There are several options available through the Social Security Administration (SSA) for disabled individuals unable to maintain employment. These financial benefits could replace the wages lost due to an inability to work. While receiving these benefits can be life-changing, approval is never guaranteed.
If your claim for benefits was denied, all hope is not lost. There are options for appealing your claim that we can assist you with. A Kissimmee Social Security disability lawyer from Bogin, Munns & Munns can fight for you and your claim.
Qualifying Conditions for Social Security Disability Benefits
Although there are different benefits with different requirements operated by the SSA, these programs have one thing in common. To qualify, you must have a disabling condition recognized by the SSA.
It is important to understand the SSA definition of disability is different from many other government entities. There is no partial disability under SSA guidelines. A person is either fully disabled or not entitled to benefits. A disability must also be permanent, meaning even total, short-term disabling conditions will not qualify.
According to the SSA, a person is disabled if they cannot engage in substantial gainful activity due to their condition. That means you cannot perform a meaningful amount of work due to your health. This condition also must either be expected to last a year or result in death.
The SSA Blue Book
Determining if you have a disabling condition is not always complex. If you were diagnosed with certain illnesses, the SSA will consider you disabled automatically. These conditions are found in a document known as the SSA Blue Book.
To consult with an experienced social security disability lawyer serving Kissimmee, call 855-780-9986
Other Qualifications for Disability Benefits
Proving you are disabled is only the first step in securing benefits through the SSA. You must also meet the other qualifications of either SSA disability program. These programs are known as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
SSDI benefits exist to support disabled members of the workforce who can no longer maintain their employment. To qualify, you must have a minimum work history over the past ten years. Your work history is calculated by something known as work credits.
Work credits are assigned based on the number of hours per week you work over the course of a year. If you work 40 hours per week, you can earn up to four work credits annually. Earning 40 work credits over the last decade will entitle you to full SSDI benefits if you meet the other criteria. Even if you have less than 40, you could be entitled to limited benefits.
SSI benefits are intended for disabled individuals who live on low income. Financial support could be available, but the income limitations are strictly enforced. To qualify, you must be below the threshold with your total financial assets.
The SSA looks at more than just your bi-weekly paychecks or tips. Other income, including royalties, investments, or rent also count. The SSA will also consider other things as assets that are not direct payments, like in-kind contributions of food or housing. If you do not meet these criteria, SSI benefits will not be available.
Kissimmee Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 855-780-9986
What Must I Prove to Secure Benefits?
You must provide proof of several things to secure benefits for your disability from the SSA. In addition to providing important information in your application, you may also have to provide additional documents as well. Some of the things you must prove include:
- Your disability. You should provide medical records establishing you are disabled.
- Proof of identity. It is important you establish your identity using your Social Security number or other official document.
- Proof of citizenship. You must either establish you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident to qualify.
- Occupational history. If you are pursuing SSDI benefits, you will need to provide your occupational records.
- Financial records. If you are pursuing SSI benefits, you will need to provide financial records that establish you qualify.
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Appealing a Denial
Denied claims can be tough, especially if you were counting on financial support from the SSA. The good news is that a denial is not the final word in your case. You have the right to file an appeal in an effort to have your denial overturned. Our firm serving Osceola County can help with the appeals process.
In most cases, you have 60 days from the date you are notified of your denial to file an appeal. An attorney could ensure you provide any additional documentation that could prove your claim.
The Appeals Process
In total, there are four steps to the appeals process. If you are successful at any level of appeal, the case will be over and you will receive your benefits. If your appeal is unsuccessful at a lower level, you have the right to appeal again. The four levels of appeal include:
- ALJ hearing
- Appeals Council review
- Federal court review
Most of the appeals process occurs within the structure of the SSA. If you are unsatisfied with your result at the highest level of the SSA, you have the right to appeal to Federal court.
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Talk to Our Kissimmee Social Security Disability Lawyer About Your Appeal
The process of filing a disability claim with the SSA can be complicated, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. If you were denied benefits you deserve, a Kissimmee Social Security disability lawyer from our firm is here to help. We will determine what your claim needs to strengthen it and advocate for you tirelessly.
Let the team at Bogin, Munns & Munns pursue financial compensation on your behalf. Our attorneys understand the disability system, and we could help you get the benefits you need to move forward more comfortably. Contact a team member today and learn your options. You don’t have to go through the appeals process alone and shouldn’t.