If you are unable to work due to a disabling injury or medical condition, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers disability benefits that you may be eligible to receive. However, the application process requires large amounts of paperwork and the rules and regulations can be confusing. For this reason, applying for and obtaining these benefits can be extremely difficult without the help of a disability lawyer.
The Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour is committed to helping our clients through every step of the lengthy process. Our Redlands disability lawyers are experienced in this complex area of the law and understand the hardships our clients are faced with every day. We’re invested in our clients’ well-being and work hard to help them receive the benefits they need.
If you have questions about how you can receive disability benefits, our team is here to help.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits
According to the SSA, nearly 1 million California residents are receiving disability benefits. These beneficiaries had to go through a rigorous screening process in order to be approved for their benefits.
Once you have submitted your claim for disability benefits, your application will be reviewed by an SSA claims examiner. This examiner will be looking to see if you fit the SSA’s strict definition of disability:
- Your condition is predicted to continue for at least one year or result in fatality.
- Your condition prohibits you from doing the same work you were able to do in the past.
- Your condition prohibits you from adjusting to any other kind of work for which you’re qualified.
If you don’t meet these requirements, the SSA will likely not consider you to be disabled and your claim will be denied.
SSDI vs. SSI: Understanding the Difference
The regulations previously mentioned are used to determine eligibility for both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) by the SSA. However, these are separate programs, each with additional eligibility requirements.
In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, you have to have previously worked in jobs that pay into Social Security. By doing so, you earn what’s called “work credits.” The amount of income needed to earn a credit varies from year to year and you can only acquire up to four credits in one year.
To receive SSDI, 20 of your credits need to have been earned in the last 10 years. However, younger workers who have become disabled may qualify with fewer credits.
You can read more about SSDI and work credits on the SSA’s website.
SSI, in contrast, is a needs-based program designed to help aged, blind, or disabled individuals who have little work history and resources. Those who are seeking SSI benefits must:
- Have limited earnings and resources
- Be disabled or blind
- Be 65 or older
- Be a citizen of the United States and live within the 50 states, or qualify to be one of the few exceptions.
Appealing a Denied Claim
There are many complicated factors that go into a disability application. Therefore, putting together a successful claim can be difficult. The SSA receives an overwhelming volume of applications every year, many of which are misleading or inappropriate.
For this reason, the SSA tends to scrutinize every claim and will be quick to deny any application they believe to be fraudulent. As a result, many people are denied disability benefits simply because they filled out a form incorrectly or didn’t provide enough medical evidence. An experienced Social Security lawyer can help you avoid these mistakes during the application process.
If you received a letter of rejection from the SSA regarding your claim, don’t panic! You have the option to appeal your denial and still receive benefits. In fact, many denied applicants are able to receive benefits through the appeals process.
Our attorneys at The Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour have successfully helped many disabled individuals obtain benefits during their appeals. If your application was denied, please call our Redlands disability lawyers today to determine if you’re entitled to benefits.
How Can a Disability Attorney Help?
Representatives at the SSA sometimes wrongfully deny disability applications, especially if they are perceived to be incomplete, inaccurate, or improperly filled out. Putting together an approval-worthy application can be difficult due to the overwhelming amount of paperwork and required documents.
Having our experienced attorneys help you with your claim can greatly increase your chances of receiving the benefits you need. We can make sure you have all the necessary forms and documents properly completed. Not only will our attorneys take the stress of filling out paperwork off your hands, but we will also coordinate with the SSA representative on your behalf. This way you can focus on your health.
Call Us. It’s Just That Easy.
We understand this process can be lengthy and frustrating. If you have any questions about your application or the application of a loved one, please don’t hesitate to call our Redlands disability lawyers.
We are experienced disability lawyers dedicated to taking care of our clients. Our team will do everything we can to make sure your application stands the best chance of receiving a stamp of approval from the SSA.
Call The Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour today at (800) 803-5090 or fill out our free online case evaluation form. It’s just that easy! As soon as you call us, we will begin examining the validity of your claim and inform you how to best proceed. If your disability prevents you from leaving your home, we’ll even meet with you over the phone!