If you have worked and paid Social Security taxes for five of the last ten years, and you are now totally disabled due to an illness or injury, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits.
In most cases, you must prove to the Social Security Administration that you cannot perform your former job or any other type of work in the present economy, and that your disabling condition will last 12 months or longer.
Either go in person to the local Social Security office or phone the regional Social Security office at (800) 772-1213, to file your inital application for disability benefits. Expect your first application to be denied. Most initial applications are denied. If you have not already contacted an attorney, this would be the time to consult with one.
If your initial application for benefits is denied, you must ask for a reconsideration within 60 days. Most disability cases are denied again after the reconsideration appeal.
If you are denied again, you must then request a hearing within 60 days. At this hearing you (or you and your attorney) will present your disability claim to an Administrative Law Judge. This judge hears testimony and reviews your doctor’s reports, your own records and your application. The judge will usually take several months or longer before issuing a decision in your case.
The amount of a favorable award will depend partly upon how much income you earned when you worked. Benefits can range from approximately $300 per month to more than $2000 per month. These benefits will be calculated by the Social Security Administration based upon your income and your contributions to Social Security. Your benefits can be affected by any workers’ compensation payments you receive. Please know that there is a five month waiting period for SSD benefits.
Our law firm will verify that the monthly amount of benefits and the beginning date of your benefits are correct.
Each claim is different and this page is not enough to explain everything involved in an SSD case. There are some simple rules to follow:
If you are unable to work because of a disability, Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits could provide you and your family with the means you need to survive if you are eligible. The knowledgeable SSD attorneys at Kraft & Associates, P.C., help disabled clients obtain the disability benefits they are entitled to receive.
Our firm can help you determine if you are entitled to benefits, assist you with your application, protect your rights and provide sound legal advice throughout the claim process. If your initial application has been denied, don’t give up. Many valid claims are denied at first, and our lawyers can help with the appeals process.
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about SSD. For answers to your individual questions, contact Kraft & Associates, P.C., now for a free consultation. We’re an established and professional law firm with friendly lawyers and staff who are easy to talk to. Please call us at (214) 999-9999 or contact us online.
If you have worked and paid into the Social Security system for the required period, and if you are now totally disabled and unable to work because of an injury or an illness, you may be eligible for SSD benefits. In order to receive benefits, you will need show the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you are truly disabled and cannot perform the work you did before or any other type of work, and that you will continue to be disabled for 12 months or more or your condition is expected to result in death.
Benefits are calculated by SSA based on how much you earned while you were working. Benefit amounts range from around $300 a month to more than $2,000 a month as of 2015. If you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, that may affect your SSD benefits.
The purpose of SSD benefits is to help people who are disabled and unable to work. If you can hold a job, it could affect your eligibility for benefits. If you are in the process of applying for benefits, you could be disqualified if you are working.
Only those who are unable to engage in “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) may receive SSD benefits. Except for those individuals who are legally blind, the SGA level as of 2015 is $1,090 per month. During the application process, anyone who earns more than $1,090 per month is not qualified to receive SSD benefits. Different rules apply for someone who is already receiving benefits.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has an obligation to speed up the application process for people with medical conditions that are so serious that they obviously meet the SSD disability requirements. Compassionate Allowances (CAL) are SSA’s list of diseases and conditions that obviously meet disability requirements based on quickly obtainable objective medical information. If an applicant’s condition is on the CAL list, the SSA application and approval process for SSD benefits should go more quickly.
You can file a claim on your own, but working with an attorney can increase your chances of success. We recommend that you retain an attorney to review your application before you file it. Saying the wrong thing – or the right thing in the wrong way – in your application could permanently affect your chances of receiving benefits. If you have already filed an application and your claim was denied, a knowledgeable SSD lawyer can still help you obtain benefits through the appeals process.
At Kraft & Associates, P.C., we prefer to be called in on a Social Security Disability claim right at the beginning so that we can advise you and help to protect your rights throughout the Social Security process. We can assist you at both the initial application stage and at the reconsideration stage, as well as at your formal hearing with the Administrative Law Judge.
At the law firm of Kraft & Associates, P.C., we will be pleased to assist you with any questions you have regarding Social Security Disability.
Our law firm also represents people who have personal injury claims, including automobile collisions, product liability claims and premises liability claims.
We invite you to call us with any legal problem. If we cannot help you, we will attempt to refer you to an attorney or an agency that can help you.
Information correct as of October 1, 2014.