If you have a disability or chronic medical condition that makes it challenging to maintain a job and earn an income, you may be able to apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. The federal benefits could come from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). We can help you apply for benefits from either program.
A Social Security Disability lawyer from Farmer & Morris, PLLC, can review your benefits application and help you avoid errors that could delay your benefits. We also help applicants appeal denied claims. You can call us today and review your options during a free consultation.
How Our Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help Your Benefits Case
While Social Security Disability helps many people with severe conditions that keep them from working, applying for benefits may not be a straightforward process for many people. We are here to help our clients get the benefits they qualify for. When our attorneys talk with you about your situation, we will ask you questions to understand the benefits you could apply for and how we might be able to help you.
When our Social Security Disability lawyer works on your benefits case, they can do the following:
- Explain what to expect during the claims application process
- Evaluate your case to establish how to approach your benefits claim
- Collect evidence proving your disability or medical condition (e.g., medical records, documents showing your work history and income, such as your tax returns, bank statements, etc.)
- Help you fill out your initial application (we will ensure your information is accurate and that the form contains all the required information.)
- Filing your claim with the SSA office
- Tracking your claim’s status and informing you if your application was accepted or denied
- Prepare and file your appeal 60 days from the date of your application’s denial and represent you during the appeals process
When we handle your claim, we can act promptly if we learn SSA denied your claim. It is common for initial claims to receive denials, so this is important to know. Like the SSD application process, the appeals process can also be complicated to follow, but we will be with you every step of the way.
The process, per the SSA, could include:
- Reconsideration: An official who was not involved in the first determination of your claim will review your application.
- Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing: If the reconsideration official denies your application, an ALJ can hear your case.
- Review by the Appeals Council: If the ALJ denies your claim, you can appeal to the Appeals Council, which rules for or against you, or sends your case back to an ALJ for another review.
- Federal Court review: Your case could make it to federal court for consideration.
You do not have to face any of these stages of the appeals process alone. We can manage your case for you, saving you time and making the process easier to follow.
We Can Manage Your Social Security Disability Case Without Upfront Fees
We do not require our clients to pay us up front to work on their disability benefits claims. This allows us to get to work for you right away and erases any financial barrier that could deter you from seeking legal representation. If we recover compensation for you, a portion of your earnings will cover our fees.
We can explain how our contingency agreement works in further detail during a free consultation.
Who Can Pursue Social Security Disability Benefits?
The SSA reports that 9 million people in the U.S. receive Social Security Disability benefits and that the number has increased in recent years. As the agency shares, developing a disability can happen to anyone at any age. Still, the Social Security Act very narrowly defines disability.
For a person to receive SSD benefits, both conditions below must be true at the same time:
- They cannot work because of a severe medical condition that has lasted or is expected to last at least one year or result in death.
- Their medical condition prevents them from doing work they did in the past; it also must prevent them from adjusting to other work.
Applicants can find qualifying disabilities in the SSA’s “Blue Book,” which you can see here.
SSDI and SSI
People can either receive help from SSA through two programs:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): To receive SSDI benefits, claimants must have a documented work history, paid into Social Security when they were working, and now cannot work because of their condition. No income limits apply, but income must fall below the current substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit to be eligible.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI): People who receive SSI benefits do not have to have a work history to receive them. However, they must have low income and few assets. Strict income limits apply to how much members in the household can earn to be eligible. To qualify for SSI, applicants must be over retirement age or have a disability or blindness.
Our firm can explain both programs and help you file for benefits from one or both programs. After learning more about the details and circumstances your situation involves, we can advise you further.
When to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits
You should apply for SSD benefits as soon as you receive a formal diagnosis of your disability. It can take a while to apply for and receive these benefits, and you will need time to gather information before you can start your application.
The essential information you need for an SSDI application includes but is not limited to the following:
- Your birth certificate (or documentation proving your date of birth)
- Social Security number
- Checking or savings account information
- Medical history (You should also have the contact information for all medical professionals and institutions who have treated you and currently treat you.)
- The medications you take for your disability (past and present)
- Relevant medical test results
- Work history (Your employment summary should cover up to the last 15 years.)
- Relevant tax documentation (W2 form or federal tax return.)
Our Social Security Disability lawyer can help you gather your relevant documents and advise you on other items you will need that are not listed here.
Hear From Our Clients About What It Is Like to Work With Us
We love to hear from our clients and how our services have helped them through challenging circumstances. Some have shared their thoughts with us, saying:
“Andrea stuck with me to the end. I could always get through to her. Her staff was great and would always get right back with me. I wasn’t just ‘a file in a cabinet’ and I was treated as if I was the only client.” – Lavonda, a Social Security Disability Client
“Andrea’s service was excellent. She jumped on it immediately and didn’t hesitate. She updated me on everything, explained everything to me and went over it several times. She did a wonderful, wonderful job. If anyone ever needs an attorney, she is the best! Rated #1!” – Richard, a Social Security Disability Client
Our Social Security Disability Lawyer Is Ready to Help You – Call Today
If you want a legal professional to help you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, we want to help. You can start with a free consultation with a member of our team.
Whether you are applying for SSDI or SSI or are unsure which program can help you, we can guide you in the right direction and help you pursue the benefits that meet your needs. We also challenge claim denials and can build a case for you. The sooner we hear from you, the sooner we can start working for you. Call us today to get started.