Guiding You Through the Disability Maze
To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), an individual must make less than a certain amount of money per month, fulfill specific citizenship requirements, and obtain a specific number of work credits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) determines a person’s eligibility based on both non-medical and medical criteria. However, even if an applicant is technically “eligible”, the chances of obtaining disability benefits remains low due to the high volume of applications streaming in on a monthly, and even weekly, basis.
Because of this, qualifying for SS disability in Alpharetta may prove to be difficult if one has little to no experience dealing with the SSA. A knowledgeable SSDI lawyer can help you through the process and fight for your benefits.
There are a number of impairments, both physical and mental, that meet the medical criteria for SSDI benefits. According to the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book, the following impairments qualify for benefits:
It is important to note that an applicant does not necessarily have to meet the exact listing requirements to be approved. Disability benefits may also be awarded if the SSA considers aspects of an applicant’s condition medically equivalent to the criteria listed above. This is known as “equaling a disability listing”.
Although this may sound like the applicant has a substantial amount of “wiggle room” in terms of being approved, only six percent of applications “equaled” a listing. This is not to say that there is no chance, however the chances may be few and far between.
In terms of the legal and financial aspect of the application process, if an individual makes a certain amount of money per month, otherwise known as substantial gainful activity (SGA), the individual is considered employed and generally will not be able to receive benefits. In 2018, the substantial gainful activity amount is $1,180 per month. Generally, claimants may work and earn up to the SGA when applying for benefits.
Additionally, the claimant must also be insured under the Social Security disability insurance program, meaning they must have paid taxes into the SS system for a number of years. Age plays a factor in this segment of the process. Essentially, the older someone is at the time of applying, the longer the individual must work to obtain the necessary work credits.
It is important to not confuse Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Although the process of determining eligibility may be the same, there are fundamental differences between the two. The most notable of these differences is that SSDI is catered to those that have accumulated a number of work credits, while SSI is available to low-income residents who have worked for a limited period of time or have never worked.
Applying for SSDI benefits can be both confusing and frustrating, especially knowing that most initial applications are denied. While it may seem as if qualifying for SS disability in Alpharetta may be out of reach, there is hope.
Legal representation from an SSDI advocate can provide you with pertinent information regarding the application process to better increase your chance of being approved. Call today to learn more.
There are many Social Security disability law firms throughout Georgia. What sets The Khaki Law Firm apart from the rest? Why should you choose us? We are honored to represent those who have worked hard most of their lives, but due to a mental or physical impairment are no longer able to maintain employment and earn an income.
With offices in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Marietta, we provide legal assistance to people throughout Georgia and the Southeast in all matters of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
We are ready to help you, and offer multiple ways to reach us.