Social Security Disability Requirements
Becoming disabled to the point where you are no longer able to work is extremely frustrating, confusing, and stressful. Not only are you leaving behind a career you enjoyed, you are also dealing with injuries and possibly thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Most people who develop disabilities have difficulty finding work-or can never work again. In 2015, only 40.7 percent of working-age adults with disabilities were employed. For most disabled adults, finding work is not an option. In those cases, it’s more than necessary to receive Social Security disability benefits.
The good news is that, if you do become disabled to the point that you cannot work, you have options. The state of Nevada offers Social Security disability benefits to Nevadans who meet certain eligibility requirements. These financial benefits can greatly offset the costs associated with regular medical care and joblessness.
If you are thinking about applying for Social Security disability in Nevada, read on to learn about the requirements, application process, and legal options available to you.
Who Is Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?
Generally, in order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have worked long enough in a job where you paid Social Security taxes (FICA). When you are employed, you earn a certain number of “work credits” for each year that you work. To be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you must have earned enough work credits by the time you become disabled. Find out more about work credits at the Social Security Administration website.
If you have not worked long enough to receive Social Security disability benefits, but cannot work and have low income and assets, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income.
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), there are several qualifications you must meet to be considered disabled:
You cannot continue doing the same work you did before you became disabled. Your disability must interfere with your work activities and your ability to perform your job.
Your disability stops you from adjusting to other forms of work. If you become disabled and cannot perform the same type of work you did prior to your disability, the SSA will determine if you may be able to perform a different type of work. They will take into account your age, medical conditions, skills, education, and work experience. If it is determined that your disability prevents you from adjusting to another type of work, you may be considered disabled.
Your disability, injury, or illness will most likely persist for a year or more, or will likely lead to death. If your severe condition persists for a long period, the SSA may consider you to be living with a disability.
You can apply for Social Security disability benefits if you are 18 years old, not currently receiving Social Security benefits, unable to work because of a mental condition that is expected to last one year or more, and have not been denied Social Security benefits in the last 60 days.
How to Apply for Social Security Disability
Applying for Social Security disability can be a complicated process. You need to collect various personal documents and information, such as your birth certificate, W-2 forms, proof of U.S. citizenship, and more. There are four different ways you can apply: online, via mail, in person at your local Social Security office, and by phone at 1-800-772-1213. Find out more at the SSA website.
Once you are injured or become disabled, it is recommended that you begin the Social Security disability application process as soon as you can to start receiving benefits. If you are confused by the application process, you may benefit from seeking legal advice or assistance.
How Does the Social Security Disability Claims Process Work?
After your Social Security disability claim is approved, you will not receive payments for five months after you become disabled, due to the SSA’s waiting period. After this period, you will receive monthly payments intended to supplement your limited income and offset medical bills. You will continue to receive payment as long as you are considered disabled.
However, the approval process often takes about three to five months. If you are approved after the five-month waiting period, you will receive disability back-pay checks. If you have family members or dependents living with you, they may also be eligible for partial disability benefits.
Why Seek Legal Help for Your Social Security Disability Claim?
In the state of Nevada, 49.6 percent of all initial disability claims are approved, and 27.6 are approved after an appeal. Working with a Social Security disability lawyer can greatly increase your chances of getting an approval on your claim.
Social Security lawyers are well-versed in the complex Social Security laws and regulations, and can help ensure you receive the financial benefits you need to manage a debilitating disability and pay your medical bills.
If you have developed a disability, you can take comfort in the fact that you don’t have to go through it alone. The personal injury lawyers at Shook & Stone have decades of experience assisting clients with Social Security disability claims.
Increase your chance of receiving social security disability benefits, or find out what your chances are of qualifying with skilled, experienced personal injury lawyers. A Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can also help you appeal a case if it has been denied by the SSA. Contact Shook & Stone for your free case evaluation.