When you get injured or have a severe medical condition that affects your everyday life, Social Security Disability benefits may be an option. But to qualify, the Social Security Administration must first verify that you are eligible to receive benefits.
The administration uses precise requirements that aren’t always clear, and if you misunderstand them, you could lose out on your opportunity for benefits. Today, our South Carolina Social Security Disability attorneys at Pilzer Klein explain how Social Security determines disability and how you can qualify.
How Social Security Defines Disability
Like many disability programs, you must meet a set of disability requirements to be considered for benefits. We have a strict definition of what is considered a disability and what is not. For example, we cannot provide you benefits for any partial disability or short-term disability.
To assess whether you have a disability and can qualify for benefits, the following statements must be accurate about your situation:
- You are not able to work with your medical condition and participate in substantial gainful activity.
- Your condition is severe and prevents you from doing basic work tasks.
- Your disability is on the listing of impairments.
- You are unable to do your past work and any other type of work.
If the facts above are true about you and your medical situation, you may be able to receive disability payments. Our Social Security disability lawyers in South Carolina can help you understand if you qualify and help you fight for your rights to benefits if you have a case.
For a free legal consultation, call 864-235-0234
Qualifications to Receive Social Security Disability Insurance
To be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, there are a few requirements you must have. To be able to receive disability benefits, you must:
- Have a long enough work history of jobs that Social Security covers.
- Be diagnosed with a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability.
The time you must work to be eligible for disability benefits is a per-credit system. Depending on the age that you got injured at and can no longer work, you’ll have to earn a certain amount of work credits. It’s important to keep in mind that the number of credits may differ depending on your particular situation.
We understand that this can be confusing, but one of our South Carolina Social Security disability attorneys can answer any questions you have in a free case evaluation. During your meeting, you can get confirmation if you have a valid case and are eligible for disability benefits.
Social Security Disability Process
After you’ve established with a Social Security disability attorney that you have a qualifying disability, it’s time to start the five-step process of applying for disability benefits. It’s important that you read all the paperwork and ask your lawyer any questions you have. The five steps of the disability process are:
- Application: The first step is to apply. You will be asked to fill out forms from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and provide medical evidence to help support your disability claim. At this stage, your claim will either be approved (and you will start receiving benefits) or, more likely, you will be denied, and you will need to go further in the process by filing an appeal.
- Reconsideration: This is a review of your claim by someone who was not involved in the initial decision and is the first step in the appeals process. Your original evidence is reviewed along with any new evidence you provide.
- Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ): At this appeals stage (the second appeals step), you get to present your evidence before a judge who will issue a ruling. Most successful cases are won at this level.
- Review by Appeals Council: If the ALJ denies your case, you may ask the Appeals Council for a review. At this third stage of the appeals process, the Appeals Council may return your case to the ALJ for a new hearing.
- Federal Court Review: If you disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision, you can file a lawsuit in Federal District Court. You must have an attorney admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court in the state you live in to represent you at this level.
Depending on the results of your case, you may start receiving disability payments, or you may need to consult with a passionate Social Security Disability attorney. Going through this process can be stressful, but with the help of our team, we can fight for your rights to disability benefits if you qualify.
Contact Pilzer Klein to Talk to a Social Security Disability Attorney in South Carolina
The entire process of winning Social Security Disability benefits can be overwhelming. You should be aware that, most often, it’s a long and drawn-out process, so don’t expect the SSA to move quickly. We’ll do everything we can to speed your case along, but we’re all at the mercy of the SSA.
Qualifying for disability benefits isn’t easy, but Pilzer Klein can help. For a free case evaluation, call us or fill out the contact form on our website.