Anyone filing for SSDI benefits in Sandy Springs should make sure that they are properly prepared before filing their application. The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not require applicants to be represented by an attorney at any stage in the process, but because SSDI claims are so frequently denied, it is often prudent to work with an experienced SSDI lawyer when filing or appealing Sandy Springs SSDI claims.
SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance. This is a program designed to help workers who become fully disabled due to a long-term medical condition. Benefits are not available for partial disabilities or for conditions expected to last less than a year, unless those medical conditions are so severe they are likely to cause the death of the applicant in less than a year.
Benefits from Sandy Springs SSDI claims are only available to applicants who have sufficient recent work history to qualify. Other disabled individuals in Sandy Springs who do not meet the employment requirements may be eligible to obtain benefits through the Supplemental Security Income program. Some applicants may even be able to obtain benefits through both programs.
There are two components to satisfy regarding eligibility for SSDI benefits, the first of which is the aforementioned work requirement. An applicant must have worked for a sufficient period of time in a job covered by SSDI, and that work must have been recent enough to qualify for work credits based on the SSA’s guidelines.
The general guideline is approximately ten years of employment—which equates to 40 work credits—with at least five years or 20 credits within the ten years prior to the disability. So, if an employee worked for ten years but then took five or more years off and after that became disabled, that employee might not qualify.
The second component of eligibility concerns the disability requirement. Applicants must demonstrate a serious medical condition that prevents them from working at their previous position and prevents them from learning a new job.
Moreover, the condition must not only cause total disability but also be long-term, meaning that it is expected to last a year or more. Demonstrating this level of disability can be difficult to do, which is why SSDI claims in Sandy Springs are often denied, even in circumstances where the applicant should qualify for benefits.
An SSDI application may be filed online or by appointment over the phone or in person at an SSA office. Applicants should have medical records and other information ready at the time of the interview or when filing the online application.
If the claim is approved, benefits may be paid after a condition has kept an employee from working for more than six months. If a claim is denied, on the other hand, the applicant may file an appeal. There are four types of appeals, listed here in order of priority:
In some cases, one or more of these stages may be skipped. For instance, the Social Security Appeals Council may refuse to grant a review if the council decides that the decision of the administrative judge fits with current laws and regulations.
The SSA is an extremely large agency that is consistently under pressure to reduce spending. As a result, it has almost become routine for the SSA to deny initial claims for SSDI benefits, and applicants should be prepared to thoroughly document their claims and file necessary appeals. More information about filing, managing, and appealing Sandy Springs SSDI claims may be obtained from a qualified lawyer with experience handling SSDI applications and appeals.