Pace SSD Lawyers
When a disability takes away your ability to work and meet your family’s needs, what’s your next step? With the SSDI program managed by the Social Security Administration, qualified applicants can receive monthly benefits. However, the application process is known for being difficult and tedious. It’s also known for its high rejection rate. Having a Pace, FL SSD attorney working with you throughout the application process can cut out a lot of the stress and anxiety that come with this process.
Get the assistance you deserve as you fight for the benefits you need. Call Quin Baker, SSD Lawyer at 850-493-7431 to set up a consultation now.
What is the SSDI Program?
The Social Security Disability Insurance program, often shortened to SSD or SSDI, supports qualified applicants and their family members. The SSDI program is intended for those who have a relatively long and productive work history, not those who have never been able to work due to disability. Additionally, this program is not need-based—even if you have substantial assets, you can still receive benefits if you meet the work and disability qualifications.
The amount that applicants receive depends on their lifetime average earnings, so monthly benefits do vary quite a bit. The SSA sets a maximum monthly amount that increases each year. In 2023, the maximum monthly payment is $3,627 per month.
One thing that sets SSDI apart from SSI is the work history requirement. Those with or without a work history can receive SSI benefits, but you can only receive SSDI payments if you have enough work credits.
Each year, you have the opportunity to earn four work credits. You earn one credit by earning a set amount of money. In 2023, that amount is $1,640. Upon earning $6,560, you have earned your four credits for 2023. No matter how much you earn in a year, you cannot get more than four credits. Most SSDI applicants must have 40 work credits, 20 of which are from the 10 years prior to their disability. The younger an applicant is, the fewer work credits they need to qualify for benefits.
The other aspect of qualifying for SSDI benefits is your disability. There are several questions the SSA asks to determine if your disability qualifies:
- Are you working? If you earn more than a set amount of money per month or year, the SSA will say that you are able to work and unable to receive SSDI benefits.
- Is your disability considered severe? A condition must be expected to last at least 12 months or result in your death for it to qualify for SSDI benefits. Additionally, it has to interfere with your ability to do work tasks.
- Is your disability listed in the Listing of Impairments? The Listing of Impairments – often referred to as the Blue Book, is an in-depth list of disabling conditions and the requirements you must meet to receive benefits for them. Note that your condition does not have to be listed, nor do you have to meet the requirements listed—however, it definitely does make the application process much easier on you.
- Are you able to do the type of work you did before? The SSA will look at the evidence you have presented and determine if you are able to work in the same field you worked in prior to your disability.
- Are there other types of work you are able to do? If you are unable to work in your previous field of employment, the SSA will investigate if there are other work opportunities available to you. If not, they may approve your application and begin paying your monthly benefits.
The Application Process
When you apply for SSDI benefits, you’ll need to supply the SSA with substantial documentation of your disability, fill out numerous forms, and send it all in together. The SSA takes a brief look at the application to determine whether or not you meet the basic requirements for benefits. From there, your case is forwarded to the Disability Determination Services office local to you, and they make the final decision regarding your application.
The majority of applications are denied in the first round. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your disability does not qualify—it often means that you did not supply enough evidence or that your evidence isn’t compelling enough. Many applicants give up at this step, but it’s important to continue on through the appeals process if you truly believe you qualify for SSDI benefits. There are several levels to the appeals process, so you have multiple chances to prove your case.
How an Attorney Can Help
A Pace, FL SSDI attorney can significantly cut down the time and effort you spend on your disability application. Many applicants underestimate just how much documentation the SSA wants, and as a result, they send in weak applications that are swiftly denied. The appeals process, while more likely to result in approval, required additional time and work.
You could do this on your own, using trial and error to figure out what the SSA will accept as evidence and what does or does not result in approval. On the other hand, you could just hire an SSDI attorney who knows exactly what the SSA is looking for, how to apply that knowledge to your application, and what it will take for your application to be seriously considered.
Even if you have already been denied benefits, you can still benefit from the assistance of an attorney. Your lawyer can help you make the most of your appeal by pointing out errors in your initial application and helping you fix them. This ensures that you make a much stronger case the second time around.
Choose Quin Baker, SSD Lawyer for Your SSDI Case
Quin Baker, SSD Lawyer is passionate about helping people like you secure the benefits they are entitled to. Whether you’re ready to start our application or it’s time to appeal a denial, let’s talk about your next steps. Call us at 850-493-7431 or get in touch online.