Social Security Disability Insurance–which often gets shortened to SSD or SSDI–exists to provide income to people who have worked, paid taxes, contributed to the federal retirement system but now find themselves unable to earn a living became they got injured or became sick. According to the program’s website “Studies show that just over 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year olds will become disabled before reaching age 67.” That ominous statistics indicates that almost anyone can need support from Social Security well before they become eligible to retire.
Having to apply for federal disability insurance benefits almost always means needing assistance from an experienced SSD attorney. Applying can be complicated, and appealing denials is often necessary. Navigating the process can go smoother with the help of a Social Security disability lawyer from the Dayton offices of Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman. We can answer your questions; connect you with our Ohio-wide and national network of doctors, occupational therapists, and mental health care providers; and represent your interests before case reviewers and, when necessary, federal courts.
Social Security Disability Insurance offers benefits for individuals who have paid into the program but can no longer do the jobs they held before getting hurt or falling ill. SSDI beneficiaries must suffer from a long-term disability, and their physical condition or mental health must leave them unable to earn as much as they once did. “Long term” means the problem has persisted for at least a year, is expected to remain, and may result in death.
Medically documented conditions that qualify a person to receive SSD benefits fall into the following 14 categories, and each category contains dozens of individual disabilities:
Unlike workers’ compensation, Social Security does not require proof that the illness or injury resulted from a person’s employment. As noted, however, applicants must convince case reviewers that they cannot return to their previous employment at their previous wage or salary. Doing that can become easier with help from a disability attorney.
SSDI payments are based on the disabled person’s earnings and projected Social Security retirement benefits. The payments can be assigned to family members, including divorced spouses, and the Social Security Administration can stop payments if it determines that a person no longer suffers from a disability. The agency requires periodic recertification of disabled status.
Filing an SSDI claim requires filling out a form and submitting medical records, proof of prior employment and earnings, and information about your family and dependents. Applicants must be careful not to omit any relevant information that can support their case, such as lists of medications they are taking and records of treatments from health care providers other than physicians.
Application reviews can take as long as five months. During that time, case reviewers check up on every medical professional’s address and opinion, assess the accuracy of lab tests, and ensure the veracity of W2s and other statements regarding past earnings.
First-time SSI claims have high denial rates. Appeals require submitting additional evidence within tight timeframes and in response to specific queries.
Appealing an SSDI denial is really when a disabled person and his or her family need a skilled and knowledgeable Social Security lawyer the most. If nothing else, the legal team at Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman will not get discouraged by hearing “no” for the first, or third, time. We also do not get intimidated by bureaucracy or confused by legalese.
Contact us today to put us to work on your Social Security Disability Insurance case. We cannot promise positive results, but we always offer free consultations.