The United States federal government says that it provides support to people who need it because their conditions don’t allow work. Unfortunately, Monroe, NC applicants for Social Security Disability support often find out that the process is difficult.
If you can’t work because of an injury or illness, DeMayo Law Offices can help you file a claim for Social Security Disability. Or, if you filed a claim and were denied, we can help you with an appeal.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides financial relief to individuals with a disability who are unable to maintain their employment. It’s an important tool for many Americans, but SSD offices don’t make getting benefits easy. You may have to jump through hoops to get what you deserve or have your application denied for an unfair reason.
Our Monroe, NC Social Security Disability lawyers can advocate for your rights and seek the benefits you need on your behalf. You deserve respect and support, including money to treat your medical conditions and pay your household expenses. Call the compassionate attorneys at DeMayo Law Offices at (704) 291-9200 to set up a free consultation.
How Your Income Could Affect Your Benefit Payments
First, you must have a physical or mental impairment that prevents work to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. You must also meet income requirements. The Social Security Administration (SSA) decides how much an injured person can make annually and still qualify for benefits. If you earn higher than the limit, you won’t be able to collect any payments.
To receive SSD benefits, your impairment must be one that:
- Lasts for at least one year;
- Lasted longer than a year; or
- Will probably result in death.
Some other factors that affect eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits include:
- Recent work history
- An adequate history of employment
If your work history isn’t substantial enough or your income is too low to qualify for benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance, you might be able to file a Supplemental Security Income claim.
How Are Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income Different?
SSD and SSI are not the same. Each is only available to a separate pool of qualified applicants. Those with an injury who have enough employment history and earn no more than the income maximum can apply for SSD. On the other hand, SSI provides support to individuals from low-income households who were never employed or have a limited employment history.
Social Security Disability
Funding for SSD benefits comes from the payroll taxes that the federal government takes out of your paychecks. After applying, there’s a five-month waiting period. That means you must have a disability that prevents you from working for at least five months before you can collect payments.
Your benefits will depend on your average wages from your job before you left. If you receive payments for at least two years, you may qualify for medical coverage through Medicare. Your spouse or child could also receive SSD benefits.
Supplemental Security Income
SSI payments come from general fund taxes instead of payroll taxes. The Social Security office doesn’t use work history to determine eligibility like SSD. Instead, they look at assets and income.
To qualify for SSI benefits, you must earn limited income and possess a maximum of $2,000 in assets if you’re an individual. If you’re a couple, you can own no more than $3,000 in assets.
SSI recipients may also qualify for Medicaid and SNAP benefits. Qualified applicants can receive their first payment within the first month of applying rather than after a five-month waiting period.
When Should I Apply for Social Security Disability?
You must have a permanent disability to qualify for SSD benefits. Typically, it’s easier to prove permanence after at least one year.
Unfortunately, the initial application often takes a long time. You could wait months before receiving an answer from the Social Security Administration. If they deny you, an attorney at DeMayo Law Offices can help you file an appeal, a process that can also take time.
After you file for Social Security Disability Insurance, the Federal Social Security Administration will review your application and determine if you meet all of the requirements. Then a representative for the SSA will send your request to the state’s agency for review, where they will approve or deny it.
The agency will consider five factors when deciding if the application is eligible for SSD benefits:
- If the government disability list includes the applicant’s impairment
- If the injured person is currently working
- If there are other jobs suitable for the applicant
- If the injury or illness is severe enough to prevent their ability to work
- If they can still perform their job-related tasks
Once the state’s agency makes a decision, they will send the application back to the Social Security Administration. The SSA will either agree or disagree with North Carolina’s decision and mail the answer to you.
Find Out if Your Condition Qualifies You for SSD Benefits
The Social Security Administration publishes a list of diseases, injuries, and disorders that qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance. They include the following:
- Musculoskeletal system issues like a spinal injury or immobility
- Mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety
- Neurological disorders, such as MS, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s
- Vision or hearing loss
- Marfan Syndrome, Sjogren’s Syndrome, and other syndromes
- Immune system disorders like HIV and lupus
- Hematological disorders, such as bone marrow failure
- Skin disorders like dermatitis, burns, and bullous diseases
- Respiratory disorders, such as COP, asthma, and cystic fibrosis
- Cardiovascular system problems like heart failure
- Digestive tract conditions, such as IBD and short bowel syndrome
- Congenital disorders that affect multiple bodily systems
- Genitourinary disorders
Methods for Filing an SSD Claim
You can choose from four different methods to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Each one comes with advantages and disadvantages. An attorney can help you navigate the options if you’re overwhelmed.
You can speak with a claims representative by calling 1-800-772-1213. The person you talk to will answer your questions and take down some basic information. After the call, you’ll receive paperwork in the mail that you’ll need to complete.
You can apply online, following the instructions on this link. The website is user friendly and includes detailed information that explains the process. Even if you’re unfamiliar with computers, you shouldn’t have a hard time filing your claim online.
If you would rather apply for benefits in person, you’ll need to schedule an appointment at a Social Security office. Bring your identification with you, as well as other relevant information, such as your medical records.
Applying by mail is another simple option. Call the Social Security Administration and request the necessary documents you’ll need to complete. Just like applying online, filling out the forms, and mailing them in allows for flexibility. You can take your time, verify the information on the application, and take a break if necessary.
When you apply for Social Security Disability, you should include any evidence you have of your condition. Medical records are crucial because they’ll list the disability you have and why it prevents you from working.
If you have copies of all your medical records, submit them to the Social Security Administration with your application. You could also send them a signed form that authorizes them to request your files directly from your providers.
If your treatment is ongoing, be sure to communicate your status to the SSA. If you see a new doctor or begin a new treatment plan, you should let the representative assigned to your claim know about it so they can request your additional records.
Some SSD representatives might require you to undergo an independent medical examination. That’s an appointment where a doctor they choose performs their own evaluation of your medical condition to determine if they agree with your doctor’s diagnosis of your disability.
Common Reasons for SSD Claims Denials
The Social Security Administration requires complete and accurate information in every claim they receive. It’s good to understand why representatives deny applications to avoid one. Below are the most common reasons for Social Security Disability denials:
- Previously denied claim: If you already applied for SSD benefits and got rejected, your application a resubmitted claim may be denied. The best way to reapply is by filing an appeal.
- Failure to follow the process: Each step of the claims process is essential. If you skip anything, you risk the SSA representative denying your application. When you begin, make sure you complete each of the steps below:
- Submit the necessary documentation by the deadline.
- Attend all doctor appointments, including the independent medical examination.
- Complete the treatment plan provided by all your doctors.
- Lack of medical evidence: The medical records you send to the SSA must include details about your disability. Your doctors should state the exact injury or illness you have and why it precludes you from adequately performing your job.
- Failure to treat your disability: If you don’t undergo consistent treatment, you likely won’t qualify for benefits. You need to seek ongoing and consistent medical care after getting sick or hurt.
Get Help with Your Social Security Disability Claim or Denial
Our Monroe, NC Social Security Disability lawyers have experience assisting our clients with their SSD applications and denied claims. Whether you’re at the beginning of the process or trying to prove your rights to benefits in an appeal, DeMayo Law Offices can help.
We know how to handle SSD procedures and will take care of every step for you. We understand it’s stressful to be out work because of an injury or illness. When you hire us, we’ll work on the complex legalities so you can focus on your medical treatment.
To learn more about our experience with Social Security Disability claims and denials, call DeMayo Law Offices at (704) 291-9200.
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