Does Having a Lawyer Help With Disability?
If you have a disability or condition that prevents you from having a job and you want to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it's a good idea to hire a lawyer to assist you with your application. If you've been denied for these benefits before, having an attorney on your side can increase your chances of approval.
According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office study, individuals who hired an attorney to assist them with their disability case were three times more likely to have their benefits application approved. However, your financial and health situation, as well as how far you are in the application process, will determine when you should hire a lawyer.
SSDI and SSI: What's the Difference?
To be eligible for SSDI, you have to have a condition that the Social Security Administration classifies as a disability. You'll also need to have worked at a job where Social Security taxes were taken out of your check each pay period. For instance, in 2018, you should have earned 40 work credits total, with 20 of those credits acquired over the last decade.
During 2018, you received one work credit for each $1,320 of your income. Younger individuals who are disabled may not have had time to earn the required amount of work credits, which is why there are special conditions for children, teens, and some young adult applicants.
It's also important to note that you'll have to provide proof of your disability, as well as proof that the disability has prevented you from working for the past year. The evidence should also show that you may not be able to work for 12 months or more. Keep in mind that no SSDI benefits will be paid for disabilities that last less than a year or for partial disabilities.
SSI benefits, on the other hand, are paid from tax revenue, not Social Security taxes. SSI payments are intended to help individuals take care of basic needs like housing, clothing, and food. SSI benefits assist disabled individuals who have little or no income and very limited assets.
If you want to be considered for SSI benefits, you have to meet the same requirements as you would if you were applying for SSDI. You have to show proof that you haven't been able to work for the last year and/or won't be able to work for at least the next year. If you're approved for SSI, you'll earn up to $750 each month if you're filing individually and $1,125 if you're filing as part of a couple.
If you're earning any money, your SSI amount will be deducted from your earnings. For instance, if you're making $300 a month and you're an individual, the $300 will be deducted from the $750 benefit, and you'll receive $450 as an SSI payment.
Does an Attorney Help Your Chances of Getting Disability Payments?
It's not a guarantee that you'll be approved for disability benefits, but you increase your chances if you're working with a Social Security disability lawyer. A lawyer will help you understand the laws associated with Social Security so you'll know your rights and how to fight for any financial benefits you deserve. Your attorney will also assist you when it comes to sticking to deadlines associated with turning in your claim documents.
Interested in hiring a social security disability lawyer? Find out more about the application process from a qualified attorney who can help you through each step of your case. Make sure you're submitting all necessary forms on time and keep your lawyer updated on the status of your case to increase your chances of being approved for Social Security benefits.
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