Watching our loved ones get sick or become disabled can be a heart-wrenching process. That’s especially true if they can no longer work. On top of doctor’s appointments, trips to the pharmacy, and helping out with treatments, family members and loved ones often find themselves overwhelmed financially. That’s where Social Security Disability Insurance can come into play.
Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is a government program designed to assist those who are disabled and no longer able to work. Americans pay into the program via payroll deductions with the expectation that the government will help support them should they become disabled. Too often, though, disability claims are denied—in fact, only about one-third of all claims are approved initially.
Who Is Eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance?
Certain requirements must be met to qualify for SSDI. These benefits are only available to those with a qualifying disability who have earned work credits as outlined by Social Security law. In order to qualify for these benefits, a person must:
- Be considered disabled as defined by Social Security Administration
- Have physical or mental health impairments that prevent them from working a regular paying job for at least a year
- Have a long enough work history to have paid into the Social Security Disability system
Even if a person has not worked long enough to be eligible for benefits, they may still qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI offers monthly payments to disabled people who have little to no income or adequate work history.
Applying for SSDI
Once you’ve established that your loved one is indeed eligible for SSDI benefits, it’s time to gather the necessary information required for the application. This includes:
- Proof of age and Social Security number
- A list of their doctors and hospitals
- Prescriptions and dosages you are taking
- Marriage details
- The names, addresses, and Social Security numbers of any dependents
- Employers for the last 15 years
- Income statements like W-2 forms or income tax returns
It’s important to apply as soon as the person becomes eligible for benefits. This will help reduce the odds of delayed decisions. Applying online is often the most convenient option, but you can also seek help from the hospital where your loved one is staying.
Appealing SSDI Denials
If your loved one’s SSDI application is denied, don’t lose hope. Most applicants have to file an appeal in order to get the benefits they deserve. You have 60 days from the date of the denial to file an appeal. Should the reconsideration appeal also fail, you’ll have the option for a hearing before an administrative law judge. If the judge also denies the claim, you can continue escalating your case to the appeals council. If all else fails, you can even bring your case before a federal district court. Thankfully, most SSDI appeals never get this far.
Get Answers to Your Social Security Questions Now
The Social Security disability process doesn’t have to be a frustrating one. With the help of our Massachusetts Social Security disability lawyers, you can ensure your loved one gets the benefits they deserve. We concentrate our practice in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont, so we know local hearing offices personally and advise our clients thoughtfully.
If you’re applying for initial disability benefits or appealing a denial of disability benefits, know that we never charge attorney fees upfront. By paying us a percentage of your back benefits, you’ll know that we’re equally invested in getting you the benefits you deserve.
Contact our team today to learn more about the Social Security disability application process or how to appeal a disability denial. Additionally, you can start learning more about how to protect your loved one’s rights to receive disability benefits by downloading a free copy of our book, Unlocking the Mystery: The Essential Guide for Navigating the Social Security Disability Claims Process.
Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?
If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 508.283.5500 to schedule your free consultation.