Whether you’ve reached full retirement age, you’ve been injured and permanently disabled, or you have a child with a disability, benefits from the Social Security Administration can ensure your family has the necessities. The application process, however, is complex, and a significant number of claims are denied. In order to successfully file or appeal a claim, you need help from a Louisville Social Security disability lawyer from Thomas Law Offices.
Social Security Administration Programs
The benefit programs established by the Social Security Administration help older Americans, workers who become disabled, and families in which a spouse or parent dies. Disability can happen as a result of an accident or other circumstances. As of June 2020, it’s estimated that 180 million people worked and paid Social Security taxes and 65 million people received monthly Social Security benefits. The majority of beneficiaries are retirees and their families, but there are different programs for different situations.
Social Security Disability Insurance
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) supports individuals who are disabled and have a qualifying work history. That history could be through their own employment or family members (i.e., spouses or parents).
If you apply for SSDI and your application is approved, benefits begin after the sixth full month of disability. The start date of that sixth month period begins with the first full month after the Social Security Administration decides disability began.
In regard to the benefits, most SSDI recipients receive between $800 to $1,800 per month. The average for 2021 is $1,277. In addition to that, SSDI recipients automatically qualify for Medicare after a 24-month waiting period from the time benefits begin.
Supplemental Security Income
While Supplement Security Income (SSI) is similar to SSDI, the requirements are different. Eligible applicants are 65+, blind at any age, or disabled at any age, and do not have access to income or resources. In regard to benefits, the Federal benefit rate was $783 for an individual and $1,175 for a couple in 2020. Those who are accepted into the program automatically qualify for Medicaid.
SSI is available for children. Per the Social Security Administration, a child is a person who is neither married nor the head of household and is under the age of 18 or under the age of 22 and regularly attending school.
Widow’s/Widower’s Disability Benefits
There are approximately four million widows and widowers receiving monthly Social Security benefits based on their deceased spouse’s earning record. Many of the survivors, the majority of which are aged women, use the benefits to attain life necessities.
Widows and widowers can receive reduced benefits as early as age 60 or full benefits at full retirement age or older. Benefits are accessible as early as age 50 if the widow or widower is disabled and their disability started before or within seven years of the spouse’s death. In the event a person has not remarried, and they take care of a child who is under the age of 16 or received child benefits due to a disability, benefits are available at any age.
While those are the most common Social Security disability programs, that is not all the federal government offers. A lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can determine what program you’re eligible for through a brief consultation.
Your Rights and Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits
When you apply for coverage under Social Security benefits, your claim is reviewed by the Social Security Administration to determine if you meet the requirements for the program you’re seeking benefits from.
According to the Social Security Administration, you have the following rights when you apply for one of the federal programs:
- The Right to Apply. As a citizen of the United States, you have the right to apply for Social Security disability benefits. There is no charge to apply.
- The Right to Receive Help from Social Security. The Social Security Administration will complete application forms based on the information you provide. It will also help you obtain the documents you need to prove you are eligible for benefits.
- The Right to a Representative. You have the right to appoint a representative, like a Social Security disability attorney, to help you with your claim.
- The Right to a Notice. Those who file claims have the right to receive notice of their eligibility of benefits. Your attorney will also receive a copy.
- The Right to Examine Your File. You or your lawyer can request and examine or get a copy of the information in your case file. You can also review the laws, regulations, and policy statements used to decide your case.
- The Right to Appeal. In the event you are denied benefits, you typically have the right to file an appeal in order to have the original ruling overturned.
Working With a Social Security Disability Attorney
Based on the claims process, you can see that applying for Social Security disability benefits isn’t always easy. The application can be confusing and is time-consuming. It can take the Social Security Administration months to review your application. In addition to that, a high percentage of first-time claims are denied.
To overcome those challenges and secure the benefits you need, it’s essential to work with a Social Security disability lawyer. The right attorney can help you complete the application, file your claim promptly, review your medical records and other pertinent information, handle requests for additional documents, and advise you of additional options for disability benefits.
In the event your SSDI claim is denied, your lawyer can help you file an appeal. You only have 60 days to do so, so time is of the essence. A legal representative can help you submit additional evidence for reconsideration and represent you in an administrative hearing or before the Social Security Appeals Council, as your case requires.
Contact Thomas Law Offices in Louisville
Whether you are seeking assistance filing a claim with the Social Security Administration or you need help appealing a denied claim, a Louisville Social security disability lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help. Simply reach out to our law firm and we’ll start looking into your situation to determine how best to proceed. Contact us today for more information.