The initial question that often comes up with regard to disability benefits is: will I be eligible for social security benefits? People want to know if they ought to even go through the trouble of applying in the first place. Of course, the most basic requirement is to meet the definition of having a debilitating disability.
The Social Security Administration has a specific definition of disability. In order to be eligible for benefits, individuals must meet the definition as follows:
“For all individuals applying for disability benefits under title II, and for adults applying under title XVI, the definition of disability is the same. The law defines disability as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
There are several additional conditions you must meet as well. For example, you must not a) have a job that pays over $1,000 a month, b) be able to do work you have done in the past 15 years or c) be able to adjust to other work that might suit your age and experience. You must also be “insured”, meaning you have paid enough Social Security taxes over a certain timeframe and paid them in the recent past. Sometime after stopping working and paying these taxes, you will lose your insured status. If you meet all the above conditions and have paid adequate Social Security taxes, there is a significant chance that you will be approved for Social Security benefits.
How a lawyer can help
It is possible to apply for disability benefits on your own. However, few people who go this route end up receiving benefits. This is due to the fact that filing for these benefits can be a long, complex, frustrating process. The Social Security Administration even acknowledges the fact that claimants possessing representation have much better chances of success. Working with a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the system can have tremendous benefits and will ensure you the best possible chance of being deemed eligible.
Your lawyer will deal with the specific tasks required to help you with your case. If you have applied in the past, your lawyer can request that your previous request is reopened. Time limits can also be waived if necessary.
A lawyer can help you with obtaining the required medical documentation as well. This is of the utmost importance when applying for Social Security disability benefits. Certain documents are more valuable than others. The Social Security Administration requires a large amount of such documentation. We can help you determine what is needed and assist you in obtaining it.
Here at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, disability law is our prime specialty. Our lawyers will be sure to gather all of the critical evidence needed to win your case and get you the benefits you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.