If you meet the requirements to be eligible for a Social Security Disability claim, DDB Law will make sure your claim is approved.
Last updated: September, 2016
Does an Injury or Illness Prevent You From Working?
Social Security disability benefits are designed to help people like you get financial compensation when an injury — work-related or otherwise — or an illness prevents you from earning an income. However, many people suffering from a disabling medical condition find taking advantage of these benefits to be a complicated matter.
If you are seeking SSDI benefits, you probably have a few questions. At the law firm of DDB Law, our Lakeland-based attorneys are committed to providing answers.
To start, we have provided the guide to the Social Security disability insurance to get you started. From there, we have additional information located in the sidebar of this section, which answers many of the questions people have about SSDI claims. Our lawyers are available to provide answers to more specific questions.
We understand that managing a debilitating medical condition and legal matters at the same time can be taxing. We’re here to make it less complicated.
At the law firm of DDB Law, we have the experience to help you get the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits you need. Each of the partners at our firm has more than 20 years of experience. Additionally, the lawyers at our firm are board certified in Civil Trial Law by the Florida Bar.
You can be certain that we know the law and we know how to use it to help you.
Understanding Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
For those unable to work because of a medical condition, the Social Security Administration provides financial benefits to help ends meet. In general, Social Security is a federal program funded by payroll taxation administered by the Social Security Administration to ensure economic security for vulnerable Americans.
SSDI specifically provides monthly financial assistance and health insurance coverage to those who meet the Social Security Administration’s disability criteria. The monthly payment amount is based on an average of the disabled persons previous earnings over the last several years. SSDI can help people suffering from long-term disability as well as the permanently disabled.
Who Qualifies for SSDI?
To meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability, a person must have a physical or mental impairment that either is expected to result in death or affects the person for at least a year. During this time, the person must not be able to perform any “substantial gainful activity,” referred to by the administration often as SGA.
The person must be completely disabled to qualify for benefits. Qualifying impairments can vary significantly between qualified candidates and can include both physically based and mentally based conditions. Still, both physical and mental conditions must be medically determinable by acceptable techniques in the medical industry.
This disability must have significant medical evidence demonstrating without a doubt that an individual is unable to perform any productive work. Strict medical documentation must show that not only can the person not perform the work they performed before, but also that they cannot perform a different gainful employment either.
Special Types of Social Security Benefits
SSDI is not the only Social Security benefit available: Other benefits are housed under the Social Security umbrella.
These benefits are provided to low-income individuals who are elderly, blind or disabled and have limited financial resources.
Disabled Widow/ Widower Benefits:
Widows and widowers over the age of 50 who develop a disability within seven years of their spouse’s death may qualify for additional Social Security benefits.
Disabled Adult Child Benefits:
Individuals between the age of 18 and 22 who developed a disability before the age of 22 may qualify for Disabled Adult Child benefits in the event one of the individual’s parents are deceased or disabled.
SSDI benefits are not given strictly on the premise that a doctor says someone is disabled, instead someone must go through a rigid application process conducted by the Social Security Administration.
New applicants must meet medical disability criteria and non-medical criteria. Non-medical criteria are the first evaluated by the administration, including present and past income. An individual must not make over a certain amount each month in order to qualify. As of 2016, that monthly amount was $1,130 for disabilities other than blindness and $1,820 for persons who are blind. Secondly, the individual must demonstrate that they have worked long enough to have paid into the SSDI system.
Application Process for SSDI Benefits
The initial application process typically lasts at least three months, often more since many initial claims are denied. Because of the length of the process, it’s important to ensure each step is adhered to strictly to avoid being denied for a preventable reason, such as a lack of required paperwork.
When an individual has decided to apply for Social Security benefits, a qualified lawyer can help walk them through the application process. A vast majority of SSDI applications are denied. When an application is denied it can delay someone getting the help they need even further.
Gathering of documents:
The Social Security Administration has strict regulations on the documentation it needs to demonstrate both medical and non-medical eligibility. Gathering everything you need ahead of time can make the process much smoother.
Initial application filing:
The next step is that the disabled individual officially files the application either online or in their local Social Security office.
Demonstrating you meet non-medical criteria:
During the application process you will provide history on prior work experience and current financial assets.
Demonstrating you meet medical criteria:
Once it is determined you meet the non-medical determinations, the administration will begin reviewing your medical history. You may be asked to undergo a no-cost medical examination.
Approval or denial:
If approved, an individual can begin receiving benefits after the mandatory five-month waiting period, measured from the onset of the disability. If denied, a Social Security lawyer can help the individual begin the appeal process.
Hiring a Social Security Disability Attorney
Even if your SSDI application was denied before, a lawyer specializing in social security may be able to get your claim approved.
Our attorneys can assist people in Lakeland, Haines City and throughout Central Florida with all SSDI issues, including:
- Determining eligibility for SSDI benefits
- SSDI applications
- Denied SSDI claims, reconsideration and SSDI appeals
We are able to assist people who have suffered injuries of all types, including back injuries, head injuries and broken bones, as well as other medical problems such as strokes, heart attacks, cardiovascular diseases, anxiety or depression.
So, turn to us for help with every step of the Social Security Disability claims (SSDI) process. If you haven’t filled out an application yet, we can help make certain that everything is done right from the very start. If you have already tried to handle the issue on your own and have hit a roadblock, our lawyers are here to help you overcome it.