Being diagnosed with a disability or debilitating condition can be life-changing. As if facing uncertainties about your health isn’t enough, now you are forced to confront uncertainties about your financial stability as well. While Social Security disability is a social safety net that can help you make ends meet, the process of applying can be time-consuming and confusing. What’s more, a denial of your benefits can lead to frustration and more uncertainty.
The Brownsburg legal team of Hankey Marks & Crider has over 75 years of combined legal experience. We use our extensive experience to help those who are overwhelmed by the Social Security disability application process apply for the benefits they deserve.
If you are diagnosed with a significant medical condition or disability, contact Hankey Marks & Crider today. We will take the time to sit down with you and lay out your Social Security disability options. Then we will help you file a claim that stands the best chance at gaining you the benefits you deserve. If you’ve already applied for benefits and been denied, we can even help you appeal your rejection. Let’s work together to stabilize your financial situation. Set up a free consultation with our Brownsburg office by calling (317) 634-8565.
What Are Social Security Disability Benefits?
The Social Security program was originally designed to help promote economic security and maintain the financial well-being of the elderly, those with disabilities, widows, and children. If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition or disability, there are generally two types of Social Security programs you may qualify for. These programs include Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income.
Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is a program that works much like an insurance policy. The program is funded through PICA payroll tax deductions. Employees pay into the system like they would an insurance policy. Then, if they are diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition, they can generally apply to receive SSDI benefits. The amount of SSDI a person will be eligible to receive will depend on their work history and lifetime earnings. The Social Security Administration provides a calculator that can help estimate how much you may receive in SSDI benefits.
The second benefit program is called Supplemental Security Income or SSI. Supplemental Security Income is funded through general taxes and is a needs-based program. You do not have to have a qualifying work history to be eligible to apply. The program offers financial assistance to the elderly and those with eligible medical conditions who have limited resources. Unlike SSDI benefits, SSI benefits in Indiana are fixed, meaning the amount is the same for all eligible applicants.
An individual may be able to apply for one or both programs depending on their work history, income level, and medical condition. An attorney can help you determine which benefits program is right for your unique situation.
Filing for Social Security Disability
Before you even file for benefits, you need to determine whether you are eligible. There are stringent guidelines for applying laid out by the Social Security Administration. Generally, a medical condition must prevent a person from being able to work or adjust to new work. The condition or disability must also be expected to last for at least one year or result in the eventual death of the individual. Some of the conditions that may qualify a person to apply for benefits include:
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Significant burns
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Cystic fibrosis
- Respiratory failure
- Chronic heart failure and other cardiac conditions
- Ischemic heart disease
- Chronic liver disease
- Short bowel syndrome
- Chronic kidney disease
- Bone marrow failure
- Cerebral palsy
- Bipolar disorder
The list of disorders that may make a person eligible for benefits is extensive. The SSA provides a bluebook that lists impairments and medical criteria for qualifying for Social Security benefits.
Once you determine which program you qualify for, you can begin the exhaustive process of preparing an application. The SSA provides a general application online. Forms may also be available at your local Social Security Administration office. In addition to filling in the blanks, you will need to provide a comprehensive packet of medical documentation, employment history, and tax records. Failing to provide even one seemingly minor detail can result in a denial. Providing all the extra documentation is the tricky part.
An experienced Social Security disability lawyer can help you prepare a complete and accurate application. At Hankey Marks & Crider, we know what the SSA is looking for and can help you build a compelling application that will give you the best opportunity to earn the money you deserve.
What If My Claim Has Already Been Denied?
Many people feel frustrated by the system. They may have applied and already been denied benefits, leaving their financial situation in jeopardy. Numbers from the Social Security Administration show that only 32 percent of initial applicants were approved to receive disability benefits in 2016.
If you have been denied, don’t give up on going after the benefits you deserve. Individuals can appeal a rejection and continue fighting to get Social Security benefits. However, the process of filing an appeal can be intimidating and time-consuming. Talk to a skilled Social Security disability lawyer about your denial. At Hankey Marks & Crider, we may be able to help you piece together what was missing from your original claim. We can then gather the needed documentation for an appeal and address potential deficiencies in your claim. We can also represent you throughout each step in the process.
Contact a Brownsburg Social Security Disability Attorney Today
Social Security is a social safety net designed to help individuals stay afloat in difficult times. However, safety nets only help when they catch you before you fall. Let the team of experienced Brownsburg Social Security disability attorneys of Hankey Marks & Crider help you before you take a fall. We want to work with you to pursue the benefits you deserve.
Contact our Brownsburg office today at (317) 634-8565 to request a free and confidential consultation with one of our seasoned attorneys.