Encountering a situation when you need to apply for disability coverage can be extremely stressful and also difficult to achieve without the assistance of a professional. While you are dealing with an injury or illness that has caused disability, the last thing you are going to have time to do is learn the applicable law and procedures in your situation and then negotiate the best possible benefits for your disability.
An attorney on your side throughout the process of applying for your Social Security disability benefits will strongly support the success of your claim. Reach out to a local Garden Grove Social Security disability lawyer to learn about specific options for your unique facts and circumstances and to begin the claim process with the support you need.
Social Security Disability (SSDI) Claims
When you are disabled, unable to work, and experiencing financial need, there are options available through which you can line up the support you need to cover your basic needs and expenses. If you are wondering whether you might be able to file for Social Security disability, consider the following questions:
- Have you experienced an illness or injury that has disabled you, and you need to file for Social Security Disability or SSI Disability?
- Are you under the age of 65 and not able to work due to your disability?
- Have you already applied for disability benefits and been denied?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, a Social Security disability attorney can help you collect the best possible benefits for your disability. The claim process can be cumbersome and complex, and any errors or omissions that you might make when doing your best and while dealing with your disability provide the government grounds to reject your initial claim. As we’ll discuss, more initial applications are rejected than accepted, and upon appeal, around eight in ten claims are again denied, leaving you with court as your only option.
You have rights related to your Social Security disability, and you want the right attorney to protect those rights.
Social Security Disability Benefits Depend on a Qualified Disability
Whether you are able to collect benefits from SSDI depends upon the definition of disability under the law and whether or not it applies to your condition. Through the federally enacted Social Security Disability Act, a “disability” is defined as “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months, or result in death.” Your disability can be mental or physical, and so long as it impacts your ability to work, you may be entitled to collect social security benefits.
Knowing whether you are entitled to Social Security benefits depends on how the SSD regulations apply to the unique facts and circumstances of your situation and how accurately and effectively your claim presents evidence to prove this. When you do not have enough evidence in support of your claim, it will be rejected, and then it is even harder to get your benefits, and it can take quite a bit of time.
Supplemental Security Income Benefits (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income or SSI is paid out to persons who are disabled and experiencing financial need, regardless of whether that person has worked in the past and paid into the Social Security Administration through their employment. Children are also eligible to receive SSI. When a person has a qualifying disability and is under the age of 18, they are able to collect SSI, although it is their parent or guardian who collects on their behalf. The benefits also depend upon the parent or guardian’s financial situation to determine eligibility. Foster or adoptive parents may also be eligible for SSI if they have a child with a qualifying disability.
All individuals have a legally protected right to file for Social Security Disability benefits, however, persons who file on their own are less likely to be approved than persons who apply with the assistance of an attorney. The government has a variety of requirements that your application and related evidence must meet to be approved. Denials and delays save the government money and take up your time and effort. You can be denied more than once, with each denial taking more and more time, and if you have been denied a second time, the only option you have is a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge.
Without a lawyer by your side in court, you are going against a team of government lawyers with combined decades of legal experience, while you are simply trying to collect benefits for your disability. An attorney on your side helps to even the playing field and protect your right to receive benefits for your qualifying disability. The amount you are eligible to receive for Social Security Disability will depend upon what you have earned in the past, while SSI depends upon your financial need and unique circumstances.
The Steps of the Social Security Disability Claims Process
You begin the process by filing your initial claim, and just four out of ten initial claims are accepted. If your initial application is rejected, your chances of success go down even further, with eight out of ten second-time claimants being rejected a second time. After your second rejection, your only option to challenge the decision is in court at a hearing overseen by an Administrative Law Judge. You are at a distinct disadvantage going against highly-trained government employees who scrutinize thousands of applicants each year.
Connect with a Garden Grove Social Security disability lawyer to discuss how your disability might entitle you to Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. Your Social Security disability lawyer can represent you through each step of the process to ensure that you provide what is needed for the government to provide you the benefits you are entitled to sooner than later.