The Social Security Administration (SSA) is a government agency that provides benefits to those who are retired or disabled. The system has been in place since Franklin D. Roosevelt found it in 1935. If you are retired, you receive regular social security checks. If you are disabled, you have to go through the process of filing for social security disability before receiving any benefits. For example, if you are severely hurt while working and now are unable to work due to a disability, then you may be able to go through filing for social security disability benefits. However, if you are injured on the job and you still work or have the ability to work, you may have a workers’ compensation case.
The reason why people apply for social security disability is because they have a life-long disability and can no longer work. In short, it will cause you to be out of work for life. Workers’ compensation is different from social security disability but both issues may cause an employee to be out of work. However, workers’ comp. is typically shorter in time than social security disability.
Workers’ comp. is given to employees who endure an injury at work but still have the ability to work once they recover. Workers compensation insurance is covered by the employer and is available to employees on day one of their jobs. Although, applying for social security disability benefits may mean you’ll be out of work as well, the issue will be life-changing.
Facing the reality that you can no longer work due to a disability is challenging. Furthermore, serious work injuries can cause disabilities. Therefore, how do you support yourself without having that job? This is where filing for social security disability comes into play. Social security disability benefits are covered by a Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI), which is a government insurance run by the SSA. In general, benefits are available only to employees who have worked for a substantial amount of time. It’s just one of the many requirements when filing for social security disability, which we will cover further in this blog. Specifically, after being hurt on the job, you may be wondering, “do I have a workers’ comp. claim or social security disability claim?” The answer to that is, it could be both.
Depending on the severity of your injury you can have both. However, benefits are limited so insurance doesn’t risk overpayment . Nonetheless, how is a social security disability application determined? Well, there are qualifications that the SSA uses in order to determine what is a disability.
SSDI covers those who have long-term disabilities. This would be a disability that prevents an employee from working. According to the Council for Disability Awareness a disability would be in the category of:
When you originally become injured at work, you will be evaluated by doctors to determine whether or not you have long-term or short term disability.
If you are unable to work because of an accident on the job, you may have a social security disability case. However, there are many other requirements to being approved when filing for social security disability case benefits.
Filing for social security disability is one step but there are many other steps taken to determine whether or not you can receive benefits. First, your current work status. If you are earning more than a specified monthly amount for work, then you are not considered eligible. The Social Security Administration posts specified amounts, which changes every year. Next qualification is the severity of the injury.
Severe means that the injury significantly limits your ability to perform basic tasks like lifting, standing, walking or sitting for at least 12 months. The injured area must also be listed as a “certified” condition. Check out the SSA website to know which are listed. If the condition is not listed but just as severe, then the next step is taken.
Next consideration would be, does the injury prevent you from the work you were currently doing? If it does then your application will be further looked into. However, if your medical condition doesn’t interfere, then you may be disqualified to receive benefits. Along the same lines, you have to be evaluated for your ability to perform other jobs.
Lastly, you will be evaluated on your ability to do any other job. Your age, education, past work experience, and your special skills will determine if you can do a different job. Therefore, if you are deemed to be okay to work anywhere else, your claim can get denied. When filing for social security disability, you are trying to prove all of these facts simultaneously while probably getting medical care. Even so, many claims are denied because the facts aren’t explained enough. That’s not always because someone isn’t disabled but because they didn’t prove it enough. Your application is never guaranteed, in fact less applications are being approved for social security benefits.
The unfortunate truth is that it’s getting harder to receive social security disability benefits. The truth is that there has been a huge decrease in approval rates for SSD. About 70% of all social security disability claims are denied and over 50% of them were denied because of lack of proof, not legitimacy. In 2010, over 1 million applications were being approved. Since then, numbers have decreased. Nonetheless, there is still hope.
Hiring a social security disability lawyer would increase your chances of approval. An attorney would know what is needed to prove to the SSA that you are eligible for disability.
A lawyer could also help you if your case is denied. It’s better to talk to an attorney before filing for social security disability to avoid dealing with a denial. You don’t want to make a complex situation more complicated.
The risk of getting denied benefits is so high. Moreover, it’s a lot of work to manage. Before filing for social security disability, call our social security disability team: 202-933-1918. Even if you have already filed, contact one of our attorneys for a free consultation. Get a head start on your application by getting in touch with a legal team who genuinely cares for you.