It’s ironic that even though the Social Security Disability Law was created to make lives easier for the disabled, the bureaucratic red tape makes the application really difficult. While it’s simple enough to apply for benefits, you have to go through several application procedures before the state offers you payments based on your disability. Given the fact that you, as a citizen of the USA, are rightfully owed these benefits, you must also appreciate the intricacies of the SSDI process too.
Ideally, if you ever find yourself concerned that you’re not receiving the benefits owed to by virtue of your disability, you should hire a professional social security disability attorney. This blog will present an overview of the Social Security Disability Law; for how the law applies to your particular case, you should get in touch with Attorney Lisa Douglas in Little Rock.
What Is The Social Security Disability Law?
The Social Security Disability Law is a piece of federal legislation that describes the rules under which individuals can receive disability benefits from the government of the US. If you meet the requirements set out in the law, you are eligible to receive benefits—the state is legally obligated to meet these requirements such that they ensure your comfort and quality of life.
The first problem that typically arises is the confusion between the two different types of disability benefits offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). These include:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)—To qualify for this, you must prove that you have a disability, and that you contributed to the Social Security System when you were working.
- Social Security Income Program (SSI) — You must be over the age of 65, or must have a disability or suffer from blindness, and have low income. There is no requirement to show that you contributed to the Social Security System.
While the bit about proving your age, your contributions to the Social Security System, and your income levels isn’t a problem—establishing your disability is. This where you will need to contact a disability lawyer who can legally establish your disability upon which your benefits are hinged. You should visit our page on disability social security law to learn what counts as a disability and how it is established.
One other crucial consideration arises from your income levels, depending on whether you’re applying for SSDI or the SSI. For purposes of explanation, we’ll provide a basic overview of these requirements—however your unique situation might allow for some changes in how the law is applied:
- When applying for SSDI—You must earn 40 credits to receive Social Security Disability Insurance. You earn a single credit for each $1,160 of earnings—you must remember that you can earn at most 4 credits a year. Thus, you must have worked for 10 years prior to applying for SSDI.
- When applying for SSI—You must earn less than $710 a month to qualify for SSI. This earning calculation also factors in any benefits you receive, like free-rent or free meals—which often creates several disputes and confusion during determination.
Applying For Benefits And Disputing Unfavorable Decisions
If you’re considering applying for disability benefits, you must submit an application to the SSA—this can be done online, on the phone, or in-person at the closest SSA office. It’s a lengthy procedure where you will have to submit various tax forms and medical information to establish your disability.
Typically, the SSA only approves 30% of all the SSI and SSDI applications it receives. However, if your application has been denied or your benefits do not meet your requirements, you can dispute the decision with the SSA. The dispute process follows four stages:
- Stage 1: A reconsideration period where you submit more medical documents to strengthen your case.
- Stage 2:If, during reconsideration, you don’t receive approval, the documents are sent to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The judge holds a hearing to establish whether you qualify for benefits—about 60% of all rejected applications are approved by these judges.
- Stage 3:If the ALJ also denies your application, you can take the appeal to the appeals council to review your application.
- Stage 4:If this final review also leads to a rejection, you can take the case to federal courts to settle the matter once and for all.
What To Do If Your Application Is Denied
The denial of your benefits depends on whether the SSA thinks your income levels or your medical condition do not meet the legal prerequisites. In the case of a denial, you should get in touch with a professional social security disability lawyer who can handle the legalities of the case—including your determination as a legally disabled individual.
Attorney Lisa Douglas is an experienced personal injury and social security disability lawyer in Little Rock, Arkansas. She takes a personal interest in each of her clients’ cases and uses her extensive experience and expertise to help them receive disability benefits as is due to them. Call the Law Offices of Lisa Douglas at 501-798-0004 today to set up an appointment to discuss your social security disability disputes in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Disclaimer: The information contained within this website is provided for general informational purposes and may not be reflective of the current law in your state/city/jurisdiction. No information contained in this website should be construed as legal advice from Law Offices of Lisa Douglas, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel. You should seek the appropriate legal or other professional advice from a lawyer licensed in your state, country, or other licensing jurisdiction.