Gulf Breeze SSD Lawyer
When you’re left disabled, the sudden loss of income can be a disaster for your family. How are you going to pay your bills, put food on the table, and take care of your family? The hard work you’ve done in your career could be the answer. By earning work credits through the Social Security Administration throughout your career, you may have secured the work history you need to qualify for SSDI benefits.
Ready to apply for SSD benefits in Gulf Breeze, FL? It’s a great time to talk to Quin Baker, Social Security Disability Lawyer. Call our firm at 850-433-0888 to schedule a consultation now.
Two Types of Qualifications
To start, know that there are two sets of qualifications you must meet if you want to receive disability benefits through the SSA. First, you must have enough work credits to be approved. Second, you must have a qualifying disability that allows you to receive monthly payments. We’ll break down both of those requirements now.
Work Credit Requirements
To receive benefits, you must be considered “insured” by the Social Security Administration. This means that you have worked long enough to pay into the Social Security program—and at least some of that work experience must be fairly recent.
The majority of applicants must have at least 40 work credits to qualify. Generally, at least 20 of those credits must be from the ten years prior to your disability. The younger you are, the fewer credits you need to receive SSDI benefits.
You can earn up to four credits in one calendar year. Each year, the SSA sets a dollar amount that each credit is worth. Once you earn that amount times four, you have maxed out your credits for the year. In 2023, the amount you must earn for one credit is $1,640.
If you aren’t sure about your work history or how many credits you have, you can sign up for a “my Social Security” account that tracks how much you have paid in and how many work credits you have.
Proving Your Disability
The other side of this coin is your qualifying disability. A qualifying disability is one that:
- Keeps you from engaging in substantial gainful activity.
- Prevents you from working in your previous field or adjusting to work in another field.
- Is expected to last at least one year or result in your death.
Not only must you have a qualifying disability, you must have the medical documentation to back it up. Qualifying documentation varies from diagnosis to diagnosis, and one resource you may want to check out is the SSA Listing of Impairments.
More commonly known as the Blue Book, this is a categorized list of diagnoses that qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Under each heading, you’ll find the requirements you must meet to qualify for benefits right away.
The listings are very specific in terms of what symptoms you must have and what types of testing you must have. For example, listing 8.03 deals with bullous skin diseases.
To qualify under this heading, an applicant must have been diagnosed with any bullous skin disease and have extensive skin lesions that have lasted for at least three months, even with prescribed treatment. This makes it fairly easy to get the right documentation. If you find your disability listed, you can look at the qualifications and check them off as you get the proper documentation.
Note that the Blue Book is not an exhaustive list of qualifying diagnoses. Even if your diagnosis is not listed or you do not meet the requirements listed, you may still qualify for benefits. You’ll simply need to prove that your disability is serious enough to prevent you from working.
What Type of Documentation Do You Have to Provide?
When it comes to applying for disability benefits, providing as much documentation and proof as possible is the way to go. Remember, the SSA does not have as much information about your life as you do. You may look at your diagnosis and your daily life, see how much your diagnosis has impacted you, and think that it’s obvious you should receive benefits. You must be able to show that to the SSA.
This is one reason it’s helpful to work with an attorney throughout your application. What you think is enough documentation may not be what the SSA thinks is enough. Some of the documentation you may need includes:
- Official records of your diagnosis.
- Records of trips to the emergency room and urgent care.
- Proof of all of the treatments you have tried and documentation of how those treatments have affected your disability.
- Every type of testing you have gone through for your diagnosis.
- Your medical history prior to your disability; this may highlight the difference in your abilities pre- and post-diagnosis.
- Statements from your treating physicians.
How an Attorney Can Help
This process can be grueling and time-consuming, especially if you haven’t worked with the SSA before. They have demanding documentation standards, which is why it’s so common to be denied the first time you apply. In fact, the majority of applicants are denied before they are accepted. This often just means that you need to strengthen your application and provide more documentation.
When you work with a disability attorney like Quin Baker, you can take a lot of the guesswork out of this process. We’ve gone through this process many, many times with applicants from all sorts of medical backgrounds.
Our team has an extensive understanding of what the SSA is looking for and how we can meet their expectations. Whether you are submitting your first application or appealing a denial, you can trust us to go the extra mile to submit the best application possible.
Contact Quin Baker, Social Security Disability Lawyer Now
When you’re ready to begin your application or start the appeal process, we’re here to help you get started. Set up a consultation with our team now by calling us at 850-433-0888 or filling out our online contact form.