The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the federal agency responsible for handling the country’s disability benefits program and the Social Security retirement program. Therefore, if you or a loved one suffered an injury or developed a medical condition that prevents you from working, it is crucial to have experienced legal representation to recover the benefits you are legally entitled to claim. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the government agency responsible for handling Social Security Retirement and Disability benefits. If you believe you qualify for disability benefits after an injury at work or any other serious injury that prevents you from returning to work in the future, it’s important to know what to expect from the Social Security Disability claim filing process and the value of legal counsel you can trust during this process.
Christina Rivenbark & Associates has years of experience helping Leland, NC, area clients with their Social Security Disability claims and related legal issues pertaining to workplace injuries. If you are disabled and cannot work anymore, any state-level benefits you receive or workers’ compensation benefits may eventually run out. If you do not qualify for these benefits, Social Security Disability may be your best option for obtaining the monthly support you need to manage your living expenses when you cannot work and earn income. We can help you determine whether you are eligible for these benefits and, if so, help you file your claim.
Virtually everyone working in the United States pays into the Social Security system through income taxes. During the years you spend working, contributions are made from every paycheck into your Social Security account, and once you meet certain eligibility criteria you can begin receiving benefits based on how much you paid into the system. If you do not suffer any debilitating injuries that prevent you from working and are able to work through retirement age, you can begin receiving your Social Security retirement benefits once you retire. However, if you are injured and rendered incapable of working and earning income, you can file a claim for Social Security Disability benefits.
Two main forms of Social Security Disability benefits exist: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI exists to provide relief to those who suffer injuries at work and become disabled. SSI aims to provide financial support to disabled individuals who have very limited personal finances. You must ensure that you file for the correct type of benefits with all supporting medical documentation, otherwise your claim may be denied outright and you will have to file a new claim. Unfortunately, many people go through several rounds of denied applications before finally securing approval for their benefits.
When you have Christina Rivenbark & Associates assist you with your Social Security Disability claim, our firm will carefully review the details of your qualifying medical condition and help you gather any supporting evidence you will need to file your claim. Unfortunately, most first-time applications are denied due to technical errors, missing information, inconsistencies between the provided information and government records, and other clerical reasons. This is an understandable source of frustration for many applicants, especially those who have no other support to manage their medical expenses and other basic living needs.
Every determination made by the SSA regarding Social Security Disability benefits revolves around “functional capacity,” or the physical capability of the claimant to perform gainful work to earn income. The SSA keeps a health condition list of disabilities, but every claimant must prepare for a formal evaluation before they can begin receiving benefits. This evaluation determines the level of functional capacity they possess, and if the SSA determines they are able to work, they will likely be denied Social Security Disability benefits.
It is important to remember that your eligibility to receive Social Security Disability benefits hinges on your functional capacity to earn income and the amount you receive a month in other benefits. For example, if you already receive workers’ compensation benefits, they are taken into account in your Social Security Disability determination. It’s possible to qualify for Social Security Disability and still receive other benefits, but the total amount you receive influences how much the SSA will pay you each month.
Your Leland Social Security Disability attorney can assist you with the preliminary steps you must complete to qualify for the benefits you need. They will also help you gather all the documentation you will likely need to produce to the SSA to ensure a fair determination of your situation. Having an attorney represent you in your early interactions with SSA representatives ensures your claim is handled in good faith and provides the best chance of securing a swift approval for the benefits you need.
Even when you have reliable legal counsel advising you, there is no guarantee that your first claim for disability benefits will be approved. There is always the chance that the SSA will find some technical detail to use as justification for denying your claim. However, there is no limit to the number of times you may apply for benefits. If your first claim is denied for any reason, your Leland Social Security Disability attorney can assist you in filing an amended claim that addresses any errors in your first claim.
It’s also possible to appeal a denied Social Security Disability claim. If your claim is denied you have 60 days to file an appeal for reconsideration. You should amend your claim with any information to support your position, and your Leland Social Security Disability attorney can assist you with this process. It may also be necessary to undergo additional medical evaluations and provide reports to the SSA with your application for reconsideration. If your application is again denied during the reconsideration process, you have another 60 days in which to file an appeal for a hearing with an administrative law judge.
It’s vital to have legal counsel you can trust if your appeal process reaches this point. Your Leland Social Security Disability attorney can help you file the strongest appeal for reconsideration, including any and all missing information that caused the initial denial. Then, if this is fruitless and you must proceed with a hearing, your attorney’s advice and reassurance will help you prepare for the hearing with confidence.
Based on the number of rejected applications for Social Security Disability benefits each year, it’s difficult to qualify for Social Security Disability everywhere in the United States. The SSA rejects the majority of applications received each year, primarily for clerical errors, technicalities, and missing documentation. To increase your chances of qualifying and receiving the benefits you need, it’s vital to connect with a Leland Social Security Disability attorney.
The SSA maintains a directory of qualifying conditions, but each individual claimant must undergo a thorough review process to determine whether they meet applicable eligibility criteria. Cancers, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal conditions, neurological disorders, and a wide array of other conditions also qualify. Your Leland Social Security Disability attorney will help you gather the evidence and medical documentation needed to prove your eligibility for these benefits.
The amount you can receive in monthly Social Security Disability benefits hinges on your income-based contributions to the Social Security system during your working years and your level of disability. The current federal maximum benefits amounts for 2024 are $458 for an essential person, $914 for an eligible individual, and $1,371 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse. Your Leland Social Security Disability attorney can help you maximize your benefit allotment.
Some people who suffer severe injuries at work that result in permanent disabilities will qualify to receive ongoing benefits through workers’ compensation for many years. It is possible to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits in these situations, but Social Security is always calculated after assessing all other benefits payments. Therefore, the amount you can receive in Social Security Disability benefits depends on how much you already receive through other benefits programs. Your attorney can provide more detailed guidance as to your specific situation.
Technically, no, you do not need to hire an attorney to help you with your claim for Social Security Disability benefits. However, you have a much better chance of qualifying for benefits if you have an experienced attorney assist you with your claim. Christina Rivenbark & Associates can help to ensure your initial claim is as complete as possible and supported by all relevant documentation. In addition, if you are met with denial and need to appeal your claim, we can assist with this as well.
The attorneys at Christina Rivenbark & Associates have years of professional legal experience helping clients throughout the Leland area with their Social Security Disability claims. We can help you understand the claim filing process and reduce the chances of any unexpected issues arising to complicate your path to recovery. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation with a Leland Social Security Disability attorney you can trust.