New SSD Applicants
If you can’t work because of a disabling medical condition, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits. At the Ankin Law Office, LLC, we specialize in helping people apply for these benefits. We know that coping with a severe injury or illness can be an incredibly difficult experience, which is why we are here to assist you.
We understand that your situation may feel overwhelming and that securing SSD benefits may seem like an impossible task. The SSD application process is very technical, and the rate of claim denial is high. Fortunately, our SSD attorneys are ready to help you understand and navigate the complicated application process.
Qualifying for SSD Benefits
To receive SSD benefits, you must meet various medical and non-medical requirements. These standards can make it difficult to qualify for benefits even if you suffer from a highly debilitating condition. To be considered disabled for SSD purposes, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must suffer from a medical condition that is terminal or expected to last at least 12 months.
- This condition must prevent you from doing any work that you have previously performed.
- The condition must prevent you from adjusting to any new forms of work.
You also may qualify as disabled if you suffer from a combination of impairments that prevent you from working, even if none of those impairments are independently disabling.
Unfortunately, if you are working “substantially,” you may not be eligible for SSD benefits. The specific amount of work that is considered substantial changes each year, but generally, you cannot receive benefits if you earn over $1,000 per month. Our SSD attorneys can help you understand this earnings requirement and other factors that may affect your eligibility for benefits.
What Benefits Are Available?
As someone who can’t work because of a disabling condition, you may be eligible to receive disability benefits through two programs: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. In addition to qualifying as disabled, you must meet distinct non-medical requirements to be eligible for either program.
Many SSD applicants qualify for benefits from just one of these programs. However, some people are eligible to receive simultaneous benefits through both. Our attorneys can help you determine which benefits to apply for and then assist you during the application process.
Supplemental Security Income
SSI benefits are awarded based on financial needs to people who are blind, elderly or disabled. You can receive these benefits regardless of whether you have worked and paid Social Security taxes in the past. However, you must meet strict financial criteria.
You can only collect SSI benefits if your income and assets fall below certain thresholds. Social Security does not count all of your income or assets toward these limits. A set fraction of your monthly income is discounted, and assets such as your primary home and vehicle may also be exempt. Our attorneys can work with you to evaluate your eligibility for these benefits.
Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI benefits are available to people who qualify as “insured” based on their past earnings. You may be eligible for SSDI benefits if you are between ages 18 and 62 and if you have an adequate earnings record. You can receive these benefits regardless of your current assets and income, as long as you are not earning too much monthly income from substantial work.
If you qualify for SSDI benefits and also have limited income and assets, you may be eligible for concurrent SSI benefits. You don’t need to apply separately for benefits through both programs. If you apply for SSDI and your monthly benefit falls below a set threshold, Social Security will automatically award SSI benefits to bring your total benefit amount up to that threshold.
Claiming SSD Benefits
The SSD claim process begins when you file an application in person, via phone, by mail or through the Social Security Administration website. To support your application, you will need to provide various forms of documentation. We can help you gather this evidence before you apply to minimize delays during the processing of your claim.
To support your claim, you will need to provide current medical documentation. Social Security uses this to evaluate whether your condition is severe enough to prevent you from working. This documentation should establish your medical history, your condition, your treatment history and your current functional abilities. We can assist you in securing necessary records, such as official diagnoses, test results and assessments from medical professionals.
You will also need to provide information about your work history and education with your SSD application. This information may not seem important, but it helps Social Security evaluate whether you could reasonably return to a past job or take up new work. Our attorneys can assist you in compiling a detailed vocational history that shows why you can no longer work gainfully.
Schedule Your Free Evaluation
Applying for SSD benefits is often viewed as a time-consuming and challenging task, but we can make the entire process easier and more efficient. Our attorneys can identify the best way for you to apply and ensure that your application is completed correctly. We can also help you secure all of the evidence needed to support your claim.
If you think you may qualify for SSD benefits, or if you are ready to start the application process, we are here to assist you. Contact the Ankin Law Office, LLC, to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and the next steps toward securing SSD benefits.