Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are not always easy to obtain, as the process of filing may take some time, whether you are applying and waiting for approval. For this reason, many people choose to work with a lawyer to help them fight for their SSDI benefits.
A lawyer may be able to help in a number of ways, from reviewing your application to helping you file within the deadline. They may also be able to help you file an appeal if your application gets denied.
It is not necessary to hire a lawyer when applying for SSDI benefits, as there is no guarantee of increasing your chances of getting SSDI with a lawyer. Yet, a lawyer might be able to assist you throughout the application and/or appeals process, which might make your case run more smoothly.
Before calling on a lawyer, though, you may want to ensure you understand whether you qualify for SSDI and meet the eligibility requirements. You might also want to learn about any reasons that might have your claim be denied.
Understanding Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is available to working Americans who have worked for a certain length of time and paid into Social Security taxes, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
People who are eligible for SSDI benefits are considered insured through the program because they earned enough work credits in the required window period for their age group and paid Social Security taxes on their income, which funds the program.
Unlike Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is based solely on income and a person’s need for financial assistance, SSDI is available only for people who have contributed to the Social Security trust fund.
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People Who Qualify for SSDI
In general, SSDI benefits are available for people who have become disabled, are no longer able to work, and have paid into the Social Security program and earned work credits, as outlined in 42 U.S. Code § 401.
However, family members close to the person with a disability may also qualify for partial benefits. People who qualify for SSDI benefits may include:
- Adults ages 18 and over who are now disabled
- Spouses of disabled adults who are receiving SSDI
- Dependent children of disabled adults who are receiving SSDI
Eligibility Requirements for SSDI
To be approved for SSDI, you must be younger than 65 and have worked for a certain length of time. The work requirement is nonnegotiable for the SSDI program.
You may also be required to submit documentation, such as medical records, showing proof of your ongoing disability and inability to work. This demonstrates your need for SSDI benefits and is often crucial in SSDI applications.
However, if you have a health condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in your death, you might be eligible for non-medical benefits. A lawyer can help you understand your chances of getting SSDI.
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Reasons Your SSDI Application May Be Denied
Getting SSDI can take time, and there is a waiting period to receive benefits even after your application is approved.
Because of this, you might want to ensure you have all the required documentation and complete all the steps correctly to avoid any further delays to the approval process.
Reasons your SSDI application may be denied include:
- You do not meet eligibility requirements for SSDI
- You have already been denied SSDI within the last 60 days
- Your documentation is missing crucial information, such as your Social Security number
- You do not have proper documentation, including proof of birth and citizenship and medical records
- You did not provide adequate information about your work history, medical condition, or other required details
The SSA stresses the importance of not delaying your application due to lacking the proper documents, as they can help you gather what you need for your application.
A lawyer might also help improve the chances of getting your SSDI application submitted in a timely manner by helping you gather necessary documentation before you turn in your application.
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How an SSDI Lawyer Can Help
All SSDI applications undergo a five-month waiting period, meaning benefits will not pay out until a minimum of five months after you become disabled.
Because of this, time is of the essence when filing an SSDI application. A lawyer can offer assistance during this time by:
- Ensuring you have all the information necessary for the application
- Helping you find documentation that will likely be required for your application
- Offering support and legal counsel, especially if your application is denied and you choose to appeal this decision
Contact Underwood Law Office When You File for SSDI
Getting approved for SSDI benefits can be a time-consuming process. However, having a lawyer’s help along the way might ease this burden.
Learn more about your chances of getting SSDI with a lawyer in Texas when you contact Underwood Law Office at (972) 535-6377 today. A member of our team is standing by to provide you with a free case review.