Having a disability makes it difficult to work and even more challenging to maintain financial independence. For seniors and disabled people who are unable to work, Social Security is like a safety net. It is a federal social insurance program that provides monthly cash benefits when needed. To be eligible for Social Security benefits, you must have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability, which is different from other government programs. The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers you eligible for disability benefits if you are unable to do the work that you did before you became disabled, you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s), and your disability is expected to last for at least one year or result in death.
There are many cases in which claims are initially rejected by the SSA. If your initial application for SSDI or SSI has been denied, do not be discouraged. Contact a Social Security attorney at Deputy & Mizell, L.L.C. before and after submitting your claim.REQUEST A FREE CONSULTATION
How Our Lebanon, Disability Lawyers Can Help
Social Security programs include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Receiving Social Security benefits can be a complicated process. If your SSDI or SSI application is initially denied, it may take a long time to finally be approved. However, if and when you win your hearing or appeal, you will receive a calculated amount of past-due benefits that will make up for the months when the SSA should have been paying you.
To help you get your benefits as quickly and efficiently as possible, our Social Security lawyers in Lebanon will:
- Determine whether you are eligible for Social Security benefits
- Help you fill out the application paperwork
- Gather and submit supporting documentation regarding your medical condition
- File an appeal on your behalf, if necessary
- Represent you before an Administrative Law Judge should your case require a hearing
- File a lawsuit on your behalf to obtain the benefits to which you are entitled
How To Apply for Disability in Lebanon, MO
The steps to apply for disability are as followed:
- File an initial application – It typically takes 90 to 120 days for the SSA to review your claim and either approve or deny your application. Approximately only 30 percent of Social Security disability applications are approved at this stage.
- If denied, request reconsideration – You have 60 days to file a Request for Reconsideration in which the SSA will review your application again. This process takes approximately three to six months.
- If still denied after reconsideration, request a hearing – If denied again, you must appeal and request a disability hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. Oftentimes claimants will have to wait approximately two years before they have their hearing. After the hearing, you will either receive a favorable, partially favorable, or unfavorable decision within six months.
- If you don’t agree with the decision, bring it to the Appeals Council – You have the right to appeal the decision made at the hearing level. The review by the Appeals Council usually takes between six months to one year until completion. Fewer than five percent of Social Security Disability cases are won at this stage of the appeals process.
- If denied by the Appeals Council, appeal to the Federal District Court – You may appeal your case again. The Federal District Court may approve or deny your claim for Social Security Disability benefits or they may send your case back to the SSA for further review.
As you can tell, the application and appeals process can be extremely frustrating and time-consuming. Hiring a Social Security attorney in Lebanon can help make the process easier. The SSDI and SSI lawyers at Deputy & Mizell, L.L.C. will make sure that you are prepared for everything. Even though the appeals process may take over a year, we regularly speak with our clients and update medical records, medical source statements, third-party function reports, and other documents that will help you receive benefits. Furthermore, before your hearing, we have an in-depth meeting where we ask you most of the questions you will be asked at the final disability hearing. You will feel comfortable every step of the way with us.
The Difference Between SSDI and SSI
Social Security Disability
Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) supports individuals who are disabled and have a qualifying work history. If you have been unable to work a full-time job for 12 months because of a disabling medical illness or injury or are expected to be unable to work for 12 months, you may qualify for SSDI benefits. Benefits are available to individuals who accumulated 40 work credits with 20 of those credits earned in the last 10 years and ending with the year you became disabled. If you have worked 5 out of the last 10 years, you likely have enough work credits to qualify for disability benefits, however, there are exceptions.
Individuals eligible for SSDI benefits are U.S. citizens who:
- Are unable to work a full-time job for 12 months because of a disabling medical illness or injury or are expected to be unable to work for 12 months
- Have accumulated 40 work credits with 20 of those credits earned in the last 10 years and ending with the year you became disabled
Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a need-based federal program that pays monthly benefits to adults and children with a disability or blindness who have limited income and resources. SSI payments are also made to people age 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial qualifications. To qualify on the basis of a disability, your condition must affect your ability to perform work-related activities and has lasted or is expected to last more than one year or result in death. The disability must either meet the strict criteria of the SSA’s listings of impairments or prevent you from performing your past work and from adjusting to other work.
Individuals eligible for SSI benefits are U.S. citizens who:
- Are disabled, totally or partially blind, or at least age 65
- Have limited income/resources
- Live in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands
Contact Our Lebanon, MO Disability Attorneys
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Cody and his Assistant, Kate, were very responsive and did an excellent job. I highly recommend them.- Dominic S.
Sean Randall is a great Attorney and representative of this firm. Listens to your concerns and suggestions and explains what he plans to do to help you with your case. Very impressed.- Barb M.
...Won my case fast! Thanks for saving my world!- Debra R.