Social Security Disability Frequently Asked Questions
The process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be complex. It involves several legal, medical and financial components, making many people feel overwhelmed. Social Security disability attorney Joseph Rooth has helped disabled individuals seek the benefits to which they are entitled since 1994. Below are some of the questions that the Rooth Law Firm commonly receives and the answers.
What does “disabled” mean?
“Disabled” means different things according to different laws. Under the Social Security Administration’s definition, disabled means that a claimant for disability benefits is unable to engage in substantial gainful activity due to a determinable physical or mental impairment that has lasted for at least a year, is terminal or is expected to last for at least a year.
The claimant must meet the following criteria to be considered disabled:
- The claimant is unable to perform the same work he or she did before
- The claimant is unable to perform other work based on his or her residual functional capacity
- The claimant’s condition lasts for at least a year or is terminal
How do I apply for Social Security Disability benefits?
A person can file for Social Security Disability benefits by scheduling a telephone interview. Alternatively, they can visit their local Social Security office and apply in person.
When a persona applies for benefits, they should present relevant documentation to support their disability claim. If critical documents are missing, the application may be considered incomplete and may be delayed or rejected. A Social Security disability lawyer can help gather important documentation so that the application is complete.
How much in benefits am I eligible for?
The amount of benefits that a claimant may be able to receive is based on various factors, including the following:
- The claimant’s work history
- The amount of income received
- The current household situation
Additionally, the claimant’s dependents may also be eligible for benefits, up to certain limits.
Are there certain conditions that the Social Security Administration considers disabling?
There are certain conditions that the Social Security Administration considers disabling. If a claimant meets one of the Blue Book listings and all associated symptoms and severity under the listing, he or she will be automatically qualified for benefits without considering his or her residual functional capacity.
Why may an initial application be denied?
Many initial applications are initially denied. Some of the most common reasons for denial include:
- The claimant has missing or incomplete medical documentation
- The claimant earns more than the Substantial Gainful Activity level
- The application is completed incorrectly
- The claimant has not received adequate medical treatment with a doctor or specialist
How can I increase the likelihood of receiving disability benefits?
There are several ways that a claimant can increase the likelihood of being approved for benefits. Before applying for benefits, it is important to visit with healthcare providers to ensure that medical documents are being established to document medical history. A claimant’s disability attorney may ask a healthcare provider to complete certain forms or write a letter that better describes the limitations that the claimant experiences due to his or her impairments. It is often preferable to have a person’s primary doctor to complete a Residual Functional Capacity form rather than going to a doctor referred by the Social Security Administration that has no previous experience with the claimant. It is also important to hire a Social Security Disability lawyer as early in the process as possible.
Contact an experienced Florida Social Security Disability lawyer for guidance you can trust
If you need assistance with your Social Security Disability claim, the Rooth Law Firm can help. Attorney Joseph Rooth offers nearly a quarter century of experience to every case. He provides personalized service and attention to every client. He helps you through the initial application as well as each stage of the appeals process. For help with your claim, contact us online or call us at 727-849-3400 for more information.