Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits may offer you support when you are injured and cannot work, but obtaining these benefits in South Carolina can be a challenge. Some applicants get stuck in a maze of red tape and denials, even when they may deserve the benefits.
SSD cases involve highly complex procedures with a great deal of paperwork and requirements. If you applied for SSDI benefits and the Social Security Administration denied your claim, a Social Security disability lawyer in Sumter from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers may be able to help you.
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Qualifying for Social Security Disability
If you have a medical condition or a disability that makes it hard or impossible for you to work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. To qualify for the benefits, you must meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disability that is:
- You cannot work
- Your doctor expects your disability to last for at least one year
- Your impairment is included on the SSA’s list of qualifying conditions, sometimes referred to as the “blue book”
According to the Social Security Administration, the medical conditions that may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits include:
- Breathing problems
- Chronic heart disease
- Mental disorders
- Neurological disorders
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Chronic seizures
- Immune system disorders
- And more
If your condition is not listed in the blue book or does not match a listing exactly, it may still qualify you for benefits if it is similar enough to the severity of another impairment.
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Types of Social Security Disability Benefits
Under the Social Security Administration, there are two main programs of financial assistance you may be eligible for if you develop a long-term disability or terminal disease that makes you unable to work. They include:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
This program pays disability benefits to individuals who contributed to Social Security during their work history. There are specific requirements for how many Social Security “work credits” a worker must have accumulated over time to qualify for SSDI.
SSDI recognizes the fact that when you suffer from a disability, your family members may suffer as well. That is why when you apply for federal disability, your spouse and your minor children may also be eligible for benefits.
The Sumter Social Security disability attorneys at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can assist you with your SSDI application or appeals process by reviewing your medical records, work history, and other relevant documentation when we represent you.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
This program may provide you with monthly financial assistance if you are suffering from a qualifying disability and have a low income but are not eligible to receive SSDI benefits because of insufficient work history.
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Submitting Social Security Disability Applications
Before applying for either SSDI or SSI benefits, it is imperative to first collect and compile your medical records. You may need to get a doctor’s statement that explains the nature of your condition and why it prevents you from working. Other documents you may need could include:
- Proof of income and other benefits you may be receiving
- Your birth certificate and proof of U.S. citizenship
- VA benefits documentation or your military discharge papers, if applicable
When it comes to submitting your application, there are multiple options. You may be able to turn in your application:
- Online, where you will fill out forms on the SSA website
- By phone, where you can speak with an SSA representative, after which you can mail your documents
- In-person to your nearest SSA field office
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We Can Fight for You if Your Disability Claim Is Denied
According to the SSA’s report on disability applicant outcomes, approximately 62% of disability claims filed between 2006 and 2015 were denied during the initial application. There are several reasons why SSA may deny your claim. Some of these reasons may include:
- A technical mistake in your application
- You had not worked long enough to qualify for SSDI benefits
- Insufficient medical evidence to support your claim
- Condition not severe enough to qualify as a disability
- You can still perform your work duties
- You are capable of doing other kinds of work
Do not be discouraged if your claim was denied. You have a right to appeal a denial, and there are various stages of the appeals process that you can go through.
First, you can submit a request for reconsideration, which you generally must send within 60 days from the date you receive your denial. A different team will review your claim, and any new medical information you provide may be reconsidered.
If your claim is denied for the second time, you can request a hearing before an administrative judge.
If your claim is denied for the third time, our legal team can escalate your claim further and seek a review with Social Security’s Appeals Council. If this appeal method fails, a fourth option is to file a lawsuit in federal district court.
A Social Security Disability lawyer in Sumter may be able to fight for your benefits at all stages of the appeals process when we represent you.
Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Today
A Social Security Disability lawyer serving Sumter from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers may be able to guide you through the Social Security Disability application or appeals process when we represent you.
For a free, no-obligation consultation on your case with a member of our team, contact us by phone or using our online form.
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