The Social Security system was put in place to help retirees and those who cannot work due to illness or injury. Social Security Disability benefits, often referred to as SSDI or SSD benefits can make all the difference for someone who is suffering from a physical or mental disability. However, the process of applying for benefits can be complex and claims are often denied multiple times before approval.
As such, if you are considering filing a Social Security disability claim, consider talking to a Thornton SSDI lawyer who knows how to aggressively pursue claims. An experienced lawyer could devise a strategy to help get you the benefits you need.
How the SSDI Process Works
Applicants for Social Security Disability benefits must meet agency guidelines and follow specified procedures before they can qualify for benefits. It must be shown that the applicant fits the Social Security Administration’s classification of “disabled” and that the applicant is unable to work.
The agency will frequently deny an applicant’s initial claim. If the applicant wants to appeal the decision, the appeal must be filed within a brief window of time. After filing again, there may be a substantial wait until the appeal is heard. This appeal process may be repeated if the agency does not find the claim to be strongly supported.
An applicant may undergo various appeal processes to get their claim heard:
- A hearing to reconsider the initial decision
- An appeal heard by an administrative law judge
- An appeal to the Social Security Appeals Council
- An appeal filed in federal court
Who is Eligible for SSDI Benefits?
Social Security Disability Insurance is the program intended to support those who have paid into the Social Security program as employees but are unable to work due to illness or disability.
To be eligible for benefits, the worker must suffer from a full disability and be completely unable to perform any type of employment. However, being unable to perform work in a prior occupation is not sufficient grounds to qualify for SSDI benefits.
Moreover, the disability must be due to a serious medical problem that doctors expect to be long-term — that is, to last at least a year or cause death. The medical condition causing the disability may be either mental or physical, but verified evidence showing a diagnosis by medical professionals must be presented in a claim.
Because the SSDI requirements require specific verification, applicants should seek assistance from a Thornton SSDI lawyer. A qualified attorney has the experience needed to put together a successful application or appeal.
Two Programs That Pay Disability Benefits
The federal government provides two different disability programs through the Social Security Administration. In addition to the Social Security Disability Insurance program, the agency also controls the Supplemental Security Income program, which pays out what are referred to as SSI benefits.
The SSI program is based on need. Unlike SSDI benefits, which come from the Social Security fund, SSI benefits are paid from general tax revenues. Furthermore, an individual does not need to have a work history to qualify for SSI benefits. That means that disabled people who have not worked enough to qualify for SSD benefits may still be able to receive benefits under the SSI program.
Get Help From a Thornton SSDI Attorney
Since the application process has such specific requirements and the appeals procedures can be complex and lengthy, it is a good idea to talk to an attorney who is familiar with Social Security Disability programs as early as possible when applying.
An experienced Thornton SSDI lawyer could help ensure your application contains adequate proof of your disability and advocate on your behalf during any appeals. Call today to learn how an attorney could help protect your rights and work to obtain the Social Security benefits you need.