Acquiring a disability after an injury or illness is extremely stressful. Compromised health may force you to stop working for a period which compromises your financial standing. In such situations, you may be eligible to apply for social security disability insurance (SSDI) from the government. Below is an overview of how this federal program helps people with disabilities make ends meet through its income provisions.
Bear in mind that applying for SSDI benefits involves a long process that may involve filing an appeal when the initial claim is denied. If you feel overburdened with health and financial issues, it is in your best interest to get an experienced social security disability lawyer who can handle the claim for you and ensure that you get the social security benefits you need.
Check Your Eligibility for Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is responsible for handling and awarding disability claims to disabled persons. Getting approved would entail meeting the eligibility criteria released by the social security office as follows:
- You must have worked in a company covered by Social Security. This means you must have given social security payments in the past.
- You have a condition that fits the SSA’s definition of disability, which means that the injury or illness (a) prevailed for at least a year or will persist for that period and (b) prevented you from engaging in any substantial gainful activity or employment.
Disability lawyers can help claimants gather all relevant information and documents to prove an SSDI case to the Social Security Administration Office.
Understand Benefit Entitlements
Once you submit your claim, what benefits can you expect to receive? How much monthly benefit you will receive from the SSA largely depends on how many social security payments you had when you were still employed. This is roughly based on lifetime average earnings. Your social security disability attorney can review your earning history to determine the fair amount of benefits you should be entitled to receive. You may also be entitled to a back-pay based on the time gap between the onset of the disability and the date you started receiving your disability checks.
Aside from personal benefits, certain family members may also be beneficiaries of disability payments. This includes:
- A child with a disability, impairment, or disabling condition
- A child under the age of 16, or unmarried children under 18
- A spouse caring for a disabled child
Other family members may also qualify for additional disability benefit claims based on certain exemptions. A Louisiana disability attorney can help you determine which of your loved ones can be included in your claim. A qualifying member will be able to receive about half of your disability rate, which means you can get more than 100% of approved benefits.
Don’t Stop When You Get Denied
Due to the strict criteria for application, a majority of initial claims get denied. If this happens to you, you may file an appeal or a request for reconsideration, or even appear before an administrative law judge if you keep getting rejected and keep on appealing.
Sadly, the top reasons for denied claims are insufficient evidence to support the severity of your injury, or that it is not a short term disability. Perhaps, during the disability determination, they found that you are no longer disabled or you can perform some work. This is why having extensive documentation can make or break your case. Ask your lawyer about previous cases or a client who has qualified for a claim.
Getting approved for Social Security disability benefit is not easy for truly disabled people due to the number of claims filed, but you can always increase your likelihood of getting approved by not missing a step in the preparation and filing process. If you are unsure of what to do, please contact our Monroe Louisiana Social Security disability attorneys or schedule a free consultation.