- $13 Billion+ Won
- 800+ Lawyers Nationwide
- The Fee is FreeTM, Only Pay If We Win
- America’s Largest Injury Law Firm
- Protecting Families Since 1988
Social Security Lawyer in Prestonsburg
Prestonsburg Social Security Office provides most of its services online. However, you can schedule an appointment by calling the office for matters concerning Social Security benefits, including retirement, disability, SSI, and Medicare. Although that sounds like a simplified plan, it can be difficult to keep up with all the eligibility requirements of the specific service you are seeking.
For this reason, we've compiled everything you need to know about Social Security in Prestonsburg to guide you through your application for social security services and benefits, including where to find help.
To begin with, here's a brief overview of what social security is.
Social Security Overview
Social security is a program run by the federal government to provide benefits to qualified retirees and disabled people and their spouses, children, and survivors. These benefits are taxes paid into a trust fund financed through a dedicated payroll tax.
The social security program was purposely created to:
- Cater to the material needs of families and individuals.
- Help aging and disabled individuals finance their health expenses without using up their savings.
- Take care of seniors after retirement.
- Provide for the families of workers when they become disabled or die.
Social Security Retirement Benefits Explained
When you get employed, you pay 6.2% social security tax while your employer pays another 6.2% on your behalf. So if you're self-employed, you'll pay 12.4% social security tax from the self-employment earnings. This money is tracked using your social security number.
Your contributions will accumulate into what SSA calls "quarters" or "credits." Each quarter is equivalent to $1470 (adjusted to $1,510 in 2022), and you'll need 40 quarters to qualify for the benefits. Additionally, a person can earn up to 4 quarters in a year. That means you must have worked for at least 10 years to make the total of 40 quarters required for these benefits.
What Are Social Security Survivor Benefits?
Social security survivors' benefits are usually paid to widowers, widows, or dependents of eligible workers. For instance, a surviving spouse may be eligible for full benefits if they've reached full retirement age.
What Are Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Benefits is a type of financial assistance offered to individuals with disabilities.
Social Security Benefits Application Denied - What to Do next?
The process of obtaining social security benefits isn't usually straightforward for some individuals, even the eligible ones. As a result, it's not rare to come across individuals who've been denied social security benefits but have never considered filing an appeal or contacting a lawyer.
In fact, statistics show that between 2008 and 2017, the social security disability claims denial rate stood at 64%, meaning that a majority of initial social security applications are often denied.
But not to worry - there's hope.
In Prestonsburg, KY, and many other cities and states across the US, social security applicants have up to 60 days to appeal the decision after initial denial. This could be the beginning of a lengthy legal struggle.
Here's how the whole process works.
Requesting for Reconsideration
Suppose your initial application for social security benefits was denied. In that case, the next step is to request for reconsideration through the Social Security Administration.
To do this, head over to the Social Security Administration website and download Form SSA-561, also known as Request for Reconsideration.
This request basically informs the government of your intention to have your application reviewed by another claims examiner. However, there's still a chance that you may be denied. And when that happens, the next step comes in handy.
Requesting a Hearing
This step involves requesting a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). During the hearing, you'll be required to prove that you deserve the social security benefits you applied for. You can also request legal representation during the hearing.
That's where Morgan & Morgan social security lawyers come in to fight for your right to live a comfortable life despite the challenges.
The Appeals Council Option
If an ALJ denies your request for hearing, you may have to file a third appeal to the Appeals Council.
The bottom line is that the entire process is stressful and tiring at the same time. However, when you consult an experienced social security attorney from a reputable law firm like Morgan & Morgan, things are different.
How Morgan & Morgan Social Security Attorneys Can Help
Given that more than 60% of social security disability applications are usually denied, it's always advisable to work with an attorney during your initial application.
The social security administration is currently battling a huge backlog, and the waiting times have significantly increased, especially since the coronavirus lockdown. The last thing you want to experience is a denied application due to a technicality, typo, or any other avoidable mistake in your application.
For this reason, hiring a social security attorney makes a huge difference in your application. Such an attorney will help gather important information for your claim, ensuring that you meet all the requirements for social security benefits.
How It Works
When you contact Morgan & Morgan's social security attorneys, they'll listen to you and prepare your claim. This process involves gathering important documents and other relevant information to support your application for social security benefits.
These documents may include:
- Military service information.
