If you cannot work due to your medical conditions, you might feel lost without a Danbury Social Security disability lawyer. It’s hard to file a successful disability claim when you’re dealing with severe symptoms and financial uncertainty. We understand these challenges and are here to help. Learn more about filing Social Security disability and SSI claims below.
What Is the Difference Between Disability and SSI?
Social Security disability and SSI both pay benefits to disabled Americans. However, they have different eligibility criteria and offer different benefits. Depending on your work history, income, and other factors, you may qualify for either disability benefits, SSI, or a combination of both.
Social Security disability is an earned benefit that is based on income you’ve reported to the IRS. You are eligible for Social Security disability if you:
- Worked for at least five of the last ten years,
- Were diagnosed with severe medical conditions, and
- Cannot work for at least 12 months due to your conditions,
If you are approved for Social Security disability, you will receive monthly benefit payments. And, after two years of eligibility, you will qualify for Medicare.
Many people do not qualify for Social Security disability due to limited work histories. This is particularly true for young adults, family caregivers, or people with longstanding disabilities. Under these circumstances, you still might be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI eligibility is based on:
- Your household income and financial resources (“countable income”),
- The severity of your medical conditions, and
- Whether these conditions prevent you from working for at least 12 months.
The 2017 SSI countable income limits are $735 for a single person and $1,103 for a couple. SSI benefits are typically lower than Social Security disability payments and provide Medicaid coverage (instead of Medicare).
It’s difficult to assess your eligibility for disability and SSI without a review of your medical and earning records. If you have questions about your right to Social Security benefits, contact a Danbury Social Security disability lawyer for advice.
How Do I Apply for Social Security in Danbury?
You can apply for Social Security benefits online or in person at the Danbury Social Security office. However, before you apply, you should compile and organize your evidence. You will have to provide information about:
- Your health problems, including the date your conditions became severe and disabling,
- The names and contact information for your medical providers,
- Your vocational training and qualifications,
- Your physical and mental capabilities, and
- Living situation and finances.
Once you complete your application, the Administration will order and review your medical records. Sometimes, it might schedule an exam with one of its consulting doctors, assessing your current physical and mental health. Based on its review, Social Security will either approve or deny your application.
How to Appeal a Social Security Denial
If you’re denied Social Security benefits, don’t give up. Social Security denies about 65 percent of the disability applications they receive. Many of these denials are overturned on appeal. Applications are denied for many reasons, including when:
- Social Security fails to get your full medical record,
- It misinterprets your doctors’ opinions or your statements,
- You accidentally give inaccurate information (such as your date of disability onset),
- You forget to complete a form, or
- There was a failure to list all of your serious medical conditions.
A Danbury Social Security disability lawyer can evaluate your claim and help you correct these issues.
To file a Social Security appeal in Connecticut, you must file a Request for Reconsideration within 60 days of your denial. If you miss this filing deadline, you cannot appeal and must restart the application process. If your appeal is denied again, you can request a formal hearing. A 60-day filing deadline also applies to Requests for Hearing.
While you wait for your hearing date, your Danbury Social Security disability lawyer will fully develop your claim and prepare you for the hearing. This typically involves:
- Presenting evidence that explains and supports your claim,
- Helping you complete forms,
- Educating you about the appeals and hearing processes,
- Requesting an expedited hearing or on-the-record decision (when applicable), and
- Providing emotional support and guidance during a difficult time.
How to Select a Social Security Disability Lawyer
Due to a backlog, you might be working with your Danbury Social Security disability lawyer for over a year. During this time, you need someone who will give you personalized attention and aggressively advocate on your behalf. Unfortunately, non-lawyers can represent disability claimants and they charge the same fees as a fully-licensed attorney. Many of these non-lawyers lack the training and knowledge needed to appeal a disability claim.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your initial evaluation. For example, you should ask your lawyer about:
- His or her training and qualifications,
- Whether he or she will appear at your hearing (or if another, less experienced lawyer or representative will attend),
- How he or she will communicate with you, and
- His or her experience handling appeals in Danbury.
An experienced Danbury Social Security disability lawyer should be comfortable sharing this information.
Speak With a Danbury Social Security Disability Lawyer
When you retain the Hermann Law Group, you will work closely with an experienced Danbury Social Security disability lawyer. We guide our clients through the application, appeal, and post-award processes — providing compassionate advice and tenacious representation at every stage. Contact us for a free consultation today.