The Social Security Administration describes Social Security as “one of the most successful anti-poverty programs in our nation’s history.” Social Security pays benefits to retirees, disabled individuals, and survivors of the deceased. In many situations in Fulton County, these benefits provide the support necessary for daily living.

However, proving eligibility for benefits can often be frustrating. The application process may be confusing, and as a result, in many cases where applicants are entitled to benefits, they receive word that their applications have been denied.

A Fulton County social security lawyer may be able to assist. Whether you are just beginning to investigate your eligibility, or you have already filed a claim and received a denial, a knowledgeable lawyer could help you take the next steps toward a successful outcome.

Different Requirements for Different Benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) distributes benefits through four main programs. Three of these programs are funded by payroll taxes collected from workers under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, which appears on pay stubs as “FICA.”

What are Disability Benefits?

Benefits provided under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program are intended to support workers who suffer from a long-term disability that prevents them from working. Because it is an insurance program, workers must pay FICA taxes for a certain number of years to qualify for benefits. The number of years varies depending on the worker’s age at the onset of the disability.

Disabled individuals in Fulton County without sufficient work experience may qualify to receive disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. This program is not funded by Social Security taxes, so disabled individuals are not required to work and pay into the program to qualify. However, the program is designed to pay benefits to those with limited means, so applicants must demonstrate that they lack income and other resources for support.

To qualify for either type of disability benefits, an applicant must suffer from a disability expected to last at least a year or to result in death. In addition, applicants must demonstrate that their disability prevents them from working. Many times, the agency denies benefits because an applicant fails to demonstrate a sufficient level of disability. An experienced Fulton County social security attorney or claims advocate may help present evidence in a manner designed to convince the agency of the applicant’s eligibility.

Other Social Security Benefits

Most people in Fulton County are familiar with Social Security retirement benefits. Workers who pay FICA tax for approximately ten years become eligible to receive benefits when they reach retirement age. Spouses and former spouses of workers may also receive benefits.

Social Security also pays survivor benefits to spouses and children of someone who has passed away. Survivor benefits for children generally stop at age 18 or 19 unless the child is disabled.

How Does Someone Apply for Social Security Benefits in Fulton County?

The first step when filing for Social Security benefits of any kind is to determine eligibility. A social security lawyer in Fulton County or claims advocate may review a situation to help an applicant determine their qualifications for one or more types of benefits and could assist with filing the application for benefits.

Applications may be filed online with SSA or in person at the nearest Fulton County Social Security office. Those submitting a claim should be prepared with necessary information regarding work history and medical evidence regarding any disabilities. If the agency denies a claim for benefits, an applicant may appeal the denial through a reconsideration, hearing, appellate review and, if necessary, federal court.

Consult an Experienced Fulton County Social Security Attorney

The Social Security Administration exists to provide benefits to people in Fulton County and around the country. However, the agency is huge, and its bureaucratic methods sometimes give off an impression that is less than beneficial.

When you work with a Fulton County social security lawyer or claims advocate who is familiar with the process of filing claims and appealing denials, they could provide advice at each stage of the proceeding to help you avoid pitfalls that could jeopardize your claim. Moreover, an attorney could serve as your advocate, fighting to present the best evidence and arguments to support your claim for benefits. To learn how a claims advocate could help in your situation, call now.

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