Securing Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in Cobb County can be quite difficult. Most Claimants people have their disability applications denied, even if they are being treated for a life-changing medical condition and even if they have worked for many years. If you apply for SSI or SSD, you may be turned down because of what your doctors have written in your medical records, because there was a problem with your application, or because the SSA simply did not understand how your condition effects you. Ultimately though, if you cannot hold a job because of a medical condition that you are getting medical care to treat, you should be able to get benefits. A Cobb County Social Security Disability lawyer can help.
At O’Brien & Feiler, we understand how challenging it is to be out of work, attempting to seek expensive medical care, and having to fight hard for badly-needed benefits. For more than two decades, O’Brien & Feiler (OBF) have been helping disabled people get their SSD and SSI benefits. OBF can help you with your initial filing, we can secure and assemble the medical records needed to prove your case, and we can escort families in need through the whole process of appealing cases. An O’Brien & Feiler lawyer would be pleased to offer a free consultation to discuss your situation. Call us at 770-579-0799 today or click here.
What is Social Security Disability?
The Social Security Act created programs to help qualifying individuals by providing steady income and access to healthcare if they become unable to work for a living. Social Security Disability payments can allow you to continue to seek care from your doctor while also having money to keep the lights on and keep your family fed.
Disability (SSD) is not a government handout, it is insurance. Social Security deductions fund this program. Most people don’t think too much about the OASDI deduction on their paychecks, but this deduction represents the “insurance premiums” you pay to to government to insure you in case you become disabled. By paying a sufficient amount of funds into the system, workers insure themselves for disability (SSD) and also retirement. Claiming these benefits in a time of need is not accepting a handout, it is cashing in an insurance policy.
Work history determines eligibility for SSD. In order to claim SSD benefits, a you have to have worked and had Social Security taxes withdrawn from your paycheck. A good rule of thumb to follow, is that your must have worked consistently for at least five out of the ten years prior to becoming tool ill to work. Being unemployed or on unemployment for some of this time is not a problem if you have paid a sufficient amount in otherwise. Part time work can count as well if it meets the basic requirements. People that have not worked this much can still claim benefits, but those benefits are known as SSI benefits. SSI benefits provide a fixed monthly income source and Medicaid insurance.
If your medical impairment prevents you from working, SSD or SSI can help. Any physical or mental illness that directly prevents you from working can qualify you for SSD or SSI benefits. It is not enough to simply have a medical issue though, it is necessary that you seek treatment from a medical or mental health professional. These treatment records will form the basis of your claim.
Claims for SSD or SSI benefits are evaluated by The Social Security Administration (SSA). In Cobb County, and throughout the State of Georgia, the SSA can very readily deny claims for SSD or SSI benefits. Because of this fact, you should have an experienced disability lawyer working for you when you file or appeal your SSD or SSI application.
How do I prove I qualify for SSD benefits in Cobb County?
Securing SSD benefits requires that you prove two things. First, you must prove that your worked in a position that withdrew payments to the SSA on your behalf, and second, you must be able to prove that you have a severe medically determinable impairment that causes you to be unable to work. This can be a lengthy and frustrating process, but hiring an experienced lawyer can help. You will need to prove:
- A severe diagnosis from a medical doctor or mental health professional
- Your diagnosis is expected to last a year or more or result in death
- This diagnosis prevents you from working at your previous jobs or any other work
- That you have worked at jobs long enough to have paid a sufficient amount to insure yourself for disability
- If you do not have a strong work history, then you will need to meet very strict income limits to claim SSI
Your words are not enough to prove the need for these benefits. Having your physician or treating professional document your treatment and express your limitations is vital. If you don’t have the documentation to prove your claim, the SSA will deny your claim for SSD or SSI benefits.
Does the SSA agree my condition is a disability?
If you can’t work because of your severe medical impairment, common sense would say that this is a disabling condition, and you would qualify for SSD or SSI benefits. Unfortunately, the process is more nuanced than this, and for some conditions, more information is needed about how the illness functionally limits a claimant. Simply having a diagnosis may not be enough to convince the SSA of your need. For this reason, speaking with your physician about clearly documenting your limitations will help a great degree with a claim for SSD or SSI benefits in Cobb County.
The SSA denied me. What should I do next?
Appeal the denial! Many folks do not know that when looking at the approval rates at the first three levels of SSI and SSD applications, your best chances are actually in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at a hearing. This will often take place more than a year after filing the application, and it will happen after your claim has been denied and appealed through the first two steps. It is important to understand the basis for your earlier denials so that you can respond appropriately to deal with the deficient areas of your claim. New and insightful information is a helpful way to make a claim for SSD or SSI stronger.
These Administrative Law Judges usually understand the law to a greater degree than those individuals reviewing your claim at the earlier stages. For this reason, they approval rates tend to be higher at the judicial stage. Despite this fact, we never recommend going to court unrepresented, and getting a qualified attorney to represent you in your claim for SSD or SSI benefits is a very good idea.
Talk for free with a Cobb County Social Security Disability Lawyer
If your health causes you to be unable to work, SSD or SSI benefits will can help you and your family by providing income and health insurance benefits. O’Brien & Feiler offers free SSD and SSI attorney consultations which can help you and your family understand the benefits you can claim, the best way to seek them, and the challenges you may face along the way. Call us at 770-579-0799 or click here to request a free consultation today.