The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines the parameters of disability benefits. If you worked hard and paid into the Social Security system or can demonstrate financial need, you may qualify for monthly compensation. Getting disability benefits can involve extensive paperwork and retrieving medical data.
You do not have to fight your way through this challenging system on your own. A Melissa Social Security Disability lawyer might be able to help you navigate the complex application process. If your initial application for benefits was denied, we may be able to help you appeal the denial and fight for the benefits you need. Contact the Social Security Disability team at Underwood Law Office by calling (972) 535-6377 today.
In This Article
- Applying to Social Security Benefits Programs
- You Need This Information to Apply for Disability Benefits
- A Denial Letter Does Not Have to End Your Fight for Benefits
- Get Help Getting Disability Benefits
Applying to Social Security Benefits Programs
Applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits starts with knowing which program is the right fit for your circumstances. Our disability resource team may help by:
- Listening to the circumstances that led to your disability
- Reviewing your prognosis and potential for recovery
- Determining the right Social Security Disability program for you
- Guiding you through the application and evidence requirements
- Guiding you through the multi-step appeals process
The disability application and appeals processes can be complex. If you need help applying for disability benefits, our team can help you start by identifying which SSD benefits program you may qualify to apply to. The SSA has two main programs for SSD benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
The SSA reserves Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for individuals and their families who:
- Worked long enough
- Worked recently enough
- Paid Social Security taxes on their earnings
You must have a medical condition or disability that will last for a least one year or is expected to result in your death.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
The SSA also provides benefits that might help individuals who do not qualify for the SSDI program. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are for disabled adults and children with minimal income and resources.
Like SSDI recipients, you must also meet certain medical criteria or have a disability that is expected to last for at least a year or result in your death.
A Melissa Social Security Disability lawyer may help you understand which program you qualify for and how to start the application or appeals process. Contact one of our disability team members at Underwood Law Office by calling (972) 535-6377 today.
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability lawyer serving Melissa, call (972) 535-6377
You Need This Information to Apply for Disability Benefits
Applying for SSD benefits requires an abundance of paperwork and evidence. When you are ready to start the application process, compile as much of the following as possible for SSA review:
- Birth certificate
- Proof of U.S. citizenship
- Military discharge papers
- W-2 forms
- Self-employment tax returns
- Medical evidence
- Award letters
- Salary history
- Settlement agreements
The SSA might also request proof of workers’ compensation benefits if you received them, whether temporarily or permanently.
SSA Administrators Will Ask You These Five Questions
The SSA will pay disability benefits if they determine that you have a total disability. They decide if you are totally disabled by asking these five questions:
- Are you working, or did you work enough to earn more than $1,260 a month? If so, you probably cannot be considered disabled.
- Is your condition severe? If it prevents you from lifting, standing, walking, sitting, or impairs your memory, you might qualify.
- Is your condition found on the list of disabling conditions? If not, it might not be deemed severe enough to make you eligible for disability.
- Can you do the work you did previously? If so, you might have a qualifying disability.
- Can you do any other type of work? If you cannot do the work you once did or any other type of work, you might qualify for disability benefits.
SSA administrators will consider your disabling condition, age, education, and work history when making a final determination.
Melissa Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me (972) 535-6377
A Denial Letter Does Not Have to End Your Fight for Benefits
Receiving a letter that states you have been denied disability benefits can be discouraging. It can also leave you uncertain about your financial future. A denial does not have to mean the end of your fight for benefits. The SSA provides details on the four stages of filing an appeal.
The first step in appealing a denied application involves getting a complete review of your application by someone who did not previously participate in deciding your claim. Your existing documents and medical evidence will be reviewed in addition to any new evidence you provide.
Hearing Conducted by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
If the reconsideration appeal does not result in an approval, you can request a hearing. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will consider your application and new and existing evidence. A hearing will be scheduled at a convenient venue or by video, and medical or employment experts might be questioned by both sides.
Review Conducted by Social Security’s Appeals Council
If your claim is denied by an ALJ, you can request an additional review. The Appeals Council will review the ALJ’s decision. If the Council agrees, your claim will be denied. If the Council disagrees, your application will be reviewed by them or returned to the ALJ for further consideration.
Review Conducted by a Federal Court District
In this final stage of the appeals process, you and your lawyer may file a civil lawsuit in federal court. A member of our disability team can walk you through the federal court process.
Get Help Getting Disability Benefits
The Social Security Disability application process can be long and complicated. A Melissa Social Security Disability lawyer can help you navigate the application or appeal process and keep up the fight for the benefits you might be entitled to collect. Contact the client intake team at Underwood Law Office at (972) 535-6377 to find out how we can help you apply for disability benefits or appeal a decision by the SSA.