Aiken Social Security Disability Lawyer

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Social Security Disability benefits are designed to serve as a safety net for people who find themselves unable to work due to injury or illness. The program is run by the Social Security Administration, which provides SSD as monthly benefits to eligible individuals to help them meet their daily basic needs, such as food, housing, and medical care.

The main purpose of SSD benefits is to offer financial help and support to individuals who have become disabled and are unable to work for a living. Unfortunately, many disabled workers struggle to get the benefits they deserve and end up feeling left out and frustrated.

This is mainly because to be eligible for the benefits, you have to demonstrate your severity of disability. Your level of disability must be severe enough that it makes you unable to work for more than a year. For this reason, many applications end up being denied.

At Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer, and Staggs, understanding and compassion are our guiding principles when fighting for people who need social security benefits. Whether your SSD benefits application has been denied, or you’re looking to make your first application, contact our firm to get the legal help you need.

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What is the Eligibility Criteria and Application Process?

Being approved for SSD benefits hinges on having a qualifying medical condition, your income, and your work history. To qualify for SSD, you must meet the basic eligibility criteria:

  • Be under 67 years of age
  • You have a disability that keeps you from working and is permanent or will last for at least a year
  • You have earned enough work credits through the SSA. Most people will pass this step if they have worked and paid taxes for at least 5 of the past 10 years

You can make your application for SSD benefits online, over the phone, or by visiting your county’s local Social Security office. You will be approved for SSD benefits based on your medical condition, so long as it prevents you from engaging in full-time work at a capacity with substantial gainful activity for at least 12 months.

The SSA will consider your medical records, along with your education level, age, past work experience, and more when reviewing your case. Documentation is critical here. I

t’s important to make sure that when you’re making the application, you have the full records, including the diagnosis and treatments, list of physicians, their addresses, treatment dates, and what conditions you’re being treated for.

The SSD lawyers at JJWLS are ready to help you file your claim accurately and present your best case for the best possible results. In most cases, individuals who are represented by a lawyer are significantly more likely to receive SSD benefits compared to unrepresented ones.

What Are the Common Reasons for Denial?

The SSA is known for denying claims, especially initial claims. The best way to make sure that your claim is successful is to understand some of the most common reasons why claims are denied in the first place:

  • The application didn’t include sufficient medical evidence
  • The individual submitted multiple applications
  • You failed to follow your doctor’s instructions
  • Evidence shows that you can still work, even if it’s in a different field
  • Your income is deemed too high for SSD

If your claim was denied, don’t worry. There are still options available depending on the facts surrounding your situation and the reason for denials. Your SSD attorney could help you pursue the claim further by:

  • Making a request for a reconsideration of your application
  • Making an appeal in federal court against the ALJ’s decision
  • Scheduling hearings with an SSA administrative law judge (ALJ)

Our team can help you explore the different available options. Once we have reviewed your case, we can provide you with the information you need to make a well-informed decision about how to go on with the appeal.

What is the Legal Process in Social Security Disability Cases?

As previously mentioned, if your SSD claim is denied, you still have a legal option. There are four main stages of appeal to keep in mind:

Request for Consideration

This entails asking the SSA to get a disability claims examiner to review your case again. Your claim will then be assessed by a different examiner from the one who first considered your application.

Disability Benefits Hearing

These hearings are typically presided by an administrative law judge, who works for the SSA. you can present evidence demonstrating why you deserve the SSD benefits. The SSA will then make its argument about whether your claim should be denied or not. The ALJ will then decide what should happen with your case.

Appealing to the Appeals Board

This means having an internal SSA review of the decisions made regarding your case to establish if something went wrong along the way and if you were treated unfairly.

Appealing to the Federal Courts

This means appealing the case to a legal authority outside the SSA’s administrative system. While the court will be mostly differential to the decisions previously made on your case, it can still reverse some of them if there are clear problems with how the previous systems handled your case.

What Are the Types of Disabilities Covered?

You might be eligible for SSD benefits if you have an injury or health condition that will keep you from working for at least a year or is expected to eventually lead to your death. Many conditions won’t qualify, albeit serious, if they are manageable and don’t affect your ability to hold a job.

Here are some of the most common conditions among individuals who are already receiving disability benefits:

  • Musculoskeletal Injuries: These include amputations, spinal disorders, bone fractures, and soft tissue injuries, all of which can be regarded as debilitating if you meet SSA’s criteria.
  • Cardiovascular Disease: These include congenital heart disease, recurrent arrhythmias, chronic heart failure, and arterial disease. Cardiovascular diseases may be approved if you can demonstrate the condition is severe enough.
  • Mental Health: Treatment-resistant anxiety and depression or the inability to sustain concentration could be considered disabling.
  • Respiratory Disorders and Diseases: These include cystic fibrosis, asthma, and other chronic respiratory disorders. These can be approved in case your ability to breathe is considerably affected.
  • Cancer: Based on the nature and extent of the cancer along with the effects of treatment or prognosis, you may be eligible for disability benefits if you are diagnosed with any form of cancer.

It’s worth noting that the SSA has a list of impairments that they consider so severe that they automatically qualify a person for disability benefits, so long as other requirements are met. These conditions are listed in the “Blue Book”, which also describes the medical evidence required to prove impairment.

How is the Amount of Disability Benefits Determined?

Your SSD amount will be determined by your average earnings before you become disabled. Since it’s a form of insurance, payments will be higher for people who paid more taxes on their wages before they got disabled. Your household income and the severity of your disability won’t affect how much you receive.

On average, it takes about 3 to 4 months to get an initial determination and another 3 to 4 months for reconsideration in case the first claim is denied. In some cases, it could take as long as two years for the benefits to be awarded. However, the SSA has expedited programs for those with serious and terminal conditions.

Can I Work While Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits?

It’s normal to wonder where you can continue working while receiving SSD benefits at the same time. Well, the answer is yes. Still, some certain rules and limitations apply, including a nine-month Trial Work Period, which is meant to test your ability to work.

How Can a Social Security Disability Lawyer Help?

Working with an experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer can help to significantly boost your chances of getting a favorable outcome with your SSD benefits claims process. Your lawyer will be able to:

  • Provide strategic and knowledgeable support throughout the appeals process.
  • Collect compelling evidence and prepare a compelling case
  • Evaluate the details of your case to build a comprehensive legal strategy tailored to your unique circumstances.
  • Advocate for your rights during hearings and appeals, striving for a positive outcome.
  • Guide you through the appeals process, from reconsideration to administrative hearings and beyond.

Our goal will be to help streamline the claims and appeals process and maximize your chances of success. At JJWLS, our focus will be to ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve based on the challenges you face.

We understand the importance of clear communication and collaboration with our clients. They strive to maintain open lines of communication, keeping clients informed about the progress of their case, explaining legal options and decisions, and addressing any concerns or questions they may have.

Talk to an Aiken Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you have any form of disability, you have a lot to be worried about at the moment. Why not ease the burden of going through the SSD application process alone by working with an experienced attorney?

The Social Security Disability attorneys at JJWLS have helped countless people like you obtain their SSD benefits. Contact us today at (803) 649-5338 to receive a free and immediate case review.