Many people across the nation rely on Social Security payments to make ends meet and keep (or regain) control of their lives after a debilitating accident. When you’re hurt and you can’t work, while medical bills keep piling up, it’s beyond stressful. It’s terrifying. It gets even worse when you apply for Social Security benefits and get denied.
The last thing you need is the stress of wondering how you’re going to pay the bills while you’re just trying to stay above water. Learn what to do if you’re denied social security disability benefits, and how seeking help from a qualified social security attorney can help.
Social Security Disability
There are two kinds of benefits most people can collect from the Social Security Administration (SSA) when they suffer a medical disability which renders them unable to hold down gainful employment. These include SSDI, or Social Security Disability Insurance, which is available to those who have worked a certain length of time, and Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, which is available to low-income elderly or disabled people.
SSDI is part of the U.S. Social Security program, while SSI is not.
Qualifying for SSDI
To qualify for SSDI, you have to possess a certain number of work credits. The exact number of credits required depend on how old you are and when you suffered your injury or disability. In general, you need to have worked at least some portion of five of the prior ten years to your disability. These payments average between $1,000 and $1,200 each month but could be higher for higher earners who paid higher taxes.
After 24 months of SSDI benefits, you are also eligible to sign onto Medicare, no matter what age you are. Until then, low-income individuals can sometimes qualify for Medicaid.
Qualifying for SSI
SSI is administered by the SSA but is actually a program that’s an agreement between the federal and state government. Eligibility for this can vary from case to case, but in general, the following requirements must be met:
- You must be at least age 65, blind or disabled
- You must be a citizen or meet very specific requirements related to U.S. residency, refugee status, military service or political asylum
- Your income must be lower than the state’s minimum for eligibility
- You must not own property (minus home, car and certain other items) of greater value than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.
SSI benefits, if granted, are $735 monthly for an individual or $1,103 each month for a couple, minus a portion of any other income you have.
Being Denied for Disability
The SSA defines disability as proving that you have a condition which prevents you from maintaining gainful employment, which will also last at least a year, or which will result in your death. There is a great deal of leeway in defining disability under the law, and for this reason, a lot of people find their claims denied.
When this happens, your best bet is to contact a qualified SSDI attorney. Social Security disability lawyers will be able to help you defend your condition, prove that you are disabled, and secure the benefits to which you’re entitled. Denial of claims isn’t the end of the road, but it can mean a tough fight which can be even harder without the right legal help.
For many years, the attorneys at Disparti Law have helped people fight for the disability benefits they need to remain solvent in a tough world. We’ve helped others, and we can help you as well. Just get in touch with us today for a free case evaluation.