Social Security Disability benefits are designed to help injured and disabled workers by providing income while they are unable to work. As an experienced Detroit SSD attorney can explain, qualifying for benefits can be difficult. The Social Security Administration places strict limitations on claimants before awarding benefits.
A Detroit SSD Attorney Explains the Work Requirement
To qualify for Social Security Benefits, a claimant must have accumulated sufficient work credits before becoming disabled. In other words, SSD benefits are intended for injured workers who have previously been able to earn a living and paid into the system via their Social Security taxes. Currently, to qualify for SSD benefits, a disabled worker must have accumulated at least 40 work credits, 20 of which earned in the previous ten years. Work credits are given for a certain increment of income. For 2015, one work credit is approximately $1,200 of earned income. A sliding scale is used based on the claimant’s age to arrive at the specific number of credits needed. A Detroit SSD attorney can review your specific work history and explain more.
Determination of Disability by SSA Standards
As your Detroit SSD Attorney can explain, even if you have the requisite number of work credits, you must also pass a disability threshold in order to receive benefits. The SSA will decide whether you are sufficiently disabled. In general, your disability must be total. Other benefits may apply for individuals with a partial disability and your lawyer can explain more. For SSD though, you must have a physical or mental condition that completely disables you from work. Your condition must have lasted for at least twelve months prior to your disability claim or be terminal. Additionally, your disability must render you unable to perform substantial gainful activity.
Proving a Disability
The SSA refers to a statutory list of impairments when determining whether an individual has a disabling condition. If your disability falls on that list of impairments, you will likely be found disabled if you are unable to perform substantial gainful activity as a result. Even if your condition does not fall on the list of impairments, you may still be able to qualify for benefits.
Understand, when you make a claim for benefits, the burden is on you to prove that you have a specific medical condition and that it disables you from work. As such, you will be required to provide medical records, employment records, witness statements and other supporting documentation to bolster your claim. Additionally, you can expect to submit to an independent medical examination by a doctor or other healthcare practitioner chosen by the SSA. If you do qualify for benefits, the SSA will require you to be reassessed from time to time to maintain eligibility.
If Benefits Are Denied
If your claim is rejected, this does not mean you may never qualify for benefits. Your attorney can discuss the appeals process. Most claims are rejected the first time around. Your chances of proving eligibility during the appeals process can increase dramatically.
How A Detroit SSD Attorney Can Help
Most claims for Social Security Disability benefits are rejected at the initial stage. While a Detroit SSD attorney cannot guarantee your claim for benefits will succeed, having a skilled advocate in your corner can make a world of difference. You don’t have to navigate the claims process alone. To schedule an appointment with the law offices of Marc J. Shefman call 888-282-0719.