Social Security Disability Insurance
According to the U.S. Social Security Administration ("SSA"), studies show that a 20 year-old worker has a 30 percent chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age. Becoming disabled is a life-altering event that creates financial and emotional strain for disabled individuals and their families. Fortunately, the SSA offers benefits to disabled individuals who qualify for their services.
Cervantes & Associates has extensive experience in assisting individuals with obtaining social security disability benefits. Our lawyers prepare the necessary documentation, gather supporting materials, and ensure that applications for social security disability benefits are approved.
The SSA offers two disability benefits programs: Social Security Disability Insurance ("SSDI") and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI"). SSI provides benefits based on financial need, while SSDI is available to individuals who have worked for a certain period of time and paid Social Security taxes. To qualify for SSDI benefits, applicants must satisfy particular criteria, including the following:
- Total Disability: The SSA pays benefits only for total disability, and not for partial or temporary disability. Total disability means an individual can neither do the work he or she did before nor work at another job due to the medical condition. Additionally, the disability must be expected to last at least a year or result in death. For information on how Social Security determines an individual is disabled, please click on this link: http://www.ssa.gov/dibplan/dqualify5.htm
- Duration of employment: To qualify for SSDI, one needs a particular number of work credits, which are based on one's total yearly wages or self-employment income. Additionally, the number of credits that are required depend on the age of when the person become disabled. For more detailed information on this requirement, please click on the following link: http://www.ssa.gov/dibplan/dqualify2.htm
Once it appears that you are eligible to receive SSDI benefits, you must complete and submit an application to the SSA. Completing the application on your own can be a very involved and daunting task, because you have to substantiate that you are in fact disabled and cannot engage in any gainful employment, determine whether your qualify, and gather supporting documents. However, an attorney who is skilled in assisting individuals with obtaining SSDI benefits can ensure that you successfully and expeditiously obtain the benefits you deserve.
After the SSA has approved your application for SSDI benefits, it will determine the amount you will receive based on your lifetime average earnings. The Benefits Calculator located on the SSA's website may help you determine the amount of benefits you might be eligible to receive.
To ensure that you receive the maximum SSDI benefits to which you are entitled, seek knowledgeable and experienced legal counsel to assist you. Contact Cervantes & Associates today for a free initial consultation.