Fairhope SSD Lawyers
After years of building your career and making a name for yourself, it’s devastating when a disability takes you out of the workforce. On top of that, it takes away the financial security you have worked so hard to build for yourself and your family. Fortunately, there are programs that can help you provide for your family and maintain your lifestyle.
Throughout the course of your career, you have paid into the Social Security system. If you become disabled before retirement age, you may be able to tap into those benefits early. Learn more about the SSD program and how you can give yourself the best chance at having your application approved. Call Byron A. Lassiter & Associates at 251-478-5297 to set up a consultation now.
Qualifying for SSD Benefits
The SSD program is managed by the Social Security Administration, which maintains a rigorous set of qualifications for SSD applicants. By taking your time with your application and ensuring that you meet every single qualification, you can improve the likelihood of getting your application approved.
First, there are two types of qualifications you must meet to receive benefits: the first covers your work history and the second covers your disability. Most people applying for disability must have 40 credits of work history to qualify for benefits.
You earn up to four credits per year by hitting a certain income level—for example, in 2022, you receive one credit for $1,510 of income. No matter how much you earn, you are capped at four credits per year. Of the 40 credits you must have, 20 of those must have been earned in the 10 years prior to your disability. These requirements are different for younger applicants. If you have an SSA account online, you can see exactly how many work credits you have.
You must also have a significant enough disability to qualify for benefits. Note that the SSA only pays benefits for total disability, not partial or short-term disability. You must meet three general requirements:
- Your disability keeps you from engaging in substantial gainful activity.
- You are unable to work in the field you used to work in or in any other industry because of your disability.
- Your condition is expected to last at least one year or cause your death.
Does My Disability Qualify?
There’s still quite a bit of gray area in those three requirements, so we’ll need to look deeper into disability requirements. The Social Security “Blue Book” is a good starting point. It’s divided into several categories and covers a range of disabilities. Under each listed disability, you’ll find specific diagnostic requirements and limitations. If you fulfill those requirements, you can receive disability benefits for that condition.
If you do not meet those requirements or your disability is not listed in the Blue Book, don’t worry. You simply have to prove that your disability is limiting enough that it keeps you from working, participating in gainful activity, and working in another field. This process may take a bit longer, as you’ll need to go through additional testing to demonstrate your limitations and abilities.
Preparing for the Application Process
It’s natural to want to rush through the application process, particularly if bills are starting to add up and you’re not sure where your next check will come from. However, it’s worth your effort to spend a considerable amount of time on your application and evidence.
The majority of SSD applications are denied the first time through, simply because the SSA does not have time to chase applicants down for more evidence. Without extensive work on your application and the help of a disability attorney in Fairhope, AL, you run the risk of submitting a weak application that’s lacking in evidence.
You’ll want to submit any documentation proving that your disability keeps you from working. You may want proof of time you’ve spent away from work due to your disability, days you left work early due to pain, and any stretches of time where you were forced to go on light duty. It’s also important to provide as much medical evidence and documentation as possible.
Acceptable evidence includes initial diagnostic tests, follow-up tests to track the course of your disability, failed and successful treatment options, proof of pharmaceutical medications used to manage your condition, and doctors’ recommendations regarding work and other activities.
If Your Application is Denied
If you already submitted your application and it got denied, you still have options. Remember that most applications are initially denied. This doesn’t mean that you don’t qualify for SSD benefits—it may mean that you simply did not provide the evidence that the SSA was looking for. Working with a disability attorney can help you strengthen your application, provide undeniable proof of your disability, and navigate the appeals process.
Choosing an Attorney for Your SSD Application
At Byron A. Lassiter & Associates, we focus exclusively on the needs of disability applicants. The SSA frequently changes its rules, regulations, and expectations. If you work with an attorney who does disability law on the side, rather than as their main area of practice, you could get stuck with outdated or irrelevant advice.
When you choose our firm, you can feel confident that you’ll get the most up-to-date information on SSA regulations and requirements. We know that SSD payments are a lifeline for many applicants who have worked hard their entire adult lives, and we want to help you get the benefits you deserve. Whether you’re ready to start your application or ready to appeal a denial, it’s time to talk to our team.
Find Out How Byron A. Lassiter & Associates Can Help You
The team at Byron A. Lassiter & Associates is ready to help you navigate the SSD application and appeal process. We’ll help you gather the evidence needed to prove your disability and create the strongest application possible. If you’ve been denied benefits, we’re here to assist you through the appeal process and improve your application. Set up a consultation now by calling us at 251-478-5297 or contacting us online.