How do I apply for Social Security disability benefits?

According to the federal Social Security website, all you need to do to apply for Social Security disability benefits is fill out the online form. However, that’s kind of like saying all you need to do to fly a plane is sit in the cockpit and press the right buttons—you still might not get your desired result.

The requirements for applying for Social Security benefits are complex and not spelled out clearly on the Social Security website. The smallest mistake could cause your legitimate claim to be denied. When you’ve recently become disabled, the last thing you need is to be denied the money that you desperately need to make ends meet.

A question like “How do I apply for Social Security disability benefits?” is best answered by a knowledgeable attorney, like the ones at Morgan & Morgan. Our experienced Social Security benefits lawyers will help you gather the evidence you need to make your claim with confidence.

If you’ve recently become disabled and need financial assistance from the government, use our contact form today to schedule a free case evaluation.

Is Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits Complicated?

Two key factors determine whether you qualify for Social Security disability benefits. You must have worked multiple years in a job covered by Social Security and have a medical condition that meets the definition of disability used by the Social Security program.

What Are the Work Requirements to Qualify for Disability?

You would think that the work requirements for Social Security eligibility would be easy to determine, but even these are complicated enough that most people need help figuring out whether they qualify.

The simple standard is that you must have made at least $6,040 at a job covered by Social Security for at least 10 of the past 20 years, and five of those years must have been within the past decade. Alternatively, you could have earned a smaller amount per year but worked more of these years.

That’s a very rudimentary description of the requirements. More technically, the Social Security program involves acquiring credits based on specific earning thresholds. These credits are limited to a certain number each year. 

The credit system is further complicated by rules lowering the number of credits you need based on age and the threshold for earning a credit, which changes yearly.

You should easily qualify for the work requirements for Social Security disability benefits if you have worked full-time at an approved type of job every year since turning 18. In fact, you will qualify if you have worked full-time for only half of your adult life. 

The veteran legal team at Morgan and Morgan knows how to quickly determine whether you meet the work requirements laid out under the Social Security Act.

What Are the Disability Requirements to Qualify for Social Security Benefits?

The Social Security Administration maintains a list of medical conditions considered severe enough to qualify for disability benefits. This list is by no means exhaustive, which means that you might also qualify under subjective standards.

Your attorney will usually be able to correctly judge whether a specific disability that isn’t on the list qualifies by asking questions like:

  • Are you currently working?
  • Does your condition qualify as “severe”?
  • Are you able to perform the type of work you previously did?
  • Are there other types of work you can perform?
  • Are you legally blind?

Social Security only pays for permanent, total disability. Other benefits may be available to support partial or short-term disability. Your disability attorney will help you access these benefits if you don’t meet the terms for total disability.

Do I Need an Appointment to File for Social Security Disability Benefits?

No. You can apply for Social Security disability benefits online through the Social Security website. However, you’ll still need to provide the required evidence, which means you’ll be expected to produce digital records.

If you only have physical copies of your records, you must mail them in, deliver them in person, or convert them to a digital form to submit them online.

Can a Lawyer Help Me File for Social Security Disability Benefits?

A lawyer can and should help you file for Social Security disability benefits. If you make a mistake while applying, your claim may be denied. While you’ll have the option to appeal, it can significantly delay your claim when you need the money most.

The attorneys at Morgan and Morgan can guide you through the process and help you avoid making mistakes that could result in your application being denied or could delay the payout of benefits.

Contact Morgan & Morgan for Social Security Assistance

For most people, the biggest roadblock to applying for Social Security disability benefits is supplying the proper evidence. Those who are unjustly denied typically are unable to find the proof they need or accidentally provide the wrong type of evidence.

Morgan and Morgan maintain a stable of hardworking attorneys who are intimately familiar with the bureaucracy surrounding Social Security. We can help you find and document the evidence that best supports your claim and ensure you don’t make any disadvantageous mistakes during the application process.

If you feel overwhelmed trying to apply for Social Security disability benefits on your own, we can help. Reach out to schedule a free case evaluation and get the money you need when you need it.

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