SSD Benefits Offer Peace of Mind to Those with Disabilities
Some individuals have a physical and mental disability that prevents them from obtaining and keeping employment. They may have trouble getting to and from a workplace, focusing on work, doing basic tasks, or communicating in a way that is necessary to hold a job. When you have a disability on top of not being able to work, the struggle compounds. This is especially true in the case of illnesses such as cancer that require invasive treatments and lead you to be exhausted.
How Do You Know If You Qualify for SSD Benefits?
If your doctor has recently diagnosed you with a disability and you are unable to work, you know how difficult the struggle can be. You probably have imagined how valuable a lifeline like social security disability (SSD) benefits could be. SSD benefits offer many the peace of mind to pay rent and bills and keep food on the table, which can also significantly reduce stress and allows them to focus on their health. So how do you qualify for disability benefits, and what steps do you need to take to find out?
First, you must make a claim proving that your disability prevents you from being able to work. Then, your request is reviewed by the social security administration (SSA). Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration does not necessarily make it easy to apply for and collect SSD benefits, even if the condition is debilitating.
How Can an SSD Attorney Help You Apply for SSD Benefits?
While it is possible to file a claim for SSD benefits on your own, it can be easy to overlook submitting specific documentation, which may result in your claim being denied. An SSD attorney knows the exact steps to take so that your request can get approved in the least amount of time. Since disability attorneys have worked on many SSD claims in the past, they know what can help your chances and how to proceed if your claim gets denied. If your application gets denied, an attorney will then move on to helping you with the appeals process.
What Do You Have to Prove to the SSA to Approve Your SSD Benefits?
When your claim is received, the Social Security Administration will consider the following about you:
- Must be a total disability, not a partial disability, or a short-term disability
- Cannot do the tasks that are required by your job that you could do before you became sick or injured.
- Cannot perform the tasks that are required for another job because of your condition
- The disability has lasted or will last longer than a year, or the disability with result in death
If you can show this evidence to the SSA, you have a better chance of being able to collect social security disability benefits.
What Are Some Common Conditions That Make You Eligible For SSD?
Every condition has a set of criteria that must be met for you to collect benefits. You may even need further testing from your doctor to meet the requirements. Each person's disability claim is different, and, according to some sources, less than half of the claims are approved. The process of applying for SSD can be confusing, stressful, and challenging to navigate, especially when you are sick, but do not let this discourage you from applying to receive SSD benefits.
Here are some of the conditions that people can claim to collect SSD benefits:
- Conditions that affect your senses or speech, like vision or hearing loss
- Chronic respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD
- Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, or other neurological disorders (MS is the most widely approved condition)
- Chronic mental illnesses like depression and anxiety
- Intellectual disabilities and autism
- Impairment of the immune system, like in the case of HIV/AIDS, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis
- Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases) such as Hodgkin lymphoma or non-pulmonary Kaposi sarcoma
- Musculoskeletal problems like chronic back or neck pain
- Cardiovascular system impairments like heart disease, heart failure, and coronary artery disease
- Digestive system disorders like inflammatory bowel disease and gastrointestinal hemorrhage
- Genitourinary disorders such as diabetic nephropathy and nephrotic syndrome
- Hematological disorders like disorders of bone marrow failure and hemolytic anemias
- Skin disorders such as hidradenitis suppurativa, ichthyosis, and bullous diseases
- Endocrine conditions like thyroid, adrenal, and pituitary gland disorders
The list above is not an exhaustive outline of all the conditions, diseases, or impairments that a person may be able to collect SSD benefits for, but it includes some of the most widely approved ones. It is important to note that even though listed above, the conditions are not guaranteed to be approved for SSD benefits. Each claim made is carefully reviewed by the SSA, and if the claim gets denied, you may be able to request a judicial hearing to prove your case further.
If you have an illness or disability not listed above, you can still file a claim for benefits if you:
- worked in a job covered by social security
- have been employed for a certain length of time
- held a job recently
- meet the SSA’s description of a disability
Can You Work Part-Time and Collect SSD?
