Social Security & Disability Lawyers 

Monroe, Louisiana

Having a disability can hinder you from working and earning a living, especially when the condition is deemed permanent or long-term. Filing a claim for social security disability insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be the answer, but oftentimes is a more complicated and drawn-out process than you might expect.  There are potentially four (4) levels at which the Social Security Administration may hear your claim, all of which bring their own challenges–that is where we come in!

At E. Orum Young Law, we help make the process of claiming your well-deserved benefits smoother and less stressful. Our experienced disability lawyers have worked for years with clients just like you.  Call today for your free consultation.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Overview

Not everyone has a clear understanding of what is Social Security Disability Insurance/Supplemental Security Income nor how these benefits can be obtained. Read on to educate yourself on important information about Social Security Disability Insurance.

Difference Between SSDI and SSI

Why File an SSDI/SSI Benefits With Us?

While the approval ratings for each local SSA office vary, the vast majority of initial applications are unfortunately denied alleging you do not meet their medical standards. This is often an undeserved and frustrating decision, especially when your condition actually does prevent you from working.

Our office can help guide you through the various stages within the SSDI/SSI process to boost your chances of qualifying. You will not be charged ANY fees from our office if we do not help you win your case, so it is in both of our best interests to fight diligently for your approval.

 

Who are the target beneficiaries?

Generally, any adult between 18 years of age and 63 can potentially be eligible to draw SSDI or SSI benefits so long as they can show they have either one severe, or two or more marked physical or mental impairments, or a combination of the two which render them incapable of performing “substantial gainful activity” for a period that has lasted or is expected to last no less than 12 months.

Generally, any child between 0-18 years of age can potentially be eligible to draw SSI benefits so long as they can show they have either one severe, or two or more marked impairments that are either expected to result in death, or has lasted or is expected to last for a period of no less

To be an SSDI beneficiary, you must have earned a certain number of work credits and have paid your Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes prior to having the disability. The required credits are determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA) based on applicant age and year the disability started. In most cases, this means rendering full-time work for an equivalent of five years within the last ten years, or having a minimum of 40 credits before the year you stopped working.

If you fall under the first category, then your family members or dependents may be entitled to receiving benefits under your account provided that they are below 19 years of age and have yet to graduate from high school.

Family members such as your spouse may qualify for benefits if he or she is age 62 and above, or at any age provided that he or she is the main caregiver for your child not more than 16 years old or is disabled.

In some instances, if you went through a divorce, your former spouse may be eligible to receive benefits if the marriage lasted for at least 140 years, and if your ex-partner remains unmarried and now above 62.

Children with disabilities, who are unmarried and between 18 to 22 years of age, may also be eligible for SSD benefits. Benefits are reserved for those who became disabled before reaching the age of 22.

When an employee who has earned enough Social Security credits passes away, the widow or widower may qualify for SSD benefits if he or she has a disability. In order to qualify, the widow or widower should be between 50 and 60 years old, married to the decedent for at least nine (9) months prior to the date of death, unmarried, and is not entitled to a higher or equal social security retirement benefit. 

SSDI benefits can also be given to employees with blindness, defined as having a central visual acuity of less than or equal to 20/200 in the better eye even with a correction or a field of vision limited to the widest diameter of 20 degrees or less. However, to be qualified, the condition should last or be expected to extend at or beyond 12 months.

All approved beneficiaries shall undergo a continuing disability review (CDR) performed by the SSA, to check whether their condition has improved and if disability benefits will still be received.

Our Attorneys Can Help You With Your Claim

Speak with one of our attorneys today and get a free case review. Call us and find out what social security benefits you are entitled to receive.

Contact US

Call Us Today! (318) 450-3192

Eligibility Check Questions By Orum Young

To determine the possibility of getting an approved Social Security Disability application, the Social Security Administration follows a five-step evaluation process plus a work eligibility test to search for specific details in your claim. The following six eligibility questions below were created by E. Orum Young Law based on the SSA’s evaluation process to guide you through your application. 

  • Question 1: What is your income level? 

    The SSA reviews the applicant’s monthly earnings. There is a presumption that if you are currently working and make over $1,260 (substantial gainful activity limit in year 2020), that you are not disabled. This is, however, a presumption which can be overcome. Our office has successfully gotten client’s approval for disability benefits while the claimant has continued to earn in excess of $3,000/mo.

  • Question 2: What is the severity of your condition?

    The SSA has its own definition of what a disabled worker is. Simply having a medical condition is no guarantee that you will be considered as an SSD target beneficiary. To qualify, your condition–whether it be a physical, psychological, or medical illness–should reach a level of severity that prevents you specifically from doing any basic work functions for at least a year. If you pass this second check, the SSA will further look into your application.

  • Question 3: Is your condition included in the listing of impairments?

    Some examples of qualified disabilities are autism, bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, back and spine problems, rheumatoid arthritis, amputations and fractures, scoliosis and fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, psoriasis, ichthyosis, severe burns, asthma, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, primary pulmonary hypertension, multiple sclerosis, HIV or auto-immune deficiency syndrome, lupus, Crohn’s disease, hepatitis, loss of vision, hearing or speech, diabetes, coronary artery disease, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and most kinds of cancers. As this is not an exhaustive list, it would be better to check the Adult listing of impairments and Childhood Impairments created by the SSA as a guide for applicants. 

  • Question 4: How does the condition affect your work?

