The Hows, When, And Whats Of Social Security Disability Benefits


Social Security Disability benefits are for those who have paid into the system and become unable to work due to a mental or physical disability. To receive these benefits, you must unable to perform substantial work for at least one year or have a terminal condition. You need to understand how these benefits work, when you can get them, how to apply, and what happens if you are denied. 

How Do You Apply For Benefits?

You can initiate the the application process by contacting the SSA by phone or online. You'll need to gather proof of your eligibility for which you are applying, which can be found on on the SSA checklist.  Some common documents you will need include the following.

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Social Security card or number

The other documents you'll need can vary by what type of benefits you are applying for and your specific circumstances. The SSA will let you know what they need. If you need help locating certain necessary items, the Social Security office may be of help you. 

When Can You Receive Benefits?

Age does not determine eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits. You only have to prove that you are truly unable to work by meeting the Social Security Administration's (SSA) criteria for being truly disabled. If your condition is interfering with your ability to perform work duties, and you cannot do the same level of as you've done before, you'll most likely be considered disabled. However, other criteria are involved, like how much income you make a month, and if your condition is included in the SSA's list of severe medical conditions that guarantee benefits. 

It can take months, sometimes longer, before the SSA makes a decision, so you must be patient. If you qualify for benefits, you'll continue to receive them until the SSA determines you are able to return to work. Period assessments are done to and special incentives are offered for those who return to work as soon as possible. 

What If Your Case Is Denied?

The SSA will notify you by mail to let you know if you are able to receive benefits. If you are denied, you have the right to appeal the SSA's decision within 60 days of the date of your notice. While you don't have to hire an attorney to appeal your case, if there is a substantial amount of money at stake, you may want to discuss your appeal with a social security disability attorney, like those at Cohen & Siegel LLP. The attorney's expertise can be beneficial in the long run, even with the attorney's fees. 

If you find the process of applying for benefits too difficult to handle alone, you can hire an attorney to help with your initial claim. This may be one way to ensure you have supplied all the proof of disability necessary to get your claim approved. 


29 December 2014

Business Law Basics: What Small Business Owners Need to Know

When I started my first small business, I had no idea how much I really didn’t know. I was fully prepared to deal with customers, sell product and even handle complaints and returns. What I wasn’t aware of was that there is so much more to it. I was lacking the legal expertise to protect the company and myself. I wanted others to benefit from my experience, mistakes and lessons learned, so I started this blog. From employment law to the legal business contracts you’ll have to sign when you form partnerships, business law is complex. I hope that the information here will help you to be better prepared when you start your business so that you’ll know when you need to call an attorney and when you can handle things yourself.