Everyone wants to be healthy, go to work, and earn a living so you can take care of your family and live a good life. But when something, like an injury or illness, interferes with that ability, you should also expect a safety net to help you out. That’s what Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or social security disability benefits are meant to do — help disabled adults when they cannot work and earn enough to support themselves.
Unfortunately, disability benefits are rarely an easy thing to get, even for the most disabled person. Here’s what you need to know about SSI and how a social security disability lawyer can help you.
What is SSI?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a form of Social Security that pays benefits to disabled adults and children with limited incomes and resources. If you’re so ill or hurt that you’re unable to work, at all or at a previous job, you may be eligible for disability benefits. If you’re an adult, you must have worked long enough to qualify for benefits. This means you’ve earned enough money over time to have paid into the social security system.
To file for SSI, you must go through an application process. In some cases you can apply online, but not in every situation. When you submit your application, you’ll be asked to supply a lot of documentation, including medical records.
People apply for SSI benefits for a variety of reasons.
- Blindness that makes it difficult or impossible for you to work
- Long-term (lasting more than a year) or terminal illness
- Injuries that prevent you from working and that disable you for a year or more
- Life-threatening injury or illness
How a Lawyer Can Help If Your Claim is Denied
The sad truth is that your initial disability claim is likely to be denied. Approximately 67 percent of all initial claims are denied. The good news is that the government gives you the ability to appeal. You have 60 days to file your appeal. If you miss that deadline, you have to start the application process over from the beginning.
The first appeal step is known as “reconsideration.” About 87 percent of all appealed claims are denied in this step. After that, you can appeal again. This allows a hearing to be scheduled so you can present your full claim and all your supporting documentation. At this hearing, you can be represented by a social security disability attorney. They will present your case and help make it clear that you qualify for the help you need.
A denied claim doesn’t mean you’re not disabled. Most of the time, the reason given for a denial is that there is not enough information provided to make a determination. Or someone who’s only looking at information on a paper will decide you’re not “really” unable to work or sick enough. This is why you need someone on your side through the claim appeal process. Having your claim denied isn’t a reason to give up. It’s the time to fight for what you deserve.
Whether you’re disabled or have a disabled child, and your social security disability claim has been denied, Ed Bernstein and Associates can help you. File your appeal immediately and then contact us so we can help you through the process. You shouldn’t have to spend time worrying about how you’ll make ends meet or get medical care when you’re already sick or hurt. Contact our office today, and let us fight for you.