SSD Attorney in Gulf Shores
Hard work is its own reward, but it also entitles you to a variety of other benefits. In this case, working hard throughout your adult life allows you to claim SSD benefits when you are injured and unable to work.
However, the process of applying for Social Security disability benefits in Gulf Shores can be overwhelming and confusing. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the process and consult with a Gulf Shores disability attorney who can help you navigate the process. To set up a time to talk about your legal needs, call Walton Disability at 251-455-5819.
Who is Insured Under SSDI?
As you start to learn more about SSDI in Gulf Shores, you will likely hear the term “insured.” In order to receive SSDI benefits, you must be insured. This means that you must have worked enough and at least part of your work history must be recent enough to qualify for benefits.
The amount of credits you need depends on your age. If you are younger than 24, you must have at least 6 credits from the three years prior to your disability. If you are between 24 and 31, you must have worked at least half the time between age 21 and the time you became disabled. If you are 31 or older, you need at least 20 credits in the 10 years prior to your disability. You need 40 credits in total.
Each credit you earn represents money earned during the year you earned it. In each year, you can only earn up to four credits. The amount of money you must earn for a credit changes each year; in 2020, you get one credit for every $1,410 you earn, up to a maximum of four credits.
If you do not have the required amount of credits for your age, you will be unable to receive SSD benefits in Gulf Shores.
Understanding Disability Requirements
Not only must you meet the credit requirement for disability benefits, you must successfully prove that your disability is severe enough to prevent you from working.
Many people start learning more about qualifying disabilities through the Social Security Listing of Impairments, more commonly referred to as the “blue book.” This resource includes qualifying disabilities for both adults and children. The section for adults divides disabilities into 14 different groups, including immune system disorders, skin disorders, and digestive disorders.
Under each category, you will find different diagnoses that qualify for disability payments and the criteria you must meet to qualify under that diagnosis. For example, you may need to have certain stats as proved by medical testing, suffer certain symptoms a set amount of days per month, or have had a condition long enough to qualify.
Even if your condition is not listed in the blue book or you do not meet the specific requirements for your listed diagnosis, you may still qualify for disability payments. However, it is likely that you will have to put in extra work to prove the extent of your disability. This often means providing detailed medical records and getting supporting documentation from your medical care providers.
How Much You May Receive Each Month
The amount of money you receive for Social Security disability benefits depends largely on how much you have earned. SSDI benefits are determined by how much money you have paid Social Security taxes on.
How to Apply for SSD in Gulf Shores, AL
You can begin the application process online or over the phone. You should gather all necessary documentation ahead of time so you can move through the process quickly and easily. You may need to supply your birth certificate, W2 forms, tax returns, an Adult Disability Report, medical documents, and information on any other benefits you receive.
After you apply for SSD, you will receive a decision letter in the mail that tells you whether you have been approved for benefits or denied.
What to Do If Your Application is Denied
First off, do not panic. A surprising number of applicants are denied when they first apply, despite eventually qualifying for benefits. The Social Security Administration receives a massive amount of applications every year, and to expedite applications and avoid a backlog, they often deny applications that have minimal proof of disability or lack supporting information. A denial does not mean that you cannot be approved for disability benefits. It may just indicate that you did not successfully prove your disability.
Double check the deadline for an appeal. SSD denials typically have a short deadline if you want to appeal, and missing that deadline puts you right back at the beginning of the entire process. Even if the deadlines are too close for you to send in your appeal, do not worry. Your Gulf Shores disability attorney can help you request an extension and then prepare your appeal.
Now that you have the chance to appeal, it is important to make it as strong as possible. Your disability attorney can help you in this area. At Walton Disability, we help applicants identify weak spots in their original application, get the supporting medical documentation they need, and get letters from their physicians to further prove their disability. There are several steps you can take after your initial denial, so it is important to keep going and not give up.
Learn More About How Walton Disability Can Help
If you’ve become disabled and you are struggling to make ends meet, Social Security disability benefits could be the ideal solution for you. Unfortunately, they don’t make it easy to get access to the benefits you have earned over the course of your career. We can help. Whether you are just starting the application process, or you’ve received a denial letter and you’re not sure what comes next, let Walton Disability help. Our goal is to help every single client get the benefits they are entitled to. To set up a consultation and discuss your options, call us at 251-455-5819 or fill out our online contact form