Since the majority of applications for Social Security Disability benefits are denied, it usually requires the disabled individual to go through an appeal process to get benefits established.
However, going through the appeal process can be taxing and quite stressful. The Social Security Administration, as a matter of policy, routinely refutes disability claims because approval is only to be granted when someone has a serious mental or physical condition that prohibits them from performing “any” job. Social Security also periodically reevaluate recipients of benefits for improvement in their disabling conditions, because the awards are granted for disabilities that would last for a very long time and maybe even till the death of the recipient.
The Social Security Administration also requires appropriate medical documentation to approve disability claims. Social Security publishes impairment listings for common conditions, and if you meet the listed criteria, you would receive benefits. However, most people do not fit neatly into a box and often have several conditions, or both physical and mental conditions that keep them from being able to work. Obtaining benefits in these situations often requires a skilled advocate to assist in developing the case sufficiently for benefits to be awarded.
To relieve the pressures associated with navigating the complexities of this government program, it’s better to hire an experienced Social Security Disability attorney that is unafraid to battle the government for your rights. So if you don’t know how to obtain the needed documentation or you believe that you were wrongly denied the benefits, the competent lawyers at Gilbert Law Firm are here to help you.
How do you qualify for social security disability benefits?
To be eligible for Social Security disability benefits under the “disability insurance program” (SSDI), you must have been employed in jobs covered by Social Security and accumulated at least 40 work credits. This amounts to about 5 years worth of work out of the preceding 10 years. You must also have a “severe” medical ailment that either meets Social Security’s impairment listing criteria, or that leaves you with a residual functional capacity that eliminates your ability to do any job in sufficient numbers in the national economy. In other words, even if you cannot do your prior work because of an illness, you still may be capable of performing a different job. For benefits to be granted, a skilled advocate will work with you, to provide the necessary evidence to establish that you are not capable of working full time in any position.
To be considered disabled, you must not be currently employed in substantial gainful activity (SGA). Also, your medical condition(s) must be severe enough to limit your ability to do basic work like sitting, lifting, walking, standing, and remembering – for at least 12 months or more. Social Security Disability is not a “temporary” disability program.
If you do not have work credits, you still may qualify for disability benefits under the Social Security Income (SSI) program, but there are additional economic need factors that you must also meet, to be eligible for benefits.
What to do when making social security disability claims
Every social security disability claim is unique, and so there are a lot of things involved in making a case. There are, however, some simple rules to abide by.
- Tell the truth every time
- Don’t exaggerate your medical problems, but never downplay them either
- Keep seeing your doctor regularly throughout your claim. Long periods without medical treatment may be used as evidence that you were healthy during that time. Further, Social Security cannot grant benefits unless there is sufficient medical record documentation supporting your disability.
- Make sure all your medical records are provided to Social Security, and are in your file.
- Hire an experienced social security disability attorney to assist you in obtaining relevant evidence for your specific situation, and to help you with the vital details at your administrative hearing.
Why Gilbert Law Firm?
We are personally devoted to your stories and needs. Our social security disability attorneys have dedicated their lives to helping the weak and the powerless. We have repeatedly taken on government agencies without fear or caution, and are prepared to fight to ensure that you get the benefits that you deserve.
We’ll assist you in collecting the required documentation. This can include medical records, treating provider statements, functional capacity opinions from your treating health care providers, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) records, DSHS evaluations, and helpful statements from friends, family, and/or past employers.
We’ll help you submit appeals when necessary. The Social Security Administration may deny your claim on initial application without fully explaining why. Fortunately, we are quite experienced in the appeal process and will appeal on your behalf.
And finally, we’ll treat you like family. We’ll listen to you and take the time to truly know you, your family, your hopes, and your challenges. As we do this, we do all we can to put ourselves in your shoes, so we see the facts from your perspective. With the knowledge we get, we’ll create a Social Security Disability appeal to suit your individual situation.
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