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Social Security Disability FAQ

Social Security Disability FAQ

Social Security Disability benefits are essential financial help for disabled workers, but the application process can be confusing. The Perecman Firm has provided some helpful answers to some of the most common questions about the process.

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income?
Supplemental Security Income or “SSI” is a program for disabled individuals, like Social Security Disability, but does not require that recipients have a work history.

How do I know if I’m eligible for Social Security Disability?
You may qualify for Social Security Disability if you work a job that qualifies (federal, railroad, and some government employees are excluded). You may also qualify if your disability is covered by Social Security and will result in you missing work for a year or more.

What is the application process for Social Security Disability?
In order to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, the first step is to check if you qualify. Do you have a job that is covered for SSD? Is your medical condition listed on the Social Security Administration’s list of qualifying cases? Does your disability prevent you from working for a year or more? If yes, the next step is to compile the necessary information: your Social Security number, medical records, etc. Learn more about the application process.

I was denied Social Security Disability benefits. Can I appeal?
You can appeal if you file a request for reconsideration within 60 days of your denial. You will need to provide more information, such as updated medical records, change in health, and other supporting documents. After filing a reconsideration, the case could move toward a hearing before an administrative law judge or “ALJ.” If the ALJ denies your case, you can still appeal and take your case to a review by the appeals council. If you are still not satisfied with the outcome, the case could move toward federal court review.

Is it true that a majority of Social Security Disability claims for benefits are denied the first time around?
Yes. Well over half (around 70%) of all applicants for Social Security Disability benefits are denied after their first application. In many cases, this is because paperwork wasn’t filled out correctly, or the Social Security Administration doesn’t agree with the medical records. Any individual who is denied has the ability to apply for a reconsideration (appeal) within 60 days.

Do I need a lawyer for this type of thing?
By law, no, you do not need an attorney to help you file a Social Security Disability claim for benefits. However, statistically, individuals who retain an attorney to help them through the process have a higher chance of getting their claims approved. Also, if your case makes it to the federal court review level, you will need an attorney to represent you in Federal District Court.

Do I need to work a certain number of years to qualify for disability benefits?
Social Security Disability benefits are available to workers who have worked long enough and paid into the system. Workers even under the age of 24 can qualify for benefits if they have worked for a year-and-a-half out of the past three years. Get more information on how long you have to work to qualify for Social Security Disability.

Still have questions? We’re here to help! Call the New York Social Security disability attorneys at The Perecman Firm for a free consultation.

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