You might be wondering what to do if you’ve been hurt and can no longer work. One solution is to apply for Social Security Disability compensation. Going this route may be complex, but with the aid of a lawyer, it is much easier. Our team of skilled social security disability attorneys at Richard Schwartz & Associates can assist you in appealing your denied claim quickly and correctly. We want to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve as soon as possible!
Securing Your SSD Benefits With Trusted Social Security Disability Lawyers
The Social Security disability attorneys at Richard Schwartz & Associates have experience and expertise in every aspect of Social Security Disability law.
Richard Schwartz & Associates is proud of our track record of defending the rights of disabled or injured people in Meridian, Mississippi. We’ve helped hundreds of people make ends meet after devastating injuries or illnesses. So, if you’re recently disabled and can’t work, you must be aware of your rights. The experienced social security disability lawyers at Richard Schwartz & Associates have the knowledge and experience you need to navigate these difficult situations.
About the Social Security Disability Program
Even though it offers comparable advantages and services, the Social Security Disability Program is considerably less well-known than the Social Security Retirement Program. Most people are familiar with the Social Security Retirement Program, but few are aware of the Social Security Disability Program unless they have been personally impacted by it.
There are two different social security disability programs:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – Individuals who cannot work as a result of sickness or an accident may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance. People must have worked in recent years to be eligible for the program — generally in 5 of the past 10 years.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – SSI benefits are based on a person’s income and assets, regardless of whether or not they have worked in the past. Depending on the income of a child’s guardian, benefits may be available under this program.
The Five-Step Evaluation Process: Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a five-step evaluation process to decide if you are qualified to receive insurance benefits under SSDI.
- Are you working? If you work more than a certain amount of time each month and your earnings average more than a specific amount, you won’t be declared disabled. The amount (known as “substantial gainful activity”) changes every year. If you are not employed or your monthly earnings average to the current amount or less, Disability Determination Services then moves to step 2.
- Is your medical condition “severe”? To be considered disabled by the Social Security Administration’s standards, your medical condition must significantly limit your ability to do basic work activities for at least 12 months. If your medical condition is severe, Disability Determination Services moves to step 3.
- Does your medical condition meet or medically equal an SSA listing? The Social Security Administration has a list of impairments that it classifies as severe enough to prevent someone from obtaining any income, regardless of age, education, or work experience. Experts describe the medical and other findings required to meet the criteria in each listing. The state agency will determine that you have a qualifying disability if your medical condition satisfies or medically equals the requirements of a listing. If your medical condition does not meet or medically equal the criteria of a listing, Disability Determination Services goes on to step four.
- Can you do the work you did before? At the end of this process, the state agency assesses whether your medical condition(s) prohibits you from performing any of your prior work. If it doesn’t, staff at the agency determine that you don’t have a qualifying disability. If it does, Disability Determination Services moves to step five.
- Can you do any other type of work? If you can’t do the same kind of work you did in the past, agency employees will inquire whether there is any other job you may perform despite your medical problems. The state assesses your age, educational background, previous job experience, and any talents you might have that may be utilized in other employment. If you cannot do alternative work, Disability Determination Services may decide that you’re disabled. However, you do not have a qualifying impairment if you can accomplish different tasks.
Common Types of Disabilities That Qualify Someone for Benefits in Mississippi
The Social Security Administration provides a manual for impairment listings. The “blue book” lists physical and mental impairments that could entitle you to benefits. The following are examples of such illnesses listed in the blue book:
- Musculoskeletal problems
- Cardiovascular conditions
- Vision or hearing loss
- Respiratory illnesses
- Neurological disorders
- Mental illness
- Immune system diseases
What if your disability isn’t common? That does not mean you are ineligible for benefits. Social Security may look at your condition and see if it is “medically comparable” to one of the conditions on their list. For example, if you have an illness that limits your ability to function and complete daily activities, you will likely qualify for these benefits.
Social Security FAQ
What Is a Disability for Social Security Purposes?
A person has to have an injury, disease, or medical condition which prevents them from participating in “substantial gainful activity.” This means your disability must be so severe that it prevents you from performing any type of work in the national economy, including the type of work you previously performed. For example, if a severe back injury prevents you from re-entering a job that requires heavy lifting, you may be able to accept a less physically demanding position and therefore would not qualify for Social Security compensation.
I’m Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits. Am I Entitled to Social Security Benefits?
Yes, although the Social Security criteria must be met differently, you can receive workers’ compensation and Social Security disability payments at the same time; however, if you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, the amount of money you may get from Social Security will be deducted to account for your workers’ compensation benefits. Fortunately, both advantages may be combined in such a way that you receive the maximum compensation for your injury.
I’ve Been Out of Work and Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits Due to an Accident. If I Settle or Get a Judgment for My Accident Lawsuit, Do I Have to Reimburse Social Security?
There’s no rule in Social Security that an injured person must give up SSDI benefits or reimburse Social Security for money received if they obtained a settlement or judgment from another party; however, collecting social security payments under the SSI program might jeopardize your continuing eligibility for those benefits.
When Should I File for Disability Benefits?
If a person learns they will be unable to work for at least 12 months or that the condition is likely to result in death, they should file as soon as possible.
At What Point Should I Hire a Social Security Disability Attorney?
The claimant should receive a decision on the claim after the filing. If the claim is rejected, the claimant has the option of appealing, which will be heard by an administrative law judge.
You have the right to legal counsel and to have a lawyer represent you at any time during this procedure. However, the appeal before an administrative law judge is the most formal and potentially confusing part. If a claim is denied, most claimants seek legal assistance right away. It should also be mentioned that there is no charge for representation until the claimant wins.