SSD Lawyer in Daphne, AL
Becoming disabled or having a pre-existing disability impact your ability to work is frightening, and it often leaves you without the money you need to make ends meet. Unfortunately, the process of applying for Social Security benefits does not always inspire hope. Daphne applicants move through a mountain of paperwork, provide as much evidence as they can, and are disheartened to receive a denial letter.
Whether you are applying for SSD benefits for the first time or applying after a denial, you shouldn’t have to go through this process alone. We know how important SSD benefits are to families who depend on them, and that’s why we work so hard to help applicants submit the strongest file possible. To discuss your case with a Daphne disability lawyer, reach out to Walton Law at 251-455-5819.
Figuring Out If You Qualify for SSD
For many people, figuring out if they even qualify for SSD benefits is overwhelming. The SSA definition uses unusual terms and can be difficult to figure out. We’ll break it down here.
To qualify for SSD benefits, you must have 40 Social Security credits. You earn one credit when you earn $1,410, up to four times per year. This means that no matter how much you earn in a year you can only earn four credits. The amount of money you need to earn for a “credit” changes annually, so make sure you check the most recent numbers.
This means that you need at least 10 years of work or credits to qualify for SSD. However, it isn’t enough to earn your 40 credits in your 20s or 30s and then use those credits in your 50s or 60s to get SSD benefits. At least 20 of your 40 credits must be from the 10 years prior to your application. This amount changes, depending on your age. For example, those who are younger than 24 only need six credits from the three years before they became disabled.
If you have the proper amount of credits, you can move on to figuring out if you have a qualifying condition.
The Social Security Blue Book has a list of qualifying impairments. These impairments are categorized into 14 separate categories, and each impairment has a list of diagnostic criteria you must meet to be automatically approved for SSD benefits.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t receive benefits if your diagnosis isn’t listed or if you do not meet the listed criteria. It simply means that you may need to do a bit more work to demonstrate the extent of your ability. By working with a Daphne doctor with extensive experience in SSD claims, you can figure out which type of evidence is necessary for a strong file. It is also helpful to hire a Daphne SSD attorney to find weaknesses in your application and strengthen your application file.
The SSD Application Process
When you begin the SSD application process, you may submit your application and all supporting documentation. This may include written opinions from your medical care providers, X-rays, diagnostic tests, symptoms, and other information backing up your disability and how it impacts your ability to work.
After your application is received, the SSA makes sure that your application checks all of the boxes in terms of completion. They look into the amount of work credits you have earned and the type of work activities you must be able to do in order to work. From there, they send your file to Disability Determination Services. By assessing the information provided by the SSA and your own documentation, Disability Determination Services will decide whether or not you receive benefits. At that point, you receive an approval or denial in the mail.
What Comes Next If Your Claim is Denied
A shocking number of applicants give up as soon as their application is denied. They wrongfully believe that a denial means that their application has been thoroughly vetted and found to be insufficient for disability benefits. A denial does not mean that you are not entitled to benefits! It often means that you just didn’t provide enough evidence that supports your claim. You may only need to appeal the decision and provide additional medical evidence.
How We Can Help
The team at Walton Law knows how hard it can be for disabled individuals to keep going when their SSD applications are denied. We also know how common denials are, even if applicants are rightfully entitled to benefits. We strive to help every client submit the strongest application they can, which may help them avoid denials that often lead to delays.
When clients come to us after their application has been denied, we move swiftly to help them get the income they need to meet their daily needs. Our team looks over the initial application file to identify weak points and flaws in the application. We help you get more evidence and, if necessary, seek additional care to make your file more convincing when it goes through the appeals process.
Hiring an attorney to help during the disability claims process can save a lot of time and help you streamline the process of getting your benefits. We have handled many initial applications and appeals, so we know what the SSA looks for when it is evaluating each application. When you choose Walton Law, you’ll have the entire team with you every step of the way.
Turn to Walton Law Today
If you are disabled and you need additional financial support to meet your obligations, you may be entitled to SSD benefits. The road to getting those benefits can be bumpy, but it is much easier with an experienced Daphne disability attorney. That’s where we come in. To discuss your disability claim and what comes next, reach out to us today to schedule a consultation. Call Walton Law at 251-455-5819 or contact us online to get started. We look forward to helping you get the benefits you deserve.