Fort Walton Beach SSD Lawyer
When a disability leaves you unable to work, what is your next step? Whether your disability happened abruptly or you experienced a gradual onset over a period of years, you likely didn’t see this day coming quite so soon. Being forced out of a career you’ve worked so hard to build is painful enough. No longer being able to provide for your family is even worse.
However, with enough work history and the right medical documentation, you may be able to pursue SSDI benefits. You’ve spent your career paying into the Social Security system, and now it’s time to tap into those benefits. We’re here to help. Call Quin Baker, SSD Lawyer at 850-433-0888 to learn more about SSD benefits in Fort Walton Beach.
An Overview of the SSD Program and How It Can Help You
The Social Security Administration oversees multiple benefit programs, and it’s important to make sure that you are applying for the right one. In some cases, you may qualify for both.
The Social Security Disability Insurance program provides benefits to those who have worked for a substantial amount of their adult life while paying into Social Security. When you have enough work history, you become “insured.” This means that should you become disabled, you will be able to receive SSDI benefits.
The amount you receive for SSDI depends on your lifetime average earnings. You can also look at your mySSA account to find out if you are insured and what your average earnings are. There is also a maximum monthly payment that is adjusted each year to align with the cost of living. In 2023, the maximum monthly is $3,627 per month.
Why You Need an Attorney
This program exists for the benefit of disabled workers like you, so you may assume that the application process is straightforward and quick—also for your benefit. Unfortunately, that is not the case. If you talk to anyone who has gone through the process of being approved for SSI or SSDI benefits, they’ll have plenty to tell you.
This process is known for being time-consuming, overwhelming, and confusing. Even with all of the information provided by the SSA, most applicants are left with more questions than they started with.
The SSA has extremely high standards for SSDI applicants. If you want to receive benefits, you’ll need to provide far more documentation than you think you need. As a new applicant, it’s hard to know what information is important, what’s irrelevant, and what’s redundant.
Trying to get approved may feel like trying to read the minds of those who oversee the Disability Determination Service. An attorney helps you get more insight into the process and know what to expect every step along the way.
When you work with a dedicated Fort Walton Beach SSD attorney, you can learn more about what the SSA looks for in SSDI applications, what errors will cause your application to be denied, and how you can put your best foot forward from the very beginning. Without an attorney, the SSDI application process is full of trial and error. Meanwhile, you’re trying to make it month to month while waiting to find out if you’ll ever receive benefits.
At Quin Baker, SSD Lawyer, we focus exclusively on disability benefits cases. Our extensive experience in this area of law allows us to advocate for applicants like you.
Qualifying for SSD Benefits
To receive SSD benefits, you’ll need to meet two qualifications. First, you must have a long enough work history. Second, you must be able to prove that your disability keeps you from working or engaging in substantial gainful activity.
Your work history is a crucial component of your application, as well as one of the main things that separate SSDI and SSI. The majority of SSDI applicants must have at least 40 work credits, 20 of which must have been earned in the 10 years immediately prior to their disability. However, the requirements are lower for those who become disabled at a young age.
What’s a work credit? Each year since 1971, the SSA has set a dollar amount to equal one work credit. Each year, you have the chance to earn a maximum of four work credits. For example, in 2023, one work credit is equal to $1,640. Once you’ve earned $6,560 in 2023, you have earned the most work credits you can for that year.
The other way you must qualify for SSD benefits is via your disability. The SSA is extremely demanding in this area, looking for undeniable proof that you are no longer able to work.
If you have one of the disabilities listed in the , you can see if you meet the requirements listed under your diagnosis. If you don’t meet the requirements under your listing or your diagnosis isn’t listed, you can undergo a residual functioning capacity (RFC) assessment to demonstrate how your disability limits you.
Navigating the Application Process
The application process begins online or over the phone, although most applicants do choose to begin online. You will submit the medical documentation of your disability and hand over your application to the SSA.
The majority of applicants are denied the first time they apply. At this point, they can begin the appeal process by submitting a request for reconsideration. It’s important to include additional documentation and proof of a disability with this form, as simply submitting the same documentation that the SSA already has will likely lead to another denial.
If this step fails, there are several additional levels of appeals you can explore. Should your application be denied, your attorney will help you figure out your next steps.
Contact Quin Baker, SSD Lawyer Today to Get Started
You don’t have to navigate this process alone. If a disability has turned your life upside down and disability benefits would make your life easier, set up a consultation with Quin Baker, SSD Lawyer and get the process started. Call us at 850-433-0888 or fill out our to get started.