You’ve worked hard all your life, and accepting that you need Social Security Disability (SSDI) can be a difficult one to make. However, there’s no reason to hesitate or feel badly about this decision.
About one-quarter of working adults will be forced to make this very same decision before reaching retirement age. Life doesn’t often provide a safe, accident-free experience, and there are many ways to develop debilitating health conditions through no fault of your own.
You need to know about five things before you apply for SSDI in Florida. They are:
1. Are you presently working – The SSA holds strict definitions of work when providing disability benefits. For example, if you can perform work or any type of “substantial gainful activity” despite your disability, you may not be eligible for SSDI.
2. Do you have a severe condition – Your condition must be severe enough to interfere with your basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered. This is defined as any combination of impairments that prevent you from engaging in gainful activity. These impairments can be mental or physical.
3. Does the SSA recognize your condition as being disabling – This can be tricky to determine without the help of a Winter Haven disability lawyer acting as your disability advocate. The way the SSA lists disabling conditions comes under the inclusive umbrella headings of “major body systems.” Strictly defined by the SSA, they maintain a list of medical conditions that are severe enough that they automatically qualify you for disability for each of the major body systems. If your specific condition is not on this list, your SSDI lawyer must prove that your situation is of equal severity to a medical condition that is on the list.”
4. Can you continue in your previous job – Your condition may be severe, but not at the same or equal level of severity as a medical condition that they list. In this case, the SSA must determine if it interferes with your ability to do the work you did previously. If it does not, your claim may be denied.
5. Is there other work you can do – If you can’ perform the job you previously did, the SSA will see there is other work you can do. They consider such things as your medical conditions, age, education, past work experience, and transferable skills you may possess. If you cannot adjust to any other type of work, your claim will be approved.
Applying and understanding the myriad forms and details of applying for SSDI is a daunting and complex process. Consulting with a professional Winter Haven SSDI lawyer will be invaluable to navigating the process and getting you what you rightfully deserve.
What Type of Documents Do I Need to Supply When Applying For SSDI?
In whatever way you choose to apply, there are documents that you are required to provide to the SSA. They will demand these documents (and more), so they can make an informed decision about your case.
Some of these documents are, but may not be limited to:
- Proof of birth, such as an original birth certificate.
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or proof of permanent residence.
- W-2 form or self-employment tax returns for the previous year.
- Complete medical documentation of your case, such as doctors’ reports, treatment records, and up-to-date test results.
- An Adult Disability Report with complete information about your work history and condition, such as illnesses or injuries.
The SSA has a disability application checklist that you and your local SSDI lawyer can review to ensure that you have everything you need to apply.
However, it must be emphasized that trying to navigate this process alone is sincerely not recommended. If forms, pertinent information, and details are omitted, you will be forced to re-apply, or your case may be denied.
As in any deal with the government, having the help of a professional SSDI lawyer is the best way to guarantee you receive what you truly deserve.
What Can I Do If My Claim Is Denied?
Unfortunately, it’s common for your initial claims to be denied in Florida. The good news is that approval rates have risen in Florida over the last few years, but they still only meet the national approval rate of approximately30% of SSDI applications processed.
If you and your Florida SSDI lawyer disagree with the decision regarding your disability claim, you certainly have the right to appeal and should do so.
Many applicants choose to engage with a qualified disability attorney or disability advocate who can help guide them through the remaining stages of the process.
Initially, the first stage of your appeals process is to request reconsideration. In this step, your disability claim will be reviewed by an examiner who did not participate in your first review. You and your lawyer may also submit any new documentation substantiating your case, should you have it.
Your SSDI lawyer has the expertise to argue your case with an administrative law judge. In this state, almost 56% of appeals are won, which isn’t uncommon considering it is the first chance a reviewer must meet you and hear the whole story of how your disability affects your life.
How Can My Florida Disability Lawyer Help Me Win My Case?
Regardless of your disability, applying for and winning your Florida SSDI case is time-consuming and arduous. You must have all your “ducks in a row” the first time you apply.
Your knowledgeable and experienced disability lawyer will review your particular situation and advise you on how to proceed correctly. Your case will be thoroughly reviewed before deciding the best way to move forward. The process may take a long to finalize, and you don’t want to make initial errors or omissions.
Your Winter Haven Social Security disability lawyer knows the Social Security system inside and out, including all the pertinent information needed for you to achieve a successful outcome and help secure your financial future.
I Need To File a Social Security Disability Claim in Florida; How should I Proceed?
In an instant, filing and obtaining Social Security Disability benefits can become vitally important to you and your family. However, as you see, it can be an overwhelming and complex process that involves stacks of documents, medical records, and much more.
Consulting and working on your SSDI claim with a Florida Social Security Disability lawyer will ensure you get the best advice and navigate this process correctly the first time you file.
Do not try this alone; consult with a Winter Haven SSDI law firm and allow their experience to get what you rightfully need and deserve.