Understanding Social Security Disability
Written by Charles J. Hodge on March 12th 2015.
When applying for social security disability, know that you have the right to appeal a denial.
Many of us have worked for years without giving much thought to the money that comes automatically out of our paychecks. This money covers taxes and Social Security, which most of us assume that we’ll start collecting after retirement. But that Social Security fund also exists to help people who have become disabled—due to injury or illness—and can no longer work. Social Security Disability funds are your right—you’ve paid into them—to collect if you become unable to work because of a disability. But the first step in receiving these funds is convincing the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you need them.
Disability has a very strict definition to the SSA. According to its website, you are considered disabled by the SSA if:
- You cannot do work that you did before;
- SSA decides that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
The SSA has a set process for determining if you are disabled, listed here. If you feel that you meet the requirements to receive disability payments, you can complete an application online, by phone, or at your local Social Security office.
But after you submit your application, you may be rejected by the SSA. A very large percentage of applications are rejected, but that doesn’t mean that you truly fail to qualify. With the letter of rejection that the SSA sends, you’re offered a chance to appeal your case before an administrative law judge—and this is your chance to speak up for yourself and secure your rights to disability funds.
You need an experienced attorney to describe your case and your condition. Hodge & Langley represents clients at these hearings almost every week. The funds that you’re seeking secure the money that you’ll need to care for yourself and your family for the rest of your life, so it’s vital to have an attorney knowledgeable about the SSA and what it's seeking in a claim to ensure that yours gets approved.
Our initial consultation is free. If you’ve been denied Social Security Disability funds, contact us today.
Posted in Social Security