With the onset of a disability, you may face significant life changes. Your physical or mental capabilities may have new limits and prevent you from working, resulting in a frighteningly unstable financial situation.
At Pilzer Klein, Social Security cases are what we do. Call on an Easley, SC Social Security Disability applications lawyer from Pilzer Klein if you are pursuing much-need Social Security benefits. We will give you the guidance, support, and legal experience you need.
SSD Eligibility Requirements
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has strict eligibility rules for those applying for benefits. For your application to be approved, you must meet the medical, employment, and work credit requirements.
Physical and mental conditions fit the SSA’s criteria for disabled if they have lasted or will last at least a year or will lead to death. Additionally, the condition has to prevent you from carrying out basic work requirements, such as sitting, standing, remembering, and lifting.
The SSA has an extensive list of qualifying conditions. If yours is not included, the SSA will investigate the condition further to determine whether it meets their standards of “disabled.” An Easley, SC Social Security disability applications attorney will help you collect and prepare any documentation required.
To collect Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you must have earned “work credits” through previous employment that paid into the SSA system. Each year the dollar amount needed to earn a work credit changes based on inflation and economic trends. Workers can acquire four work credits per year.
In most cases, SSD applicants need to have earned 40 credits to qualify for benefits. Twenty of those credits must have been earned in the decade prior to the onset of the disabling condition.
Your work status is also a factor in your SSD eligibility. You must prove you cannot perform substantial, gainful activity (SGA). SGA is mainly determined by income, and while the amount fluctuates from year to year, for 2023, anyone earning $1470 or more per month would not count as disabled.
Your condition must also keep you from fulfilling work requirements and tasks you could previously and prevent you from adjusting to alternative work situations.
Exceptions to eligibility requirements are in place for some applicants. Disabled children or adults whose disabilities began before age 22, the spouses (even divorced) of deceased SSD recipients, applicants with visual impairments or blindness, or wounded warriors or veterans qualify for these exceptions.
Please note that even if you do not have enough work credits, you can still apply for SSI.
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How to Prepare an Application for Social Security Disability Benefits
Preparing an application is a serious undertaking. Pilzer Klein focuses only on SSD cases, so working with an experienced Social Security disability applications attorney in Easley, SC, from our team puts you in the best position to complete the application requirements quickly and completely.
The application requires extensive personal information verifying your identity, country of birth, citizenship status, marital status, and marital history. You will also need to provide information about your household members and dependents, arrest history, and other documentation.
You will need to complete the SSA Adult Disability Report to provide details regarding your medical condition and work history.
The SSA also requires comprehensive medical documentation of any records, reports, treatments, test results, and visits to any medical facility relating to your disabling condition. You will need to give specific information about the onset of your disability and the date you became unable to work.
You must answer questions about your work history. This will require responses about your earning history, current employment situation, and the names and addresses of your current and previous employers. You will need to disclose if you have been or expect to be paid since your last work date.
If you have or have planned to file for workers’ compensation or other benefits, you must include these filings and any awards received on your application.
It is easy to become frustrated tracking down and organizing all of this information and documentation. Avoid that stress and move the process along by partnering with a skilled Social Security Disability applications attorney in Easley, SC.
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An Easley, SC Social Security Disability Applications Attorney Will Help You Avoid Common Mistakes
The SSA does not leave room for application errors. With the guidance of a Social Security Disability applications lawyer in Easley, SC you can avoid making common mistakes that derail your chances for approval. Common errors include:
- Avoiding medical care: Stay up to date with all your appointments, follow all doctor’s orders, and provide documentation of your care and visits to your attorney.
- Downplaying your work history: Your lawyer will ensure you do not de-emphasize your work history or the tasks required of you at your prior employment, as SSD is intended for those who are too disabled to perform the tasks required in their field.
- Failing to complete the forms: Every item on your application must be completed and have accompanying, verifying documentation. Your attorney’s experienced eye will protect you from submitting an incomplete application.
What to Expect Following Your Submission
Once you submit your application, your application will undergo an initial review to ensure your eligibility requirements and then be forwarded to South Carolina Disability Determination Services (DDS) for approval or rejection.
During the DDS assessment, you may be asked to provide additional information. Always inform your Social Security Disability applications lawyer of these requests so you can respond appropriately. If your application is approved, you will start receiving monthly SSD benefit checks once you have been disabled for five full months.
After a Denial
Unfortunately, denials are not uncommon as the SSA is strict with its standards. If you are already working with a Social Security Disability applications attorney in Easley, SC, inform them of the decision immediately. If not, secure representation with Pilzer Klein as soon as possible.
You have 60 days to file an appeal. No matter how tough it may be, your lawyer will stand by you and help you take your case through the appeals process.
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We Are Licensed, Local, and Loyal from Day One
At Pilzer Klein, all of our lawyers are licensed, local to the Easley, SC area, and loyal to the clients we serve. Getting in touch is easy and free. You make no payments until we have secured your benefits.
Start working toward financial stability and relief and speak to an Easley, SC Social Security Disability applications lawyer today.