One aspect that people do not realize is that you can still have part-time employment and collect SSD benefits. Some conditions allow you to only work for a few hours a week and prevent you from working full time. This can still put the disabled person under a financial burden that SSD benefits can help relieve. As long as you can work part-time and prove that you are disabled and cannot make enough to live, you can still collect benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a set of income guidelines that you cannot exceed if you want to collect benefits.
Why Are People Denied SSD Benefits?
People can be denied SSD benefits for various reasons, though usually, it is because there simply was not enough evidence to prove that the person applying was disabled. If your claim is denied, it does not mean you are not disabled, and it is not a sign that you should give up on receiving SSD benefits. When you receive word that your claim was denied, this is your chance to appeal that decision, and the sooner you appeal, the sooner you will get a chance to prove your disability in a hearing. The SSA must receive your request for an appeal within 60 days of you receiving your denial. From there, you may be reconsidered, and the next step after that is a hearing.
Before a hearing, the SSA may ask for additional information and give you a date to appear before a judge. While a large percentage of SSD applications are initially denied, many people who appeal after their initial denial are then able to collect benefits, especially if they hire an SSD attorney. During an appeal, you have another opportunity to show that you are unable to work. In some cases, an expert witness, like an employment expert, may be called in to judge whether you can work.
How Can an SSD Attorney Help You Appeal A Decision About SSD Benefits?
If your claim for SSD benefits is denied and you do not have an attorney on your side, you will be on your own to understand the reason why your claim was denied and to navigate through the process to appeal your case. The SSD appeals process has a variety of complicated steps. Many initial claims are denied after the first application, and the person making a claim will most likely need to attend a hearing at their local Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). This hearing is your most significant opportunity to appeal your case and get your denial overturned. But this is much more possible if you have excellent legal representation on your side.
Choosing to represent yourself during your SSD hearing can be a wrong move. If you are denied during this stage of the process, you will need to start the entire application again, and it could take a year for you to be scheduled for another hearing. During this waiting period, you are losing out on valuable time and money. While an attorney can never guarantee that your claim will be approved during the initial application or the appeal process, a lawyer can help you navigate the entire process and tell you what your best move would be.
Social security disability cases hinge on providing the right medical evidence, and a lawyer can help you gather that evidence in a way that best proves your case. Many SSD cases are won at the hearing level because your attorney has an opportunity to demonstrate your disability before a judge. They can help you collect any missing documentation and will even work directly with your doctor or healthcare provider to get their letters of support. They will communicate with the SSA on your behalf. A social security lawyer can help you prepare your case, represent you, and ask any questions of expert witnesses that may be present. These judicial hearings can be an incredibly stressful experience, so having a lawyer to rely on for support when you are in this situation is very helpful.
If you are hesitant about hiring a lawyer because of the cost, it is important to remember that a lawyer who specializes in disability cases will not receive any payment unless you win your case. This altogether gives them the motivation to represent you, so you can be assured you have the best possible chance at receiving your benefits. It is in their best interest to help you win.
What Can You Expect a Social Security Disability Attorneys To Do?
Disability attorneys specialize in helping people with physical or mental disabilities collect the SSD benefits they deserve so they can live day to day without worrying about how to pay their bills. When you complete the initial stage of the social security application process, a social security disability attorney will provide you with guidance and valuable insight about what documentation you will need to prove your disability. They will tell you how to make your case strong and how to submit your application correctly to increase your chances of getting approved right away. It is their job to quickly become familiar with your unique circumstance and provide you with legal counsel and representation.
Is It Better To Hire A Social Security Disability Attorney or File A Claim Yourself?
It is a great idea to hire an SSD lawyer who is well-versed in the ins and outs of the social security system. They can help you more quickly and confidently navigate the claims process and tell you exactly what steps you need to take to increase your chances of getting approved. If you have an extraordinarily complex or unusual case, you may have problems proving your disability to the SSA on your own. An expert SSD lawyer can back you up and represent your case. And if your initial claim gets denied, an SSD attorney can help you appeal your denial.
