If you are suffering from a disability caused by a chronic condition or unexpected accident, you may be struggling to provide for you and your family. If you have a qualifying condition that the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes as a disability, you may be able to receive benefits that include cash payments and insurance coverage.
Yet, applying for benefits can quickly prove to be a long and arduous process. For that reason, you may want to consider working with a Spindale Social Security disability lawyer from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC.
We can help you:
- File your initial application
- Appeal a denied application
- Review your medical and mental health records
- Calculate your work credits
- Apply for benefits on behalf of your dependents
Whether you are just starting the application process or have had an application denied, we can help. To get started with a free, no-obligation case review, call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC at (828) 286-3866.
In This Article
Social Security Disability Benefits Programs
Depending on your situation, you may be eligible to receive benefits under two different programs. You may be able to file for these programs concurrently if you qualify.
These programs include:
- Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), which is based on your work history
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is based on your financial resources
It is not uncommon for applicants to have their initial application for benefits denied, even if they genuinely do qualify for these programs.
When reviewing your application, the SSA will take the following questions into consideration:
- Are you working?
- Is your condition “severe”?
- Does the SSA consider your condition to be disabling?
- Can you do the work that you did before your condition arose?
- Can you do any other type of work?
Many people think that they do not qualify for benefits because they are still able to work. As long as you are making less than $1,260 a month in 2020, you still can be considered disabled.
When you work with a Spindale Social Security disability lawyer, they can review the details of your situation and determine a course of action for moving forward.
Applying for SSDI Benefits
SSDI allows disabled individuals to collect benefits based on their work history. When you work, you pay Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) taxes, which are automatically withheld from your paycheck (unless you are self-employed or an independent contractor). These taxes fund Social Security programs. Your FICA taxes entitle you to disability insurance benefits if you become unable to work.
According to SSR 82-52, to qualify for SSDI, you must provide evidence in your application that proves that:
- Your disability prevents you from working, and either
- Your disability is expected to last at least 12 months, or
- Your disability is expected to contribute to your death
It does not matter how your disability happened as long as you are able to back it up with evidence. Usually, this includes visiting with a doctor who can evaluate your health and then attest to the severity of your condition. Additionally, you will need to prove that you have worked long enough to qualify for these benefits.
In 2020, per the SSA, for every $1,410 that you have earned through employment, you get one work credit. Based on your age, you will need a certain amount of credits to qualify for SSDI. For example, if you are over age 31, you will need 20 work credits for your application to be approved.
Yet, if you do not have the appropriate amount of work credits, for whatever reason, a Spindale Social Security disability lawyer can help you understand your options. For more information, call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC at (828) 286-3866.
Qualifying for SSI
SSI is a resource-based benefit, meaning that you must demonstrate limited financial resources and a disability to qualify. Children can receive SSI benefits if their parents have limited resources.
The SSA notes that SSI benefits are capped at $783 for individuals and $1,175 for couples per month in 2020. Your SSI benefit amount is calculated by deducting any countable income from the maximum SSI payment.
Common non-countable assets, per the SSA, include:
- Your residence
- One vehicle
- Household furnishings and personal effects
- Burial plots for you or close family members
- Life insurance policies with a combined value of $1,500 or less
If you are approved for SSI benefits, you may receive Medicaid insurance coverage, which can include medications, doctor’s appointments, dental care, and emergency hospitalization.
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability lawyer serving Spindale, call 828.286.3866
Facing a Denial of Benefits
It is not uncommon for applicants of both SSDI and SSI benefits to be denied upon initially sending in their application. If you are denied, a member of our team can review your application for completion and accuracy, and from there, share with you your legal options.
If your application is denied, you have the opportunity to enter the appeals process within 60 days of your denial.
From there, the process includes:
- This is where your application will be reviewed by an official who is different from the one that made the first decision.
- If you are denied for benefits again, you can request a hearing through an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who can reassess your situation either in-person or through a video hearing.
- Appeals Council. If the Appeals Council chooses to review your case, they can either approve your application or send it back to an ALJ for further consideration.
- Federal Court. You may be able to file a lawsuit in a federal district court.
You need to act within various deadlines set by the SSA or risk having to start the process all over again. For that reason, you may not have long to act.
Spindale Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 828.286.3866
Call Farmer & Morris Law, LLC Today
If a medical or mental health condition prevents you from working, our dedicated legal team can assist you in applying for SSDI and SSI benefits. Social Security disability benefits can provide you with a reliable source of income if you recently lost your ability to work.
No matter what stage of the process you are in, a lawyer from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC can help. We can guide you through the application process or represent your interests in court, if necessary.
To get started with a free case review, call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC today at (828) 286-3866.