If you have a disability that prevents you from working, you might be entitled to Social Security disability benefits. These benefits are designed to assist disabled individuals to pay for basic living expenses when they cannot work. However, you have several hurdles to overcome before you are eligible to receive these benefits. A Texas disability benefits lawyer can help you overcome these hurdles so that you can get the money you need any month.
Three Common Problems in Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits
Obtaining disability benefits is not always an easy process. Before you begin receiving SSI or SSDI, there are at least three hurdles you must overcome:
1. File an Application for Social Security Disability Benefits
Both SSI and SSDI require that you file an extensive application with the Social Security Administration (SSA) seeking disability benefits. The application requires that you provide personal and medical information. If you fail to provide all requested information and documentation, your application for benefits could be delayed or denied. Depending on your disability, completing a lengthy, complicated application could be overwhelming. Having help with the application can reduce your stress and help you avoid costly, time-consuming mistakes.
2. Prove That You Are Disabled and Meet Other Qualifications
You have the burden of proving to the SSA that you are disabled. There must be sufficient medical evidence that proves your condition meets or exceeds the SSA’s definition of a disability. In cases of mental illness or other disabilities that have very few physical symptoms, you might face a tougher battle to prove your condition prevents you from working. The SSA reviews your medical records and may send you to a doctor for an evaluation. In addition to meeting the definition of disability, you must also meet other requirements to receive disability benefits.
To qualify for SSDI, you must also establish a work history that entitles you to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Applicants must show that they have earned enough work credits, based on their age and total yearly income. If you have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI, the SSA then looks at whether you are currently working, how much money you currently earn, if your condition is severe enough to qualify as a disability, and could you do another type of work.
You might be eligible to receive SSI if you do not have enough work credits for SSDI. However, Supplemental Security Income is for low-income individuals. Therefore, you must prove that you do not have income, assets, or resources that exceed the minimum levels set by the SSA. The rules governing countable assets can be confusing.
3. Filing an Appeal
The SSA denies many disability applications on the first filing. You are entitled to file an appeal if you are denied Social Security disability benefits. However, the appeal must be filed very quickly and according to the SSA guidelines. Failing to file the appeal correctly results in another denial. In some cases, an applicant must file two or three appeals to receive approval for disability benefits. As you move through the appeals process, each phase becomes more involved and requires court hearings, additional evidence, and testimony from witnesses. It can be difficult for a person without legal training to handle all aspects of a Social Security disability appeal.
Contact a Texas Disability Benefits Attorney
The process of applying for disability benefits can be frustrating and discouraging. An experienced Texas disability benefits attorney can help reduce some of the stress associated with the application process and avoid mistakes and errors that result in unnecessary delays and denials. Contact the Law Office of Carey Thompson today to learn more.