SSD Lawyers in Saraland, AL
Hiring an SSD attorney in Saraland is one way to give yourself a chance at avoiding common errors and getting your application approved. To set up a consultation and talk more about your application, call Thiry & Caddell at 251-478-8880. We serve clients in communities throughout Baldwin County and Mobile County Alabama.
Understanding the Requirements for SSD Benefits
The Social Security Administration lays out clear requirements for those who seek SSD benefits. First, you must have a qualifying disability. This simply means a disability significant enough to keep you from engaging in work or other gainful activity for at least one year. It must limit you to the point that you cannot do the work you used to do or any other work that might be available to you.
The other part is your work history. The SSDI program looks at your work credits to determine whether or not you can receive benefits. Each year, you have the opportunity to earn up to four credits by earning a certain amount of money.
In 2022, the amount you must earn for one credit is $1,510. Most applicants must have at least 40 work credits, and at least 20 of them must have been earned in the 10 years prior to your disability. Credit requirements are different for those who become disabled at a younger age.
This means that if you have no recent work history, you cannot receive SSDI benefits. This program is not funded by taxes—it is funded by the money you have put away through your previous earnings. If you don’t have enough work history, you cannot draw from that pool.
The term “qualifying disability” confuses many SSDI applicants. To determine if your disability qualifies or not, the SSA asks five different questions:
- Are you working right now? If you are currently working and you earn above a certain threshold, it serves as proof to the SSA that your disability does not keep you from working.
- Is your condition considered severe? You must be unable to do basic work activities for at least 12 months for your condition to be severe. This includes tasks like lifting, walking, sitting, or engaging in basic cognitive tasks.
- Is your condition in the Listing of Impairments? The Listing of Impairments, more commonly referred to as the Blue Book, includes qualifying disabilities and the requirements for disability benefits. If your diagnosis is included and you meet the given requirements, you can receive benefits.
- If not, or if your condition doesn’t meet the requirements listed, can you work in your previous field? The Blue Book is not all-inclusive. If you can’t qualify that way, the SSA will ask if you can work in the field you used to work in, based on the evidence you have provided.
- If not, can you engage in other types of work? If you are unable to work in your chosen career path, the SSA will determine whether or not you could work in other fields or industries. If they find that you are unable to do so, you may then receive benefits.
Supporting You Through the Application Process
The best time to hire a Saraland SSD attorney is before you even begin the application process. People often underestimate just how rigorous the application process is for SSD benefits, and as a result, they submit weak applications that fall far short of the proof the SSD looks for.
When the SSD looks at your application file, they need to see that you are severely disabled and truly unable to work. You prove that through a large body of medical documentation, evidence of your inability to work and struggles caused by your disability at your last job, and assessments of your physical abilities. If you meet the requirements for your diagnosis in the Blue Book, you need to show that you unequivocally meet those standards.
People often think that their disability speaks for itself. We know what the SSA looks for when an application first comes through, and our goal is to create an undeniable case proving your disability. This may mean reaching out to additional medical providers, gathering more medical records, or going through tests that measure your physical capacity. While our way takes more time than just submitting whatever you have on hand, it is also much closer to what the SSA wants to see in an application.
How We Help If Your Application is Denied
The overwhelming majority of SSDI applications are denied the first time around. This is often just because the evidence isn’t there, and the SSA doesn’t have time to chase down evidence that they expect people to send in on their own.
If your application is denied, your journey isn’t over. The SSA has a Disability Determination Services agency in Mobile that oversees the appeals process. By going through your application, identifying areas you didn’t quite meet expectations, and adding further documentation, we can navigate the appeals process and fight for a better outcome for your claim.
The appeals process runs on a tight timeline, however, and it is crucial to reach out quickly if you’ve been denied. We can help you request an extension or meet the original deadline, so you don’t have to start over.
Choose Thiry & Caddell and Get the Guidance You Deserve
If you’re ready to start the process of applying for SSD benefits and you don’t know where to begin, turn to the team at Thiry & Caddell. Let our years of experience work for you. Call us at 251-478-8880 or contact us online to start the process now. We serve clients in Saraland and communities throughout Mobile County and Baldwin County Alabama.