Social Security Disability benefits can be an invaluable asset when a disability prevents you from working, but it’s not easy to get approved. Make sure you get everything you’re entitled to by working with an NYC Social Security Disability lawyer.
When you’ve been disabled due to an injury or illness, it creates an incredibly stressful and difficult time in your life. If your health is so severely compromised that you can’t work at all and that’s going to be the case for a year or more, you’re put into a situation where paying your bills while getting the medical care you need might seem impossible.
However, if this is your situation, you might meet the criteria to qualify for benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance. This is a federal program that provides disabled people with an income so that they can continue to make ends meet and live their lives.
Applying for these benefits is a long, involved process with a number of hurdles, however. And getting your benefits approved sometimes means appealing an initial denial. When you’re dealing with health and money issues, this is the last thing you want to deal with, but an NYC Social Security Disability lawyer from Finkelstein, Meirowitz & Eidlisz, LLP can handle the details for you and help you get your benefits approved.
How Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?
As a federal program, you know right away that qualifying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is going to involve jumping through a number of hoops, meeting numerous criteria, and completing quite a bit of paperwork. While the income provided by these benefits can make all the difference to your quality of life, convincing the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you qualify can be quite the involved process.
To begin with, you need to have worked in a job that is covered by Social Security. In effect, this is a system that you “pay into” in order to qualify for. If you’ve never worked in a job that meets this criterion, then you won’t be eligible for these benefits.
Next, your condition must meet the SSA’s definition of “disability.” This means that whether you’ve suffered an illness or an injury, it has to prevent you from working in any capacity for at least one year. You don’t necessarily have to wait for one year to pass, but you do have to be able to prove that you’ll be disabled for that long. Also, not being able to work doesn’t just mean not returning to your current job—it refers to not being able to work in any job in any industry.
Each of these criteria present their own challenges in the process, but an NYC Social Security Disability lawyer from our firm will be able to help you compile all of the necessary information to prove your case and present it in the most thorough and convincing way possible.
What Benefits Does Social Security Disability Insurance Provide?
The monthly income provided by Social Security Disability varies from person to person. How much money you qualify for will depend on the amount you paid into the system during your working career. It is effectively based on your lifetime average earnings. Your NYC Social Security Disability lawyer will be able to review your past earning history and determine if the amount you’ve been approved for is fair and correct.
You should also be aware that your family members might also be eligible for SSD benefits if you are approved. Each qualifying family member could receive up to 50 percent of your disability rate, with the entire family (including you) being able to receive between 150 and 180 percent of your approved benefits.
For example, your spouse might be eligible if he or she is caring for your child if that child is either disabled or under the age of sixteen. Likewise, your children can receive SSD benefits on your record if they are unmarried and either under the age of eighteen or between eighteen and nineteen and a full-time student.
There are other situations that can allow these family members to draw SSD benefits on your record, and other family members might also be eligible, depending on the circumstances. An NYC Social Security Disability lawyer from our firm will help you determine who in your family could be eligible so that you can get the most from your benefits.
If Your SSD Benefits Get Denied
Because the application process for Social Security Disability benefits is so long and has such stringent criteria, any number of things could go wrong that might result in the denial of your benefits. When this happens, you can file a request for reconsideration, which will give you the opportunity to present your case during a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ).
There’s a great deal on the line when you go before an ALJ, so it’s critical to get everything right. Your NYC Social Security Disability lawyer will make certain that everything necessary to support your case has been collected and that you know what sort of questions to be prepared to answer.
We’ll need to have all of the necessary medical records and physician testimony that can be used to prove the full extent of your disability and precisely why it prevents you from working in any capacity. We’ll also need to have extensive documentation that fully illustrates your work history so that you can get the largest monthly SSDI income you’re eligible for.
NYC Social Security Disability FAQ
While getting approved for Social Security Disability benefits is neither simple nor straightforward, our firm strives to make this process as easy as possible for you. With that in mind, we’ve provided answers to a few common questions below. For further information, please contact our office so that you can speak with an NYC Social Security Disability lawyer.
What is the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance and long-term disability insurance?
Many people confuse the two, but they’re actually completely different. SSDI is a program funded by the federal government, while long-term disability policies are purchased from commercial insurers or received through your employer. It is possible to simultaneously receive benefits from both.
Can I qualify for SSD benefits if I have a mental illness that prevents me from working?
Yes; your disability does not need to be physical in order to qualify for SSDI. As long as you can demonstrate that your mental illness prevents you from working and that there are medical records that support your claim, you could qualify.
Will receiving SSD benefits disqualify me from receiving workers’ compensation benefits?
No. If your disability was caused by an on-the-job injury, you can receive SSD benefits and workers’ comp benefits simultaneously. These are two entirely separate programs, and they are not mutually exclusive.
Connect with a New York City SSD Lawyer
When a disability prevents you from working for over a year, you shouldn’t have to struggle to make ends meet and get your bills paid. As long as you paid into the system, you’re entitled to receive Social Security Disability benefits. The approval process isn’t easy, unfortunately, and you might get denied despite clearly meeting the criteria.
Finkelstein, Meirowitz & Eidlisz, LLP is dedicated to helping those unable to work get the benefits they’re entitled to. Whether you’ve been denied by the SSA or are just starting the application process, we can help you get the approval you need. To find out what we can do for you, schedule a free consultation with an experienced NYC Social Security Disability lawyer by completing the form below or by calling us at 212-385-9190.
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