Filing for social security disability benefits can be a complicated and stressful journey, particularly, since you are already under pressure from a health condition. For many, hiring a social security attorney is a wise choice. If you are considering applying for these benefits, you need to understand the entire process.
Who is Eligible
According to the Social Security Administration, you must have a severe medical condition that keeps you from working at any of your previous jobs, keeps your from doing any other job, keeping in mind your particular skills and education, and meets the official Social Security impairment listing, which includes cardiovascular conditions, neurological impairments, and mental disorders, among many others. To be eligible, your disability has to last for at least one year or be estimated to last one year.
The other important aspect of Social Security Disability benefits is a financial one. To receive Social Security Disability benefits (SSD) requires that you have earned enough work credits to qualify. For instance, if you become disabled at age 54, you would need 32 of these credits for SSD. It is considered an insurance plan because you have paid into Social Security through your FICA money. You can receive SSD if you meet the medical criteria, are under 65, and have enough work credits. Supplemental Security Income is a separate program designed to help low-income citizens. To receive SSI, you must have a small income and few assets. You will not receive any benefits for the first five months after you are disabled due to a mandatory waiting period for both programs.
Nationwide, only 30–35% of applicants are approved the first time they apply, which is why hiring a Social Security attorney is a sound step to take. Only clear-cut cases are likely to make it through to approval the first time they are submitted, and, even then, a paperwork error can cause you to be rejected. You probably need the money as soon as possible, and you will not be able to afford a lengthy appeal process. A good attorney can make sure your paperwork is in order and help you if your case is an unusual one. She will know how to present your illness clearly and with the proper documentation.
The last thing you need when you are already suffering is a fight with the Social Security Administration. You should know what steps are involved in the disability benefits procedure. Also, consider hiring an attorney like Todd East Attorney at Law if you feel you need a knowledgeable guide through the application process.