Understanding Social Security Benefits

Social Security Disability Lawyers in Charlotte, NC

What Is the Purpose of the Social Security Program?

The Social Security disability program helps Americans who are disabled and unable to perform their work duties. This federal insurance program is designed to offer financial support to those with disability who are unable to provide for their families. Not everyone automatically qualifies for these benefits, there are certain requirements and qualifications that must be met in order to ensure that the people who need the most assistance are receiving the monetary aid that they need. That is why every tax payer gives a certain amount of their earnings toward the Social Security disability program, so that one day if you are ever disabled and unable to work, these benefits will be made available to you as well. Our Charlotte Social Security disability lawyer can help you obtain these benefits in your time of need.

SSDI and SSI: Two Types of Social Security Benefits

There are two types of benefits that a Social Security disability lawyer can help you apply for. Those are known as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Insurance (SSI).
  • SSDI is available to those who have, in the course of their work career, become disabled while working. In other words, you must have worked for a certain number of years before collecting SSDI.
  • SSI is available to anyone whose income is very low and cannot sustain themselves by working. An applicant may apply for both SSDI and SSI.

Understanding SSDI

In order to qualify for SSDI, you must build up “work credits”. How many work credits you are required to have built up depends on the year during which you became disabled relative to your age. Additionally, you must have worked at least five of the prior ten years before applying. The amount you receive will be based on your past earnings. After being on the program for two years, you can apply for Medicare regardless of how old you are.

Understanding SSI

SSI is less rigid when it comes to work history, but there are still several criteria that must be met before you can qualify. These include the following. You:
  • Are either legally disabled (according to the SSA) or over the age of 65;
  • Are either a citizen of the United States or a lawful permanent resident who meets certain qualification requirements;
  • Must have a sufficiently low monthly income; and
  • Must have sufficiently low cash and other assets.
SSI benefits are currently around $750 with a certain amount supplemented at the state level. Those who qualify for SSI generally qualify for food stamps and Medicaid as well.

What Qualifies as a Disability?

Does your disability prevent you from sustaining consistent gainful employment? If the answer is yes and you can prove it, then this metric is far more useful than referring to the book. In other words, you must be able to show that you cannot do any substantial work due to your disability and this condition will last at least one year. Given that you meet this conditions, you will ostensibly qualify for disability.

Why Hire a Social Security Disability Lawyer?

While this whole process sounds like it should be relatively straightforward, the unfortunate fact is that the SSA has every incentive to deny your claim. Not only are there a number of people who attempt to file false claims against the system, but there are concerns about the solvency of Social Security moving forward. In other words, there are a number of people who are competing for a finite amount of resources. For the average applicant, it’s likely that your application will be turned down on the first try. Why? There are a couple of reasons for this.
  • Firstly, they want to ensure that you really are in dire enough straits that you cannot sustain gainful employment for the foreseeable future. If your application is denied and you begin working or earning a living from home, then that’s one less individual that is making a claim against the system.
  • Secondly, most applications that laypeople provide don’t have the required standard of evidence that the SSA is looking for. Admittedly, this standard is quite high because it needs to weed out those who don’t really need the program to sustain themselves. It’s also supposed to be there for those who are over the age of 65. In addition, people are living longer and longer and there are more Americans who are 65 years of age or older than ever before.
This means your application needs to be air-tight when you apply. There can’t be any gaps in your medical record and there should be some assurance that you really do need to have your income supplemented by SSI or SSDI.

Talk to a Qualified Charlotte, NC Social Security Disability Lawyer

This is where a Social Security disability lawyer can help. We will prepare your application and ensure that you have every item you need to make your case before the SSA. This includes getting information from doctors, vocational experts, medical tests, and more to give the SSA a complete picture of your disability and a firm idea of how it prevents you from sustaining gainful employment. Social Security disability claims must be carefully prepared so as to avoid any mistakes because one simple mistake could cause your payment to be seriously delayed and make it difficult for you to receive compensation in the future as well. We understand that your family could suffer severe financial hardship if you were to be denied benefits and that is why we also offer aggressive SSD appeal representation.
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