If you find you can’t work due to a severe injury or illness, you should consider filing for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. These benefits will provide a modest income that will help pay your rent or mortgage, and cover other basic needs.
To qualify for SSD, you have to have worked and paid into the system for five out of the last 10 years prior to applying, and you have to provide medical documents to prove you can no longer work. For many claimants it’s a complicated process. We have clients with a range of health issues — musculoskeletal injuries (back and neck, for example), and progressive diseases such as MS, Lupus, Fibromyalgia and mental health issues. Unless your case is very clear cut and your claim is approved at the initial application stage, it can take a long time and it’s likely you will need an attorney with experience in SSD benefits to help you.
The Social Security Administration allows you to apply for both SSD and SSI online, or you can apply in person at your local Social Security office. However, visiting an office can be challenging for those who are ill or injured, and the online process is not completely user-friendly. For those reasons, we suggest you make an appointment with one of our attorneys who handles SSD, and allow us to help you file that initial application.
It’s easier for a claim to be processed if you provide the right information, such as the earliest possible date that you became unable to work, an accurate record of your work history, and the best available medical evidence. Some of these factors will influence the amount of back benefits you receive and your monthly check.
Our firm provides a free initial consultation and we will help you file your application. Should you be denied benefits we will represent you through the hearing stage, which can involve researching and providing medical evidence, and filing necessary documents to meet the SSA’s deadlines. Our fee is based on a percentage of your back benefits (set by the SSA). We only receive our fee if you are awarded back benefits.