While employees pay into the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program for much of their working lives, many disabled workers face challenges and legal obstacles when seeking benefits. Filing a successful claim requires an understanding of how to demonstrate compliance with strict eligibility standards.
For this reason, it is helpful to consult with an experienced Atlanta SSDI lawyer during every step of the process. A hearing claims advocate from our firm would be familiar with SSDI qualifications, applications, and the appeals process and can help you obtain the support you need. Reach out to an Atlanta social security attorney today to get started.
What Are the SSDI Eligibility Requirements?
Disabled employees must fulfill several requirements in order to qualify for SSDI benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) only awards benefits to workers who suffer from a long-term disability which prevents them from performing any type of gainful employment.
Employees must show that their condition directly impedes their ability to perform basic job duties such as standing, sitting, concentrating, lifting, or remembering. An applicant’s disability must be medically verifiable and expected to at last for at least a year or cause death.
Many applicants who have a disability which renders them unable to work still receive a denial from the SSA for failing to provide adequate medical documentation of their condition. Fortunately, an Atlanta SSDI attorney can help a claimant establish their adherence to the agency’s qualifications.
In addition to proving their inability to carry out job tasks, an employee must also have a history of sufficient work credits. In other words, they must have paid Social Security taxes for a certain length of time in order to receive benefits.
The exact number of work credits a claimant needs will depend on their age at the time of applying. Workers who become disabled at a young age typically need fewer credits than older applicants.
Not only must an employee have enough work credits, but a large percentage must have been earned recently. For instance, a worker who seeks SSDI benefits at age 58 would need 36 work credits, which is equal to nine years of work. Approximately 20 of those credits must have been earned within the previous ten years.
Applying for SSDI Benefits and Receiving Results
Applicants are advised to collect documents and evidence before applying for SSDI benefits. The SSA will take applications over the phone or in-person at an office, although advance appointments are recommended. Claimants may also file for disability insurance benefits online.
The SSA reviews applications according to strict standards and commonly denies cases on the basis of a claimant’s failure to demonstrate a qualifying disability. Applying for benefits can be made easier with the professional guidance of an SSDI lawyer in Atlanta.
What Goes into Challenging the SSA’s Decision?
There are several chances to appeal a denial of SSDI benefits. Applicants must adhere to deadlines in order to take advantage of appellate opportunities.
The first step in challenging the agency’s decision is requesting a reconsideration by SSA staff. An applicant who receives a denial at this point may request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. If a subsequent denial is issued, they may request a review by the Appeals Council.
Finally, if all administrative remedies fail to produce a satisfactory result, a claimant can appeal the decision in federal court. Our qualified Atlanta SSDI attorneys can assist a claimant with any stage of the appeals process.
Contact an Atlanta SSDI Attorney before Filing
Because eligibility standards are interpreted so strictly by SSA staff, it can be extremely difficult to receive approval from an initial application or even from reconsideration. An experienced Atlanta SSDI lawyer can help you acquire medical documentation and expert witness testimony to demonstrate that you meet the SSA’s qualifications for benefits. Call now to learn more about how our Social Security disability lawyers can benefit your situation.