Help with SSD Benefits in Mobile from a Knowledgeable and Experienced Social Security Disability Attorney
At Walton Law, we are dedicated to helping people throughout Mobile and Baldwin County who seek Social Security Benefits. If you became disabled, and are having trouble obtaining disability benefits from Social Security we can help. This process may seem frustrating and even impossible, but if you are represented by a qualified and experienced disability attorney, there is a good chance that your valid claim for benefits will ultimately be successful, and you can start receiving the benefits you so greatly need and justly deserve. Read on to learn more about Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, and how Walton Law can help.
What is SSD?
A portion of every dollar you earn is withheld from your paycheck and handed over to Social Security, and your employer contributes too. With all of this money paid into the system, which by its own definition is a type of insurance program, you would assume that if you ever become disabled and need to make a claim for benefits, then Social Security would be there for you. It may therefore surprise you to learn that the vast majority of applications for Social Security Disability benefits are initially denied! Only people who understand the system well enough to persist, or who hire an experienced disability attorney to represent them, are ultimately successful with their claim and eventually receive the benefits they deserve. Fortunately, when benefits are finally approved, they are payable all the way back to a period shortly after you became disabled, even if it took a long time to get your benefits approved.
How do I know if I qualify for SSD?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a five-step process to determine your eligibility for SSD. This process includes looking at your age, education, work history, skills, and physical and mental condition to determine whether you qualify.
In evaluating your work history and earnings history, SSA will look at the total amount you have worked over your lifetime, as well as whether you have worked in five of the last ten years. You must also have accumulated the required number of work credits to qualify. Basically, you need to earn $1,220 (the exact amount changes from year to year) in wages or self-employment income to earn one credit, so after you have earned $4,880, you have four credits, which is the maximum number of work credits you can acquire in one year. For most people, you need 40 credits to qualify for SSD, and 20 of those credits must have been earned in the ten years preceding your disability. It is possible to qualify with fewer credits, however, so make sure you talk to an experienced Social Security attorney for expert assistance in determining whether you are eligible for SSD.
In addition, the SSA will determine your eligibility based on your disability. The SSA uses a very strict definition of disability, so even if you feel you can no longer work, that does not mean you meet the Social Security definition of disability. The law defines disability as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.
In determining whether an individual is disabled, the Social Security Administration evaluates a number of factors – including your age, education, work history and medical history – to determine whether your condition or conditions preclude you from doing your past work or other work. The standard for establishing disability changes as a person gets older. In general, it is easier for an individual over 50 years of age to establish disability than a younger individual.
What if my application is denied?
Many people simply give up when their application is denied. Either they don’t know that they can appeal the denial or they assume that the process is too difficult and that they would not be successful going up against a giant government bureaucracy. The truth is that there are many steps you can take if your application is denied, including requesting reconsideration of your application, requesting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, appealing to the Appeals Council, and even going to federal court. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a denial of your application means you don’t actually qualify for benefits. Most applications are initially turned down, but many people who persist through the system with the assistance of a qualified and experienced attorney are eventually successful in obtaining benefits.
Help is Available. Call Today.
If you are in Mobile or Baldwin County and your application for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits has been denied, call attorney Randy Walton at Walton Law, LLC in Fairhope for a no-cost evaluation of your case. There is no fee unless and until we recover for you.