Sometimes when a car accident occurs, the injuries are so severe that it can cause total disability. Even though you were once an active working member of society, now you are falling reliant on the Social Security benefits that you have been working for. How do you tap into these benefits? What happens if your social security disability gets denied?
What Are the Criteria for Social Security Disability Benefits?
In order to qualify for benefits under Social Security Disability, you have to be totally disabled. They will not pay out for partial or short-term disability. You also have to have enough work credits to get benefits. Work credits are things that you have accumulated over the years while you were working.
Social Security will consider you disabled if you meet their definition of disabled. You must:
- Not be able to work in the same type of job that you were working in before
- Social Security believes that you cannot adjust to other types of work due to your disability
- Your disability is expected to last over a year or up until death
If at any point in your pursuit of disability benefits you do not feel like you are being treated fairly, or you fear that you may be denied, hire a Social Security Disability lawyer in Charlotte to help you with the process.
Social Security has a process in which they determine if you qualify for benefits. It is a five-step process with the following questions:
- Are you currently working?
- If you are currently working and making more than $1,260 a month you cannot be considered a disabled person.
- If you are not working, the Social Security Administration will send your application to Disability Determination Services which is an office that will decide on your medical condition.
- Is your condition considered severe?
- The condition causing you to be disabled must be severe enough that it limits your ability to do any kind of work functions like lifting, standing, remembering, or sitting for at least 12 months or more. If it is found that it does not, the DDS will determine that you are not disabled.
- Is your condition found on the existing list of disabling conditions for the DDS?
- For every system in the body, the DDS has compiled a list of disabling conditions and the criteria that you must meet to qualify for disability under that condition.
- If your condition isn’t on that list, there is still a chance you could receive benefits. The DDS will have to determine that it is a condition that makes it difficult for you to be gainfully employed.
- Can you do the work you were doing previously?
- The DDS will determine if you are able to do the work you were previously doing or if the disability prevents you from doing this.
- Can you do any other type of job?
- If you are unable to do the type of work you did previously, the DDS will look to see if there is something that you could still do with your disability status.
- The DDS will consider previous work experience, age, education, any transferable skills, and your health when looking for a profession you may still be able to do.
- Special circumstances that the DDS will take into consideration
- There are special rules in place for those who have extremely impaired vision. They do not have to be ruled as blind to qualify. If their vision cannot be corrected within certain limits and it hinders them from completing any work successfully, then they may qualify.
- There may be benefits available for widows and widowers who are considered disabled. In order to be considered, their disability must have started within seven years of their spouse’s death.
- The children of parents who are considered disabled may be able to collect benefits until they are 22 years old.
How Will Legal Counsel Help Me Get My Benefits?
In most circumstances, Social Security will deny your benefits the first time you apply. There will be something missing in your application, your doctor will have not filled out something, or something didn’t go through. Either way, it is important to have someone in your corner who wants to see you receive your benefits that you rightfully deserve.
In Charlotte, you can find a law firm that handles social security disability claims that has experience dealing with not only Social Security but the Disability Determination Services. So, if you find that your social security disability was denied after trying to file on your own, don’t give up. Go for a free consultation of your case and see what a lawyer can do to make this process easier for you.