How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

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First let’s talk about what SSDI is and how you can qualify to get it. If you have a disability, either long term or you recently have become disabled, in order to qualify for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) your condition must: be a full disability that will result in at least a year of inability to work, or a condition that will result in your death.
If you meet that criteria, the next step is to hire an attorney to help you get your application through the system. A good SSDI attorney like J. Robert Surface, Attorney at Law, is the right choice for you. Located in Greenville, J. Robert surface has all the experience you need to help you with your SSDI claim, especially if you’ve been denied for benefits in the past. If this is the case for you, have an experienced social security lawyer will help you get the compensation you need.
Two things to keep in mind: start the claim as soon as you become disabled, as the process can take up to three to five months to complete, and your application needs to be complete and accurate in order to be considered for the benefit. Therefore, hiring a skilled SSDI attorney that is experienced in the process is crucial to your success.

What Will I Need to Provide to Get My SSDI Benefit?

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This program is not available for short-term disability! The requirements you will need to meet are: 1) A recent work test that is based on your age at the time your disability began and 2) A duration of work test to determine if you worked long enough under Social Security to collect the benefit.
The scale of pay is determined by your age at the time of your disability, and the answers to these 5 questions: 1) Are you currently working? 2) Is your medical condition severe in nature? 3) Does your impairment meet or medically equal an impairment? 4) Can you do the work you did before? 5) Can you perform any other type of work? Once those questions have been answered and qualified, your benefit is based on the following age protocols when you were disabled: before age 24, after age 24 but before age 31, and age 31 or later. If you are under the age of 28, the benefit requires 1.5 years of work, and to age 60 requires 9.5 years of work. This is an example of the spectrum; you can find all the age and income factors on the government website, or through your attorney.

What Are the Conditions That Qualify For SSDI?

Your attorney can give you a list of all the qualifying conditions, and they can be found on the government website as well. The basic list includes conditions stemming from blood, cancer, cardio vascular, digestive, kidney damage, mental, musculoskeletal, neurological, and respiratory.
This list is not exhaustive, so a consultation with J. Robert Surface attorneys to determine your condition and if you qualify is in order.

What Will My Attorney Need from Me to Present My Case?

Following is a list of criteria that you will need, consult your attorney for any other information that may be required.
1) Your social security number
2) Your birth or baptismal certificate
3) Information on all your doctors, hospitals, clinics, caseworkers, dates of visits, name and dosages of all medications you are taking, medical records from anyone you have seen for your condition, including lab and test results
4) Information on where you worked
5) List of what type of work you performed
6) copies of your most current W-2 or current tax return
Remember that proof of all medical diagnoses is required, there are no exceptions. Symptoms of your condition are important to note; objective evidence of your stated condition is also required. Document everything about your illness, this is very, very important. The stronger your evidence, the better your application.

Do I Really Need to Hire an Attorney?

Having an attorney to represent you is not required, but it is highly recommended. As you can see from the list above, this process can be arduous. Knowing all the documentation required, and how to present it, is crucial in the arena of SSDI. The attorneys at J. Robert Surface are well versed in the rules, guidelines and quirks of the system. Let them be your guide to getting the compensation you need and deserve. They offer a free consultation to determine if and how they can help you get through this process, there is no fee if they don’t win your case and their payment comes from the back pay that you receive, not from your ongoing monthly benefit payments.

Who Makes the Decision About My Benefits Application?

Once you meet all the criteria and supply all the required documents, the government forwards your information to the Disability Determinations Services office in the state of South Carolina. This state agency processes your application and they make the initial determination of your disability. Disability specialists and doctors in the state of South Carolina will ask your doctors for any additional information regarding your condition and they may require a special exam, so be prepared for this. They generally prefer to use your own doctor, but in some cases, it will be a different doctor. The good news is that Social Security will pay for the exam if required, and will also pay for some of the travel related costs should you incur any.
Some extremely important things to remember before applying for these benefits are: you cannot be currently working and qualify for these benefits, you must anticipate being out of work for at least a year, start the application as soon as you become disabled, keep all medical records, including lab reports, doctor’s notes, prescription information, anything related to your case.
Schedule a consultation with J. Robert Surface, Attorney at Law today. The power of having an attorney on your side in applying for these benefits cannot be overstated, you’ll be glad you did.