Daphne SSD Law Firm
Whether you’ve become disabled over a long period of time and you’re only just now unable to work, or your disability is the result of a serious accident, you’ve found yourself suddenly unable to bring in an income. At Thiry & Caddell, we understand how challenging and frightening this can be. Figuring out the SSDI program can be stressful at the best of times, and this is hardly the best of times.
We’re here to help you pursue the disability benefits you have paid into for the entirety of your career. Ready to get started and take the next step? Give Thiry & Caddell a call at 251-478-8880 to set up a consultation now. We serve clients in Daphne, Mobile, and communities throughout Baldwin County and surrounding Alabama counties.
Does Your Disability Qualify?
As you get ready to fill out your application and paperwork, you’ll want to ensure that your disability meets the standards laid out by the Social Security Administration. One resource to look into is the SSA Listing of Impairments.
The Listing of Impairments is often referred to as the Blue Book, and it includes information on diagnoses in 14 different categories. Each diagnosis has a list of criteria that must be met for you to receive benefits using the Blue Book. For example, look at the listing for autism spectrum disorder. Applicants must meet two sets of criteria. The first includes:
- Qualitative deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication, as well as social interaction
- Restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviors and interests
The second includes:
- Extreme limitation of one or marked limitation of two types of functioning: understanding, remembering, and applying information; interaction with others; concentration, persisting, and maintaining pace; adapting and managing oneself
If you have the medical documentation and evidence to show that you meet the criteria for your diagnosis, you can receive benefits. If your diagnosis isn’t listed or you don’t meet the given criteria, you may have another option.
By assessing your disability, the SSA can determine whether or not it qualifies for benefits. They do this by testing your residual functional capacity. They take an extensive look at your diagnosed impairments, related symptoms, limitations that affect your ability to work, and specific limitations that affect your line of work.
Their goal is to figure out if you can do the work that you have previously engaged in or if there are other work options available to you. If your limitations are so extensive that no work is accessible to you, you can get approved for benefits.
How to Determine Your Work Credits
You may also want to look into your work credits, as you must meet the SSA’s requirements before you receive benefits. Most applicants must have 40 credits, including 20 from the 10 years prior to their disability. Those who become disabled before age 24 only need six credits from the three years prior to diagnosis, and those between 24 and 31 must have worked for half of the time between age 21 and the onset of their disability.
If you do not know how many work credits you have, it is fairly easy to check. When you sign up for a “my Social Security” account, you can find out how much you have earned and how many work credits you currently have.
The Application Process
The process is straightforward, even if getting approved is a bit more challenging. You’ll follow these steps to submit your application:
- Apply online or schedule an in-person appointment by calling the SSA
- Verify your FICA contributions
- Demonstrate the extent and severity of your disability
- Your application will generally be processed within 90 days
- Receive an approval or denial letter
- If necessary, begin the appeals process
If you get denied after applying for SSDI benefits, don’t lose hope. Many deserving individuals are initially denied benefits, only to get approved after appealing. A denial is often not an indicator of your disability, but of the evidence you provided.
As a general rule, you want to submit as much documentation and evidence as you can. A Daphne SSD lawyer can be very helpful at this step, as they know what the SSA wants to see in an application file. They can also help find weaknesses in your current file and resolve them.
There are several levels to the appeals process, including:
- Request a reconsideration. This simply involves another person looking at your file to determine whether or not you qualify. They consider both the initial evidence provided and the new evidence included with your appeal.
- Attend a hearing with an administrative law judge. If you are still denied at the previous level, you can request a hearing with an ALJ.
- Seek a review by the Appeals Council. If you have still been denied, the next step is the Appeals Council. They do not accept all review requests, but if they accept yours, they can issue a new decision, uphold the old decision, or ask an ALJ to look again.
- Go through a Federal Court review. This is the final step of the appeal process, and it involves filing a civil action.
Why You Need a Daphne, AL SSD Lawyer
If you’re relying on SSDI benefits to support your family and meet your obligations, you do not want to take any chances with your application. The SSA has stringent requirements and failing to meet any of them could lead to an immediate denial.
Working with a lawyer with in-depth knowledge and experience in this area can help you save time and limit your stress. The appeals process can be lengthy, so taking the time to submit your best application from the very beginning is a wise decision.
The team at Thiry & Caddell is committed to helping disabled applicants fight for the benefits they have earned throughout their careers. Let us guide you through the process and advocate for you.
Reach Out to Thiry & Caddell—We’re Here to Help
If you’re ready to begin your application or start the appeals process, let’s sit down and talk about what comes next. You can schedule a consultation now by calling us at 251-478-8880 or contacting our team online. We serve clients in Daphne, Mobile, and communities throughout Baldwin County and surrounding Alabama counties.