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Atlanta Social Security Disability Law Blog

Mental disorders may qualify for SSD benefits

According to the Social Security Administration, both physical disabilities and mental disorders could keep you out of work and qualify you for benefits. In order to qualify for SSDI benefits for illness, it is important that you prove to the SSA that you meet the necessary criteria.

The SSA will first refer to its Blue Book to see if your mental condition satisfies the requirements under Section 12. Various types of mental disorders are included in the Blue Book, including anxiety disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders and substance addiction. Each listing includes specific criteria you need to include in your medical evidence, as well as the criteria used to evaluate how the disorder limits your ability to work.

Have retail sector injuries surpassed other industries?

Making ends meet becomes difficult after an Atlanta resident is unable to continue working due to an injury. Asking for help is often difficult, even if it is from the Social Security Administration to get the Social Security Disability benefits that one has been contributing through his or her employment. It is even more frustrating when one has to gather the necessary documents, go through a complicated application procedure and then be told SSD benefits have been denied because one's condition does not qualify as a disability or for another stated reason.

Individuals count on getting approved for SSD benefits to make ends meet and get the medical treatment they desperately require. However, applicants often feel the whole system is stacked against them, which is why they are likely to give up. Especially since only 33 percent of first-time applications are approved, while a majority of appeals are approved, if someone has tenaciously pursued their claim for a number of years. The lawyers at Rogers Hofrichter & Karrh LLC understand how important monetary benefits are for paying one's bills and living expenses, which is why we work dedicatedly to help our clients get what they deserve.

What information do I need to apply for SSD benefits?

The Social Security Administration receives thousands of applications for disability benefits each year, and many of these applications get rejected. However, applicants who provide complete information about their illness and employment are much more likely to get approved.

The application for Social Security disability benefits can be complicated, so it is important to gather all the information you need to include in your application in advance. First, you will need to include personal information, including your birthdate, place of birth, Social Security number. You will also need to provide the same information for your spouse and any of your minor children. You may also need to provide banking information if you want your benefits to be deposited electronically into your account.

Seasonal jobs available for disability benefits' recipients

Many Georgians are out of work due to illness or injury and receive disability benefits to support them financially. Nowadays, however, there are many job opportunities available for people receiving Social Security Disability benefits who want to try working again. Companies offer many seasonal work positions that give disabled persons a chance to slowly re-enter the working world. Some of these positions include work-from-home opportunities, sales jobs, call center representatives and customer service positions. By taking on one of these seasonal jobs, one may be able to gain experience, strengthen job skills and fill any gaps in employment history.

Many people are worried that they will no longer receive their disability benefits if they take one of these seasonal jobs. But, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has special work incentives in place to give people a chance to test the waters while still receiving their monthly payments. Under the trial work period, one will work for 9 months and earn full benefits as long as they report the work and still have a disability.

What can you do if your claim for SSD benefits is denied?

The Social Security Administration denies countless disability applications each year. However, Social Security disability benefits applicants in Georgia and nationwide have the right to appeal these denials and request a review of their decision. The first step is to file for a reconsideration of your decision with someone who was not involved in the first decision. If you disagree with the reconsideration decision, the next step will be to request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) within 60 days of receiving the notice of the decision. You have the right to representation and your attorney can assist you throughout the hearing process.

Once you request a hearing, your case file will be forwarded to the ALJ Hearing Office, where your hearing will be scheduled. Your hearing can be scheduled in-person or via video teleconference, but video teleconference hearings generally can be scheduled faster than in-person hearings. You will receive a notice with the date, time and location of your hearing at least 20 days in advance.

Earning credits to qualify for SSD benefits

Georgia residents may qualify for Social Security disability benefits if they have earned an appropriate number of work credits, among other requirements. The Social Security Administration will use your work history and earnings information to determine whether you qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

Generally, workers may receive up to four credits per year depending on the amount of money they earn. In 2018, a worker can receive one credit for every $1,320 in net earnings, but the earnings amount required to earn a credit tends to increase each year due to an increase in average earning levels. In addition, a person can only earn up to four credits a year. The SSA also has specific rules in place for certain workers, including self-employed workers, military personnel and farm workers.

What is a 'service-connected' disability claim?

Many of our brave military men and women come back from serving our country with injuries or illnesses incurred or aggravated during their time in service. These medical conditions are often considered "service-connected." Veterans with service-connected conditions are generally eligible for non-taxable disability compensation through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs unless the veteran was dishonorably discharged.

The amount of compensation a disable veteran will receive depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of his or her disability and the number of eligible dependents. Veterans are given a disability rating from 0 to 100 percent, and the rating would correspond with the veterans benefits received per month. For example, a veteran with a 10 percent disability rating in 2014 would receive just over $130 per month, while a veteran with a 100 percent disability rating in 2014 would receive approximately $2,858 per month. Generally, veterans with a minimum of a 30 percent disability rating were eligible for additional allowances for spouses, minor children, students between the ages of 18 and 23, and other dependents.

The advantages to applying for SSDI benefits

Millions of people each year receive insurance coverage through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. While some people have long careers and can choose when to retire, many people are forced out of work prematurely due to a severe illness and injury. Workers who are no longer able to work due to a medical condition have the option of filing for disability benefits through SSDI.

Many people in Georgia may wonder if it is worth the hassle to apply for disability benefits. If you suffer an injury or illness, you may need a couple of years of medical treatment and rehabilitation to become healthy enough to work again. In the meantime, disability benefits can provide income to keep your family afloat during those difficult financial times. On average in 2019, a disabled worker can receive $14,800 per year in benefits, and $25,560 per year if he or she has a family.

Our attorneys assist clients pursuing disability benefits

If you are suffering from a medical condition or injury that keeps you from working, you are not alone. Thousands of Americans of all ages suddenly find themselves physically or mentally incapable of supporting themselves and their families, and they may be unsure about what to do next. Fortunately, many disabled people who are unable to work can pursue Social Security disability benefits, issued by the Social Security Administration.

However, many Georgia residents may have their initial application for disability benefits denied by the SSA. A disability claim can be denied for a variety of reasons. Some claimants do not include enough information about their medical or work history for the SSA to make a well-informed decision. In other cases, the SSA does not correctly evaluate the severity of the applicant's disability. No matter the reason, the reality is that close to two-thirds of applications for SSDI benefits are denied by the SSA, leaving many disabled people without benefits.

How can I better my chances to get my disability claim approved?

To qualify for disability benefits, you will need to accumulate a certain number of work credits, which can only be done by working in jobs covered by Social Security. The number of credits you need depends on how old you were when you suffered your disability. While younger workers can qualify for benefits with fewer credits, most people will have to earn at least 40 credits, and 20 of those credits must have been earned in the 10 years leading up to your disability.

Workers in Georgia who have paid into Social Security system for many years may assume that it will be easy to have their application for disability benefits approved. However, getting approved for Social Security disability benefits is not as easy as one may think. The Government Accountability Office found that approximately 67 percent of initial claims for disability benefits were denied.

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