Westfield Social Security Disability Lawyers
When you or a loved one are living with physical or mental disabilities, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to attain employment. Not being able to work doesn’t remove your need for financial stability. Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is a federal government benefits program that provides financial support to disabled people across the country. Not to be confused with Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, Social Security Disability Insurance is only for those who have been employed for a certain amount of time during which they paid their required Social Security taxes.
Applying for SSDI when you need it should be a simple process. For some, it can be. But unfortunately, for thousands of disabled people in need, the process can be complex, confusing, and time-consuming. Even the smallest errors in your application or documentation can delay the financial assistance you need.
The Westfield Social Security Disability attorneys of Hankey Law Office have a combined seven decades of experience fighting for physically and mentally disabled people in Indiana to get the benefits they deserve. We’ll help build a strong application for Social Security Disability benefits and, if necessary, help you appeal a denial decision.
Types of Social Security Disability Cases We Handle
The Social Security Disability attorneys of Hankey Law Office can help you with your case from the beginning to the end. Whether you’re considering applying for Social Security Disability or have already filed for benefits, we can help you. We can guide you through the following processes:
- Applying for Social Security Disability benefits (filing a claim)
- Gathering required documents and medical records to submit with the SSDI application
- Appealing a denied Social Security Disability claim/application
- Filing a lawsuit to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance benefits if your appeal has also been denied
Are You Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the federal agency that manages the nation’s Social Security benefits programs. The SSA has some general requirements that disabled people must meet in order to receive Social Security Disability benefits. The general requirements for Social Security Disability Benefits are:
- You have to have worked at a job for a specific amount of time, during which time you paid FICA Social Security taxes
- You have to be totally disabled with a disability that meets the SSA’s definition
The SSA defines “disability” as a medical condition that is severe enough that it prevents you from being able to do general work duties, like walking or standing for long periods. Your inability to do general or basic work duties refers to the SSA’s requirement that you must not be able to perform substantial gainful activity, or SGA, because of the severity of your medical issue(s). Your medical issue must have affected your ability to return to previous employment duties or transition into other employment. In addition, your medical issue must be ongoing for at least a year or you must have been given a fatal prognosis for your medical issue.
If you have a short-term disability, you don’t qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance.
Additionally, the SSA maintains an extensive list of qualifying disabilities, in which medical conditions are classified by the affected physiological system. From mental disorders to internal medical conditions, the SSA details which medical conditions they consider to be totally disabling.
It can be difficult to understand the Social Security Administration’s rules and process for obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. This is partly why it’s so helpful to have an experienced Social Security attorney help you with your claim. Below is more information about filing an application for SSDI benefits and the process of obtaining benefits.
The Social Security Disability Insurance Claims/Application Process
To obtain Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you have to file an application for approval by the Social Security Administration. Included in your application are your identifying information, extensive documentation of your medical condition, and your medical records. You’ll also have to include documentation of your recent employment and your recent earnings from your employment.
The SSA will do an initial review of your application and all of the required documentation that you provided. They’ll check to see that you have the number of work credits you need to qualify as well as review any documentation pertaining to your current work, if applicable. After reviewing your application, the SSA will send your application to the Indiana Disability Determination Bureau. The Indiana Disability Determination Bureau, as its name suggests, will make the final decision on whether to approve or deny your application for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
If you are denied SSDI benefits, you are able to appeal the SSA’s decision. You have 60 days from the time you receive your denial decision to submit, in writing, your request for an appeal. There are four different levels in the appeals process. The mailed letter you received containing your denial will list the options you have to appeal the decision.
An appeal is not something to be undertaken lightly. This is another instance when you need a knowledgeable Social Security Disability attorney in your corner. We can help you through all the stages of appealing a denial, including:
- Administrative Law Judge Hearing
- Appeals Council review
- Federal Court review
Contact the Westfield Social Security Disability Lawyers at Hankey Law Office Now
If you’re disabled and are considering applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, don’t struggle through the process on your own. Hire the Westfield Social Security Disability lawyers of Hankey Law Office today. We can help you with your claim. Call us at (317) 634-8565 or contact us online for a free consultation.