Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability
Serious injury can dig a hole that feels nearly impossible to climb out of. Not only can you find yourself with staggering medical bills, but also in many cases you’re unable to continue working. With no way to earn an income and more bills than you can keep up with, it could make you feel hopeless. We are here to take that stress off of your shoulders and help you get the Social Security Disability check that you need to live a normal life again.
We’ve made a name for ourselves battling the IRS and Creditors to provide our bankruptcy and tax clients with a fresh financial start, but not all of our clients are done once their debt is gone. Some of our clients still are unable to work and left with no way to support themselves and their families, it is these clients that we have helped obtain social security disability benefits. Not everyone qualifies for social security disability (also known as SSD or SSDI) and unfortunately the application and approval process is difficult, therefore not all who meet the qualifications for SSDI receives the benefits that they need and deserve. Pew Law Center is here to help you get the benefits you deserve.
Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefits?
When dealing with issues like illness and injury which can be both mental or physical, it’s hard to have a black and white, clear definition of what does or doesn’t qualify a person for SSDI benefits. Generally you’re probably a good candidate for social security benefits if meet the following criteria.
- Your doctor has told you that you are unable to continue working because of your condition.
- You have been working and have been paying FICA (social security) taxes
The SSA (Social Security Administration) lists the following as qualifications.
- Applicant has a physical or mental condition that prevents them from engaging in any “substantial
- Applicants condition is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death
- Applicant is under the age of 65
- Generally applicant must have accumulated 20 social security credits in the last 10 years prior to the on gainful activity” set of disability. (Four credits are normally added per full or partial year).
If We Don’t Win, You Don’t Pay
The last thing we want to do is add an additional burden to your life. We understand that often our clients are coming to us because they already have bills they can’t pay and no way to generate an income. Because of that our bankruptcy lawyers Mesa keep it simple, if you don’t get benefits, we don’t get a paycheck. As you can imagine that means that as your social security disability attorneys we are going to do our very best to earn your SSDI benefits. When we win your case you don’t have to worry about jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, we discuss any fees that may be involved before you sign anything and our fees for a successful case are regulated by the SSA.
When is a Person Considered Disabled?
When you are seeking Social Security Disability benefits in Arizona, it is important to understand what actually constitutes a disability. To be able to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you must have a medical or psychological impairment that keeps you from being engaged in substantial gainful activity. In addition, your impairment must have prevented you from keeping a job for at least 12 months or be expected to prevent you from getting or keeping a job (which might be considered substantial gainful activity) for at least 12 months.
So, what is substantial gainful activity? In 2017, you won’t qualify if you make more than $1,170 per month. But, if you own a business or are a contract worker, Social Security has certain guidelines to determine substantial gainful activity. That said, disabled individuals might be working part-time when they apply for SSD as long as they earn below the amount set by the government.
You also need to provide medical evidence of physical or psychological impairment that is preventing you from working. This means your file should include documentation of your functional limitations such as doctors’ notes, lab test results or other information from within the last 60 to 90 days. If your medical records don’t show evidence of your impairment, then your application could be denied.
What Medical Conditions Qualify for SSD?
The Social Security Administration lists qualifying medical impairments in a manual called the “blue book.” This list includes both physical and mental impairments. If you have an impairment that’s on the list, there is a high likelihood that you will qualify for benefits as long as you provide medical evidence of the impairment.
Some of the medical impairments listed in this book include back injuries, heart issues including coronary artery disease, respiratory illnesses such as asthma, psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or autism, immune system disorders such as HIV and lupus and neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s, to mention a few. The list also includes syndromes, skin disorders, liver and kidney disease, cancer and blood disorders.
It is important to note that not every condition is listed in the blue book. For example, diseases such as diabetes or carpal tunnel syndrome, which can absolutely incapacitate or disable an individual, are not listed. This does not mean that you cannot get Social Security Disability benefits for these conditions.
So how do you show eligibility for benefits in these circumstances? If your condition does not meet the requirements of a listing, you can still get a medical-vocational allowance. In such cases, a medical consultant will perform an independent assessment to determine the claimant’s specific symptoms and whether they meet the general impairment requirements for receiving disability benefits. The medical consultant will also establish what is known as a “residual functional capacity” (RFC) rating, which will tell the Social Security Administration what type of work you are able to do, given your medical limitations. In addition the SSA will take into account your age, work experience, education, job skills and other details.