Social Security in Jacksonville: What You Need to Know

After an injury or medical diagnosis that keeps you from working, you may not know where to turn. Those who suffer from lasting disabilities often face mounting medical costs, which are exacerbated by lost income. If this has happened to you, you may be struggling to make ends meet. Fortunately, the federal government offers a source of income for many individuals in this situation. 

When you have been unable to work because of a disability in Florida, you can file for Social Security Disability (SSD) insurance benefits. Those who have been employed for the required period of time throughout their working lives can request Social Security in Jacksonville. Eligible Social Security Disability applicants can draw monthly benefit payments. The dependent spouses and children of disabled workers may also be eligible for benefits.
 
However, not every SSD benefit request is granted. If you have been wrongly denied the earned benefits that you deserve, do not wait. Contact a skilled Social Security attorney to secure the payments that you are rightfully owed. The accomplished team at Morgan & Morgan can help you to file for SSD benefits or appeal a denial. 
 
Morgan & Morgan is the largest personal injury firm in the country. Our legal professionals have the experience and skills to recover the benefits that you have earned.
 
To schedule a no-cost legal consultation, complete the contact form on the Morgan & Morgan website.

Understanding Social Security in Jacksonville

The Social Security Disability Insurance program was instituted by the federal government. This program is intended to help Americans who are too sick, disabled, or injured to work. 
 
To be eligible for Social Security in Jacksonville, applicants must meet certain requirements. Qualifying applicants must make less than a specific amount of income per month, for example. 
 
Applicants must have paid into the Social Security system for a specified length of time. They must also have a medical condition or injury that can be classified as a disability.
 
The SSD benefits program defines disability through certain qualifying standards. An SSD applicant is considered to be disabled if:

  • They cannot perform their work due to injury or illness
  • They cannot transition to a different line of work
  • Their illness or injury lasts at least one year

If you are planning to apply for Social Security in Jacksonville, speak with a skilled legal expert to craft the strongest application possible. 
 
The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a list of qualifying medical conditions and injuries. These conditions are considered to be severe enough to keep an individual from working. 
 
If your disability is not on the prescribed list, it may be more difficult to secure the benefits that you are owed. Consulting with a Social Security Disability attorney will give you the best chance to apply successfully.

Reasons for Denied SSD Applications

Most applications for Social Security Disability benefits result in a denial. This is especially true for applicants who do not have previous experience with the process.
 
The SSD application process involves complex forms and detailed information. Even the smallest mistake on an SSD application may result in a rejection. 
 
Some of the most cited reasons for denied applications include:

The Applicant’s Income Is Too High

If the applicant makes too much money each month, their request for SSD benefits will be denied. This is known as surpassing the limit of “substantial gainful activity.” Applicants may also face a denial if they work too much to be considered disabled by the SSA. To be considered disabled, workers must have earnings below a certain threshold.
 
The skilled legal team at Morgan & Morgan can review your financial situation. We will help you to determine your eligibility for SSD benefits.

The Applicant’s Disability Is Not Adequately Severe

If the Social Security Administration decides that a person’s condition is not severe enough, they may deny an SSD claim.  To qualify as a disability, the person’s medical condition must prevent them from performing their previous job functions.
 
When an applicant’s condition does not appear on the predetermined SSA list of disabilities, recovering benefits will be challenging. A Social Security attorney can help you to prepare the strongest application possible, regardless of the nature of your illness or injury.

There Was Drug or Alcohol Involvement

When a disability is caused by drug or alcohol addiction, the applicant will face a denial. Applicants can be denied if drug or alcohol use was a substantial contributing factor to their medical condition. 

The Applicant Has Prior Convictions

In general, previous convictions do not affect an individual’s ability to collect SSDI payments. But if a disability resulted from the act of committing a felony, the applicant will be denied.
 
Similarly, if the disability developed while the applicant was incarcerated, they will be ineligible. Violation of parole will also make SSD applicants ineligible for benefits.

There Is Evidence of Fraud

When an SSD application contains false or misleading information, the individual will likely be denied benefits. For this reason, it is important to be completely truthful when applying for Social Security in Jacksonville.

The Applicant’s Disabilities Are a Short-Term Issue

Short-term disabilities do not qualify workers for SSD benefits. To qualify, applicants must provide evidence that their injury or illness is expected to prevent them from working for at least a year.
 
Those who have fatal conditions are exempted from this requirement. Similarly, those with blindness are also exempt from the year-long disability timeline.
 
These are only a few of the reasons why SSD benefit applications are denied. Nearly 60% of all first-time applications are denied. 
 
This makes it difficult for many individuals and families to secure the earned benefits that they need. Whether you have been denied or need help ensuring the strongest application possible, contact a legal professional.
 
The trusted team at Morgan & Morgan is familiar with all of the relevant laws and statutes related to Social Security Disability benefits. Our attorneys will examine your situation and help you to file for Social Security in Jacksonville. 

Appealing a Denial for Social Security in Jacksonville

Although it might seem simple to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, even the smallest application error can result in a denial. If you have been denied earned benefits, reach out to a trusted attorney to pursue the money that you deserve.
 
The accomplished legal professionals at Morgan & Morgan will advocate on your behalf throughout the entire appeals process. 

It is vital to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Applicants must appeal their SSD denial within 60 days to successfully recover benefits.
 
The following levels of appeals are available to SSD applicants:

Reconsideration

Your Social Security lawyer will initially file a request for reconsideration from the SSA. This request will ensure that a claims examiner reviews your application and reassesses the previous denial.
 
Your attorney can submit new evidence to strengthen your SSD claim, if necessary. If the claims examiner has any additional questions, your legal representative can answer on your behalf.

Hearing

If the reconsideration stage does not result in a successful SSD claim, you can request a hearing from an administrative law judge. During this proceeding, your SSD attorney will present the strongest case possible to the judge.
 
Your Social Security attorney can call certain witnesses, present new evidence, and ask the judge to overturn the denial. Oftentimes, these hearings result in a successful SSD claim. But if you are still denied or disagree with the judge’s decision, you have options.

Appeals Council

To further pursue an appeal, your attorney can request a review from the Social Security Appeals Council. It is important to understand that the Appeals Council is not guaranteed to hear your case. 
 
If the Appeals Council decides to accept your appeal, you may be granted another hearing before an administrative law judge. Your SSD lawyer will argue your case again and present any evidence that has been overlooked.

Federal Court

If you go through the previous steps of the appeals process and are still denied, you have one final option. With the help of a skilled lawyer, you can file a lawsuit in federal district court to seek benefits.
 
Consulting with a legal professional will ensure that you have the highest chance of getting the benefits you need. For the best legal representation available, call the skilled team at Morgan & Morgan.

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