Suffering from a disability may mean that you are unable to work and earn an income to support yourself, your loved ones, or both. At Gallo, Cazort, and Co., our Springdale, AR Social Security disability attorneys know how important disability benefits are when you’re not working. If you have questions about your eligibility for Social Security benefits, want to apply for benefits, or have recently had your claim for benefits rejected by the Social Security Administration (SSA), we can help. To learn more, please reach out to our team directly for guidance and legal counsel you can trust.
Types of Social Security Disability Programs
The Social Security Administration maintains two types of disability programs: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Here’s what you need to know about each:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are paid to those who have a qualifying disability (as defined by the SSA) and who are ‘insured’ by the system by virtue of paying into Social Security during their working years. In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, a person must have earned enough work credits first.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, unlike SSDI benefits, are intended for those people who have a qualifying disability, including children and the aged, and who are of limited income and resources. You do not have to have earned a certain number of work credits in order to qualify for this benefit type; instead, benefits are paid based on financial need.
Definition of a Disability Under the Social Security Administration
In order to qualify for benefits under either benefit program, you must have a qualifying disability. The SSA uses a five-step process to determine whether or not an applicant is disabled by the administration’s standards. Under the rules set forth by SSA, a person is considered disabled if they cannot do the same work that they did before (prior to their disability), they cannot adjust to other work as a result of a medical condition, and the disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or result in death.
In order to determine if you meet these criteria, the five steps that the SSA will undertake include:
- Determine if you’re working. If you’re working, you cannot earn more than $1,260 per month in order to be considered for SSDI benefits (as of 2020).
- Determine if your condition is severe. A severe condition is one that severely limits your ability to do basic work and will cause interference for at least 12 months.
- Determine if your list is found in the listing of impairments. The SSA maintains an adult listing of impairments; if your impairment is found on the list, then you will be considered disabled in the eyes of the SSA.
- Determine if you can do the same work you did previously. The SSA will determine whether or not you are able to do the same work that you were able to do previous to your injury/disability. If you can, then you will not be considered to have a qualifying disability.
- Determine whether you can do other work. If you can’t do the same work you did previously, then the SSA will determine whether or not your disability prevents you from doing other work; if you can do other work, then you won’t be considered disabled for the purpose of receiving disability benefits.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
Despite how serious your disability is and how seriously you need disability benefits, getting approved for benefits can be difficult, and the SSA rejects thousands of disability claims each year. In order to improve your chances of having your claim approved, it’s important to know what the SSA is looking for. At the office of Gallo, Cazort, and Co., our Springdale Social Security disability attorneys know what steps to take to improve your claim’s chances of success and can assist you in gathering evidence of your disability, filing your claim, navigating any requests from the SSA (such as an Independent Medical Examination), and appealing a denied claim.
Call Us Today to Get Started
If you are disabled and unable to work, receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration could have a very positive effect on your life. To learn more about how to apply for benefits and how our law firm can support you during the claims process, please reach out to our Springdale, AR Social Security disability lawyers directly online or by phone. We offer free consultations and always work on a contingency fee basis. Call (479) 340-0002.