While many people think of social security as a means of receiving retirement benefits, the program also offers compensation to individuals who have suffered disabling injuries that prevent them from working.
This is covered as social security disability (SSD). Not all injuries are eligible to receive disability benefits, but a West Palm Beach social security attorney reveals a detailed evaluation and filing criteria that may lead to many missing out on the relieving benefits.
According to the Social Security Act, disability is defined as “inability to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
From that definition, disability will only be deemed present if three things can be proved:
- Mental or physical impairment
- Inability to take part in gainful employment
- Expected to lead to death or last for more than a year.
Determining whether your injury is a disability as defined by the Act can be problematic especially since the injury has to render it impossible for you to work.
Some of the common injuries regarded as disabling by the Social Security Administration include:
- Cardiovascular injuries such as heart disease, chest pain/ angina, congestive heart failure and arrhythmia.
- Neurological disorders such as epilepsy, strokes, Tourette’s syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, brain tumors and central nervous system damage.
- Musculoskeletal injuries such as fractures, amputations, joint trauma, spine and soft tissue damage.
- Respiratory injuries such as lung transplants, cystic fibriosis, and asthma.
- Skin disorders such as cellulitis, psoriasis, dermatitis, chronic fungal and bullous diseases.
- Endocrine system disorders such as diabetes, kidney disease and hormonal imbalance.
- Immune system diseases such as lupus, Vasculitis, Lyme disease, HIV/AIDS, and Behcet’s disease.
- Cancer, including specific cancerous tumors.
- Senses and speech injuries such as loss of speech, sight and cystic fibriosis.
These are just some of the conditions deemed to be disabilities by the Social Security Act. If you or a relative has suffered injury that you think is disabling, a West Palm Beach social security attorney can help you evaluate the possibility of social security coverage.
Read more about the injuries covered by SSD here.
How to File for SSD Benefits
Besides the injury, there are a number of conditions required by the law in order to successfully file for social security disability benefits. Firstly, you must have been recently engaged in lawful employment in a job covered by social security and accruing social security credits.
You earn social security work credits from yearly wages. To qualify for social security disability payments, you must have earned at least 20 credits in the preceding 10 years, and in total, up to 40 credits.
The amount of income tied to credit changes yearly. In 2014, one credit was earned from each $1200 in wages.
It is recommended that you file a claim at the nearest social security office in person. Alternatively, you can contact Social Security for a telephone interview or apply online. You can file for the benefits on the very same day you suffered the disability, or during your sick leave, provided you will be out of work for a year.
To assess the validity of your claim, Social Security will look at the different ways your condition affects your ability to work including the amount of weight you can lift, the amount of time you can sit or stand, your ability to use your hands or fingers, and the length of time you’ve struggled with the impairment.
How a West Palm Beach Social Security Attorney Can Help You File
The application process can include a hearing, determination, and appeals process, making it very extensive and complex. Therefore, it is recommended that you consult an with an experienced West Palm Beach social security attorney to discuss what is necessary for your application and what isn’t as well as what will help your case and what won’t.
Professional West Palm Beach social security attorneys have helped numerous injured persons secure disability payments. Though the process is intricate and extensive, it is possible to get the care you or your loved one deserves. Timing is important.
Visit here to get started with a West Palm Beach social security attorney today and get your benefits plan in action.