Social Security Disability Insurance, known as SSDI, is a federal program that provides monthly payments to individuals who have qualifying disabilities and sufficient work credits. This insurance is funded through payroll taxes, and recipients of the benefits are ‘insured’ because they worked a certain number of years and contributed to the Social Security fund through deductions from their paychecks.
In Georgia, you must meet specific criteria to qualify for this insurance. If you are disabled and believe you may be entitled to these benefits, talk to a disability attorney with experience in Fulton County SSDI claims. A qualified legal professional can help determine your eligibility for the program and explain the process of filing an application for benefits.
In order to receive SSDI benefits, a disabled claimant must have held qualifying employment for a certain amount of time. The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines qualifying employment as any employment where the claimant paid into social security through deductions from their wages. The longer they work, the more ‘credits’ they receive toward SSDI.
When the claimant reaches a certain number of credits, they are eligible for SSDI benefits in Georgia. The number of required credits is determined by the SSA and changes each year. A well-researched advocate for the disabled can advise anyone seeking SSDI in Fulton County on the number of credits required when their claim is filed.
In addition to work credits, disability insurance requires that the claimant is over age 18 and under age 65. They must also prove that they suffer from a disability that either prevents them from doing their previous job, has lasted or is expected to last more than 12 months, or may result in the claimant’s death.
To begin the filing process, a claimant may contact the local Social Security office and schedule an appointment for a disability interview. An SSA claims representative will interview the claimant in person or by telephone if they cannot travel to the office. During the interview, the claimant will be asked to provide the following information:
The information provided in the interview may be used to determine whether the claimant has the ability to return to work or if they can safely and successfully transition to another type of employment.
After a claim is processed at the Social Security office, it is transferred to Disability Determination Services (DDS), the agency that makes decisions on SSDI claims. A disability examiner will evaluate the claimant’s medical and work history and determine if they are disabled under the SSA requirements. The SSA may also require the claimant to see an SSA-approved doctor if additional medical information is needed to render a decision on the disability.
Those seeking SSDI benefits may generally expect a decision within three to four months of filing the claim in Fulton County. However, the waiting period may be longer if they had significant medical treatment just before making a claim and are still recovering.
If an SSDI claim is approved, there is a five-month waiting period before the disabled person may begin receiving benefits. The monthly benefit amount depends on the amount the claimant has earned throughout the course of their employment. The claimant’s spouse and dependent children may also receive some financial assistance known as ‘auxiliary benefits,’ depending on the specific disability.
Because the SSA is such a complex federal agency, applying for SSDI benefits can be challenging. If you seek financial assistance for your disability, you must submit all of the required information without omission, including detailed medical records.
An experienced disability representative can assist with the filing process and help ensure that nothing goes overlooked. To increase your chances of obtaining the disability benefits you deserve, speak with an attorney about your Fulton County SSDI claim today.