Understanding Social Security Disability Law
Social security is a US federal government program that provides monthly payments to retired people, as well as those who cannot work because of mental or physical disabilities. A social security attorney, like Philadelphia’s best known, has expert knowledge in the regulations and of the social security disability claim process. A social security disability lawyer may advise clients applying for disability benefits, but usually spends most of his/her time working with individuals who are having trouble getting their disability benefits. To receive disability benefits, applicants must prove that they are too disabled to do any substantial work. The administration subsequently uses an exhaustive process to come to an appropriate conclusion that involves an individual’s medical records and past work duties, then deciding if he/she can still perform those work duties.
A social security disability lawyer must be knowledgeable in what documents the administration needs and can advise clients on the best way to categorically prove a disability in order to win a claim. Social security disability law provides monetary benefits on a permanent or temporary basis for qualified recipients. However, one should not confuse these benefits with Supplemental Security Income, a federally run disability program for low–income recipients.
• Eligibility for Social Security Disability
When it comes to determining eligibility, the most important issue revolves around whether the applicant is disabled according to the law of social security disability. In addition to the expected extent of the condition, to be considered disabled, applicants must also prove they are unable to do the work they did before. The applicant must also be unable to change or adjust to different work due to the condition. Thus, the process of determining eligibility requires extensive medical documentation and is lengthy.
Another important factor when determining disability is whether the applicant has the necessary wages to qualify. Applicants must have recently earned enough work credits to qualify. The amount of wages required to qualify changes on a yearly basis; therefore, applicants should consult a local office or the social security disability website to ascertain whether they are eligible based on their work credits. In addition, the amount that a social security disability recipient receives depends on the amount of income he/she earned before he/she suffered a disability.
The Supplemental Security Income and Social Security disability programs are the largest of a number of Federal programs that provide help to individuals with disabilities. While they are different in many ways, they are moth overseen by the Social Security Administration. Under Social Security, the definition of disability is different from other programs. For example, SSD pays only for total disability, and not for short–term or partial disability.
Additionally, Social Security programs assume that working families can access additional resources to help them during periods of temporary disabilities, including insurance savings, workers’ compensation, and investments.
• Special Situations
Most individuals who get disability benefits qualify on their own records and meet the disability and work requirements described above. However, there are certain special situations. For individuals who are blind and those with low vision, the Social Security Administration has special rules that allow such individuals to receive benefits when they are unable to work. The SSA considers one to be blind if one’s vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in one’s better eye or if one’s visual field is 20 degrees or less in the better eye.
Individuals whose eyesight does not meet the SSA’s classification of blindness may still be eligible for disability benefits if their visual limitations alone, or combined with any other health issue, prevent them from working. To qualify for benefits, such individuals must also have long worked in an occupation where they paid Social Security taxes. Visit https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10052.pdf for more information.
Anyone who is a widower or widow of an individual who worked long enough to qualify for social security can also receive full benefits at the full age of retirement or reduced benefits as early as 60 years of age. However, if the widower or widow is disabled and the condition began prior to or within 7 years of the worker’s death, he/she may begin receiving SS benefits at the age of 50. Those who remarry after reaching the age of 60, or 50 if disables, do not lose their survivors benefits.
When it comes to a disabled child under the age of 18, the Social Security Administration does not need to consider the child’s disability when making a decision on whether he/she qualifies for benefits as a dependent. In such a case, the dependent’s benefits stop when he/she reaches the age of 18 unless he/she is disabled or a full–time student in a high school or elementary school. For a child with a disability to receive benefits after the age of 18 years, he/she must meet the administration’s definition of disability for adults, and the disability must have started before the age of 22 years.
Applicants whose application for Social Security disability has recently been denied can request a review of the decision by filling out an Internet appeal. If the application was denied for medical reasons, the applicant can fill out and submit the required Appeal Disability Report and Appeal Request online. Those denied for non–medical reasons should contact their local Social Security office to ask for a review.
For people who want to become social security disability lawyers, it is important to grasp how this type of advocacy works. One has to be able to go before a judge and argue a case expertly. One would also have to pass the bar exam and be qualified to practice law in one’s jurisdiction.
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