SSD Lawyer in Spanish Fort
You’ve worked hard your entire adult life, and you shouldn’t be left with nothing to show for it if you become disabled and cannot work. That’s why the Social Security Disability program exists. It allows you to pay into your benefits throughout your career, and when you need to withdraw those benefits, you can do so if you meet certain specifications.
If you’re interested in applying for Social Security Disability benefits and you’re not sure where to get started, we can help. Call Walton Law at 251-455-5819 to set up a consultation now.
Qualifying Work History
To qualify for SSD benefits, you must have enough work history. On top of that, at least some of your work history must have been in the last ten years. Requirements vary, depending on your age. Most applicants need at least 20 credits within the 10 years prior to their disability.
They need a total of 40 credits. However, those who become disabled before the age of 24 need six credits in the three years prior to their disability. Those whose disabilities occur between the ages of 24 and 30 need enough credits to cover half of the time between the ages of 21 and the age at which disability occurred.
So, how do you earn credits? Credits are earned by earning money. The amount you need to earn for a credit varies from year to year. In 2020, the amount of money needed to earn a credit was $1,410. Each year, you can earn up to four credits. So, assuming you earn at least the list amount times four every year, you earn 40 credits in 10 years.
Work requirements are half of the SSDI puzzle. The other half is your qualifying impairment. Many people are surprised to find out just how extensive the disability requirements are for SSDI. That’s why it’s important to gather plenty of evidence of your disability and work with a disability attorney in Spanish Fort, AL.
One way you can qualify for SSDI is to have a qualifying impairment with the listed requirements in the Social Security Listing of Impairments. This in-depth document is more commonly referred to as the Social Security “Blue Book.” It has 14 different sections to cover different types of disabilities, including hematological disorders, cardiovascular disorders, mental health disorders, and neurological disorders. Each diagnosis listed in the Blue Book has a set of criteria that must be met for you to qualify automatically for benefits.
Consider, for example, lupus. This is listed under immune disorders. To qualify for SSDI with lupus without going through additional screening or testing, you must have:
- One body system impacted at a moderate level of severity or worse, and two of the following symptoms: severe fatigue, fever, malaise, and involuntary weight loss, or
- Repeated manifestations of lupus with two of the symptoms listed above and either limited activities of daily living, limited social functioning, and limited ability to complete tasks in a timely manner
Each diagnosis has extensive requirements like these.
The other way to qualify for SSDI is to prove that your disability is serious enough to keep you from working. The criteria listed in the Blue Book are extensive enough to rule out many applicants, so many have to go an extra step or two to prove their disability. This typically involves providing medical reports, getting written opinions from your doctor about your ability to work, and undergoing tests that look at your ability to complete specific job functions.
You may go this route either for a disorder listed in the Blue Book (if you do not meet the criteria listed) or for a disorder that is not listed in the Blue Book.
How to Apply for SSD in Spanish Fort, AL
The application process begins when you submit the necessary forms and documentation of your injuries. You can apply online, over the phone, or in person. Many people make a critical mistake at this step by not providing enough evidence of their disability.
Few people are approved on their first application, and most of the time, it’s because they simply did not make a strong enough case. Taking a little bit of extra time to ensure that your application thoroughly proves your disability is worth it.
From there, your application will either get approved or denied. If it is denied, you have a short time in which you can ask for reconsideration. There are several steps in the appeal process, each of which requires more work and evidence than the last. This give you several chances to fix mistakes on your application and make it strong enough to be accepted.
What to Do After a Denial
Social Security Disability denials are extremely common, so do not panic if your application has been denied. Instead, contact Walton Law to set up a meeting. The vast majority of applications are initially denied, and a surprising amount of people simply give up instead of trying to fix what’s wrong with their applications.
A denial is not necessarily saying that your disability is not bad enough to keep you from working. It simply says that your application was not solid enough to prove that your disability keeps you from working.
There are many ways to fix weak applications and get them in order for reconsideration. The sooner you contact an attorney after your SSDI denial in Spanish Fort, the sooner they can begin going through your application and seeing what can be fixed for your appeal.
Time is of the essence after an SSDI denial. You typically have a very limited timeframe where you can request an appeal, and if you miss the deadline, you have to start all over. Get in touch with us to avoid this delay.
Turn to Walton Law
At Walton Law, we focus only on disability cases because we know how important your benefits are to you. We strive to help every single worthy applicant get the Social Security benefits they deserve. To talk about your application or appeal in greater detail, call us at 251-455-5819 or get in touch with us online to set up a consultation.