Mobile Area Law Firm For Social Security Disability
You work hard for a living and take pride in being able to support your home and loved ones. But few families can live for long after a drop in pay or the complete loss of a regular paycheck.
If you’ve been injured or are suffering from a serious illness that prevents you from working, you may be eligible to collect Social Security Disability benefits. This is a program meant to protect workers and their families, but there can be some significant roadblocks to collecting the money you need and deserve.
If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits or are looking for straight answers and guidance about this process, Thiry & Caddell, LLP, can help. Contact our experienced Alabama disability lawyer to schedule a free consultation.
What is Social Security Disability?
Social Security is a federal benefit provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that is meant to assist eligible people who are ill or injured and cannot return to work.
There are several different types of Social Security benefits:
Disability Insurance Benefits (SSD or SSDI)
This the most common benefit that people seek from the SSA. It covers millions of former workers that become disabled, and the benefit amount is based on the applicant’s earnings and work history.
Disabled Adult Child Benefits (DAC)
Children between the ages of 18 and 22 who are disabled may be eligible for parents if a parent is deceased or is receiving SSDI or Social Security retirement benefits.
Disabled Widow or Widower Benefits (DWB)
If a widow or widower over the age of 50 becomes disabled within seven years of a covered spouse’s death, they may be able to collect benefits. They must have been married to the deceased for at least 10 years.
Who is Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?
The SSA has strict criteria when it comes to determining who is eligible for benefits. In general, to collect SSDI, you must:
- Be under the age of 65;
- Have worked 5 out of the last 10 years as of the date of the onset of your disability (this requirement is waived for applicants ages 22 or younger)
- Have a covered physical or mental condition that prevents you from being gainfully employed; and
- Have a condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.
The SSA has a list of disabling medical conditions that qualify for SSDI. Even if your condition is not only this list, you can still get approved for benefits if you meet the agency’s other criteria.
How to Apply for SSDI Benefits in Alabama
You can apply for Social Security Disability benefits in Alabama online or at your local SSA office. Social Security will review your application to make sure you meet certain technical requirements. If you do, it will pass your materials on to the Alabama Disability Determination Services (DDS) to make a final determination.
Common Reasons for Social Security Disability Benefit Denial
Close to 70% of first-time Social Security applications receive a claim denial. Many of these denials can be successfully appealed with the assistance of a skilled disability attorney that understands the process and the applicable laws.
Some of the most common reasons for SSDI claim denials include:
- Lack of hard medical evidence– Your medical records must show that you have a qualifying medical or mental disability.
- Not enough work credits– You don’t qualify due to your work history.
- Prior denials– Resubmitting the same application at a later date won’t change the decision.
- Failure to cooperate– If the SSA asks for further documentation, you’ll need to provide it.
- Failure to follow treatment– Patients are expected to comply with prescribed medical treatment that could improve a disabling condition.
Appealing Your Denied Social Security Claim
If your application for SSDI benefits is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. In fact, you should appeal any claim denial or decision on benefits that you believe is unfair. You must make a written request for reconsideration within 60 days of receiving your decision letter from the SSA.
A disability claim can go through several levels of review and appeals:
At this stage of appeal, your case will be reviewed by another claims examiner that can also consider any additional evidence submitted and pose questions about your case.
If your claim isn’t approved at the reconsideration stage, you can request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The wait time for this hearing can be well over a year. It’s helpful to have an attorney on your side that can prepare you to answer the judge’s questions and argue your case.
If you are not satisfied with the Administrative Law Judge’s decision, you can ask for an additional review by the Social Security Appeals Council. This Council can affirm the judge’s decision, reverse it and approve your benefits, or send the case back to the judge for additional review.
If the appeals council denies your claim, you can file a lawsuit in federal district court as a final appeal.
How an Alabama Disability Attorney Can Help
Whether you’ve been denied Social Security Disability benefits or want to increase your chances of approval, an experienced disability attorney can help. At Thiry & Caddell, LLP, we’ve been helping clients throughout the Gulf Coast with Social Security-related matters for over 40 years.
Our attorneys understand the frustration that this system can bring and the challenges families face when they are denied benefits. Research reveals that 60% of people who hire an attorney ultimately get approved for benefits compared to just 34% of people who try to figure it out alone.
Don’t gamble with your financial security. Let us help guide you through this process. Our consultations are always free, and we don’t charge any fees upfront. And there are no surprises at the end, as the law sets the rate for attorney fees in these cases. Contact our Mobile office today at (251) 478-8880 or reach out to us online to learn more about your options.
50+ Years Of Representing Great People In The Mobile Area
Speak To A Social Security Disability Attorney Today
Consultations are entirely free, and you pay us nothing until we win your case. There are no surprises at the end of the case, as the law sets the attorney fees.
Get the information today to make the best decision for the future of you and your family.
Renee Thiry is a Social Security Disability Attorney in Mobile, AL and will fight for the compensation you deserve.