If you have a disability, you may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. A Valdosta Social Security Disability attorney with Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can help you navigate the application process or assist with appealing denied or discontinued payments.
Initial SSD Applications Often Get Denied
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), more than 275,000 disabled workers in Georgia received some form of Social Security benefits in 2019. While many disabled workers may qualify for SSD, applying for payments can be tricky.
More often than not, applicants seeking benefits find that their initial attempt results in denial. In fact, according to the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the SSA approves less than 40 percent of SSD applications. Reasons for denial may include:
- Application errors – SSD applications are complex and require a lot of information. If you make a mistake, even a simple clerical error, it could result in a denial.
- Insufficient medical evidence – To receive benefits, you must show that you have a qualifying disabling condition. You will need to provide the SSA with proof of your disability, such as x-rays, lab test results, MRIs, or a physician’s treatment notes.
- The SSA does not believe your condition is a disability – Your impairment must prevent you from doing basic, job-related activities for a minimum of 12 months. If the SSA does not believe your impairment interferes with your ability to work for at least that long, it will deny your benefits.
- Income – You can work part-time and receive SSD, but your earned wages must fall below the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit established yearly by the SSA. The SGA for 2022 is $2,260 per month for blind individuals and $1,350 for non-blind individuals.
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability lawyer serving Valdosta, call (404) 888-8888
Our SSD Attorneys in Valdosta Can Help You Gather Information and Complete Your Application
Filling out a Social Security application can be overwhelming. Our SSD attorneys are familiar with the claims process and can help you avoid some of the pitfalls that may lead to a claim denial. We can review your application and make sure you supply the SSA with all the information they need, including:
- Medical records
- Proof of United States citizenship
- Tax returns
- Work history
- A completed Adult Disability Report
- Evidence of other benefits, such as workers’ compensation
- Information regarding your spouse and dependents
Valdosta Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me (404) 888-8888
We Can Assist You with Proving You Have a Qualifying Medical Condition
As mentioned, to receive SSD, you must have a physical or mental impairment that the SSA deems severe and disruptive enough to prevent you from working for at least 12 months. The SSA Blue Book lists dozens of qualifications divided into categories, including:
- Cardiovascular disorders
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Skin disorders
- Mental health conditions
- Immune system disorders
- Neurological disorders
- Digestive system disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Chronic kidney failure (CKF)
- Blood disorders
- Respiratory problems
- Sense and speech disorders
- Congenital conditions that affect multiple body systems
However, just because your condition is not listed does not mean you cannot receive SSD. Individuals with unlisted conditions can receive benefits if they meet the SSA’s definition of a disability.
If you have an impairment that clearly meets the SSA’s standards for a disability, you may be able to fast-track your application. Known as Compassionate Allowances, these conditions include some cancers, brain disorders, and other conditions, such as:
- Early-onset Alzheimer’s
- Huntington disease
- Liver cancer
- Acute leukemia
Our attorneys can tell you more about Compassionate Allowances and whether your condition qualifies. If so, we may be able to help you achieve a decision from the SSA more quickly.
We Can Help You with Work Credit and Income Requirements
The SSA oversees two distinct disability benefits programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Eligibility for SSDI is based on your work history, while SSI is a needs-based program for low-income individuals.
SSDI Recipients Earn Benefits Through Work Credits
To qualify for SSDI benefits, you need to have paid into the program through taxes on your earnings. You earn work credits via your contributions, and generally, you need a minimum number of work credits to qualify. If you do not require SSDI, you receive your contributions back as Social Security retirement income.
The higher your wage contributions and the more years you pay into the program, the more you can receive in benefits. According to the SSA, SSDI payments average around $1,200 per month.
SSI Recipients Must Meet Income Requirements
SSI provides benefits to disabled people who have limited financial resources and income. This program is needs-based, and you do not need work credits to qualify. The SSA sets payment amounts yearly based on the Consumer Price Index. The 2021 federal benefit rate is $794 per person or $1,191 per couple. Most states, including Georgia, provide additional SSI benefits.
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We Can Appeal Denied Claims
If the SSA denies your SSDI or SSI application or revokes your benefits, our disability attorneys can help you through the appeals process. You must start your appeal within 60 days of receiving notification about your claim. We can:
- File for reconsideration and help you prepare new evidence for the review
- Represent you during a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
- Prepare your case for a review by the Social Security Appeals Council
- File for and assist you with a federal court review
If you must appeal, consider reaching out to our SSD lawyers. Appeals can be complicated, and having someone who understands the process on your side may increase your chances of success.
Connect with Our SSD Lawyers Serving Lowndes County, Georgia Today
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers wants to help you get the Social Security Disability benefits you deserve. We know what a big difference these payments make for those who need them, and we will fight hard to achieve a successful outcome for you and your family.
To learn more about how our team can help with your application or appeal, call us today at (404) 888-8888 for a free, no-obligation consultation. A member of our team can answer your questions and tell you more about how we can serve you.