According to studies performed by the Social Security Administration, one out of four workers will become disabled at some point during his or her lifetime, and yet few people make arrangements and plan for disability.
Our disability lawyers in Pensacola, Florida will explain what you should know.
Types of Social Security Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) exists to provide financial benefits to people who are unable to work and earn wages due to disability.
The SSA controls two types of benefits:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI); and
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
An experienced Pensacola disability lawyer can help you determine if you qualify for these benefits and explore other options if you do not.
According to a study conducted by the SSA, as many as 25% of workers in the United States will become disabled during their lifetime. But obtaining Social Security benefits can be tricky. So if you or a loved one becomes disabled, it is in your best interest to seek guidance from an SSI attorney.
Definition of Social Security Disability
The Social Security Act defines a person as “disabled” if they have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that renders them unable to partake in substantial gainful employment activity. To qualify, the impairment must be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months or result in death.
Social Security benefits do not cover partial or temporary disability. If you are temporarily or partially disabled due to injury or illness sustained in the course of employment, our Pensacola disability lawyers can also provide guidance for your workers’ compensation claim.
Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI is available to United States citizens who have been employed and had social security taxes taken out of their wages to pay into SSDI. If you have been employed within the last five years, have enough work credits, and are under the age of 62, you may be eligible for SSDI.
Supplemental Security Income
SSI is available to all U.S. citizens or nationals, regardless of work history. Applicants must have limited income, have limited resources, and be disabled. Applicants for SSI benefits have often been unable to work for a significant amount of time because of their condition.
How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits
The earlier you can apply for your Social Security benefits, the better. The process can be lengthy even under the best of circumstances. You can apply online, or by phone at 800-772-1213.
Prior to filing the application, you should gather the names, addresses, and phone numbers of medical facilities where you have been treated for your disability. You will also need a list of all of your employers over the last 15 years and the names and ages of your children, if applicable.
On average, only about a third of Social Security Disability applications are approved annually. It is important to ensure your application is complete, accurate, and conveys the seriousness of your impairment. If your claim is denied, you may take advantage of the reconsideration process.
If the claim is denied a second time, you may file an appeal and attend a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to discuss your claim. It is a good idea to have a Pensacola disability lawyer present throughout the process.
Contact an Experienced Disability Lawyer in Pensacola, Florida
We at Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon understand that seeking disability can be very stressful on you and your family.
Our Pensacola social security disability attorneys can walk you through each step of the rigorous process of obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits. If desired benefits should be denied, we have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the appeals process.
For more than thirty years, our Social Security Disability lawyer, Wanda Radcliffe, has successfully handled thousands of complicated cases.