- Tax paperwork.
- Medical history.
- Addresses and phone numbers.
- Marriage certificates.
- Medication history.
- Prior employment history.
Our attorney will then file your application to the Social Security Administration and notify you if they need anything else. And that's not all; Morgan & Morgan social security lawyers will constantly communicate with the SSA to keep track of your claim.
This is especially important if you have a busy lifestyle, disability, or other reasons that would prevent you from staying on the phone line for long hours.
If approved, the next stage is finalizing your claim. Then, the attorney will review the SSA's calculations, ensuring that the figures are all correct.
An appeal will be filed if the attorney discovers that the figures are incorrect or if the application was denied.
Prestonsburg Social Security Eligibility Requirements Explained
One of the reasons why social security benefits applications usually have high denial rates is because some applicants don't meet the eligibility requirements. And considering the complexity of the requirements, most people don't even bother to reapply.
Here's everything you need to know about qualifying for social security benefits in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, and other cities and states across the country.
If you're a worker, you can be eligible for social security benefits if you:
- Are 62 years or older.
- Are disabled.
- Are blind.
- Are 'Insured'.
'Insured' is a term used to describe an individual who meets the 'work credits' explained earlier in this article.
For example, to qualify for most types of benefits, such as retirement or benefits based on blindness, you must have earned at least one work credit for each calendar year between age 21 and the year you turned 62 or became blind or disabled. This should build up to a maximum of 40 credits.
However, you'll be required to have a minimum of six work credits regardless of age.
On the other hand, if you plan on applying for Social Security benefits based on another disability, other than blindness, the rules are slightly different. First, your age determines the number of work credits you need for disability benefits.
Generally, you'll need to have 20 work credits earned within the last 10 years until the year you became disabled. And if you're a younger worker, you may qualify for social security benefits with fewer credits.
Here's a complete breakdown of the eligibility structure.
Before Turning 24
You can qualify for social security benefits if you have six work credits earned in the three-year period ending when your disability started.
Between Age 24 and 31
You may be eligible for social security benefits if you've worked half the time between age 21 and the time of the disability.
For instance, if you become disabled at age 27, you would need 12 work credits earned in the past six years (between age 21 and 27).
Here's a summary of work credits required for social security benefits for individuals born after 1929.
- Age 31 through 42: 20 work credits required
- Age 44: 22 credits.
- Age 46: 24 credits.
- Age 48: 26 credits.
- Age 50: 28 credits.
- Age 52: 30 credits.
- Age 54: 32 credits.
- Age 56: 34 credits.
- Age 58: 36 credits.
- Age 60: 38 credits.
- 62 and above: 40 credits.
As you can see, social security laws can be a little bit complicated. Things can get even more complicated if you have a disability.
To prove your disability, the SSA examines the following factors.
Your Employment Status
You won't be approved for disability if you earn more than a specified amount every month. However, even if you earn less, the SSA will still take a comprehensive review of your medical condition to determine the severity of the disability.
The Severity of the Disability
The SSA only considers disabilities that prevent you from conducting basic work functions for a period lasting not less than a year. But the screening process doesn't end there.
Is the Medical Condition Actually Disabling?
The SSA has a list of illnesses that qualify for disability. Examples include:
- Mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.
- Skin disorders such as ichthyosis, burns, and psoriasis.
- Immune system disorders, such as HIV/AIDS.
- Musculoskeletal conditions such as back and spin problems, amputations, fibromyalgia, etc.
- Cardiovascular problems.
- Sensory and speech impairment.
- Malignant neoplastic disorders such as lymphoma, cancer, etc.
Check out the full list of adult impairments that qualify for social security benefits here.
When You Need a Social Security Attorney in Prestonsburg
John Morgan, the founder of Morgan & Morgan, grew up in Kentucky. As a result, he developed a deep connection with the people of the Bluegrass State, eventually setting up Morgan & Morgan offices in Prestonsburg, Bowling Green, Lexington, Louisville, Owensboro, and Paducah to serve the hard-working locals.
So if you live in Prestonsburg or the surrounding areas in Kentucky and you need a reliable, qualified, and experienced social security attorney to fight for you, call Morgan & Morgan offices in Prestonsburg at (606) 886-6161 to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation! It doesn't matter if you're filing for social security benefits the first time or appealing a rejected application; Morgan & Morgan attorneys will help you through the entire process!