The Social Security Disability attorneys at Jay Trucks and Associates understand the many struggles individuals and families face when they are unable to work because of a disability. We are committed to helping those with qualifying disabilities to obtain the benefits they are eligible to receive and have extensive knowledge about the entire process of pursuing disability compensation.
… I decided to hire them again for my Social Security Disability case. I received a favorable outcome…
– T. Coty
If you had a claim that was denied, we may be able to help gather additional evidence of your disability and file an appeal on your behalf.
Contact us anytime 24/7 to set up a free review of your claim. The initial consultation puts no obligation on you to hire us. If you do, there will be no legal fees unless you receive compensation.
Free Consultation. Ph: (800) 762-8623.
Qualifications for Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires applicants to meet certain criteria:
- You must have a disability that is expected to last at least one year or cause your death.
- You cannot perform the work you used to, and you cannot perform any other work.
- You have a condition on the SSA’s Listing of Impairments or one that meets the criteria for one of the listings
- You did not earn more than the Substantial Gain Activity (SGA) limit in the year you are applying.
- Minors may qualify if their disability severely limits their activities.
If you believe your condition meets the criteria above, you should strongly consider meeting with our experienced attorneys to determine whether you may be eligible. Even legitimate applications are denied, so you may still be eligible even if you have already been denied.
Social Security Disability Benefit Programs
There are four main programs that award disability benefits. You can discuss these programs with our licensed lawyers in a free consultation.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
These benefits are for individuals who are no longer able to work because of their disability. Generally, you must have been employed for at least five of the last 10 years (does not have to be consecutive years) to qualify for these benefits.
You also need to have earned a certain number of work credits based on your age. One work credit is equal to $1,410 in wages in 2020.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Children and adults who are unable to work because of their disability and have little to no work history, and minimal assets, may qualify for these benefits. Individuals can have no more than $2,000 in assets. Couples cannot exceed $3,000 in assets.
However, the SSA has numerous rules on things that are excluded when tallying up your assets. It is important to talk to a licensed attorney to determine if your assets may disqualify you from SSI benefits.
Disabled Widow and Widower Benefits
If you are over the age of 60 and lost your spouse within the last seven years, you may be eligible to receive these benefits. However, if you have a qualifying disability, you may be able to receive these benefits when you turn 50. You must provide the SSA with your spouse’s birth and death certificates, your most recent tax return and your social security numbers.
Disabled Adult Child Benefits
These benefits were created to help individuals between 18 and 22 who do not earn more than the SGA limit. Applicants must have a medical condition that severely limits their ability to take part in everyday activities. Parents of the disabled must qualify for disability benefits or, if they are deceased, they must have contributed to Social Security for enough time.
If you are unsure whether you qualify for any of the programs above, you can ask our Clare Social Security Disability lawyers in a free consultation.
Call today to schedule your free consultation with a Clare Social Security Disability lawyer. (800) 762-8623
Documents You Need to Complete an Application
It is important to ensure you have all the documentation required before applying for SSD benefits:
- Social Security card
- Birth certificate
- Proof of citizenship
- W2 or latest tax return
- Documentation of your work history
- Marriage certificate (if your spouse is applying with you)
- List of prescribed medications and dosage requirements
- Medical records related to your disability (including names, addresses and phone numbers of health care facilities you visited and when, etc.)
There are three different ways to apply for SSD benefits. You can apply online at the SSA website, call 1-800-772-1213 or you can visit a local Social Security office and apply in person.
If you are having trouble gathering documents or are unsure if you have a strong enough case, feel free to contact the experienced legal professionals at Jay Trucks and Associates.
Common Reasons Why Applications May be Denied
There are various reasons the SSA may deny your claim and our lawyers are very familiar with them. If you hire us to help you apply or appeal a denied claim, we are prepared to help build a strong case for why you should be awarded benefits and work to prevent a denial for one of the reasons below.
