We all want the ability to be able to provide for our homes. Many people work very hard to create an income stream to do so. However, when the unexpected happens and something causes a person to become injured or disabled, they’re left struggling to figure out how to provide.
Social Security disability (SSD) benefits are designed to help cover income needs in the event of an injury or disability. The designation is that if a worker cannot return to their job for at least one year or eventually will experience death from their disability, they should qualify for the benefits.
Unfortunately, the system is challenging to navigate by yourself and it can sometimes take a long time to be approved. When you have a New Orleans disability law firm on your side, it can help make the process much easier.
Social Security Disability Benefit Types
There are three main types of Social Security disability benefits:
- Disability Insurance Benefits (SSD or SSDI)
- Disabled Adult Child Benefits (DAC)
- Disabled Widow or Widower (DWB)
Disability insurance benefits (SSD/SSDI) are the most common benefits, resulting from your personal injury or disability. This is for those who are unable to work due to a disability or injury that will last at least 12 months or until death, and have earned enough Social Security credits to qualify.
Disabled adult child benefits are for adult children over the age of 18 who are unmarried and experience a disability that began before the age of 22. This could also cover a child whose parent was receiving Social Security benefits at the time of death.
Finally, the disabled widow or widower option will cover someone whose spouse passed from a working injury or disability. There are several documents required for this including proof of a worker’s death, birth certificate, marriage certificate, medical condition forms, and more.
What are Social Security Work Credit Requirements?
For those who are in the workforce and are applying for SSDI, individuals must have worked long enough to earn work credits in order to qualify.
For those ages 24-30, the requirement is to have worked at least half the time since turning 21. If you are younger than 24, you are required to have worked at least one and one-half years in the prior 3 year period, or earned 6 disability credits.
For those 31 and older, the requirement is to have worked at least 5 of the past 10 years. This is the equivalent of 20 credits in the 10 years prior to your disability occurring.
Disabled Children Benefits
When it comes to a disabled child, there are stringent requirements that your child must not be able to participate in daily activities on the same level as other children. There is a disability process to go through, and these benefits are typically based on a severe medical condition.
The children’s parents or the child themselves will file an application to be processed. Academic records, third-party questionnaires, and medical records must be submitted to fully ascertain limitations for the child.
Understanding SSD Eligibility
Not everyone will be eligible for SSD benefits, but if you understand the determining qualifications, it will make the process easier. Here is a quick look at the questions that the Social Security administration considers:
- Are you working? Is your income underneath a specific monthly limit for work?
- Does your condition interfere with work conditions?
- Does your condition fall into the list of impairments by the SSA? If not on the list, it will need to be considered as severe as a condition from the list.
- Are you able to do any type of work you have done before? Even at a job prior to your current line of work?
- Can you adjust to some other form of work based on your condition, skills, education, experience, and age?
These are the specific criteria that will be reviewed in order to accept or deny your SSD claim. If approved, benefits may be available for you and any children as well.
Applying for New Orleans Social Security Disability Benefits
There is a specific application process to complete. There are several options to complete the application:
- Complete an online application on the SSA website
- Call the SSA office at 1-800-772-1213
- Visit a local SSA office near you in person
Once you submit an application, you will be provided a claims representative by the SSA office. They are your go-to person for questions and will help send your application for official determination. This representative can help determine what you might be eligible to receive.
It is quite common for claims to be denied the first time. However, this doesn’t mean you should stop trying! Use a New Orleans disability law firm to help you through the appeal process.
Appealing Denied Claims
When you are denied or the compensation that you receive is incorrect, you can use an attorney to work through the appeals process. You have a limited timeframe, so be sure to take action quickly. You only have 60 days to file an appeal from the time you receive the decision letter.
The letter should contain details about your denial, as well as rights to appeal, the process for appeal, and a deadline. Request a hearing immediately to get the ball rolling.
At the time of the hearing, the applicant, representative, and judge get to interact, increasing the chances of approval.
You’re Not in It Alone
Going through the application and subsequent denial or appeal processes can be overwhelming. But you are not alone. Use a reliable New Orleans disability law firm to help you experience the best success with your disability process.
A qualified law firm can help you with the initial application, the appeal process, and more to ensure you receive the approval that you deserve.