You’ve contributed to your Social Security fund through your paychecks for years. Now you can’t work anymore because of a serious medical condition. But a simple process like filing for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be confusing. And the Social Security Administration (SSA) is known to deny more than half of initial claims like yours. Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law may be able to help you get the benefits you are owed.
You may be planning to apply for benefits or are preparing to appeal a denial. We can help. Contact us 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (800) 444-5000 or fill out our online form today to arrange a free consultation.
You may receive Social Security Disability if your condition prevents you from returning to work or being employed for more than a year. Here are just a few common examples of the types of disability cases.
Do You Qualify for Benefits?
The essential mission of Social Security Disability benefits is crystal clear. Using the Administration’s own words, SSD “provides benefits to disabled workers and to their dependents. For those who can no longer work due to a disability, [the] disability program is there to replace some of their lost income.”
To receive SSD benefits you must meet several criteria:
- Your impairment must prevent you from doing the work you did before.
- You must be unable to adjust to other work due to your condition.
- Your disability must last, or be expected to last, for at least one year.
The SSA uses a list of impairments to determine whether or not you are eligible for benefits. Many of them fall into the following general categories:
- Musculoskeletal problems; i.e., back conditions and dysfunctional joints and bones
- Speech, vision, or hearing loss
- Respiratory illnesses, such as asthma and cystic fibrosis.
At times it can be a challenging journey to actually receive disability benefits. Applications are often denied for nothing more than simple errors on the forms. Furthermore, SSD appeals processes can be prickly and hard to grasp for claimants who don’t deal regularly with disability law. That’s why if you have questions about applying for SSD benefits, you should find a seasoned Social Security lawyer to help you answer them.
Navigating the SSD Benefits Processes Can be Maddening
Beginning with the initial application and winding all the way through the hearing level and beyond can tax the patience of the uninitiated. Disability attorneys can help you present your most favorable case possible. If your initial applications have properly disclosed “alleged onset dates of disability,” and they include required documentation to prove your disability, then you have met one of the Social Security’s blue book listing of impairments and have a compelling argument in favor of your benefits request. But do you know how to do that acceptably?
This calls for your lawyer to collect and submit pertinent medical evidence, obtain a doctor’s opinion, draft a detailed brief to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), then prepare you for the judge’s questions at the hearing. Your attorney also may need to cross-examine SSI’s vocational or medical expert to demonstrate that you’re unable to work.
And if your case goes to the highest levels – the Appeals Council and federal court – your lawyer’s task then becomes one of crafting sophisticated legal arguments to show that Social Security wrongly denied your claim.
When Should You Call A Lawyer?
If you’re good at filling out government forms, then maybe you don’t need a lawyer’s help submitting your initial application for SSD benefits, so long as you pay very close attention as you prepare the paperwork. But if you’ve received a denial, the advantages having of an experienced lawyer on your side greatly outweigh the contingency fee you will pay should you win your claim.
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we fight to get the sick and injured the benefits they deserve. So don’t take on the Social Security system alone. Contact us today at 1 (800) 444-5000 or fill out our online form today to arrange a free consultation.