While most people want to assume that they will be able to work until retirement and enjoy their golden years, an individual’s chances of developing a disability before they retire are greater than many people expect. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA), a worker who is 20 years old now has a 25 percent chance of becoming disabled before qualifying for full retirement.
Becoming injured or sick can be incredibly stressful for an individual and their family, especially if their ailment causes them to be unable to earn a living. This is especially true across the United States, where the cost of living is high and medical expenses can be even higher. In fact, recent research shows that experiencing a serious injury or illness can often be associated with a significantly increased risk of having to file for bankruptcy.
Various organizations regularly review data regarding American households to determine how specific financial factors influence their economic well-being, and they have found that medical bills are a major source of problem for many Americans. This is troubling data, because it means that many people are struggling to pay for necessary care, even if they have insurance. Unfortunately, the situation is only projected to get worse in the coming years, as the cost of health care continues to increase. This underscores the importance of disability benefits for individuals who qualify.
If you or a loved one is disabled and can no longer work to make ends meet, it can be valuable to speak with an experienced disability lawyer Fort Worth trusts to determine whether you may qualify for disability benefits. These benefits can provide much-needed financial assistance during a difficult time, and they can help you get back on your feet. In the event that you are struggling to pay your medical bills, it can be worth speaking with a legal professional to determine what steps you should take next.
The decision to file for disability benefits can be a difficult one, but it may be the best option for individuals who are unable to work due to illness or injury. If you would like more information about disability benefits, contact our Fort Worth Social Security disability lawyers to schedule a risk-free, complimentary consultation to learn about the services we offer.
The SSA is the federal agency that oversees various benefits programs for those who are disabled. The two most popular programs under which disabled Americans seek assistance are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The SSA does not offer programs for short-term disability benefits or temporary assistance.
SSDI is designed to benefit those who have worked in the past and paid into the Social Security system, while SSI is for those with limited financial means who have not worked in the past or do not have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. In order to be eligible for either program, an individual must meet the SSA’s definition of disability.
The SSA defines disability as “the inability to do any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
This definition is broad, and it encompasses a wide variety of medical conditions. To qualify for benefits, the medical condition must be severe enough to keep an individual from working. This means that many people who are otherwise perfectly healthy may not qualify for disability benefits due to their ability to work around or temporarily overcome their condition.
Some of the most common disabilities for which people seek Social Security benefits include:
There are several factors that could influence your odds of qualifying for SSDI or SSI, including your age and how long you have worked. For example, younger individuals and those who have not worked for a number of years may stand less of a chance than others at qualifying for benefits.
If you are considering filing for SSDI or SSI, it can be valuable to speak with an experienced Social Security disability attorney Fort Worth trusts to review your personal situation and determine whether you have a good chance of being approved. An attorney can also help you gather the necessary documentation and submit a strong application.
For SSDI, these are the main criteria that an individual must meet to qualify for benefits:
For SSI, these are the main criteria that an individual must meet to qualify for assistance:
If it may be unclear whether your specific condition meets the SSA’s requirements to qualify as a disability, you would need to provide evidence that your medical condition makes it impossible for you to work. This can be done by providing documentation from your doctors, therapists, hospitals, and pharmacies.
In addition to your medical records, you should also gather written documents from anyone who knows about your condition and is familiar with the limitations that it has caused you to experience, including family members, friends, and former work colleagues. Talk to an experienced SSI lawyer Fort Worth relies on to learn more.
If you are approved for disability benefits, you can receive monthly payments from the federal government. The amount of these payments can depend on your income and family size. In some cases, you may also receive retroactive benefits going back to the date on which you became unable to work.
If you have questions about filing for SSA benefits under SSDI or SSI, speak with an experienced Social Security lawyer right away. They can answer your specific questions and help you determine whether you should file an application.
Individuals may apply for disability benefits in two ways: by filling out forms online or by calling the SSA to schedule an appointment for filing a disability claim. The appointment may either be in a local Social Security Office or via the phone, and these claims appointments generally take about one hour.
Additionally, every applicant has the right to bring legal representatives with them to their meetings with the Social Security Administration. Working with an experienced attorney can help applicants avoid unnecessary denials and potentially expedite the process.
Most applicants face denials the first time that they apply to the SSA for Social Security benefits, and then they have to go through the lengthy process of appeals before they get the opportunity to qualify again. The application process for disability benefits can be complex, and it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer if you are considering applying.
An attorney can help you gather the necessary documentation and submit a strong application. If you need legal assistance, contact us today to find out how we can help.