Any advantages to gained in hiring a Social Security lawyer to assist you when filing a claim for disability benefits, begins to make sense when one realizes that approximately 70% of the claims for disability benefits are turned down. This can happen to you, even though you meet the necessary criteria as far as qualifying for benefits is concerned. Filing a claim for Social Security Disability benefits can be a lengthy process, especially if your claim is a valid one , but for some reason is turned down. It can make sense to hire someone who knows how to fill out the claim forms,who can gather and submit supporting documentation, and can help you in answering the questions the SSA will ask, to determine if you are qualified to receive benefits. The lawyer will also work to ensure you receive the benefits you are justly entitled to receive.
The very first step the lawyer will take will be to determine if you qualify for benefits. There’s no sense in going through the claim process if it is apparent you cannot qualify.
As a minimum, to qualify for disability benefits you must:
1. Be totally disabled. The SSA does not provide benefits for a partial disability.
2. You can no longer do the work you did before.
3. Your medical condition will not allow you to do other work.
4. You meet the criteria that defines the SSA definition of disability, and your condition is on the SSA list of disabling conditions.
In addition, you will have needed to work long enough, and recently enough, while under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits. This generally means you need to have 40 credits in order to receive benefits. Most workers receive their maximum of 4 credits a year (based on earnings of at least $4520 during each year). 20 of those credits must have been earned within the past 10 years.
There are also some special situations under which people are eligible for benefits. These special situations include being legally blind, or having low vision, being a worker’s widow or widower, being a disabled child, or being a wounded warrior.
The lawyer is also there to ensure your legal rights are being upheld. Disability representatives are always on hand to help you in receiving those benefits you are entitled to.