Los Angeles Social Security Lawyer
Social Security Disability (SSD) is a system of benefits that is paid to individuals by the federal government if they are unable to work for an extended period of time because of a recognized medical condition. The types of conditions that may qualify a person for Social Security Disability benefits include mental, neurological, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, respiratory conditions, and more. However, it should be noted that simply being afflicted with a medical condition is not something that will automatically qualify a person to receive SSD. There are millions of Americans around the country who are afflicted by one type of medical condition or another who are able to work. The person applying for social security benefits must not just prove to the SSA that the condition exists, but must also prove that it is the condition which is affecting the person’s ability to work for an extended period of time. Generally, a disability must be expected to prevent a person from working for a period of at least a year before the SSA will consider extending benefits to the applicant.
Unfortunately, it is well known among attorneys who represent individuals who are pursuing SSD benefits – Los Angeles social security lawyers like Tony Adderley – that a majority of first time SSD applicants will be denied for benefits for no other reason than some type of simple application error. It is usually because the applicant didn’t include the necessary evidence in support of a claim or because the applicant simply answered one of the questions on the application the wrong way. Unless they have some legal experience, trying to understand and correctly fill out an SSD benefits application can be pretty confusing, which is why those who are thinking of applying for SSD benefits should contact a professional Los Angeles Social Security lawyer like Tony Adderley for help. A professional benefits attorney not only accomplishes and reviews the application on the applicant’s behalf, the attorney will also ensure that the evidence submitted in support of an application will be satisfactory to the disability examiner who will review the claim.
DO I QUALIFY?
There are two primary requirements that must be met in order to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. The first is that the person to receive coverage must have worked in a job that was covered by Social Security – in other words, must have worked in a job in which the person contributed part of earned wages to the Social Security system. This is how the system is funded, through the collective efforts of the American workforce, and anyone who contributes to the system is generally allowed to recover the benefit of the system should they ever need them. Social Security Disability compensation is intended for individuals whose injuries will prevent them from working for a period of at least one year.
Failure to provide adequate proof of an injury or disability is one of the biggest reasons why an application for benefits will be denied. Even if an application has been denied, an attorney can still help an applicant for benefits file an appeal to the decision and ensure that all of the proof that the Social Security Administration (SSA), the government body that regulates Social Security Disability benefits, will need to make an appropriate decision is included in an application packet. If a person has yet to file for benefits, then partnering with an attorney now is a great way to ensure that an application is submitted properly the first time, and to make sure that there are as few delays in the application process as possible. The attorney will review the case and will determine what type of evidence would be appropriate to provide in support of an application. Once this is decided, the attorney will help the applicant compile that proof and submit it to the SSA for a decision.
For meeting employment requirements for benefits, the applicant will have to determine how many work credits he or she has earned. One credit is awarded for every dollar amount of income earned in a year. The value of a credit changes from year to year – which is why an experienced SSD benefits attorney should be consulted for help with calculating the number of work credits a person has. The total number of credits you will need to qualify for disability benefits is based on how old you are when you are disabled. A person is generally required to have 40 work credits saved up with the SSA in order to qualify for SSD benefits, with at least half of those credits needing to have been earned in the last decade, but younger workers who become disabled may be able to qualify for SSD benefits with much fewer work credits. Again, an experienced disability benefits attorney should be consulted for more case specific advice.
WHAT IF I’M UNDER 50?
If you are under the age of fifty, you’re what Social Security calls a younger individual. This means that to be declared disabled, you must be unable to perform even the simplest kind of work, like assembling small parts or stuffing envelopes. If you can sit or stand for eight hours a day (or two hours at a time, with breaks) and complete these kinds of routine tasks, and you’re under the age of fifty, it’s unlikely that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will award you disability benefits. Unlikely, but not impossible. The key is to make certain that the SSA understands all of the limitations that impact your ability to perform simple tasks. Anything like an inability to concentrate for long periods, persistent back or leg pain or weakness, or an inability to coordinate both hands together will boost the odds that you will be declared disabled.
AN EXPERIENCED LOS ANGELES SOCIAL SECURITY LAWYER
Along with first time applicants, disability benefits attorneys can also help applicants who have been denied for benefits and who want to appeal the initial decision. The first step of an appeals process is almost always done by paper, but further steps in the process may require the attorney to represent the SSD applicant in administrative hearings and trials. As they might imagine, going into this kind of scenario without an experienced social security attorney by their side can be pretty nerve racking, and the last thing that an appellant wants to do is lose out on an appeal just because they were too flustered or intimidated to present a competent case before a judge. Instead, appellants should let an experienced Los Angeles social security lawyer handle legal arguments – the benefits that may be awarded are simply too valuable for anything less.
If they would like more information on the legal process in regards to SSD benefits, or information on filing an initial application or appeal for benefits, individuals should speak with an experienced benefits attorney for the most correct and competent advice.