Lee County Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security is a publicly available support system for people in need. It provides a number of programs for retirees and survivors. However, social security disability is unique. Social security disability is a social assistance program strictly for people who are disabled.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is principally responsible for administering social security disability assistance. This federal governmental agency has assisted millions of individuals suffering from medical conditions and impairments. The SSA uses strict criteria to address these impairments.
As of now, the SSA offers two programs for disability claimants. The one program is the Social Security Disability insurance (SSDI) program, and the second is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Both programs may administer monthly payments based on one’s disability. Both programs also rely on the same definition of disability.
If you are at all confused about these requirements, you can learn more at your Lee County Social Security Office. However, it is highly advised that you seek legal counsel before doing anything. A top social security lawyer can significantly improve your likelihood of benefits approval.
This is true for a number of reasons. Firstly, social Security Disability criteria are bureaucratic and confusing. One mistake and your application may be denied. One wrong step can result in complete loss of your benefits.
Requirements for Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits
Generally, the requirements for receiving Social Security Disability Benefits are based on the severity and duration of your disability. Although SSI is typically awarded to those who are poor, many of these poor recipients are also disabled. By comparison, SSDI is strictly awarded to those who are both disabled and former workers.
When assessing your disability, the Social Security Administration (SSA) poses five critical questions to determine if your disability qualifies.
The SSA’s Five Question Test
The SSA will first determine if you have paid into social security taxes. In other words, you must have worked a job, or jobs, covered by social security. This tells the SSA that you are “insured” . You must show a history of work, and you must show that you worked in a recent period. The SSA will assign you “work credits” based on your work history.
Most applicants need 40 work credits, 20 coming in the last 10 years. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
Then, you must show the SSA that you have a medically determinable disability. This disability must be supported by medical expertise and/or evaluation. The disability must also meet the SSA’s definition of a total disability. Short-term and partial disabilities do not qualify.
The SSD Lawyer Lee County representative can help you through these criteria.
The SSA will also ask a series of important questions that address the extent of your working capacity.
(1) Firstly, the SSA will ask if you’re working at all. If you are, you typically cannot earn more than $1,220 a month and qualify.
(2) Secondly, the SSA will ask if your condition is “severe.” If your condition is severe, it drastically reduces your ability to do basic work. Your difficulties should last for at least a year, and should make lifting, walking, sitting and standing very difficult.
(3) If you pass this question, the SSA will ask if your condition is listed under SSA guidelines. The SSA has a “blue book” with a list of medical conditions. These conditions prevent the applicant from engaging in any kind of substantial work.
If you have a listed condition, you qualify for disability benefits. If you do not, the SSA will look to see if your condition is as severe as a listed condition. If your condition is determined by the SSA to be less severe, you will move to the fourth question.
An SSD Attorney Lee County representative can assist.
(4) At this point, the SSA will ask if you can perform work that you once did. If your condition doesn’t, you don’t qualify. If your condition does prevent you from performing your past work, you move to the fifth and final question.
(5) In the fifth question, the SSA will ask if you can perform any other work. The SSA will look at a foundation of evidence to make this determination. This evidence includes your education and work histories, as well as your age. The SSA will also look to see if your skills can transfer to other work.
If you cannot perform any other work, you will qualify for disability benefits. If you can perform other work, you are disqualified.
This is why you need the Social Security Disability Lawyer Lee County can trust. Fortunately, the Social Security administration actually provides incentives to return to work. The agency provides a trial work period that allows you to verify your ability to work with your disability.
You can work up to nine months within a 60 month period.
Upon completing the trial period, you can work for 36 months and still recover benefits. You simply have to earn below a certain threshold.
You should also be aware of other benefits. Worker’s compensation and other public sources affect your eligibility for disability benefits. Prior to your disability onset, these sources cannot constitute more than 80 percent of your income.
At Berke Law Firm, P.A., we can help you navigate this confusing maze of requirements and criteria. Call our Lee County offices today and begin your claim.