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How Do You Qualify for Disability in Florida? 

If you have sustained an injury from an accident, you will probably face more than physical pain and discomfort. Most victims also face mounting medical costs, losses, and other expenses.
 
When you are incurring debt from medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, you have options. In the state of Florida, some individuals are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.
 
Not every Floridian is qualified to receive these benefits, however. You may be wondering what qualifies you for disability in Florida. 
 
Below, we will discuss some of the most crucial issues related to Social Security Disability benefits.
 
If you are unsure about what qualifies you for disability in Florida, contact a trusted attorney. The accomplished legal team at Morgan & Morgan has decades of experience.
 
We have a thorough knowledge of all the relevant statutes regarding disability benefits in Florida. Our compassionate lawyers will happily assist you in securing the benefits that are rightfully yours.
 
Do not wait. If you believe that you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits in Florida, reach out to Morgan & Morgan. Complete our easy-to-use contact form online to schedule a free legal consultation. 

How Does Disability Work in Florida? 

Unlike some states, Florida provides no short-term disability benefits for those who cannot work. If you are unable to work because of an illness or medical condition, you will have fewer options than citizens in other states.
 
One option is to utilize privatized disability insurance through your employer. This option is only applicable to those who are out of work from a full-time position due to an injury.
 
If you are an independent worker or do not have disability insurance with an employer, another option exists. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees federal disability programs for those who qualify. 

What Federal Disability Programs Are Available Through the SSA? 

The Social Security Administration provides two distinct programs to oversee and distribute disability benefits. They are the Social Security Disability (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.
 
There are specific requirements for workers seeking benefits through either of these programs. 

Social Security Disability (SSDI)

To qualify for SSDI benefits, an individual must show evidence of a qualifying work history. In part, this means that their previous employers must have paid taxes to the Social Security Administration.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 

The SSI is designed for people who do not have a work history that makes them eligible for SSDI. It is also the primary option for individuals with low income and few assets.
 
Both SSDI and SSI share the same definition of disability. This places certain additional requirements on the types of conditions, illnesses, and circumstances for which people are considered eligible.
 
According to both programs, individuals must be out of work for at least one year to qualify.

Below, we will discuss the requirements for a valid SSDI claim in greater detail. 

What Qualifies You for Disability in Florida Through SSDI? 

To receive disability benefits through the SSDI program, claimants must meet certain qualification requirements. These include: 

Status of Employment 

In some instances, continuing to work while filing for SSDI benefits can present a problem. In order to qualify, your monthly income is prohibited from exceeding a certain amount.
 
Put simply, if you make too much money, you cannot draw benefits through SSDI. To determine whether your income exceeds the maximum limit, speak with an attorney as soon as possible. 

Severity of the Condition or Injury 

The severity of your condition, illness, or injury will also be relevant to your disability claim. This is an important element in what qualifies you for disability in Florida.
 
Your injury or condition must make you unable to perform the required job functions of your previous position. Not only that, but your condition must have prevented you from working for at least a year.

Disabling Conditions 

The Social Security Administration maintains a list of relevant disabilities and impairments. If you suffer from an injury or condition that is not included on that list, you may have difficulty receiving benefits.
 
However, claims are considered on a case-by-case basis. When you apply, the SSA will compare your injury or illness to the ones on its list of disabling conditions.

Ability to Perform Similar Work

To be eligible for SSDI payments, the SSA must determine that you are unable to perform the work that you did prior to developing your condition.
 
If you are still able to perform your previous job function, you will be ineligible. But if your condition keeps you from doing similar work, your application will move to the next step.

Ability to Perform Different Work 

There are a number of factors that will influence whether you are unable to work, from the perspective of the SSA. If the Social Security Administration determines that you are still able to hold gainful employment, you will likely be ineligible for SSDI benefits.
 
If your condition physically prevents you from working, you will be considered to be “disabled.”

Eligibility Tests 

Applicants are also required to take two distinct work eligibility tests. These are intended to determine whether you are unable to work due to your injury or condition.
 
These tests are known as the “duration of work” test and the “recent work test,” respectively.
 
Consider all of these factors when you are wondering what qualifies you for disability in Florida. If you have questions about the application process or qualification requirements, do not hesitate.
 
Reach out to a skilled disability attorney to discuss the facts of your case. An accomplished lawyer will guide you through the entire process and help you appeal if your claim is denied. 

Can I Appeal a Denied SSDI Claim?

Not every application for disability benefits in Florida is successful. Some denials of SSDI benefits are legal and legitimate.
 
A few of the most common causes for SSDI application denials are:

Criminal Circumstances 

Those who are injured while committing a felony are ineligible for these payments. Also, if your condition worsens during your time at a jail or prison, you do not qualify.
 
If you violate the conditions of your parole, you will become ineligible for SSDI benefit payments.

Substance Abuse 

The abuse of controlled substances can also result in disqualification. For example, suppose that alcohol or other drug addiction contributed to your condition or injury. In cases like these, you would be ineligible to receive disability in Florida.

Fraudulent Applications

If any of the information included on your SSDI application is fraudulent or misleading, your claim will be denied.
 
These types of denial of SSDI benefits are legitimate. Sadly, many disability claims in Florida are denied illegitimately.

The SSDI Appeals Process 

When you are wrongly denied SSDI benefits, make sure to speak with a skilled legal professional. A Social Security Disability attorney will ensure that you have the proper qualifications for disability in Florida. 
 
After reviewing your case, your attorney will help you to appeal your denied disability claim. However, you need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
 
If your claim has been denied or underpaid, you are only given 60 days to file an appeal. To appeal a denied SSDI claim, you must go through the following steps:

Reconsideration

The first step in the appeals process is for a different SSA claims examiner to review your application. At this point, your application may include new information or evidence.

Hearing 

If this does not resolve the problem, you can request a hearing. During the hearing, your disability lawyer will present your case, question witnesses, and provide evidence.

Appeals Council 

Some denied claims are not resolved through reconsideration and hearings. The next step in the appeals process is to request a reassessment of your case with the Social Security Appeals Council.
 
If a reassessment with the appeals council does not resolve your case, you may need to undergo another hearing.

Federal Court Lawsuit 

If all these appeals steps fail, you still have options. In some instances, SSDI claims appeals make their way to federal court.
 
If your issue is not resolved, your lawyer may file a lawsuit on your behalf.
 
No matter what the circumstances, consulting with a qualified disability attorney will help to ensure the best outcome possible. If you are wondering what qualifies you for disability in Florida, reach out to Morgan & Morgan. 

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