- Drug or alcohol abuse – If your disability was the result of drug or alcohol abuse, your SSDI claim may be denied. However, you may still qualify for SSDI benefits if you have a disability in addition to a drug or alcohol addiction. It is important to be truthful with the SSA and your attorney about your addiction. If you are caught lying it is unlikely you will be approved for benefits.
- Failure to follow treatment schedule – If you have a disabling condition, you may be put on a treatment plan or prescribed therapy or rehabilitation. You may be denied if you fail to attend appointments or follow your treatment plan in some other way. If you work to try to improve your health and it is not producing results, claims examiners may have an easier time judging the severity of your disability.
- Failure to cooperate – The SSA may require you to submit additional documentation or ask you to attend a medical examination. If you do not cooperate with these or other requests, the SSA may be more likely to issue a denial.
- Lack of evidence – The SSA could deny your claim because there was not enough medical documentation indicating the severity of your disabling condition. Our Clare Social Security Disability lawyers know what types of documentation are needed to build a strong case.
- Your disability is temporary – If your disabling condition is not expected to last an entire year or lead to your death, the SSA may deny your claim. You may want to pursue short-term disability insurance or workers’ compensation benefits instead of SSD benefits.
- Not enough work history – Your claim could be denied because you do not have enough work credits. The amount of work credits needed depends on your age and you can earn up to four credits per year.
- Your income or assets exceed the limit – If you are earning more than the substantial gainful activity allowance (SGA), you may not be eligible for SSDI benefits. In 2020, the SGA limit is $2,110 per month for blind individuals and $1,260 per month for non-blind individuals.
If you or a loved one had a claim denied by the SSA, contact one of our Clare Social Security Disability lawyers at Jay Trucks and Associates for a free review of your claim.
Our team is available to take your call anytime, 24-7. Ph: (800) 762-8623
The SSA Appeal Process
If your SSD claim was denied, it is important to contact an experienced attorney immediately because you only have 60 days to file an appeal. There are four steps in the appeals process:
Request for Reconsideration
Another claims examiner will review your application and consider any new evidence or information supplied by you or your lawyer. You should receive a decision within two to three months. It is better to take this step than to simply file another application because it will likely be denied. A claims examiner will see that another application was filed and rejected.
Request for a Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge
If your application is not approved, you can ask to have your case reviewed by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). You may be asked to provide additional evidence of your disability, such as medical documentation. Witnesses may also be called at the hearing.
Our lawyers can help you prepare to answer questions at the hearing and gather new evidence to bolster your application.
You should receive a written decision from the judge within 30 days of the hearing.
Appeals Council Review
If the ALJ does not approve your claim, you may request to have it reviewed by the SSA’s Appeals Council. If the Appeals Council decides to review your claim, it will decide whether to uphold or overturn the judge’s decision. They may also refer your claim to another ALJ for review.
Federal Court Review
Your last chance for appealing your claim is to file a lawsuit with the federal district court. A federal judge will review the evidence that you have already submitted. You cannot submit any new evidence.
The Clare Social Security Disability attorneys at Jay Trucks and Associates are prepared to guide you through each step of your appeal, allowing you to focus on your medical treatment.
How Long Before I Start to Receive Payments?
Although waiting times may vary, you should receive your first payment within 30 to 60 days after your SSD benefits are approved. However, it may take longer to receive any backpay, which covers the time between approval and the filing of your application.
If you have not received any payments within 90 days of receiving approval from the SSA, you may want to contact your attorney. Our attorneys understand that some families could be suffering financially without the help of these benefits.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with a Clare Social Security Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one is having trouble recovering Social Security Disability benefits, contact Jay Trucks & Associates today to schedule a free consultation and find out if we may be able to assist you.
Our lawyers have been helping Michigan residents and their families for more than three decades. Our firm has handled more than 1,000 cases, recovering millions on behalf of our clients.
You can come to our office at 600 Pine Street, just 20 minutes from the U.S. Social Security Administration Office in Mt. Pleasant.
You can also contact us by phone to schedule a free review of your claim. You will not be obligated to let us represent you. There are no upfront or hidden costs and you do not pay us unless we win.