What Do I Need to Know About Social Security Benefits?

Are you seeking disability benefits, but are struggling with the application process? If so, it may help to have a disability lawyer on your side. Whether you are eligible to receive benefits largely depends on various medical and financial factors. In general, if you are physically or emotionally disabled to a point in which you cannot hold a regular job for at least 12 months, you may qualify for social security disability benefits. 

In order to receive disability benefits, the following must be met:

  • You have worked the required minimum number of years
  • Your income and assets are low enough (for SSI applicants_
  • You have been diagnosed with a condition recognized by the Social Security Administration
  • Whether you have any remaining ability or capacity to do any work

A disability lawyer can review these requirements with you to ensure you meet them, and address any concerns you might have. 

I Was Denied Benefits, Now What?

It is not uncommon for an individual who is eligible for disability benefits to be denied. Up to 60 percent of first time applicants will be turned down. When this happens, don’t give up. You can appeal the decision, and sometimes this will need to be done more than once. There are multiple levels to appeal disability claims. The first involves a review by an examiner; this is known as the reconsideration. The examiner will review the application and medical records to determine whether or not a mistake was made. The second level consists of a hearing in front of a judge who works for the SSA. The judge will review the facts of your case, as well as any new submitted information. You can, and should, have a disability lawyer to represent you. 

Can I Work and Receive Benefits?

People who receive Social Security Disability benefits can work a certain number of hours. As of 2020, the current amount is limited to  $1,470 per month or $17,640 per year for people under the age of 65. 

If you are seeking Social Security Insurance benefits, there are different rules. In general, you cannot work above the substantial activity level. There are a number of incentives to encourage people to resume work as soon as possible. If you own a business or are a freelancer, the definition of substantial activity is different because the amount a person makes does not always reflect how much they have worked. 

What If I Have Never Worked?

In general, only people who have worked a certain number of years, and paid into Social Security, will be able to receive disability benefits. Their spouses and children can also qualify for dependent benefits. If you have never worked, you should consult a disability lawyer to find out whether there are any options. 

Is Back Pay Available?

Most disability applicants will receive back pay once they are approved. This pay covers the time that passed since the initial application. It may be possible to receive retroactive payments for up to one year prior to the date of application – if you were disabled at that time. 

Do You Need a Disability Lawyer?

It is recommended to talk with a disability lawyer – especially if you think you have a valid claim, but have been turned down. To explore your options, call a disability lawyer, like from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, now.