Social Security disability benefits offer a way to make ends meet if you suffer from a medical condition or injury that prevents you from working for a year or more. These programs have strict qualifications, but they are sometimes the only option for regular income for those who meet the criteria.
If the Social Security Administration (SSA) denied your initial claim for disability benefits, a Social Security disability lawyer in Greenville, SC, from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers will review your situation for free. If we believe you meet the criteria to get benefits, we will help you.
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Understanding Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income
Within Social Security disability, there are two programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You may meet the qualifications for only one of these programs, or both.
Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI helps workers who suffer from a long-term or permanent disability make ends meet until they reach full retirement age and can draw Social Security retirement. If you previously worked and paid into Social Security and now you cannot work, you may be able to qualify for this program. It does require you to have enough work credits to qualify, in addition to a qualifying impairment.
SSDI is not a need-based program, so they do not consider any unearned income you may have. This means you can get a monthly SSDI deposit while also earning passive income from stocks, rental property, and other investments. You can also continue to draw military retirement, Veterans Affairs disability, and other similar benefits.
Supplemental Security Income
SSI is need-based, and you must prove you have a low income and few assets to qualify. The SSA will consider your household income in this decision, including unearned income and other benefits you receive. They will also look at your household assets, aside from your home, your vehicle, and your work tools.
It is important to note there is no work credit requirement for SSI, so you may qualify for this program even if you did not work or did not work recently enough for SSDI.
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Proving Your Medical Condition Is a Qualifying Impairment
Both Social Security disability programs require you to prove your medical condition prevents you from working. The easiest way to do this is to meet the criteria under an impairment listing in the SSA’s book of potentially qualifying impairments, the Blue Book.
You will need to prove you meet this criteria by providing medical evidence from your records. Once the Office of Disability Determination Services receives your claim, it requests copies of your medical records. This should include:
- X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and other imaging scans
- Laboratory results
- Treatment records
- Clinical notes
- Other evidence
To ensure your medical records are complete, we recommend discussing your claim with your primary care physician or a specialist who is familiar with your impairment before applying for benefits.
Getting Benefits Based on Your Residual Functional Capacity
You can still get benefits without meeting the criteria under an impairment listing. You will just need to prove you cannot work because of your impairment by undergoing an evaluation that determines your residual functional capacity (RFC).
There are three ways the Office of Disability Determination Services can choose to evaluate your RFC:
- The disability examiner evaluates your RFC based on your claim and the medical evidence.
- Your doctor completes a special form to evaluate your RFC.
- You attend a consultative exam with another doctor to evaluate your RFC.
No matter the method they choose, if your RFC shows you cannot work your last job, any previous job, or any other job you might get, you will likely get approved for benefits.
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Technical Qualifications for Disability Programs
Before the Office of Disability Determination Services receives your claim, a claims representative at your local SSA field office checks to make sure you meet the technical qualifications for the program you are applying for. Unfortunately, technical denials — occurring when you do not meet these qualifications — are relatively common.
Some of the most common reasons your application might receive a technical denial include:
- Leaving a question blank on the paperwork
- Incorrect name, birthdate, or Social Security Number
- Not having enough or recent enough work credits for SSDI
- Not meeting income or asset limits for SSI
Often, technical denials occur because of careless mistakes. You can avoid them by double-checking your claim and having someone else look it over for you. If the SSA already denied your claim for a technical mistake, we can help you appeal this ruling and fight to overturn your denial.
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Appealing a Greenville Social Security Disability Benefits Denial
A social security disability lawyer in Greenville, SC, from our firm may be able to help you with the appeals process after a and present a strong case for granting your approval during your appeals hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
The SSA denies more than half of all claims they receive. If you call our team when you receive your denial notice, we can handle the entire appeals process for you. You have to act fast, though. You only have a limited time to appeal.
Your Social Security disability benefits can take more than a year to get an appeals hearing date and to present your case to an ALJ. We can ensure you have the strongest case possible for overturning your denial when that date arrives.
Talk to a Social Security Disability Lawyer in Greenville, SC
The team from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers will review your case for free. We can help you get to the bottom of why the SSA denied your claim, and help you fight for the full benefits you deserve.
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