While the U.S. Social Security system was set up to help workers who are disabled or retired, the process of applying for benefits can be anything but straightforward. In particular, it can be extremely difficult to get an application approved for disability benefits.
Many people have found it beneficial to work with a Sandy Springs Social Security lawyer to help make sure that requirements are fulfilled and that statements made on applications are phrased with the correct terminology to lead to the best possible outcome. If you are seeking benefits from the Social Security Administration, call a local attorney to ensure you have quality representation in your case.
The Social Security system provides three main types of benefits—retirement, disability, and survivor. Retirement benefits are payable to workers who have paid into the system through employment in a position covered under the Social Security program. Generally, employees must work for at least ten years to qualify and are eligible to begin receiving benefits at age 62, although the amount received increases if the employee waits until full retirement age or beyond.
Disability benefits are payable to covered employees who become unable to work due to a long-term disability which renders them unable to perform any type of employment. Survivor and dependent benefits are available to spouses and minor (or disabled) children of workers who qualified for retirement or disability benefits.
In addition to benefits available based on work contributions, the Social Security Administration also administers the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, which provides benefits to adults and children with disabilities who have little income or resources to draw on. SSI benefits may be paid in addition to retirement or disability benefits for those who qualify, and they are also available to some adults over 65 without disabilities.
While it is generally not difficult for qualified workers to obtain retirement benefits, obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is considerably more complicated. To qualify, an employee or self-employed worker who has paid employment taxes must have done so for about ten years, and roughly five of those years of employment must have occurred within ten years of the onset of the disability.
Besides satisfying work credit eligibility requirements, an employee must be able to show a disability of sufficient severity in order to qualify for SSDI benefits. The disability must be connected with a medical condition of long duration—at least one year in most circumstances, or less if the employee is expected to succumb in less than a year. Additionally, the disability must be so substantial that it prohibits the employee from working at any type of job.
Although applicants for SSDI and other SSA benefits can apply for benefits without the assistance of a legal professional, it can be very helpful to seek one out, especially when applying for disability benefits. A Social Security lawyer in Sandy Springs could work with an applicant to ensure that disabling conditions are described correctly and that the most important facts are included.
If the application needs to be appealed, a knowledgeable attorney could also work to present medical evidence and arguments, prepare for questioning, advocate on behalf of the applicant, and cross-examine witnesses to demonstrate the full extent of the disability and its effects.
The process of applying for SSDI and other Social Security benefits can be confusing, and mistakes may impact your ability to obtain the benefits you need. An experienced Sandy Springs Social Security lawyer could help ensure you’re your applications—as well as any necessary appeals—are completed in a manner calculated to lead to the greatest chance of success. To learn how we could help you with Social Security, call now to schedule a free consultation.
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