Has your Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits application been denied?
Contacting an SSD lawyer can be an important step as you consider your options moving forward. The attorneys at our firm have successfully represented thousands of clients while obtaining over $500,000,000 in compensation.
Contact Jay Trucks and Associates today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation with a Grand Rapids Social Security Disability attorney. There are no upfront fees involved and we do not receive payment unless we recover compensation for you.
No Upfront Fees – Ph: (800) 762-8623.
Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?
To qualify for SSD benefits, your situation must meet certain criteria, which are covered on the Social Security Administration (SSA) website. The SSA considers a person disabled if they:
- are unable to do the work they performed before they became disabled
- cannot perform any other tasks to make gainful wages
- have a medical condition that is projected to last at least one year or is expected to cause death
- were diagnosed with a medical condition that fits the criteria in the SSA listings
- earned less than the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit for the year when they applied (in 2020, this amount is $1,260 for those are not blind and $2,110 per month for blind people)
Children under the age of 18 may qualify for SSD benefits if they suffer from a physical or mental condition that seriously limits their ability to take part in certain activities.
There are many reasons why you may have not been able to obtain disability benefits. Even though you may have a disability listed on the SSA website, maybe you did not have enough medical evidence.
Let our Grand Rapids Social Security Disability lawyers learn more about your claim in a complimentary consultation. Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of the rules for SSD benefits and we are prepared to guide you through the application or appeal process.
Social Security Benefit Types
There are several different types of SSD benefit programs you may be able to apply for, based on income, assets, age and status as a widow or widower.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
These benefits are for people who have sustained a serious injury or illness that has resulted in severe physical and/or mental limitations. They were working and are no longer able because of their disability.
Usually, applicants must have at least 40 work credits and must have worked in five of the last 10 years. However, the number of work credits is based on your age. A work credit equates to a certain of money you earned in a year. For example, in 2020, if you earned at least $1,410 in wages, you have one work credit for that year. You can earn up to four work credits each year.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Applicants who have little to no work history or assets may qualify for SSI benefits. You must have a qualifying disability and less than $2000 in total assets. If you are a couple applying together, the asset limitation is $3,000.
It can be difficult to determine what is counted as an asset without the help of a knowledgeable lawyer SSD lawyer. Some valuables you own may not count against your asset limits.
Disabled Widow’s and Widower’s Benefits
Widows and widowers may be able to obtain these benefits if they are 50 years of age and have a qualifying disability. Otherwise, you must be over the age of 60 and have lost your spouse within the past seven years. Some important documents you must present to SSA include:
- You and your deceased spouse’s Social Security numbers
- Your deceased spouse’s death certificate and birth certificate
- You and your deceased spouse’s most recent tax returns
Disabled Adult Child Benefits
According to the SSA, a disabled adult child is over the age of 18, unmarried and has a qualifying disabling condition, which began before he or she reached the age of 22. There must be one parent already receiving SSD benefits or a parent who passed away while receiving benefits. The deceased parent must have paid into the Social Security system for a long enough time.
If you are unsure about which benefits you may qualify for, give us a call today. If you have a viable claim, the Grand Rapids SSD attorneys at Jay Trucks and Associates are prepared to guide you through the process.
Information Needed for the Application Process
Before you start the application process for SSA benefits, we suggest gathering some important documentation, including:
- Your Social Security number and ID with proof of age
- Social security numbers and proof of age of any family members living with you
- Names, addresses and phone numbers of medical facilities you visited, along with dates
- Medical records or reports from doctors, therapists or other medical professionals who provided treatment
- Medical testing results, including lab work, MRI’s, CT scans, etc.
- List of medications and dosages you are taking
- Most recent W-2 form or federal tax return
- Information on your employment/work history
- Marriage certificate if your spouse is applying for benefits as well
Because the SSA approval process can take up to five months, you should apply for benefits as soon as you can. There are three different ways you can apply for SSD benefits, including:
- Complete an online application at ssa.gov/benefits/disability/
- Calling the toll-free number 1-800-772-1213
- Contacting or visiting your local SSA office located at 1940 Sweeney St in Mt. Pleasant, MI.
If you are having trouble with the SSA application process, feel free to contact a Grand Rapids Social Security Disability attorney at Jay Trucks & Associates for a free review of your claim. We aim to help injury victims get the benefits they may need for a healthy recovery.
Call us at (800) 762-8623 today to learn more about applying for Social Security Disability benefits.
Why Was my Application Denied?
Having your application denied does not always mean you are ineligible for SSD benefits. Often times, it helps to have an experienced SSD lawyer review your claim to look for any missing or incorrect information. Sometimes a lawyer can include additional evidence that may help strengthen your claim.
Some common reasons why some SSD applications may get denied include:
- Lack of work credits
- Lack of medical evidence
- Income or assets exceed the allowable limit
- Prior denial
- Failure to cooperate
- Failure to follow medical treatment schedule
- Disability will not last at least one year
Some claims are denied because the applicant is disabled due to an alcohol or drug addiction. However, there is an important distinction to be made: if you are disabled and have an addiction, your claim may still be approved. It is important to be truthful and forthcoming about the addiction, as it may improve your chances of being approved for benefits.
If your SSD application was denied, call (800) 762-8623 to schedule a free consultation with a trusted Grand Rapids Social Security Disability attorney at Jay Trucks and Associates.
Appealing a Denied Social Security Disability Claim
If your SSD claim was denied or you are unhappy with the amount of compensation you are receiving, you can file an appeal. However, you only have 60 days to do so, and the appeals process can be lengthy and complex, which is why we recommend letting a qualified attorney review your claim.
These are the four different levels to the appeals process:
- Reconsideration – This is when a different claims examiner from the one who previously denied your claim gets assigned to reconsider the details of your claim and any new evidence your lawyer may have introduced.
- Hearing – If reconsideration does not work, your lawyer can request a hearing from an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). During this hearing your lawyer can prepare you for any questions you may be asked about your disability and he or she can also argue your case with the ALJ.
- Appeals Council – If you are unhappy with the judge’s decision, you can ask the SSA’s Appeals Council to review your claim. The SSA’s Appeals Council has the authority to either deny, approve or have your claim reviewed by a different ALJ in another hearing.
- Federal Court – If all else fails, and you still have not received SSD benefits, you may be able to file a lawsuit in federal district court, however, no new evidence will be allowed at this stage.
The Grand Rapids Social Security Disability lawyers at Jay Trucks and Associates understand that the SSD appeals process may not be easy to understand and some folks may not be able to handle the process on their own, which is why we are here. If you have a valid claim, our lawyers are prepared to manage the appeals process on your behalf.
When Should I Start Receiving Benefits?
If you receive an approval for benefits, you should receive the first payment within one to two months. Backpay may take longer – backpay is for the period between when you applied and were approved.
If more than three months pass without receiving a check, you should call an attorney so he or she can ask the SSA about the situation. Our attorneys understand how important it is to you and your family to receive this compensation.
Get in Contact with a Grand Rapids Social Security Disability Lawyer Today
Whether it is your first time applying or you plan to appeal a denied claim, our lawyers may be able to assist you in seeking benefits. We have detailed knowledge of the process involved in applying for benefits and are prepared to guide you every step of the way, if you have a valid claim.
Jay Trucks and Associates accepts Social Security Disability claims on a contingency fee basis – meaning we do not charge any upfront fees and you will not be billed any attorney’s fees unless we obtain benefits for you.
Reach us by phone, night or day: (800) 762-8623.