    The agency shall review the claim to determine if the injury or disability significantly hinder the worker’s capacity to perform his duties. To do so, the SSA will review your last 15 years worth of work history to determine if returning to any of your prior jobs is feasible given your medical impairments.  If not, the SSA will move to the next question.

  • Question 5: Can you perform any other work?

    After reviewing your profile, and passing the first four questions, the SSA will still need to consider if you are capable of having gainful employment in a different area. If there is enough evidence that you are physically or mentally incapable of doing a different line of work, then the SSA shall finally rule you as “disabled.” 

  • Question 6: Will you pass the work eligibility tests?

    The SSA shall examine your application against two types of tests: the duration of work test, and the recent work test before you receive benefits. E. Orum Young Law created a table based on the SSA criteria to serve as your guide self-checking your work eligibility. If you need further clarification regarding how you can prove your eligibility, you can schedule a free consultation with one of our social security disability lawyers.

What Benefits You Can Receive

  • Cash payments – the amount you can expect to receive each month will depend on your average lifetime earnings before the disability began. It will not be influenced by the severity of your disability. Depending on whether you draw SSDI or SSI, the amount you receive may be different if you are married, or if your state supplements payment, and if you have any source of income. Deductions in the amount can also be expected for any month in which you had a record of outstanding warrants of arrest for any of these felonies: avoiding prosecution or confinement, escaping custody, flight-escape, probation violation, or parole violations.
  • Medical insurance – if you are already receiving disability insurance, claiming insurance or Medicare is an added benefit that you become eligible for after you’ve received 24 monthly payouts, or Medicaid for SSI recipients.

What other payments could affect my benefits?

When your SSDI benefits are calculated, receiving other government and even foreign country benefits could have an impact on the amount you receive per month.

Where Funding Comes From

The Social Security Disability Insurance is a program administered by the Social Security Administration. The SSA is the U.S. federal government’s principal agency handling social security programs which are also known as the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program. The OASDI provides citizens benefits to those who are retired, survivors, or disabled. It is considered one of the largest government programs in the world and accounts for a big portion of the federal budget.

The program is being funded through payroll taxes known as the FICA tax or Federal Insurance Contributions Act. In essence, if you have been faithfully paying your taxes while still employed, then you may consider those as your “insurance premiums” paid monthly, and SSD as your benefits.

When to Expect Benefits

You can only expect to receive benefits if you properly filed a claim. This is why you should send an application for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. On average, it takes the SSA 3 to 5 months to process applications, which means that you can’t receive a check on the same month that your disability occurred, although it will still be covered with back pay (starting from the sixth full month after your disability began). Remember, you have the right to representation by an attorney when you conduct any business with the SSA.

Once your disability claim has been approved, you will receive a letter from the SSA outlining when your expected benefits begin and how much they will be.  It is recommended that you consult with an experienced social security disability lawyer rather than to figure out the application process on your own. 

An experienced attorney will be able to know and fight for as much back pay as you are entitled to in order for you to get the money you deserve.

Which Disabilities Are Covered?

Qualifying medical conditions for adults, or those age 18 and above, include the following:

  • Musculoskeletal System Disorders
  • Special Senses and Speech
  • Respiratory Disorders
  • Cardiovascular System Disorders
  • Digestive System Disorders
  • Genitourinary Disorders
  • Hematological Disorders
  • Skin Disorders
  • Endocrine Disorders
  • Congenital Disorders Affecting Multiple Body Systems
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Mental Disorders
  • Malignant Neoplastic Diseases/Cancer
  • Immune System Disorders

In some instances, these medical criteria may be used to evaluate child impairments if the disease is deemed to have similar effects on both adults and younger children. 

  • Low Birth Weight and Failure to Thrive
  • Musculoskeletal System Disorders
  • Special Senses and Speech
  • Respiratory Disorders
  • Cardiovascular System Disorders
  • Digestive System Disorders
  • Genitourinary Disorders
  • Hematological Disorders
  • Skin Disorders
  • Endocrine Disorders
  • Congenital Disorders Affecting Multiple Body Systems
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Mental Disorders
  • Malignant Neoplastic Diseases/Cancer
  • Immune System Disorders

If your application has been denied on the grounds of an SSA evaluation that you are not disabled, you still have a chance in getting an appeal by providing more evidence on your disability. Read on how to file an appeal to learn more about denied claims.

How You Can Apply for Disability Benefits

You will be screened by the Social Security Administration to determine if you qualify for any of their aid programs. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your application, you may go through different stages of applying for disability benefits.  It is recommended that you apply for both SSDI and SSI benefits at the beginning, as both have the same medical standards.

Click to know how you can apply for Social Security Benefits.

Choosing your disability attorney

Being eligible for an SSDI/SSI claim is not as simple as having a disability. Proving you are qualified to receive a claim involves presenting solid documentation on three key areas:

  • Your disability
  • Your work history and duration
  • How the disability affects future work

Sometimes, even with enough evidence proving that an applicant fits SSA’s definition for a disabled person, the application gets denied due to insufficient evidence on the other two areas. 

When you get in touch with a social security disability attorney, you can boost your chances of having your case expedited and receive a favorable decision.  You may enlist the counsel of a disability attorney at any stage of your application and can even have your lawyer file the initial claim for you.

Again, E. Orum Young Law does not charge a fee unless the case is resolved successfully, and will ensure all the legal paperwork is filed correctly, the necessary medical records are included in your file, and you are well represented should your case reach the level of attending hearings.