Why You Need A Lawyer if You Want to File for Social Security Disability
Has your life been impacted by a serious impairment that interferes with your ability to work? If so, you may be eligible for Social Security disability insurance. This safety net has been around for about 60 years, and provides some level of financial reassurance to vulnerable Americans.
- The number of Americans living with disabilities is approaching 60 million;
- About 10 percent of Americans have severe disabilities;
- It is estimated that 25 percent of current 20-year-olds will experience disability prior to retirement age;
- Individuals who received Social Security disability benefits are typically among the most severely impaired in the country;
- Among women who start to receive SSD benefits at 55 years of age, one in seven die within five years of the onset of their symptoms;
- Roughly 20 percent of men aged 55 who begin to receive SSD benefits die within five years of the appearance of symptoms;
- The average monthly benefit is $1,165.
Determining medical eligibility for Floridians is the responsibility for the Division of Disability Determinations. But the process is lengthy and complicated, with large numbers of applicants being denied benefits on the initial application. Retaining experienced legal assistance is a good idea as soon as you become disabled. Some of the hurdles ahead may be ameliorated with effective counsel by your side:
- Nearly 70 percent of first-time applicants are denied benefits because of holes in their paperwork;
- Benefits will not be paid until after six months after the disability began, and the application process takes an average of three to five months (hence the urgency to apply quickly);
- Your medical condition must prevent you from engaging in substantial work;
- The disabling condition must have lasted or be anticipated to last a year or more, or be considered to be eventually fatal;
- Paperwork can be overwhelming. You are required to provide medical records, workers’ compensation information, checking and savings account numbers, as well as information related to marriages, divorces, and children;
- Benefits are not necessarily inevitable, nor will they last indefinitely. Cases are periodically reviewed to establish whether or not individuals remain qualified for benefits.
Ticket to Work Program
Although the disabling condition prevented meaningful employment at some point, there is an incentive program that allows eligible applicants to participate in vocational training and/or investigate employment opportunities, all the while receiving Medicaid or Medicare benefits. The Ticket to Work program is available to anyone receiving Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income who is aged 18 to 64. The transition back to work may be lengthy and tenuous, but may be worthwhile if it can lead to financial independence.
What if you find that you really cannot handle the working world, despite your hopes and preparations? Your benefits can be protected in such a circumstance.
Getting Help With Filings
The Social Security Administration is often considered to be a monstrosity of red tape. It is a huge bureaucracy, and successful navigation requires experience and finesse.
If you are already dealing with the mental and physical weight of a debilitating disability, you do not need to endure the stress of filing for disability insurance. Let the knowledgeable Social Security Disability team at Barbas, Nuñez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian assist you today. Contact our St. Petersburg office today for a confidential consultation.