health records
- Hospitalization records
- Vocational rehabilitation assessments
- Documentation to show you are unable to work
There are many misconceptions regarding Social Security Disability benefits, including the idea that your disability must be a lifelong affliction, which is not always the case. Your disability must impact your income for at least 12 months or result in your passing. However, if you want to apply for benefits and then reenter the workforce at a later date, that is also an option that may be right for you.
The ‘Blue Book’ Can Help You Determine Your Eligibility for Benefits
The SSA provides a resource called the “Blue Book,” which lists the physical and mental conditions that the SSA views as disabling or an impairment. Examiners for the SSA use the Blue Book as a tool for determining eligibility for SSD. Conditions currently in the Blue Book meet the description of disability for purposes of SSD. However, you may still receive SSD benefits even if your condition is not named in the Blue Book.
When determining whether you are eligible for benefits, our Social Security Disability attorneys in Spartanburg will take into account your medical condition and help you determine if the agency recognizes it as a disability. Additionally, we can determine what steps you may need to take if your condition is not listed as a disability.
You will likely want to apply for benefits as soon as you become disabled. According to the SSA, if your application is approved, you will have to wait through a five-month period from when your disability started before you can receive benefits.
Spartanburg Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 828.286.3866
General Application Guidelines for Social Security Disability Benefits
When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you will need to establish through the evidence you provide that your disability is so severe that it keeps you from working.
There is another widespread misconception that you are disqualified from applying for benefits if you are currently working. According to the SSA, you can have a job, but it cannot qualify as “substantial gainful activity.” Therefore, you are allowed to work, even with reasonable accommodations, as long as you make less than a certain amount.
For example, in 2022, to qualify for benefits, you must be:
- Making less than $2,260 gross per month, if you are blind
- Making less than $1,350 gross per month, if you are not blind
If you are applying for benefits, the details of your situation will determine what program best applies to you. When you work with our Spartanburg Social Security Disability lawyers, we can help you determine the right program and provide helpful information about how the amount of income you make may impact your benefits if you are currently working.
Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
During the normal course of employment, you are subject to mandatory tax withholdings. These contributions fund the SSDI program, which is a benefit that largely depends on your work history.
You must meet specific requirements to receive SSDI benefits. These include having:
- A minimum number of work credits
- A certain amount of recent work history
- A valid Social Security number
- United States citizenship, however, several exceptions to this requirement exist
Determining How Many Work Credits You Will Need
The number of work credits and length of work history you need varies depending on your age. The younger you are, the fewer work credits you will likely need to qualify for SSDI. According to the SSA, the minimum number of work credits you need is six (if you are under 24 years old), while the maximum is 40 (if you are 62 or older). You can earn up to four work credits per year, earning one credit for the minimum amount set for that year.
When the SSA approves you for benefits, your Social Security award letter will state the start date of your disability and outline the monthly and retroactive benefits you are owed. Retroactive benefits are paid in a lump sum.
Our Social Security Disability attorneys can meet with you to discuss and review your situation and work with you to determine a plan of action to promote your application’s approval. In addition, our legal team can answer any questions you have about SSDI and your application.
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Applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI is a resource-based disability program. Therefore, you can file for these benefits when you have a qualifying disability and limited financial resources. In addition, the SSA is very transparent about the amount of money applicants may be able to receive if their application for benefits is approved.
In 2022, if you are:
- An eligible individual, you can receive $821 a month
- An eligible couple, you can receive $1,261 a month
SSI benefits may also qualify you for Medicaid insurance, which offers hospital, medical, prescription, and dental coverage. However, you must be of retirement age, and there may also be additional factors affecting your eligibility to consider. If you need help with your application for SSI, our SSD lawyers in Spartanburg can work with you to determine if you are eligible for the program and what you will need to do to apply.
Contact Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, Today For Help with Your SSD Application
Filing for Social Security Disability benefits can be a complex process, as there are strict requirements you must meet to get approved. Our SSD attorneys can help Spartanburg residents understand what steps to take throughout the application process.
To learn more about how our legal team may be able to help, call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, today at (864) 582-1310.