Summerville SC social security disability lawyersSummerville SC social security disability lawyers

If you have a medically diagnosed disability and can no longer work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. Disability benefits can provide reliable monthly income to help you pay household bills and maintain financial stability. The Social Security Administration has strict eligibility criteria to qualify for disability benefits. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), only about 20 percent of applications are initially approved. Many people with valid disabilities receive denial letters and have to file appeals.

Working with an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer offers the best chance of submitting a successful application for the Social Security disability benefits you’re owed. The Summerville, S.C. Social Security disability attorneys at Joye Law Firm have decades of experience helping disabled people pursue the benefits they need. The Social Security disability claims process is challenging to navigate on your own. Our legal team has the experience to determine the best path forward and assist you with your application or appeal.

Contact a disability attorney in Summerville or at any of Joye Law Firm’s five South Carolina offices for a free initial consultation. Can’t come to us? We’ll come to you.

What Is Social Security Disability?

The Social Security Administration has two primary programs to assist people with severe, long-term disabilities. They are:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is what most people refer to when discussing Social Security disability. SSDI is designed to help people with long-term disabilities or terminal conditions such as certain forms of cancer or neurological conditions. To qualify for disability benefits, you must meet the administration’s definition of being disabled. You must have a diagnosed medical condition that leaves you unable to maintain gainful employment. You also must have earned a sufficient number of work credits based on your employment history and contributions to the Social Security system. Workers can typically earn up to four credits in a given year. The SSA requires that most workers have 40 credits, including 20 credits earned in the past decade, to qualify for SSDI benefits. Younger workers can sometimes qualify with fewer than 40 credits.
  • Supplemental Security IncomeSupplemental Security Income, or SSI, assists disabled adults and children who have very limited financial assets and who are experiencing financial distress. Unlike SSDI benefits, Supplemental Security is based on financial need rather than work history.

Depending on your medical condition and work history, you may qualify for disability benefits. If you are not sure whether you are eligible for disability payments, it’s best to consult with a knowledgeable disability lawyer to review your specific circumstances and work history.

List of Qualifying Disability Impairments

To qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits, you have to meet certain eligibility criteria. These standards can be challenging to meet, as there are multiple steps involved in most cases.

Anyone applying for SSDI benefits must show that their disabling condition has lasted 12 months, is expected to last at least 12 months, or is a terminal condition. Furthermore, your illness must be is on the SSA’s list of qualifying disabling conditions or be comparable to one. The SSA maintains a list of qualifying conditions for adults and another for children.

For adults, the categories of disabling conditions that qualify someone for SSDI benefits include:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Diseases affecting the digestive system
  • Genitourinary disorders (conditions that affect your urinary and reproductive systems)
  • Hematological disorders (conditions that affect your blood or bone marrow)
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Skin disorders
  • Congenital disorders affecting multiple bodily systems
  • Certain forms of cancer
  • Immune system disorders
  • Neurological disorders
  • Mental disorders

For children, the categories of disabling conditions that qualify a child for SSDI benefits are mostly similar and include:

  • Low birth weight
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Disorders affecting senses and speech
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Disorders affecting the digestive system
  • Genitourinary disorders
  • Hematological disorders
  • Skin disorders
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Neurological disorders
  • Mental disorders
  • Certain forms of cancer
  • Immune system disorders
  • Congenital disorders affecting multiple bodily systems

To qualify for disability benefits, you must show that you meet certain income restrictions. If you are working enough to earn more than $1,350 per month, you generally do not qualify for SSDI benefits.

You may be eligible for SSI benefits if you have less than $2,000 in assets as an individual or less than $3,000 in assets as a couple. The maximum SSI payment in 2022 is $841 per month for an individual and $1,261 for a couple. If you have other income, the amount you receive may be reduced.

How Do You File for Social Security Disability?

If you wish to file for either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits, you have three ways to apply:

  • Apply online — For most people, the easiest way to apply for disability benefits is online. The SSA has a basic checklist and more detailed information available for anyone wishing to apply online. Before applying you will need to collect certain documents and records. You will need to submit proof that you have a qualifying medical condition, that you are a U.S. citizen or lawful resident, and that you have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits. A Summerville Social Security disability attorney at Joye Law Firm can help you gather the records needed and make sure your application is complete before you submit it.
  • Call SSA — If you do not want to file an application online, you can call the SSA and speak to one of their claims representatives. You will need the same information when applying online: Medical records, proof of citizenship or lawful resident status, and work history. Once you have gathered the necessary information, you can call 1-800-772-1213 to submit your application (1-800-325-0778 for those with hearing impairments).
  • Visit a local SSA office — You can also take your application to your local SSA office. The SSA recommends you call the office ahead of time to make an appointment. You can locate your local SSA office online.

Necessary Documents

One of the main reasons Social Security disability applications are denied is because applicants fail to include all the necessary information such as medical documentation of the disability. Some of the documents you will need as part of your application include:

  • Medical records related to your disabling medical condition
  • Complete job history
  • Your W-2 or self-employed tax forms for the prior year
  • Record of any workers’ compensation benefits you have received, if applicable
  • Pay stubs or other proof of income
  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of marriage or divorce, if applicable
  • Any proof of military service, if applicable
  • Bank account numbers and routing numbers for direct deposit
  • The names and dates of birth for any children who became disabled before age 22, are under age 18 and are unmarried, or are age 18-19 and attending secondary school full-time

What To Do if Your Social Security Disability Claim Has Been Denied

If your Social Security disability claim is not approved, do not panic. There are many reasons that claims are rejected. There is an appeals process available if you believe your claim was incorrectly denied.

A Social Security disability lawyer at Joye Law Firm can review your claim to understand why it was denied and determine how best to respond. Our compassionate attorneys can help you gather additional evidence to strengthen your case and submit it as part of an appeal.

Some of the most common reasons Social Security disability claims are rejected include:

  • Insufficient medical documentation included in the initial application
  • The application is incomplete or was not filled out correctly
  • An applicant does not meet the necessary income requirements to qualify for benefits
  • An applicant submits an incomplete work history
  • An applicant fails to follow their doctor’s prescribed treatment regiment
  • An applicant fails to attend an independent medical examination

Talk to a Skilled SSD Attorney in Summerville to Learn Your Options

Applying for Social Security disability benefits in South Carolina is a lengthy process. You want to have your initial claim approved if possible. You need your benefits as soon as you can get them.

Having an experienced Summerville Social Security disability benefits lawyer guide you through the process offers the best chance of a favorable outcome. An experienced Summerville social security disability attorney can help you fill out the application, ensure all the necessary work history information is included, and help you submit it through the proper channels. If your application is denied, your lawyer can assist you in gathering additional medical evidence and appealing the decision.

Don’t delay in speaking to a lawyer about your options for getting the disability benefits you need. Contact Joye Law Firm to speak with a Summerville Social Security disability attorney now.