If you have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from working and earning a living, it can be extremely difficult to care for your family and to make ends meet. For many people in this situation, the only option is qualifying for disability benefits. This may include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
A Social Security disability lawyer in Moncks Corner, SC, from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can help you understand what it takes to get the disability benefits you need. If the Social Security Administration (SSA) already denied your application for benefits, we can help you navigate the appeals process and try to get your denial overturned.
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Understanding Social Security Disability Benefits
If you qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), you can receive monthly payments. You may also qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, or other types of government benefits. The two primary disability programs are:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI is a program for workers that bridges the gap between when you become disabled and when you qualify for Social Security retirement benefits. As such, this program requires you to have an established work history and work credits to qualify.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI is a need-based program to help those living in poverty make ends meet. This program has extremely strict income and asset limits and almost all types of income count against your total. However, unlike SSDI, there are no work credit requirements for this program.
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Proving You Suffer from a Permanent or Long-Term Impairment
To get disability benefits from the SSA, you must prove you suffer from a qualifying disabling condition that has lasted at least 12 months (or that a doctor believes will last 12 months or result in your death). This is often the most difficult part of getting the disability benefits you need.
There are generally two ways to prove your health condition qualifies you for disability, and a Social Security disability attorney in Moncks Corner can help you with either.
Meeting a Qualifying Impairment Listing
The SSA publishes a book of impairment listings known as the Blue Book. This book outlines a number of health conditions that may allow you to qualify for benefits. Under each heading, there is a list of criteria you must meet to get these benefits. You will need to submit medical evidence such as laboratory test results and/or imaging scans to prove you meet each part of the criteria.
Your Residual Functional Capacity
If your medical condition does not meet the criteria under an impairment listing, you may need to qualify for benefits based on your residual functional capacity (RFC) under U.S. Code § 416.945.
Your RFC is an evaluation of your remaining abilities. This evaluation will determine if you are capable of working your last job or any other job you might qualify for. If the SSA finds you cannot work in any of these jobs or “engage in substantial gainful activity,” you may qualify for disability benefits.
There are three ways the Office of Disability Determination Services (DDS) can evaluate your RFC. These include:
- A doctor for the DDS evaluates your abilities
- Your doctor completes a form that evaluates your abilities
- You attend a consultative examination to evaluate your abilities
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Meeting Strict Technical Qualifications
In addition to proving you qualify for benefits based on your medical evidence, you may also need to ensure you meet all the technical qualifications of the program you are applying for. These qualifications differ from program to program. If you do not meet the technical qualifications or there are other issues with your application, you may receive a technical denial.
The local Social Security field office evaluates the technical qualifications of your application before it forwards it to the DDS. This means if you leave a question blank, enter the wrong information, or make another mistake you may receive a denial before anyone even considers your medical evidence and qualifications.
Our Moncks Corner Social Security disability attorneys at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can ensure that you don’t overlook anything when filing a claim.
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We Can Help You Fight a Denial
The SSA denies more than half of the initial disability benefits applications it receives. There are so many people fighting to overturn their denials and recover the benefits they need that it can take a year or more before we can get an appeals hearing on the schedule for you.
However, you only have 60 days to act after receiving your denial notice. We encourage you to give us a call right away, so we can go ahead and request your appeals hearing and get the ball rolling. When you trust us to help you fight for the Social Security disability benefits you deserve, we will:
- Investigate your case to determine why the SSA denied your claim
- Collect evidence to prove you suffer from a qualifying impairment
- Keep you up-to-date about the status of your case
- Represent you to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) overseeing your appeals hearing
- Fight for the full amount of retroactive and back pay due to you based on the facts of your case
Often, we can help our clients get approval for their Social Security disability benefits during this appeals hearing. However, if we cannot get you approved for benefits during this process, we may have other options we can pursue to get you the monthly benefits you need.
Talk to George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we understand how important disability benefits can be to you and your family. A Social Security disability lawyer in Moncks Corner, SC, from our firm may be able to help you secure the benefits you deserve.
If the SSA already denied your claim, let us review your case and determine if we can help you navigate the appeals process. Call us today or fill out our online form for your free case review.
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