Social Security Disability
Social Security Attorney in Gainesville, Georgia
For individuals who have been disabled and can no longer work, social security benefits are a life line. Denial of a social security disability claim can be frustrating, but we can help you. Sartain Law Offices works with individuals to fight for their benefits. Our firm can help you avoid the mistakes that often result in denials.
If you are preparing to file a Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits claim, or if you have previously been denied, please contact our office to see if we can help you.
"Social Security Disability" - Two Disability Programs: SSDI and SSI
When people apply for, or obtain, “disability” from social security, they are usually referring to one of two different programs: SSDI and SSI. Each of those major programs are detailed below. In addition to those two, there are several other disability programs which may be available to you. Whether you qualify for a disability program is very specific to each individual case. Sartain Law Offices can help guide you to the pgroams that you qualify for which will give you the greatest amount of benefits
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI is a disability insurance policy that you have paid for with your earnings. Every month that you were working, you were paying for a long-term disability policy from the Federal Government.
Eligibility for SSDI depends on your earnings, the number of years you have worked, and quarters of coverage. Be aware that if you have been out of the work force for several years, your insurance can expire. Your monthly disability amount will depend on your previous earnings. With an award of SSDI, beneficiaries can also gain access to Medicare insurance coverage. Additionally, when an adult with minor children is awarded SSDI benefits, he or she may also be awarded dependent child benefits for your children who are under the age of 18 years.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI is a disability program for people who are medically disabled (per SSA rules and regulations) but who do not qualify for SSDI. Non qualification for SSDI can occur because you never worked, your earnings were not high enough to obtain quarters of coverage, or your coverage has expired. SSI is a "means-tested" disability program with income and asset limits. The monthly amount is capped and there are no dependent benefits. Those who are eligible for SSI benefits may be granted access to Medicaid. Some individuals may be eligible for both SSDI and SSI depending on personal circumstances.
Children who are disabled may qualify for SSI benefits and medicaid. Child cases are handled differently by the Social Security Administration and require a different approach than adult cases. Sartain Law Offices recognizes that raising children is difficult enough, but raising children with disabilities brings its own unique set of challenges. We have extensive experience in obtaining child benefits and can provide the advocacy that you need.
How Does the Process Work?
1. Initial Filing
Individuals who think they may qualify for either SSDI or SSI can apply with their local Social Security Office or online. Once you have applied, you are in what is called the “Initial Stage.” Social Security will process your application and will gather medical records from your doctors. The Administration may also send you for consultative examinations. This process may take six months. At the end of the evidence gathering, Social Security will make a determination as to whether you are disabled based on Social Security Rules. If they find you are not disabled, there is an appeal process. You have 60 days to file your request for Reconsideration.
During this stage, you are asking Social Security to reconsider your file. If you are diagnosed with new impairments, you should let the Administration know. As with the first stage, they will gather any new medical records and may send you for an examination. This process may take 6 months although it is often shorter than the Initial phase. At the end of the evidence
gathering, Social Security will make a determination as to whether you are disabled based on Social Security Rules. If they find you are not disabled, you can appeal again. You have 60 days to file your appeal and ask for a Hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge.
After you have filed your request for Hearing, your file will be processed by the appropriate Social Security Office for your area. As your Hearing date approaches, you will receive additional documentation from Social Security. Once you have had a hearing, the Judge will make a determination and you will be mailed a written decision.
4. Beyong the Hearing
If you are denied at a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge, there are appeal processes still available to you. Sartain Law Offices handles these appeals to the National Appeals Council as well as to Federal Circuit Courts. Whether to appeal or start over is a fact-intensive question that we can guide you through. These appeal processes are time sensitive so do not wait to make a decision. Please contact our office if you need assistance with an appeal.