Applying for SSDI benefits may appear to be a simple process, but in order to fulfill requirements, it is necessary to provide detailed information in a format that clearly demonstrates your qualifications. Any mistakes can cause your application to be denied. For this reason, many disabled workers choose to enlist a Hillsborough County SSDI lawyer for help.
Applicants who have received a denial notice from the Social Security Administration (SSA) have several chances to appeal that denial, but they must follow proper procedures. Moreover, the opportunities to introduce new evidence are limited, so it is crucial to obtain the best available documentation. An experienced attorney could help you present a persuasive claim and seek the benefits you need.
Understanding Social Security Disability Insurance
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program administered by the SSA that provides income benefits for individuals who lose their ability to work due to disability. Because SSDI is administered as an insurance program, workers must have paid Social Security tax for a certain number of years to qualify for benefits. These taxes are usually paid through payroll deductions through the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA).
In addition to work requirements, SSA will check to ensure that an applicant demonstrates a sufficient disability before the agency will award benefits. A Hillsborough County SSDI lawyer could help establish eligibility in the application process or during an appeal.
Applying for SSDI in Hillsborough County
Workers who suffer from a total disability that prevents them from working may apply for benefits as soon as they become disabled. However, the SSA will not begin payments until the sixth full month after the onset of the disability.
The agency accepts applications online, by phone, or in person at an SSA office. SSA recommends that anyone wishing to apply by phone or in person schedule an appointment to avoid a long wait time.
It is a good idea to collect as much evidence and required information as possible before starting an application. An applicant should be prepared to provide documents such as:
- Proof of citizenship or lawful alien status
- Birth certificate
- Employment information including earnings and types of work performed
- Detailed reports of illness, injuries, or conditions causing the disability
- Medical records, doctors’ reports, and test results
- Information about workers’ compensation benefits
Many applicants find it helpful to work with a Hillsborough County SSDI attorney at the very beginning of the application process. Knowledgeable lawyers help applicants provide persuasive evidence to support a showing of disability and to avoid mistakes that could delay the receipt of benefits.
Eligibility for SSDI Benefits
There are two main components to establish eligibility for SSDI benefits. First, a worker must have earned enough work credits to qualify. Because SSDI is an insurance program, employees must pay taxes as a form of insurance premium before they qualify. The amount of earnings needed vary depending on the age at which the worker suffers the disability.
The more difficult component to satisfy is often the disability requirement. Applicants must demonstrate that they are fully disabled, meaning that they cannot perform any type of gainful employment. The agency considers both medical evidence and information from occupational experts before determining whether an applicant qualifies. An SSDI lawyer in Hillsborough County can help applicants show the extent of their disability and how that disability prevents them from working and thus makes them eligible to receive benefits.
Work with an Experienced Hillsborough County SSDI Attorney
Whether you are just starting the process and trying to determine eligibility for SSDI benefits, or you have applied and received a denial notice, help from a knowledgeable Hillsborough County SSDI lawyer could help. The SSA follows complex procedures when evaluating claims, so advice from someone who understands those procedures could prove invaluable.
In addition, an SSDI lawyer could advocate on your behalf throughout the process to help you obtain fair benefits. To discuss your situation and find out how an attorney could help, call today and schedule a consultation.