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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or SSDI) is a vital source of income for over 9 million people each year in the U.S., but many SSDI candidates are denied or undergo serious difficulties in obtaining the benefits they need and deserve. In order to obtain SSDI, disabled individuals must go through a process of proving their disability and their inability to work, which can take over a year in some parts of the country.
Have you been denied Social Security Disability? Are you applying for the first time? If so, the process may seem overly complex and confusing to you. This feeling is echoed by many across the country, and that is why around 90% of those that apply have a disability representative (companies, non-profits, or an attorney) to aid them in the application process. The Memphis Social Security Disability Insurance lawyers at Morgan & Morgan are skilled in preparing each case to give it the best possible chance of being approved. Fill out the no-cost, no-obligation form on the right for a free case review from an experienced disability attorney.
How does one qualify for Social Security Disability?
The Social Security Administration uses the answers to a few key questions to determine eligibility for SSDI. These include: “Are you working?” “Is your condition severe?” “Is your condition found on the list of disabling conditions?” “Can you do the work you did previously?” and “Can you do any other type of work?”. The SSA filing manual lists serious illnesses including:
- musculoskeletal system problems such as back and spine conditions, Arthritis, amputations, fractures, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Scoliosis, Fibromyalgia
- senses and speech issues such as vision, hearing, and speech loss
- respiratory illnesses such as asthma, Emphysema, PPH, Cystic Fibrosis, lung transplant
- cardiovascular conditions such as heart failure or Coronary Artery Disease
- digestive tract problems such as Crohn’s Disease, Liver Disease , Hepatitis, IBD
- genitourinary impairments such as Chronic Renal (Kidney) Disease, Chronic Hemodialysis
- hematological disorders such as Sickle Cell Disease, Hemophilia, Myelofibrosis
- skin disorders such as Psoriasis, burns, Ichthyosis
- endocrine disorders such as Diabetes, Thyroid problems, Neuropathy, Obesity
- impairments that affect multiple body systems such as Lyme Disease, metabolic disorders
- neurological disorders such as Cerebral Palsy, stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Parkinson’s disease, and Epilepsy
- mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, autism, depression, panic attacks, anxiety, schizophrenia, PTSD
- malignant neoplastic diseases such as Leukemia, Lymphoma, most kinds of cancer
- immune system disorders such as MS, HIV/AIDS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis
There are also special situations for those who are blind or have low vision, are a worker’s widow or widower, have a disabled child, or are a wounded warrior.
What happens if you are denied Social Security Disability benefits?
Many people ask, “What can I do if I am denied SSDI?” According to the SSA, roughly 60 percent of workers that apply for SSDI are rejected. Thankfully, if a disability application is denied, the SSA sends a letter to applicants explaining the reason for the denial and how to request a review of the decision. The individual may choose to ask for reconsideration, which must be sent in writing within 60 days of the denial. A further denied applicant may then enter the appeals process, where a different disability examiner and medical team analyze the evidence in a case review. There are further appeals processes if one is denied the initial appeal, including a hearing by the administrative law judge, a review in front of the appeals council, and a review in federal court. Once approved, claimants are able to receive benefits six months after their disability is determined to have begun by the SSA. Claimants are additionally able to seek “back pay” for the waiting period before their case was decided on.
How a Memphis SSDI attorney can help you obtain disability benefits
Although the SSA has stated that most individuals would fare better in the SSDI process with a knowledgeable lawyer, many applicants do not realize the need for one until they are denied. A lawyer can prevent common errors that plague many applications, and can make the tasks of filing paperwork, doing research, and preparing the case for a hearing much easier. As per guidelines set by the SSA, Social Security Disability attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they only receive a fee if you win your case.
Additionally, SSDI lawyers are limited to charging 25% of the past-due benefits you are awarded, up to a maximum of $6,000. Especially with these caps on attorneys’ fees, it is often very useful to have a skilled advocate to help guide you through the process of applying for disability benefits. Since the process—especially the appeals process—is quite complicated, the experience of a knowledgeable Morgan & Morgan Memphis SSDI attorney can be invaluable.
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