Have you been diagnosed with a disabling injury or illness that prevents you from working? Are you worried about how to make ends meet or get the medical care you need without a source of income? Learning to live with a disability is difficult enough without also having to agonize over how you'll pay the mortgage or put food on the table.
Social Security disability benefits can be a lifeline for people who can't work anymore because of a long-term or terminal disability. Unfortunately, it isn't easy to get approved for benefits, even when you have a qualifying condition. Working with an attorney to prepare your application can help you avoid costly mistakes and increase your chances for success. Fortunately, you've come to just the right firm for assistance.
At Justice Law Firm, we've fought for injured and disabled workers for more than 20 years, and have seen how significantly a disability diagnosis can upend a person's life, family, and finances. If you're no longer able to work due to a disabling condition, our caring and capable legal team can help you apply for Social Security disability and fight for the benefits you deserve.
Social Security Disability Eligibility
Run by the Social Security Administration (SSA), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program that covers medical treatment and provides financial support for qualifying individuals who have had to stop working because of a serious disability. SSDI is a social insurance program, which means if you've worked in the United States, you've likely paid into it via payroll taxes during your many years in the workforce. How much—and how long—you've paid into the program can affect what you receive in benefits.
You may be eligible for SSDI benefits if:
- You've paid into the Social Security system through payroll taxes
- You've worked at least five of the past 10 years
- You have a physical or mental disability that prevents substantial gainful activity
- Your condition prevents you from doing work you did previously or pursuing alternate employment
- The condition will last for at least 12 months or is likely to result in death
The SSA has a very rigid definition of disability. Qualifying conditions are found in the administration's “Blue Book” Listing of Impairments. They include:
- Heart disease
- Vision or hearing loss
- Parkinson's disease
- Chronic pulmonary hypertension
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Cerebral palsy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscle and bone disorders
- Liver or kidney disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Even if your disabling injury or illness isn't specifically listed in the Blue Book, you may still be eligible for benefits if you can present enough medical evidence to show that your condition is as impairing as one that qualifies.
How We Can Help You Get Approved for SSDI Benefits
The SSDI applications process is frustrating, confusing, and lengthy. Most people submit an application and wait for months, just to get a letter informing them they haven't been approved. Roughly 75 percent of first-time applicants are denied benefits, often due to preventable errors related to the application. Here are a few examples of common reasons for SSDI claim denials and how we can help you avoid them.
- Insufficient medical evidence. We can get you in with doctors who can thoroughly document your disabling injury or illness, and describe how the associated impairments affect your ability to work and complete basic daily tasks.
- Application errors. Mistakes in your application paperwork or missing filing deadlines can doom your SSDI claim. We can ensure your application is completed correctly and submitted on time.
- Lack of cooperation with the SSA. Throughout the applications process, the SSA will expect you to show up to appointments, release medical records, and provide other documentation—all in a timely manner. We know it can be a lot, and we're here to help keep you on track.
Ready to find out how Justice Law Firm can help you get the SSDI benefits you deserve after a disabling injury or illness? Complete our contact form to schedule an appointment for a free, no-obligation initial consultation.