Social Security Disability (SSD) programs offer financial support to those who have qualifying disabilities and meet other requirements. However, you will need to complete an application to show the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you meet these eligibility requirements.
For some people, the process of filling out these forms can be confusing, and even one mistake could keep you from receiving the financial benefits you need. That’s why many consider hiring legal help. A Burke County Social Security Disability lawyer from our firm can guide you through each stage in the process and advocate for your right to benefits from these federal programs.
How Our SSD Attorneys in Burke County Can Help You
Our team can help with a wide range of tasks associated with filing for SSD benefits. We are ready to work with you, whether you are applying for benefits for the first time or you applied previously and received a denial.
Preparing for the SSD Application Process
To start the process of applying for disability payments, the applicant must fill out a series of forms and submit them to the SSA. A mistake on these forms or an omission of information could leave you receiving a denial for benefits.
Having a Social Security Disability lawyer from our team on your side can help you understand all of the information requested on the forms. We want to make sure you do not submit the forms until all of the information is ready to go, giving you the best chance at avoiding a rejection.
Helping You Submit Supporting Information
Nearly all applicants for disability benefits will need to submit additional documentation with their application. These documents may be tough to put together, but an SSD attorney can help. Depending on which SSD program you apply for, some of the documents include:
- A birth certificate or similar proof of birth document
- Tax forms related to earnings
- SSA’s Adult Disability Report
- Medical records
- Doctor reports
Some cases will require additional documents, and you may need to submit the original copies. You can count on an SSD attorney to help you figure out what kind of documents you must produce and whether photocopies are acceptable.
If You Receive a Denial for SSD Benefits
Should you receive notice that the SSA denied your benefits, we can help you determine the next steps to take. For example, we can request a reconsideration, through which a different official with the SSA will take a fresh look at the application.
There is also an opportunity to file an appeal and have an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) review the case. During this appeal process, your SSD attorney can stand with you and help you present the requested information.
If further denials occur, you still have other appeal opportunities, including through the SSA’s Appeals Council or a federal court appearance. Making an appeal at the highest level is a challenging process, but our team can stand by your side at every step.
Representing You at an SSD Hearing
In certain cases, you may need to appear at a Social Security Disability hearing. This can be an intimidating situation to face on your own. You may have to answer quite a few difficult questions or present supporting documentation that you do not fully understand.
One of our attorneys can appear with you at the hearing, helping you answer questions and complete the requests for additional information. Having our team by your side can make the process of participating in a hearing a far less stressful situation.
Determining Which Social Security Disability Benefits to Apply for
When applying for SSD benefits in Burke County or elsewhere in North Carolina, there are two programs you could qualify for:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
You will want to understand which of these two benefit options best fits your situation, so you apply for the correct one. Our team can help you figure out whether SSDI or SSI is the better option for you, though some people may have the option to apply for both types of benefits.
Applying for SSDI Benefits
Someone seeking benefits can apply for SSDI after working long enough to qualify. As people work and pay some of their wages into the Social Security program, they eventually have enough contributions to make them eligible to receive SSDI benefits. Additionally, some people who have qualifying dependents may obtain SSDI benefits for them.
Applying for SSI Benefits
For applicants who are over retirement age, blind, or disabled and have a limited income, SSI benefits are possible. Children may also qualify for the SSI program, as it does not require recipients to work for a certain number of years and contribute to the program before qualifying.
A North Carolina resident who qualifies for SSI benefits may be able to receive both a state payment and a federal payment.
Why Hire a Social Security Disability Attorney?
Social Security Disability is a complicated topic, both legally and emotionally. Trying to navigate all applicable laws on your own can be frustrating, especially if you are dealing with a debilitating disability. However, when you are struggling financially, it is tempting to forego any expenses deemed “unnecessary,” such as legal representation.
Before deciding whether to retain a Social Security Disability lawyer, it is important to remember the many varied and time-consuming tasks that go into seeking benefits. Even a minor omission or missed deadline could result in a denial or jeopardize your entire application.
To protect yourself and your rights, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC. We can minimize your legal expenses by:
- Providing a free case review when you call. You can find out within minutes if we can help you, all at no cost and no obligation.
- Charging no attorney’s fees up front. Our team gets right to work for clients without expecting any sort of fee.
- Not charging attorney’s fees until you get your money. If we cannot secure benefits for you and your family, then you owe us no attorney’s fees.
- Being transparent about the payment process, including how and when we expect to be paid for our services and reimbursed for legal costs (such as requesting documentation).
- Answering your questions about our contract and fee agreement before you sign anything.
What Is a Qualifying Disability?
To receive SSDI benefits, you must meet the definition of “disabled” set by the Social Security Administration (SSA). This means:
- You must be unable to work at all or, if you can work, you must be unable to earn more than $1,350 per month (as of 2022).
- Your condition must be “severe” and have a significant impact on your ability to work for at least 12 months.
- You must be unable to perform the work you did before becoming disabled.
- You must be unable to perform any kind of work due to disability-related limitations.
Also, you may qualify for benefits if your condition meets the criteria on the SSA’s list of qualifying conditions, which covers a wide range of ailments pertaining to every area of the body. These include but are not limited to:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Bone marrow failure
- Amputated limbs
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Heart disease
The above conditions apply to adult applicants only. If you are seeking benefits for a disabled child, they may qualify under different or additional circumstances, such as low birth weight.
Blindness Versus Disability
For SSA purposes, blindness and vision impairment are considered separately from other forms of disability. For example, as of 2022, blind individuals may earn up to $2,260 a month and still potentially qualify for SSDI.
To better understand the distinct requirements for seeking benefits as a blind or visually impaired individual, you can get help from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC at any time. We would be happy to manage all aspects of your case.
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC for a Free Consultation Today
If you would like help with filing for Social Security Disability benefits, our legal team in Burke County is ready to represent you. We understand that receiving the benefits you deserve can be vital for your and your family’s financial well-being. When you choose to hire us, we take this responsibility very seriously.
Count on the team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC to work tirelessly for you. Call us at (828) 286-3866 for a free consultation today.