If you or a loved one are disabled and unable to work due to a physical, mental, or emotional condition, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits under a program administered by the Social Security Administration. This program provides monthly payments to help with living expenses. In addition, health care coverage may be available through the Medicaid program.
While in some states a person has to qualify separately for Medicaid, in Georgia a person who qualifies for disability benefits is automatically qualified for Medicaid. Some people may also qualify for health coverage under Medicare. In those cases, Medicaid will pay the person’s Medicare premiums and copays.
How Does A Person Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?
In order to qualify for disability benefits, a person must be suffering from a long term condition that leaves them unable to perform any work. A condition is considered “long term” if it has lasted, or is expected to last, more than a year. There are some conditions that automatically qualify a person for disability benefits if severity levels are met.
For other conditions, the existence of the condition, the level of its severity, the disabling nature of the condition, and that it is “long term” must be established by medical evidence. In addition, the applicant must also present evidence that there are no jobs in the economy that someone with his or her condition can perform. This requires a report from a vocational expert.
What Is The Procedure For Obtaining Benefits?
The process for qualifying for benefits begins with an application to the Social Security Administration. If the application is properly filled out and documented, benefits may be awarded at this stage. Unfortunately, that is not usually the case, and most applications are denied.
The next step in the process is to appeal that initial denial for a hearing before a Federal Administrative Law Judge. While these hearings are less formal than trials, and the rules of evidence are less stringent, there are still procedures and rules that must be followed. Failure to follow these can result in a denial of your appeal.
If the Administrative Law Judge denies your application, the next step is to challenge that denial in the United States District Court for the district in which you live. This will involve a formal trial before a Federal Judge in which all the rules of procedure and evidence will apply. A person who is not trained in the law is unlikely to be successful at this stage.
If you believe that you or a loved one may be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits, contact the attorneys at Ted A. Greve & Associates for a free and confidential initial consultation and evaluation. If we feel that your claim has merit, we can help you prepare and submit your application. If you have already applied and been denied, we can represent you in the appeals process. These cases are taken on a contingent fee basis, so you will owe no legal fees unless we are successful in getting your benefits.