While you are never required to hire a lawyer to represent you during an SSD hearing, having one will increase your chances of winning the case. A skilled attorney is an excellent resource for people who do not have a condition listed on the SSA's list of debilitating conditions. Suppose you are on the fence deciding whether or not to hire an attorney, meet with them first. Many offer a free consultation and can let you know if you have a good case.
When Should You Hire An SSD Lawyer?
Many people wait until their initial application is denied before hiring an SSD lawyer. While it is recommended to hire an SSD lawyer at this stage in the process, it can be ideal to have hired one even earlier. If you hire a lawyer before you submit your initial application, they can help you make sure you submit all the correct documentation. By submitting a comprehensive application, an attorney can also improve the chances of your initial application approval and limit the possibility that you will have to go through the appeals process or attend a hearing.
Another benefit of hiring an SSD lawyer early on is that they will be familiar with your case if it does happen to get denied down the road. This can make the appeals process quicker and easier, in the long run, so they will not have to spend valuable time getting familiar with your case when you have a limited time to respond. Specific deadlines must be met throughout the entire process, and a lawyer can keep you on track right from the start. This is especially important, because if you miss a deadline, the SSA may delay your hearing for months.
With this in mind, contacting a disability lawyer as soon as you can is a good strategy. If you suddenly become ill or disabled, once you get a diagnosis, consult with a lawyer right away to discuss your case. If a lawyer believes that they can help you receive benefits, you can begin to move forward with your case, so you spend less time worrying about money. Remember, social security lawyers are often quite busy and have a full caseload, so the sooner you contact them, the sooner they can help take on your case.
How Do You Find the Best Social Security Disability Lawyer for SSD Benefits?
Whether you need guidance filing your initial social security disability claim, or you are facing an uphill battle against the SSA denying your claim, finding an experienced and compassionate lawyer is the best thing you can do. Having a disability lawyer will help to increase your chances of getting the benefits you deserve. While sometimes individuals have a condition that makes it easier to collect benefits, many people shy away from applying for benefits because they do not think they are disabled, even when they have chronic conditions.
It is crucial to find a lawyer that specializes in fighting for social security disability benefits and has an in-depth knowledge of how the SSA works. With expert knowledge on your side, your chances of winning a case are drastically increased. Ensure the lawyer you choose has plenty of great reviews and a track record of winning cases. Ask them how long they have practiced disability law, how many cases they handle annually, and if they will advance the cost of obtaining your medical records.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Charles Bean & Associates PLLC
If you or a loved one is ill, injured, or disabled and are unable to stay employed full-time, social security disability benefits can make the difference between feeling stressed continuously about finances and being able to focus on your health and wellness. If you have a social security case that you are having trouble resolving on your own, or you simply would like to have strong legal representation on your side, Charles Bean & Associates, PLLC can help. Our expert legal team of lawyers (Charles F. Bean, Brian J. Bean, and Jennifer Tinkey) and our experienced legal assistants are well-versed in social security disability. They have years of experience winning claims for people like you. Visit our case studies and review our client testimonials to read more about our prior client’s cases and experiences.
We are glad to talk with you about your disability claim, whether you are just starting with your application or have already submitted an application and face a denial. The appeals process is not simple to handle on your own, so it is vital to work with a team that is well versed in the appeals process. We are proud to represent your case before a judge and will work with you, so you aren't facing this problematic, stressful battle alone.
A member of our legal team is happy to answer any initial questions you may have, so give us a call right away to schedule a free consultation. To help you prepare for your initial meeting, read our blog titled, “Guide to Your First Meeting with a Lawyer.” You should not have to face the SSA alone, and Charles Bean & Associates, PLLC knows how much of a burden it is to financially struggle when you are disabled. It is important for you to focus on your health while we handle all the most difficult parts of a social security disability claim. If you are ready to get started, contact us today!